Seminary Awareness Month
A Labor of Love
As an alumnus of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, you are a very important part of the history of what God has done and is doing here at PRTS. As you likely know, the seminary is expanding its degree programs to include a PhD and DMin. Dr. Adriaan Neele has been hired as Director of the PhD program, and two other men, Dr. Stephen Myers and Mr. Greg Salazar as professors in the program. We are offering courses toward a PhD in Historical Theology, next year in Biblical Studies, and the following year both a PhD and DMin in Homiletics. If you are interested in applying for this degree, please contact Dr. Neele.
The alumni committee has been working at various ideas to keep the alumni connected to the seminary, and this alumni page will hopefully serve to that end.
We are grateful to the Lord for each one of you and for the labors that you are enabled to do throughout the world in the name of Christ. In order to foster a spirit of unity around the Word and cause of Christ, which we believe God is doing through PRTS, we are scheduling another “Seminary Awareness Month” in which each seminary graduate and the congregations or places they serve be made aware of the work that is being done at PRTS. We read of the prophet Isaiah’s call and his response in Isaiah 6:8, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
Our desire is that PRTS would remain faithful to her calling and that that the cause of Christ would be promoted through this institution. As we did last year, we are promoting this “Seminary Awareness Month” in May, when PRTS will hold its graduation, so that alumni, in consultation with their consistories/sessions, can focus on the topic of seminary education and ministerial preparation. The alumni committee makes the following recommendations of activities for this month, but we do so recognizing that the decision to participate is voluntary.
The areas of focus would be:
- recruitment, and
- financial support.
PRTS is willing to supply printed materials, brochures, catalogs and other information, to you for distribution. Below you will find several ideas you may wish to consider and also a possible bulletin announcement. We are open to your suggestions for the future years as well.
Sharing the Vision
Our goal is to increase the awareness of the needs for the worldwide church of Jesus Christ and the call she has of promoting the training of men for ministry. Of course, one of the primary ways in which support for the seminary will be blessed is when we as individuals and also as congregations together come before the throne of Almighty God, beseeching Him to bless the seminary and each person who has been and will be trained there. Sometimes congregations forget the places where we have been trained and this awareness will hopefully cause them to participate in the work that the Lord is doing here.
This month would also be a time in which you would be able to:
- answer questions about seminary training,
- speak to men in your congregation about the possibility of whether or not God is calling them to full time ministry, and
- as a congregation, express gratitude to God for the gift of seminary training.
Of course, there is also the ongoing needs of the seminary which are not only for prayer, but also to raise the necessary financial support for the general operation of the seminary. This year, if your congregation is inclined to hold an offering for PRTS, we ask if you would consider either of our scholarship programs for the MDiv or PhD programs. Many of you have benefited from the use of scholarships when you attended and we desire to make this same opportunity available to others as well.
Spreading the Word
In order to foster a spirit of unity and awareness, we are suggesting, if your local consistory/session agree, that each of the alumni who will preach from the word in May would do so from the text quoted above (Isaiah 6:8) or a similar text. In doing so you would unite with various other churches and denominations around the world crying out to the Lord just as He commanded us to do. We trust that this time will prove to be helpful for our congregation and ourselves in recognizing the blessings we already have and in light of them to pray for God’s continued blessing on us.
If you have additional ideas for this week, please send them to the alumni secretary Pastor Michael Fintelman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greetings in the name of Christ,
The PRTS Alumni Committee
Possible bulletin announcement (feel free to modify to fit your congregational needs):
Dear congregation, as you know our pastor is a graduate of Puritan Theological Seminary (PRTS) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Alumni Committee of PRTS is holding their annual Seminary Awareness Month. During this month we are requesting you to especially remember seminaries, that God would preserve them, keep them faithful, and that men would sense the call of God to the pastoral ministry. We specifically ask that you remember PRTS in this way. Each May there are a number of men who graduate from PRTS, and this year you can watch the graduation online at the Heritage Netherlands Reformed page on sermonaudio.com. The service will air on May 5, 2017 D.v., with Dr. Steven Lawson given the commencement address. In May, our pastor will join other alumni in preaching from Is. 6:8, and there will be a freewill offering received to help with the scholarship fund of PRTS. Thank you for your support and prayers.