Committed to a Cause
December 1, 1986
Faith Baptist Theological Seminary
Committed to a Cause
Gilbert G. Braithwaite, Th.D.
Faith Baptist Theological Seminary is not a new idea. We have reflected on the possibility of such a school for many years. This fall Faith Baptist Bible College gave birth to the Seminary in order to reaffirm and strengthen our basic commitment to Bible-centered education.
“Faith” is common to the names of both the Bible College and Seminary. Omaha Bible Institute began classes in 1921, with a desire to train well-equipped Christian workers. In 1952, the Board of Directors voted unanimously to declare their doctrinal and spiritual agreement with the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, and to include “Baptist” in the school’s name. This step of faith reflected a growing concern that the students be firmly founded in the faith, having their convictions based on the whole counsel of the Word of God.
Omaha Baptist Bible Institute eventually became Omaha Baptist Bible College . With the move to Ankeny in 1967, the Board of Directors chose “Faith” to replace ” Omaha ” in the name of the College. They selected Faith Baptist Bible College as the new name in order to focus attention on the vitality of our spiritual convictions rather than on our geographical location.
The Board not has deliberately named the new seminary Faith Baptist Theological Seminary. They have desired to enunciate the harmony of both the College and the Seminary in our continued commitment to preserve and proclaim, in all its aspects, the faith which has been entrusted to us.
We base our faith, first of all, on understandable, credible revelation. The message of the Bible, carefully expressed and summarized in our doctrinal standards, is the message which we present to or students. We have fully committed ourselves to the inerrant, inspired Word of God.
Second, our faith also expresses itself in our attitude. We rejoice at the remembrance of those pioneering spirits who established our Bible College . They embarked on a pilgrimage to achieve a vision of young people thoroughly equipped for the work of the Lord. The Seminary now builds on that same goal by providing training for those who desire more thorough preparation toward personal, spiritual, and ministerial maturity. By both personal example and classroom work, we are seeking to develop leaders who voluntarily and unreservedly give themselves to God’s service.
Third, our faith leads us to action. Like the great “faith” mission organizations founded during the past century, Faith Baptist Theological seminary embodies a desire to put faith into action. We look to the Lord both for institutional direction and for the provision of students and supporters whom God intends to join with us in this work. The Seminary looks for its support to an endeavoring faith in God and to the dedication of faithful Christians and churches.
“Baptist” reflects our commitment to local, New Testament-structured churches as the central agencies in God’s program for this age. We are Regular Baptists out of conviction. We are “regular” because our position is like that which Bible-believing Baptist churches have held over the years.
We Baptists believe that God saves people through a personal hearing of the gospel message. The Holy Spirit must produce a conviction of personal sinfulness before the guilty person can begin to understand the meaning of Christ’s death. God’s Word produces personal faith by pointing us from our need to the Christ who died for us. Water baptism does not save, but the ordinance is a divinely commanded means by which we give public testimony to our faith in Christ and to our personal desire to live for Him.
“Theological” is a term which builds upon our commitment to the Bible emphasizing its teachings and principles as parts of an interrelated whole. Systematic Theology is “the collecting, scientifically arranging, comparing, exhibiting, and defending of ALL facts from any and every source concerning God and His works” (Chafer I, p.x). Theology emphasizes thinking, contemplating, and reflecting upon spiritual truths and their implications. In a sense, undergraduate training “pours” Biblical truths upon the student’s soul, while seminary training “works in” these truths into the mental life and spiritual fabric of the inner man.
A “Seminary” is a place of planting the seed. Ideas are planted, attitudes are shaped, motivations are fixed. The work of a seminary is to prepare the sharpened Christian worker. Seminary training not only imparts academic learning and discipline in the ways of independent research but it also expands and solidifies our basic personal commitment to Jesus Christ.
Our Seminary teaches the Scriptures to a greater depth in order to build greater faith. We learn many things only by experience, and so we encourage students to engage actively in practical works such as preaching, teaching, visitation, counseling, praying, and personal Bible study. The seminary is committed to furnish graduates qualified to fill the places of Christian service, especially those opportunities which require expository preachers and teachers of the Word of God.
Our desire is to select for training those who give evidence of being called to preach, teach and serve. We desire to train our students as fully as possible through fundamental and approved theological courses. By an extensive introduction to the WHOLE Bible, with intensive training in expository preaching and teaching of the Word, we intend to produce balanced and faithful men who are able to teach others also. Faculty members seek to develop the spiritual life of each student through personal and painstaking care. We are working to prepare men and women for service on the spiritual battlefields of the world.
All of us who know the Lord have a work to do for him. Local Baptist churches have an important role in their own communities, but Faith Baptist Theological Seminary plays a crucial part in extending and supplementing the ministry of our supporting churches. The Seminary provides theological training beyond that of the Bible College in order to more adequately serve churches of like faith and practice.
We all have a responsibility in these goals. We need to be a STEADFAST, personally committed to excellence. We need to be UNMOVEABLE, undeviated from one’s course of life in the service of Christ. And we need to be ALWAYS ABOUNDING in the work of the Lord, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, and generation after generation.
Our goal is to serve the Lord. God will reward all service faithfully and properly done. A moment’s investment in God’s cause here on earth will yield an eternal reward in heaven.
Will you join with us in our commitment to His cause?