Could there be a better time to train for the ministry? The London Theological Seminary (LTS) end of year service on 13 June would certainly suggest that the coming decade is an opportune time to study for a lifetime of full-time Christian service.
Options for training today range much wider than the ‘seminary model’. But on this bright June day we saw an unashamed example of the great potential that a seminary may have for being the finest of servants to the churches. ‘Potential’ is the best word; because LTS is still growing, developing, refining its Scripture-led approach to training.
The faculty is changing. At the end of the day, a seminary is just its faculty. Our hopes for the future are bolstered, then, by Robert Strivens in his new role as principal; of David Green’s taking up the vice-principalship full-time; of Garry Williams’ appointment as Director of the John Owen Centre for Theological Study.
These men, with their pastor-colleagues, are the next generation of Timothys who under God will train faithful men to teach others. Pray for them.
Nor should we forget the immeasurable contribution of Philip Eveson to LTS, tremendously supported by his wife Jenny. This was marked by all with great thankfulness – even emotion – as he retires as principal emeritus.
The facilities are changing. The new library and lecture-room facilities – open to the public for the first time on 13 June – were certainly an impressive sight and welcome step into the 21st century.
Learning! That’s been the life of these students who came before us at the service with their grateful testimonies of how God has moulded and commissioned them over the past two years of training. The learning has only just begun, of course. After ‘passing out’ at this service, what support they will need from God’s Spirit. To that great calling of a ‘faithful servant’ they (with us all) were resolutely exhorted by Edward Malcolm as he closed the service with a message from Matthew 25.
And pray on for more such students. What a century we stand at the opening of!
What persecutions might hit us in the next fifty years? What opportunities for the gospel will the Lord provide? We cannot tell precisely. But, whether there might be a better time to train for the ministry or not, could there ever be a more important one?