The 2020-2021 academic marks the anniversary of important events for theological education in the RCA: the fiftieth year since the start of the Bi-Level Multi-Site program—an innovative but short-lived attempt to yoke the denomination’s two seminaries—and the thirty-fifth anniversary of the start of the Theological Education Agency (TEA), the precursor to the Ministerial Formation Certification Agency (MFCA). This year is also seeing potential major changes in theological education, as the General Synod Council has taken steps to eliminate the MFCA, and the role of the Certificate of Fitness for Ministry is being re-examined.
In a time such as this, it is appropriate to reflect upon what theological education has been in the RCA as well as what it could be. So the Reformed Church Center at NBTS is hosting a series of noontime colloquies around the theme Understanding Theological Education in the RCA. The five programs planned for this year will all be webinars on Zoom, beginning at 12:00 pm with a presentation followed by open discussion, intended to be done in an hour.
The premiere program will examine Reformed Theological Education in the Twenty-first Century on Tuesday, September 22, at 12 noon. It will be led by Richard Mouw, past president of Fuller Theological Seminary. Raised in an RCA pastor’s family, Mouw earned a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Chicago before teaching for seventeen years at Calvin College and thirty-five years—twenty as president—at Fuller. He served a term as president of the Association of Theological Schools, and in 2007 was awarded the Abraham Kuyper Prize for Excellence in Reformed Theology and Public Life, by Princeton Theological Seminary.
There will be four more programs in this series during 2020-21: