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The Important Role of the Seminary Professor

Prof. R. Dykstra teaching NT Greek grammar

From the Form for Installation of Professor of Theology:

In behalf of our church the curators charge thee, esteemed brother, with the task of instructing and establishing in the knowledge of God's Word the students who hope once to minister in His church. Expound to them the mysteries of the faith; caution them in regard to errors and heresies of old, but especially of the new day; seek to explain how they not alone as teachers are to instruct but also as pastors are to shepherd the flock of the Lord. Assist in maintaining order and discipline among the disciples, that our seminary may continue to enjoy the respect and support, the appreciation, the love, and the prayer of the church. Be a good example to the students, that they may not only profit from thy learning, but also find in thee a living illustration of the power and practice of true godliness.

"The above is certainly an excellent statement. It speaks of the important formal duties of the professors of theology. It also has a warm spiritual perspective. Professors must not be cold and aloof from the churches. They should not do their theology in an "ivory tower" by themselves. They must do their theology in living connection with the church of Jesus Christ for whom they labor. It is of utmost importance that our professors labor to train men to be sound in doctrine and faithful to the Scriptures. They must teach men with great seriousness and devotion and scholarliness. Our future ministers must be trained to be profound theologians. Theology is important for the ministry. Sound and orthodox theology is the foundation of the true church. 

But our future ministers must be trained also to be pastors of the flock of God. Our professors must be models for future ministers, examples to them of the power and practice of true godliness. It is a good tradition in our churches that one of the requirements for new professors of theology is that they have served for a number of years as pastors of the churches in our denomination. A seminary ideally should have a group of specially-gifted pastors of the denomination as its professors, who are training other men to be pastors."

*This is an article taken from a special issue of the Standard Bearer on the PRC Seminary. It was written by Rev. A. denHartog. The title is "The Position and Task of the Professor of Theology." Visit the link to read the full article and to find other related articles on the subject of our seminary.

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