A Short History Lesson
Why can’t Spokane become a little Geneva? Okay…that’s not a question the average church goer in Spokane asks. Why would we even want to become a little Geneva? Since it is the 500th anniversary of the reformation, let me tell you. Under John Calvin and Theodore Beza, Geneva from the mid 1500’s on became the bastion for biblical training in Europe. It wasn’t just for pastors and theologians either. Widows and young children of martyrs flocked to Geneva for care and spiritual feeding. Persecuted Christians flocked there because it was a safe protestant city. Eager new Christians flocked there because for the first time in 1,000 years (no exaggeration) the Bible was being taught plainly, systematically and powerfully from Genesis to Revelation.
What changed the world forever from Geneva was the whole church’s and city’s commitment to training the next generation. Pastors and missionary theologians were raised up and flooded Europe with biblical teaching. Calvin and Beza developed the most comprehensive plan—an Academy—to train generations of men. The impact is still felt all over the world today.
Launching This New Phase
With the start of The Master’s Seminary Spokane (TMS Spokane) we are recognizing a profound movement of biblical teaching and preaching that has been underway for 25 years here in Spokane. Multiple area churches have adopted expository preaching and pushed to the forefront the core convictions of the reformation. These sister churches have prayed and dreamed for a decade to provide sound biblical and theological training here in Spokane. They want local churches to provide indispensable discipleship for their budding pastors.
TMS Spokane is the first on-site program that will allow students to earn an accredited Masters of Divinity from a protestant perspective.
This August we will launch with 10 students from five different churches. Our prayer is to add 10 students a year. What does this mean for FBC? It means that we will get to continue the discipling process for our men who enter the theological training of a Seminary. We won’t need to hand them off to other churches where they will start from ground zero in their relationships. A whole church makes disciples. A whole church makes pastors. Your prayer, your influence, your accountability, your example, your patience as they learn to feed and lead you with the Scripture are invaluable to the process.
Everyone is invited to the convocation/dedication of TMS Spokane Friday night August 18th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Rich Gregory the Senior Vice President of TMS will be here to charge the men and help us see the vision for pastoral training in Spokane. Classes will begin August 22.
Pray for TMS Spokane
- That all staff and students would behold the glory of Christ in the word of God and be transformed in the ongoing study of God’s word (2 Corinthians 3:18).
- That the men would be gripped by the greatness and holiness of God and therefore develop convictions and practices to accurately interpret and preach God’s word. (2 Timothy 3:16-4:3)
- Pray for God’s provision for students, staff and the Spokane Campus itself. This is a step of faith for us all. We need administrative and other help quickly. Students need to manage work, love their family, labor ministry and now add theological education.
- Pray for TMS-Spokane to provide excellent, dependent, and profitable discipleship in theology, daily living, and ministry philosophy.
- Pray for students to enlarge their prayer life and delight in feasting on God’s word, when so much profound, detailed and precious theological training is required for a life-time of faithful ministry.
We think Spokane is becoming a little Geneva. We, by God’s grace and mercy alone are a part of it. We want God to transform generations around the world because of what he is doing here.