News about the Launch of Re-forma Global

Dr Reuben Van Rensburg has been in touch and has asked me to share some important news regarding the training of Christian ministers in the Majority World. As I have previously discussed this issue on this blog I am happy to do so.


It is with great joy that I would like to share with you the launch of Re-Forma

Background/Reality Check

Studies show that over 90% of all pastors do not have a formal theological education. According to statistics, that equates to well over 2 million Protestant pastors worldwide. In addition, every year thousands of new Protestant churches are established, very often without a trained pastor or preacher. The biggest crisis facing the evangelical, global church today is the fact that most pastors, missionaries, and Christian leaders have no formal theological training. Re-Forma has set as its goal to fundamentally remedy this situation.

Foundational Statement

Re-Forma is responding to the crisis of insufficiently trained church leadership. Founded on outcome- and impact-based assessment, Re-Forma provides recognised benchmarks for informal and nonformal biblically-based ministry through 2 distinctive programs:

  • Guidelines for evaluating the over 40000 training programmes for ministry competency; and
  • Guidelines for start-up organisations wanting to train many thousands of church leaders annually, to narrow the gap.

The world desperately needs Christian leaders who know the Scripture and can effectively serve the church. For these servants, Re-Forma awards a Certificate of global recognition, underwritten by the World Evangelical Alliance.

Important: Re-Forma does not tell ministry organisations what to do or how to do it, but rather provides resources to assist them in achieving the goals they have formulated. It does not focus its work on traditional, formal theological education, but rather on non-formal/informal leadership formation needs which exist at all levels, from grass-roots upwards. The outcomes we prescribe are extremely simple and can be demonstrated by students at any level, including those who only have a primary school education.

We believe that many organisations who are training pastors and Christian leaders non-formally or informally, will want to take this opportunity to use the FREE outcomes we provide to help their students earn a Certificate underwritten by the World Evangelical Alliance. This is the first time we have an internationally recognised standard for non-formal training.

The attachment [linked below] provides more detail. The outcomes will also be available in Spanish and French in due course.

We would appeal to you to forward this information to the contacts you have, who may be interested in adopting these outcomes and to publicise them whenever the opportunity arises.

You can download further information about Re-forma here

Christians in Academia

Below is a series of videos produced by the Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL) intended to equip Christians entering the world of Academia. They should prove of great interest to anyone considering or who has already begun an academic course in Theology.

Why should a Christian pursue an academic career? Daryl McCarthy. For more information, see here.

Embracing our Calling to the Academy. Daryl McCarthy. For more information, see here.

“Scholarship is a holy calling. Scholarship has played a critical role in the development and expansion of the world Christian movement over the centuries. So it is critical that as Christian educators we do our work with hearts aflame with worship, minds guided by Christ’s lordship, hands ready to serve, all in our effort to glorify God through our teaching and scholarship.”

Christians in Higher Education: Living Worthy of the Calling. Dirk Jongkind. For more information, see here.

“Every profession possesses its own particular dangers and offers its own specific opportunities for service. Those of us who are living and working in the Academy are faced with a specific set of challenges. In this talk, we take a step back and look at the ideals and dreams the Academy offers. What is the University at its best, what is it at its worst, and do we really have to sell our soul to succeed? And what about our role in the body of Christ and in the grand project of world missions?”

Serving Christ in Academia. Daniel Hill. For more information, see here.

“How should our Christian faith influence our academic endeavours? In particular, what should our motivation for doing academic work be, as Christians? How should we do our academic work? How should we choose among the various options available to us in administration, teaching, and research? And what does our faith have to say about the content of our administration, teaching, and research? In this talk, we try to apply the Bible’s teaching to answer these questions.”

Blog Interview: Dr Pieter Lalleman – Spurgeon’s College, London

Dr Pieter Lalleman

There has been a post circulating on the Internet (you can read it here) of a list of 15 Top Colleges for Studying the Bible which has been attracting a good deal of attention. The criteria used to arrive at this particular ranking are not explained and no institutions outside of the US are listed, so the list is not particularly helpful. So, in order to give potential Bible school applicants a wider perspective of the range of training courses available to them I going to invite a number of faculty members from Bible Colleges in the UK and overseas to share something about what their College has to offer.

The institutions featured in the posts appear randomly, so no “ranking” of any kind is to be implied by their order.

Rev Dr Pieter Lalleman

My first interviewee is Dr Pieter Lalleman of Spurgeons College in South London, UK.

1) Please introduce yourself and your role at Spurgeon’s College.

My name is Pieter Lalleman.  I am the Academic Dean and also tutor of New Testament at the College.

2) Tell us a little about Spurgeon’s College.

The College was founded by C.H. Spurgeon in 1856 and moved to Upper Norwood in 1923.  We now offer a BA in Theology and MTh courses validated by the University of Manchester.  We have an MA for people whose first degree is not in theology and we offer the research degrees of DMin, MPhil and PhD (validated by the University of Chester).  On Saturdays we offer the ‘Equipped to Minister’ course for lay people in the churches, and we have accredited counselling courses.  The latest addition is a general BA for those who just want to do theology in a warm, evangelical environment.  The total number of students is almost 1000.

Spurgeon’s College


3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?

The Higher Education courses are available both full-time and part-time; the others are all part-time.

4) How do Spurgeon’s College students fund their studies?

Many courses are designated so that students can claim student loans and benefits. Often the churches contribute to the training of their members.

5) Does Spurgeon’s College take students from overseas?

Yes, in fact we have a tradition of doing so.  We have Highly Trusted Sponsor status so overseas students are welcome.

6) What type of ministry is Spurgeon’s College intended to prepare students for?

We train future pastors and well as lay people for mission and ministry in the UK and overseas.

7) When students leave Spurgeon’s College what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into?

The full-timers normally become ministers, church planters or evangelists.  But the majority of students are part-time and they stay in their jobs, better equipped to serve where they are.

8) What is distinctive about what Spurgeon’s College offers compared with other colleges in the UK and overseas?

We are a Baptist college but our staff and students represent the diversity of the churches in London.  We are attracting many from Black Majority and Ethnic churches, including busy ministers who never had much training.  Our warm atmosphere and London location makes us a natural choice and we have excellent relations with the local churches.

9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.

Spurgeon’s College Library

The library was fully refurbished recently and is one of the best in the South East.  It has the latest technology.

10) Does Spurgeon’s College offer a distance or on-line learning option?  If yes, please tell us more about it.

Three of our courses can be taken entirely online: the BA, the Church Training Initiative for lay people and the master’s on Radical Free Church Movements.

My thanks to Rev Dr Pieter Lalleman. If you are a member of faculty at a Bible College or Seminary and would like to see you institution featured in future posts, please get in touch – rob[dot]bradshaw[at]gmail[dot]com.