Nathan Hitchcock, Shanda Stricherz, Jennifer Helkenn, and Darrel Bartell were all recently honored when Sioux Falls Seminary presented its third annual Excellence Awards. Please join us in thanking our 2015 recipients for their roles in creating a culture of excellence in Christian service.
A treasure contained in a clay jar may be an unsettling image at first glance. One would think a treasure would be contained in an impermeable, permanent vessel. This is the opposite of what Paul is stating. The treasure of the Gospel is contained in jars that will crack, crumble, and no longer exist.
In his book Earthen Vessels, Dan Aleshire, Executive Director of the Association of Theological Schools, refers to 2 Corinthians 4:7 as a pivotal verse in his understanding of the role of theological education. The challenge and opportunity set before us today is to “serve in another way in another time.”
We have been looking at the history of theological education. Sioux Falls Seminary is building on that history, our history, and the biblical foundations for such education. Our work is rooted in scripture, enriched by our history, and extended through a commitment to innovation.
In 2012, Dr. Larry Caldwell, Chief Academic Officer and Dean of Sioux Falls Seminary, and Enoch Wan, Director of Intercultural Studies at Western Seminary, published an article that describes the development of the “modern” seminary and the assumptions that come with it.
While numerous persons associated with the seminary, faculty, and students alike, have shared deeply in the mission of God’s redemption of the world, we cannot find a better example of the variety and scope of this mission than in August Rauschenbusch. He was a man of incredible intelligence.
In June of 1793, William Carey and his family set out for Calcutta, India. Baptist missions had begun. He founded a school to teach native children, and began studying the local language so he could translate Scripture. He put many great works of native literature into print for the first time.
Missions seems to be a part of most Baptists’ DNA. Though Baptist theological education has been primarily for training pastors, education has always been part of Baptist mission work. It has been since the rise of Baptist missions with William Carey, father of the modern Protestant missions movement.
Sioux Falls Seminary is trying to take the Great Commission seriously as it develops innovative, contextual, biblically faithful platforms for theological education. But we are by no means the first! Let us remember one outstanding seminary from the Christian past: Halle University.
Our faculty and administration have written on the topic of theological education, its history, and its biblical foundations. As we look at the history of theological education, especially in light of the Great Commission, we continue a series through which we’ll share these works.