January 1, 1994

Faith Pulpit
Faith Baptist Theological Seminary
Ankeny, Iowa
January 1994

The Goal of Faith Baptist Theological Seminary

John Hartog III, Th.D.

Faith Baptist Theological Seminary trains Christian leaders who are Bible expositors. Since our seminary’s inception, we have set this as our goal.

1. Our Curriculum
To help us realize our goal we developed a comprehensive curriculum. We offer Greek and Hebrew so that our students can accurately determine the meaning of the Bible from its original languages. In English Bible classes students learn how to interpret and explain the Bible’s message. We desire our graduates to make the study of God’s Word their life-long ambition, and so we equip them for this endeavor.

Students study systematic theology so they can preach with theological precision. We also purpose that they develop resolute doctrinal convictions. In our church history classes students learn about the past so that they can understand the present. We illustrate the need for a conservative stance and the consequences that ensue for those who choose a softer policy.

Our practical ministry courses stress God’s design for local churches and their place in His plan for the ages. We also underscore the role of local churches in the carrying out of the Great Commission. Because of our homiletics classes, FBTS alumni can organize and deliver a sermon with confidence. We teach our students how to proclaim the truth of the Bible and apply it in this present age. We yearn for preaching that is understandable, interesting, and compelling; and our graduates share this desire.

All of our students gain practical Christian experience during their seminary years by participating in the ministries of their local churches. In addition, M.Div. students complete a ministry apprenticeship after their middler year. These students work with pastors who evaluate their ministry. The process gives them the experience they need to enter full-time service with a greater level of confidence and determination.

2. Our Fervency
It requires more than just a curriculum to produce Christian leaders who are Bible expositors. At FBTS we reject the idea that a graduate is fit for ministry simply because he has completed all the necessary classroom work. We believe that Christian leaders should evidence the fruit of the Spirit in their lives. We believe that Bible expositors should be doers of the word and not hearers only. We believe that sermon preparation begins and ends with prayer and that the Bible is far more than a textbook.

FBTS unites the rigors of a graduate education with a fervent love for our Lord. We disdain that kind of scholarship which has no room for earnest prayer, personal Bible study, or evangelistic zeal. We challenge our students to think, to walk with God, and to have a heart for people. We ask them to preach with conviction and to lead with humility.

The responsibility for cultivating this spirit of fervency on campus belongs to the administration and faculty. It is a sacred trust. Do we prefer Christian leaders who guide by serving and Bible expositors who walk the talk? Then we must first show the way by our own examples. The task demands a staff marked by its integrity, sensitivity, and devotion. We must be more than mentors; we must be models. Like the apostles we should be qualified to say, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.”

3. Our Position
Christian leaders who are Bible expositors must be able to distinguish between truth and error. We desire our graduates to be men and women of discernment, and we plan our courses toward that end. In addition, we hope that they will earnestly contend for the faith. This suggests an attitude of militancy, not of tolerance or belligerence. It is a posture that originates from a love for Christ and His work.

FBTS seeks to honor our Lord by fostering Biblical doctrine and practice. We champion the old ways in a post-Christian society. We are, after all, a conservative school.

At this seminary we delight in our fundamental, Baptist heritage. Consequently, the literal interpretation of the Bible determines our theology, and we espouse the Baptist view of church polity. As separatist; we do not fellowship with those who walk disorderly, nor do we relish the attractions of this world. As dispensationalists we do not confuse God’s program for Israel with His program for the Church.

We purpose that our graduates be Christian leaders who are Bible expositors. From the very beginning this was our goal, and from this intent we have not wavered. Therefore, we eagerly anticipate God’s continued blessing.