Welcome to Talking Points, a new blog hosted by Grand Rapids Theological Seminary! Talking Points offers a place for conversation about theology, vocation and culture.
My role in the seminary admissions office provides me with regular opportunities to explain what seminary is, and the types of people who study at a seminary. (Hint: If you enjoy reading systematic theology on your lunch break then seminary could be for you!). The origins of the word “seminary” describe a place where young plants could be nurtured in a seedbed, a structured environment designed for rapid growth. Seminary should be a place of growth, of Christian formation and of developing in Christian character. In my experience, GRTS provides this type of learning environment.
However, sometimes a seminary can appear to be disconnected from the work of ministry, which (when true) can have a negative effect on both. This does not have to be the case. GRTS desires to serve pastors, leaders in church ministry and counselors. We want to keep our ears open to the everyday issues and questions people face as they serve in ministry.
Talking Points aims to connect the seminary with ministry.
CONNECTING SEMINARY AND MINISTRY
How does Talking Points do this? Talking Points provides a way for conversations to emerge between the local church and the seminary. Since 1948, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary has been training and equipping ministry leaders, counselors, missionaries, teachers and pastors for service in Christ’s church.
Through Talking Points, we seek to broaden the conversation.
Today, perhaps more than ever, we need men and women who are trained in the biblical worldview, understand the historical depth of Christian thinking and know how to address issues in society. Seminary provides training for ministry to address the complex issues people face in today’s world.
TALKING POINTS: CONFERENCE + MORE
Talking Points has existed for a number of years as an annual conference. Through this blog Talking Points will expand to provide a regular place for content and conversation for ministry leaders, counselors and others who are interested in these topics.
The annual conference will continue as an on-campus event. The next conference is scheduled for Oct. 7, 2015 with the title Thy Kingdom Come: Exploring New Creation Theology. This one-day conference will feature sessions by Dr. Mike Wittmer, Dr. Cornelius Plantinga, Keith Getty, Dr. Douglas Moo, Dr. John Duff and Dr. Martin Spence. The day will finish with an evening of worship led by Keith & Kristyn Getty.
Talking Points focuses on three areas—theology, culture and vocation:
- Theology—God’s Word speaks to the core issues we face in culture. We want our conversations to be theologically informed and faithful to Scripture.
- Culture—Pastors, counselors and ministry leaders serve in cultural contexts that are always changing. We want our conversations to be culturally engaged and relevant to the real issues and questions we face.
- Vocation—We are all called to serve in our unique vocations, through which we love God and serve our neighbor. We want our conversations to be vocationally relevant—to lead to genuine life change and ministry impact.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Over the coming weeks and months this blog will provide a blend of content for pastors, counselors and ministry leaders. It will discuss issues in society from a Christian worldview, showcase the work of professors and students at GRTS and provide resources for those serving in ministry.
The blog is also a window into the heart and soul of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. I hope that it becomes a resource for you and others in ministry and invite you to join the conversation as we launch Talking Points!