One vital component of good teaching is to go beyond pointing out similarities between different positions by also acknowledging significant differences. Good teaching not only makes affirmations, but denials.
While Christ and Christianity are similar to other persons and systems in some (very limited) ways, he is unique and stands apart and above all other figures.
Accordingly, one of the most significant barometers of an institution of higher learning is not the facilities, but the faculty who is able and willing to enthusiastically make affirmations and wisely and discerningly make denials.
Bethlehem College & Seminary aims to resist a cultural trend that disconnects education from actual ministry, with too many students falling between the cracks related to spiritual growth issues, theological drift, student debt, and institutions facing increasing government interference, by refining our model of church-based theological education, intentionally limiting the student body size, charging tuition that is far below the actual cost even of “no frills” instruction, demanding a bible-saturated curricula with heavy emphasis on the study of the bible in its original languages, in a cohort-based structure investing in people, not properties.
The board of trustees last week took action to NOT raise tuition this coming year, making it possible for students to graduate debt free. We made that decision knowing that it would throw us back onto the grace of God to raise the necessary funds to supply what tuition will not. Tuition currently pays about one third of the cost of operating the institution. God works through donors to supply the other two thirds.
At last week’s quarterly meeting of the Board of Trustees, we also received a report indicating the key role our faculty has played in the development of such resources as the ESV Men’s Devotional Bible, the NIV Zondervan Study Bible, and other published works, including a children’s book Woolies for the Winter.
Board of Trustees
Bethlehem College & Seminary’s
Our chapel series for 2015 has ended. Chapel will resume on Thursday, January 14, 2016.
1. Lift praise and thanks that faculty members Andy Naselli, John Beckman, and Richard Shenk, and alumni Wesley Hill, Chris Bruno, Matthew Wireman, and Marcus Leman all presented papers at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.
2. Pray for the safety of many Bethlehem College & Seminary alumni who labor on the frontiers of world missions, many in places where hostility to the Gospel is very intense.
3. Continue in prayer for Dr. Travis Myers, Assistant Professor of Church History and Mission Studies, and his wife, Susan, as together they face the challenges of Travis’ cancer treatment. We are grateful for the model they both are to all of us of the “Serious Joy” we seek to advance here. We pray for total healing.
4. Pray that students will be given strength and insight sufficient to meet the rigorous demands of the semester’s final exams and major writing assignments.
5. Pray that God will stir generosity in the hearts of many to fund 250 Serious Joy Scholarships, $10,000 each, in whole or in part. At present, only 27 of 250 for the current school year are fully funded.