I noted yesterday that I am attending a two-day board meeting of Biblical Theological Seminary (BTS) in Pennsylvania. Biblical Seminary is, to my mind, a well-kept secret. Begun in 1971 as a fundamentalist break-off seminary from the orbit of the late fundamentalist minister Carl MacIntyre Biblical has come a long way from those days, now engaging the world as a faithful, evangelical and orthodox interdenominational seminary with a misisonal philosophy. Our mission statement is:
To prepare missional leaders who incarnate the story of Jesus with humility and authenticity and who comunicate the story with fidelity to Scripture, appreciation of the Christian tradition, and sensivity to the needs and aspirations of postmodern culture.
If I were to personally write a mission statement for a modern seminary that was consistent with the mission statement of ACT 3 this would be the statement I would write, which is one of several reasons why I am on the BTS board. (I had nothing to do with the writing of this excellent statement since it was already in place and helped to encourage me to join the board nearly three years ago. If anything has happened in my relatiionship with BTS it has been that I have frequently borrowed from Biblical more than I have been able to contribute to the direction of Biblical.) I am also here because I believe the church needs Biblical Seminary. In fact, I hope Biblical’s success will prompt other seminaries to make major changes in philosophy and curriculum that will move them toward becoming much more serious about the missional component of a theological education.
BTS is located in suburban Philadelphia, is an accredited institution, and has a resident faculty of 12, with 16 adjuncts. I have spoken and taught at BTS and have seen how it is changing the lives of leaders, both in the suburbs and the city. It is making a real contribution to the urban church and I believe the potential for this contribution to increase is truly significant.
I will be saying much more about BTS in coming months but let me urge you to sign up for President David Dunbar’s excellent free Missional E-Journal as soon as possible. You may request this wonderful resource by writing firstname.lastname@example.org. You should also check out the Website at www.biblical.edu and under resources you will find the back issues of the Missional Journal. I am collecting these and putting them in a binder myself. I highly recommend them to the readers of this blog. How can leaders become missional? What does this mean? How do churches become missional? What is a missional lifestyle? Why does this all matter? David regularly answers questons like these with as much skill as anyone writing on this subject today. You will thank me for this resource if you really try it.