Envisioning the Future


“Everyone is driven by his view of scripture.” That’s what John MacArthur said when he recently met with the Board of Trustees of Bethlehem College and Seminary on a two day vision retreat. He added, “In scripture God means one thing, and it’s up to us to figure out what that is.” He quoted John Piper as saying, “We are brokers of the book.” Later MacArthur said, “If anything should be said about church, it is this: it is the pillar and ground of the truth.”

On the second day of the collaboration MacArthur asserted, “Leadership is not an administrative role, but a spiritual role.”

Our business at the “retreat” included adoption of a $4.3M budget for 2018-19 that is aimed not so much at operating a school, but at preparing men and women to rightly divide the word of truth and undertake spiritual leadership. We reviewed documents pertaining to the potential hiring of new faculty whose job it would be to equip students to “figure out” what the scriptures say and mean. We approved the faculty recommendation to award certificates and diplomas to fifty-nine graduates at the May 18th commencement ceremony, graduates who will, we pray, strengthen their churches as truth conveyors. We reviewed core strategic indicators (a “dashboard”) prepared by the administrative staff and heard reports from the president, academic dean, and committee chairmen – all striving to speak as it were the oracles of God and serve in the strength he supplies as we near the completion of our ninth year as a degree-granting institution. We also took another step toward establishing, Lord willing, an extension site in Cameroon.

But mainly we invested time to prayerfully ponder what should be our vision for the next thirty years. Do we embrace our mission statement (one phrase is being considered for revision) with the intention of pursuing it vigorously for another generation of leadership? We moved toward focusing on a handful of key “big” questions that will be important for us to address in the next few years. (Stay tuned for updates.)

Pray for the board of trustees, the president, and the chancellor as we seek clarity from God on the steps we should take in honoring Christ Jesus through this church-based theological education, education in serious joy.

Sam Crabtree

Chairman of the Board of Trustees