Summer/Fall 2002
Volume 7 Number 1
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

The plan adopted by the 1811 General Assembly for the founding of the Seminary the next year stated broadly that its mission was “to provide for the church an adequate supply and succession of able and faithful ministers of the New Testament.”

Thomas W. GillespieOf the variety of forms such ministry assumes today, the plan mentions only two: pastors and missionaries. While the latter have diminished in number the past several decades, the need for pastors increases. Presently, in fact, the “adequate supply” of ministers for the pastoral office can no longer be taken for granted.

One encouraging sign was the exit interviews of the Class of 2001, which stated that the single most influential experience of their three years at the Seminary was field education, that is, exposure to the life of congregations and the pastors who serve them.

Perhaps that explains why only 40 percent of the Class of 2001 identified pastoral ministry as their vocational goal upon entering the Seminary and 60 percent did so upon graduation.

This issue of inSpire features pastoral ministry and some of those here who prepare students for this understanding of what Calvin called “the first office of the church.”

Faithfully yours,

Thomas W. Gillespie


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