As we find ourselves in the middle of summer 2017, a number of significant things concerning the PRC Seminary in Wyoming, MI may be noted:
1. Our seven senior seminarians passed their oral examinations before the PRC Synod the week of June 13, and all were declared candidates for the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC on Thursday afternoon, June 15. All are eligible for a call beginning July 15, 2017.
The seminary graduation program was held that night in Hudsonville PRC, with Prof. B. Gritters apeaking on "The Ministry: An Existence, Not an Occupation." We extend hearty congratulations to Matthew DeBoer, Brian Feenstra, Joseph Holstege, Jonathan Langerak, David Noorman, Stephan Regnerus, and Justin Smidstra, and pray God's blessing on them as they prepare to find their place in Christ's church.
At the time of this writing, three of our candidates have received calls from the churches: Matt DeBoer to Edgerton PRC, Joe Holstege to Zion PRC, and Justin Smidstra to Southwest PRC.
2. In spite of the largest graduating class in the history of the PRC, the 2017 Synod took special note of the need for students to study for the ministry of the Word.
Synod instructed “the Stated Clerk in his letter to the churches to include a notice of the future, urgent need for seminary students.” (Article 21).
As the seminary opens its doors this fall, it will have one student in his second year – he is from our sister church in Singapore. And there will be three students in the third year – all of whom desire to serve as pastors in the PRCA. The seminary’s Rector reported that “it may well be a couple years before another member of the PRCA enters seminary.” This means that while there will be, D.V., students graduating in 2019, it will be several years after that before anyone graduates.
What also makes the need great is the fact that eleven of the current 35 ministers are over 61 years of age. This indicates the need for seminary students. Even as we are very thankful for the current crop of seven candidates, Synod saw it important to inform the churches again of this urgent need. Please pray to the Lord of the harvest and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.
In that connection our young man may read the editorial of Rev. K. Koole in the April 1, 2017 issue of the Standard Bearer, "Our Need for Seminary Students; Time to Be Praying" and listen to the recent sermon, "A Prayer for Laborers in the Lord's Harvest," preached by Rev. Josh Engelsma in Doon PRC.
3. The Synod of 2017 called Rev. Douglas Kuiper to serve in the PRC Seminary as professor of church history and NT studies, in replacement of Prof. R. Dykstra. On July 2 he announced his acceptance of this call. We give thanks to God for providing a man for this position, and pray for him and his family as well as Edgerton PRC as he makes this transition and prepares for his new post (cf. picture below). Rev. Kuiper's farewell from Edgerton PRC is planned for Sunday, August 13. His installation as professor is planned for Wednesday, Sept.20, in Faith PRC, D.V.
4. FALL 2017 CLASSES TO AUDIT: The Seminary is inviting auditors to sit in two classes this coming semester. Classes begin on Tuesday, August 29.
Prof. R. Cammenga will be teaching Dogmatics and NT History. Dogmatics will treat the locus Theology, in which we study the truths concerning God (His knowability, essence, persons, attributes, and works), giving considerable attention to the fundamental truth of the Trinity. NT History will cover the history of the intertestamental period and the life of Christ up to the Passion Week.
If you are interested, please contact the seminary at 616-531-1490 by August 25 to “register” for the class. You can find the class schedule at the bottom of the Seminary homepage.
5. The PRC Seminary, with help from Faith PRC's Evangelism Committee, is planning a special two-day 500th anniversary Reformation conference for the weekend of October 27-28 at Faith PRC. The details of the event may be found on the poster below.
A special website has also been created for the conference (in early stages of development yet). Find that at www.500thReformation.com .
We hope you make plans to attend this significant event! Mark your calendars now and plan to join us as we celebrate God's great work of reforming His church in the 16th century.