On 6 May 2017, the European School of Biblical Studies (formerly the EMF School of Biblical Studies) held its annual open day at Welwyn Evangelical Church.
As the guests flooded in, so did the extra seats to accommodate the 200 or so guests who had come to hear from this year’s students and from Dr Garry Williams, director of the John Owen Centre. The theme, Celebrating the Reformation, reflected not only this being the 500th anniversary of the Reformation but also the subject on which Garry lectures at the School.
The event began with reading Psalm 19 in the five languages represented by the 13 students currently studying at the school. Luther made an appearance in the form of one of the students, who dressed up for a ‘Luther or not’ quiz.
Dr Williams then gave the full story behind the Reformer and what ignited the Reformation movement. In the afternoon, he dissected the controversy between Luther and Erasmus on the freedom of the will. Over lunch the German theme was continued, as guests gathered for a bratwurst from the BBQ.
The future plans of this year’s students are wide and varied. One of the couples, Phil and Lydia Evans, hope to become missionaries with Grace Baptist Mission and work with an international church in Riga, Latvia.
Three students will start as Scripture Readers with SASRA and Matt and Bethan Ellish are considering future ministry with displaced people. Others will be returning to their home countries to continue studies and service within their churches.
The principal, Jörg Müller, explained the new trainee scheme of EMF, to further equip students from the School within their national church context to gain more ministry experience, as well as theological training.
David Easton, 30, and his wife Maribel, attended the Open Day. He said: ‘It is always a joy to go to meet with our brothers and sisters to catch up with them as ex-EMF students. It is also a great reminder that we in the UK are part of the European continent and so are European — and Europe is a very needy continent indeed!
‘It is the number one most secular continent globally, so the gospel is very much needed. Given this perspective, it’s clear there is a great demand for much prayer and support’.