Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Plan for SBC Seminaries

I recently brushed the dust off of an old Training Union book entitled, "Our Baptist Story" by Pope Duncan.  A great little book filled with historical accounts of the Baptist witness in the United States, especially the South.  While Boyce, Manly, and Broadus were drawing up the original plan of instruction for The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary they offered these three fundamental points.  (1)  that the seminary should admit men not only of college education, but those who had been kept from obtaining more than "a common English education"; (2)  that the seminary should offer such courses as would enable the best students to receive an education equivalent to that anywhere obtainable; (3)  that each professor should be required upon inauguration to sign an abstract of principles.

It is obvious from these three points that at the least these concerns were prominent for our forefathers:   (1)  that the seminary should be a theological training ground for church leaders with sole priority given to serving the churches; not to be an institution for the academically elite; (2)  that the theological training provided should be academically challenging; not lacking in quality; (3)  that those providing the education must be committed to the full integrity of the Scriptures and the biblical heritage set forth in the Abstract of Principles (written 1859); not dissuaded from sound doctrine.

Duncan mentions that these three principles were the guiding fundamental principles in the founding of each of our SBC seminaries.  I offer them again as a reminder, lest we forget.  

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