General Assembly

Seminary thankful for ongoing growth

May 16, 2016

Student numbers in all courses have seen an increase at Edinburgh Theological Seminary, the General Assembly will hear next week.

The Seminary Board will tell commissioners that there are 30 more students than the previous academic year, bringing the overall total across full and part-time studies up to 228 – though the Seminary would like this to reach 300 in the years ahead.

Because of this, ETS has had to create two new classrooms to provide sufficient capacity.

It was also noted that distant learning had been piloted successfully, pending approval from the University of Glasgow, the Seminary will be able to offer the B.Th. by this method.

Principal Iver Martin

Principal Iver Martin (above), completing his first full-time term, said: “The missional nature of ETS should be emphasised once more. 

“We currently have an opportunity of providing theological education to around 50 potential ministers and mission workers. 

“The importance of this privilege is quite immense and should not be underestimated. 

“Theological education does not come cheap but it is a price worth paying as we continue to invest in the training of students for future ministry, whether in the Free Church or beyond.”

Commissioners will hear more about plans for providing courses by distance learning, together with a proposed Mission Centre, with refurbishment work on floors six and seven of the building ongoing. 

It is hoped that this could be used to offer courses aimed at training elders, deacons and other church workers, specific training for church planting and revitalisation, refresher courses on core subjects such as systematic theology,  and finally post-graduate courses for those wishing to do either a research or a taught Masters in missiology. 

Elsewhere in the Assembly report, the Seminary Board are proposing that Rev Daniel Sladek’s appointment as lecturer in Old Testament and Hebrew be extended for a further five years. 

Mr Sladek, who the Board praise for his “high quality instruction in the Old Testament department”, is pursuing PhD studies on top of his teaching duties.

It was also noted that Rev Dr Sinclair Ferguson has been appointed as a part-time supervisor for the MTh programme, enabling ETS to offer expert supervision in some important theological areas of research. 

Finally, the Seminary Board is continuing to work on the production of an annual online theological journal, with the intention to publish the first edition within the next year. 

Rev Dr Malcolm Maclean

Seminary Board chairman Rev Dr Malcolm Maclean (above) will present the report on the evening of Wednesday 25 May. 

You can download the full report by clicking here.