PRC Seminary as It Nears 100 Years (1925-2025): Many Changes; Core Mission Unchanged
One the interesting and important articles in the Fall 2021 issue of the PR Theological Journal is the first installment of a series on the "centennial history of the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary." As the Protestant Reformed Churches approach their 100th anniversary as a denomination (1925-2025), so too does the seminary, since it was the fledgling band of churches that approved a theological school in the summer of 1925 and that began classes in the Fall of 1925.
Prof. Doug Kuiper begins to lay out the history of the PRC Seminary in this initial journal article, and it is packed not only with facts but also with evaluation. And one of the themes that he presents from the beginning is that, while there have been manifold changes at the PRC Seminary - in professors, in students, in staff, in curriculum, and in the building and location - yet one thing has remained the same: the seminary's mission to train students for the gospel ministry according to the Word of God and the Reformed confessions.
Below are a few paragraphs from the opening part of the article, where you will see the truth of what we say. But read the entirety of the article. You will be enriched by the history and by the commitment of the seminary to its core mission.
"Inside the building many changes have also taken place. An addition to the main building was constructed in 1995, and a second in 2019. Both the original building and the 1995 addition have been significantly remodeled. More to the point of this history, freshman students have joined the student body, senior students have graduated, and other students have discontinued their studies. Faculty members have retired and new faculty members have been added. The library and denominational archives have grown significantly.
"What has not changed is the mission of the institution: the training of men for the ministry of God’s Word. In a day when other larger seminaries grant PhD degrees, and award Masters degrees in ministry leadership or in Christian studies, the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary has kept one focus: to train men to be ministers of the Word, pastors and teachers who are committed to the Reformed faith. Chiseled into a cement stone imbedded in the brick by the building’s main entry are the words of 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things that thou has heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” Our seminary exists solely for that purpose.
"What has not changed is the seminary’s goal to teach men how to exegete God’s Word, and how to craft sermons that expound the text of Scripture and comfort God’s people by illuminating the gospel in the text and applying the text to the needs of God’s church. What has not changed is the seminary’s commitment—and the commitment of the denomination that maintains it, the Protestant Reformed Churches in America (PRCA)—to the Reformed faith, to the doctrines of sovereign and particular grace, and to the doctrine of God’s everlasting and unconditional covenant of grace. What has not changed is the desire of the seminary faculty that the instruction aim at God’s glory, and that the students be trained for real life spiritual warfare as they labor in the churches and among God’s people."