SINCE 1977, LONDON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY HAS BEEN EQUIPPING MEN TO PASTOR CHURCHES AND TO PREACH THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS CHRIST.
Other evangelical theological colleges in the UK share a similar purpose, as do hundreds of colleges worldwide. What is special about our approach? Why should someone study and train with us?
This article introduces some recent work we have done to answer those questions. It provides the backdrop to our new website, prospectus and visual identity.
We are also slightly shortening our name, moving away from the use of initials. London Seminary is memorable and states clearly what we are about. The new name should help us as we seek to raise our profile among churches, pastors and prospective students who are not currently familiar with us and our work.
RISING TO A CHALLENGE
Attracting the right potential students is now among the biggest challenges we face as a seminary.
There are many men worldwide seeking to train as preachers and pastors – men who share our beliefs and theological convictions. Yet most of them don’t even know we exist. Others don’t know much about us, or haven’t properly understood what we do.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve been through a process to identify and express our strengths and what makes us distinctive. This will help us in our goal of equipping more men, intellectually and practically, to handle the realities of ministry life.
The whole process has been rooted in our heritage. It builds on the rich founding legacy of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and on the experiences of those who have taught and studied with us over many years.
We conducted an extensive online survey to help us understand current perceptions, asking people familiar with our work to share their views and impressions.
Former students spoke passionately about what they valued from their time at the seminary, and the difference it has made to their lives. Their views and feedback helped shape a series of workshops with our board members and staff.
Six key themes came out consistently in our research. Starting with these themes, we then focused in on a potential student browsing the websites of different theological colleges. What do we want him to know and remember about us?
- Better, broader, deeper understanding of the gospel
- Rigorous preparation
- Solid grounding for future
- Like gp training not consultant
- Contemporary for today’s culture
- Biblical languages
- Learning focused on the realities of ministry
- Equipping and preparing future preachers and pastors
- Not just theory, all teaching links to pastoral concerns
- Vocational – not about qualifications
3. THE CHURCH
- Students placed in mentoring church
- Teaching from experienced pastors
- Training the next generation of men to lead the church
- Focused on serving the local church
- Build life-long relationships
- Warmth & encouragement of seminary life
- Equipping for powerful gospel proclamation
- Being mentored
- High ratio of teachers to students
- Faithful bible teaching
- Aimed at free churches
- Flexible range of full- & part-time options
- Affordable – low fees
LONDON SEMINARY IS ALL ABOUT LEARNING HOW
How to preach on Isaiah. Talk to a mother with cancer. Understand Greek words and interpret the biblical context. How to lead with humility. Proclaim Christ week by week.
WHAT WE MEAN BY HOW
To us, learning how is about preparing and equipping men to be preachers and pastors. Critically, we believe good practice is founded on good theology. Our teaching is comprehensive, rigorous and challenging. We emphasise depth, seeking to cultivate strong expertise in preaching and teaching the Bible.
And while we’re shortening our name, and our visual identity is changing, our fundamental ethos and methods remain the same. Our work rests on biblical principles, not pragmatism. Our lecturers share experience, not techniques. Our emphasis is on the robust application of reformed theology, not the latest popular fad.
With us there are no seven-step plans or simplistic how-to manuals. We seek to cultivate preachers who have a rigorous and Christ-centred understanding of the Scriptures, men with a prayerful dependence on the Holy Spirit throughout their lives.
Studying at London Seminary provides a strong and practical foundation for life as a pastor. Our lecturers are experienced pastors themselves – men who bring experience and insight from the front line.
Our course is in-depth and comprehensive, with roughly half the teaching time dedicated to studying the Bible and its languages. We also cover everything from biblical theology to medical ethics, church history to church planting.
We offer a flexible study programme with a range of options. Students can join us full-time or part-time, while continuing in employment, or serving in their local church.