Update from the Principal
WHAT WILL THIS YEAR BRING?
As we enter a New Year, we pause to give thanks for the Lord’s goodness in the year that is past. As we look to the future we are conscious that we are in His hands. We do not know what the future holds, but we know the One who holds the future. We are prompted to pray that in the coming weeks and months we would know the Lord’s strength and enablement, and that we would have wisdom for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Most of all we pray that we would know His blessing and that the ministry of the Seminary and Pastors’ Academy would be used for His glory. Please join us in prayer specifically for five things:
- Pray for our current students, that they would continue to grow not only in understanding, but also in godliness and wisdom, and be equipped for their calling to ministry. Most of our final year students are settled in terms of future ministry situations, but two or three are still seeking the Lord’s direction regarding where they might serve. Please pray that they might all be used in fruitful ministry to build up the churches and bring many to salvation in Christ.
- Pray for prospective students, as we have a number of Visit Days this term. We are dealing with a number of enquiries from those who might start the course in September. Please pray for the Lord’s direction regarding future studies and ministry. Most of all, please pray that the Lord would raise up many labourers to serve the cause of the Gospel, and that they would be well trained and equipped for ministry.
- Pray for the ministry of the Pastors’ Academy. From the beginning of 2023 Garry Williams is working 3 days a week for the PA alongside ministry in a church plant in Luton. Pray for the Lord’s blessing on this venture, and for Matthew Mason who is now Assistant Director of the PA and taking on additional responsibilities. Also continue to pray for John Benton and his team providing pastoral support for pastors.
- Pray for the continuing development of the ministry of the Seminary and Pastors’ Academy. We are delighted to have received funding which has enabled us to appoint a new Development Director who will oversee fundraising and the promotion of the ministry to both new and existing constituencies. Please pray for Stephen Wright as he hopes to join us from Easter. Also, please pray for continuing efforts to develop ministry amongst Diaspora churches and leaders in London.
- Pray for our staff and lecturers for the coming year, and for both the regular lectures and special events. We are looking forward, Lord willing, to having Jonathan Gibson of WTS with us for a week of special lectures 20-23 June on Genesis 1-3. James Eglinton will give special lectures 17-20 October and give the Lloyd-Jones Memorial lecture on 17 October.
Many thanks for your fellowship this year as we train the next generation of pastors and preachers.
Josiah Bell - 1st year student
So, my first term at London Seminary is over! How has it shaped up?
Here are some thoughts on different aspects of seminary life:
Church & Ministry
The brothers: As a full-time student living on site, I have had the privilege of meeting more than 20 brothers who are also training for ministry. At meals, at coffee break, and other times, there are opportunities to discuss and find out about their different situations. Some are already in ministry, others (like myself) wait to see what God has planned after Seminary. Iron sharpens iron; there are opportunities to learn from each other and also to pray together at the weekly student prayer meeting.
Lectures: As a student, I have so much to learn! Lectures are not just a monologue; there’s opportunity to ask questions, and lecturers also give recommendations for further reading. The aim of the teaching is not that we agree with everything; we are encouraged to think for ourselves.
The weekly rhythm: Lectures run Tuesday to Friday, leaving Saturdays and Mondays free for preparing essays, messages, etc. The workload is not unreasonable, but there’s certainly enough on the student’s plate! (And speaking of plates, we are well fed by the chef…) I appreciate the opportunity to begin each day with Morning Worship, led by a student.
Church and Ministry: I have settled at Highbury Baptist Church, and will be privileged to have a three-week placement there in March. As I have a degree in Spanish and French, I am open to a placement in Spain next year, in partnership with EMF.
Andy Kight - Completed course June 2022
Life since London Seminary has been something of a whirlwind!
In September 2022, I began as Assistant Pastor at East London Tabernacle Baptist Church, we moved house, and my wife gave birth to our first child, all within a couple of weeks! However, the Lord has been very kind in sustaining us through the initial months.
Indeed, there have been a number of encouragements thus far. I had the privilege of baptising six people back in September which was a time of great rejoicing for the church. Furthermore, a young man, a contact from our night shelter outreach ministry, professed faith after one of my recent sermons. We praise God for the spiritual interest this man is showing. I have also started leading a new home group, and the hunger of the group members to study God’s Word, their fervency in prayer, and love for one another is thrilling. Finally, the FIEC Leaders’ Conference in November was also a great encouragement. It was such a privilege to hear how the Lord is at work across the nation and be visibly reminded that you are a very small part of something much bigger.
As I reflect on these first few months in full-time pastoral ministry, I am very thankful for past experiences the Lord has used to better equip me for this work. I am immensely thankful for Emmanuel Church Leamington Spa; for the many opportunities to serve in different areas of church life, including as an Elder, and for their gospel partnership in encouraging and supporting me to enter full-time ministry. I am also thankful for the excellent training London Seminary provided, and particularly appreciated the way lectures were often geared towards thinking about practical implications for pastoral ministry. It has been good to have continued contact with the Pastors’ Academy through their Greek and Hebrew sessions, to help ensure skills do not rust and decay!
It is such a privilege to serve as an undershepherd of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I look back on these first months, I am very conscious that we are only ever instruments in his hands, weak vessels that he takes and uses as he pleases for his glory. It is my prayer that the Lord will enable me to faithfully serve him where he has put me, and will raise up many more labourers for the harvest field, who will be equipped and used to meet the vast needs of our nation and beyond.
London Seminary Visit Days
The Seminary will be hosting a number of Visit Day on the following dates. Please encourage those you know who may be considering a call to ministry to arrange a visit.
Special Lecture Week
We are privileged to have Jonathan Gibson with us for a week of lectures 20-23 June 2023, on “A Biblical and Theological Exploration in Genesis 1-3.” Rev. Dr. Jonathan Gibson is an associate professor of OT at Westminster Theological Seminary and co-author of From Heaven He Came and Sought Her.
You are invited to join our Seminary students in grappling with this vital subject. The lectures are intended for pastors, and those preparing for ministry, but others may be interested to join us.
Please contact the seminary if you want to know more.
Annual Thanksgiving Service
The Seminary’s annual Thanksgiving Service will be on Saturday 24 June at 3.00pm – preacher Jonathan Gibson.