This week we go the United States for the next in our series of interviews about theological training around the world.
1) Please introduce yourself and your role at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (GCTS).
My name is Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., President Emeritus (July 2006) of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in S. Hamilton, Massachusetts, USA where I served as Professor of Old Testament and Ethics for four years before becoming President of GCTS for nine years (1997-2006).
2) Tell us a little about GCTS.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is a free-standing graduate school that goes back for its beginnings into the 1880s. Two schools came together under Dr. Billy Graham’s leadership in 1969. It offers the M.Div, MA in a number of Biblical, Theological, Missiological, Practical, and Counselling areas. It has some 2100 students and is known for its emphasis on Expository Preaching, teaching of the Bible, counselling, and Missions.
3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?
About 60 % of the student body is full time. Others are part-time or among those who take courses “on line” at a distance known as “Semlink.”
4) How do GCTS students fund their studies?
There are a number of scholarships available to both USA citizens and oversea’s students. In addition, all who take a full-time schedule of ten course (30 credit hrs) in a calendar year get an automatic scholarship of $4,500.00 when applied for.
5) Does GCTS take students from overseas?
Yes, we do. Many of our faculty regularly teach in oversea’s schools during the Summer and during their Sabbaticals, so that is another drawing card for many who hear our faculty first hand.
6) What type of ministry is GCTS intended to prepare students for?
GCTS prepares students to be pastors, missionaries, counsellors, teachers of the Word of God, and lay leaders in the Church. We have four campuses: one in Hamilton, Massachusetts, our main campus, CUME in the city of Boston for 50 yrs. now, where the “Center for Urban Ministry Education” teaches in five languages (Portuguese, Spanish, Kamer, American Sign Language, English), which engages the city scene, and two others in Charlotte, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida.
Gordon-Conwell’s Hamilton Campus
7) When students leave GCTS what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into.
The pastorate, teaching, advanced study for Ph.D., missions, lay ministry in the work of Christ.
8) What is distinctive about what GCTS offers compared with other colleges in the UK and overseas?
GCTS has a heavy emphasis on the Biblical Languages, on preparing students to go on for doctoral work, on teaching, on evangelism and missions. Often our students will have studied with the professors who wrote the books studied in other seminaries.
9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.
GCTS has a library collection well over 200,000 vols. We also have great access to almost a dozen other theological libraries with inter-library loan in the greater Boston area plus advanced Technology research facilities. This is true also at all of our other three campuses in North Carolina and Florida.
10) Does GCTS offer a distance or on-line learning option? If yes, please tell us more about it.
Yes, this is a great help both to resident students, who are unable because of their schedules to take all the resident classes they need, and to those at a distance. It is called “Semlink” and offers a good selection of courses either for credit or non-credit. Chinese language courses are also available.
My thanks to Dr. Kaiser for taking part in this interview.
I started reading the second edition of Craig Blomberg’s excellent book The Historical Reliability of the Gospels two nights ago (I hope to write a review at some point). In the introduction he writes of how his book was a popularisation of The Gospel Perspectives series arising out of research carried out at Tyndale House in the 1980s.
This reminded me that several years ago I had been given permission to place on-line one essay from each volume in that series. At the time I had asked blog visitors to vote on which articles was to go on-line – see here to see what was chosen. I missed out volume 4 because it was a monograph and volume 3 because I couldn’t get access to a copy at the time. However my connections with Bible College libraries have improved greatly since then and a copy arrived from Oxford this morning. As I was scanning it the email permission came through from Douglas Moo, so I am finally able to complete a long-standing job.
Douglas J. Moo, “Tradition and the Old Testament in Matt. 27: 3-10,” R.T. France and David Wenham, eds, Gospel Perspectives, Vol. 3: Studies in Midrash and Histiography. Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1983. pp.157-176. Click here to download in PDF. My thanks to Professor Moo for his kind permission. Professor Moo was unsure, given its age, the article would still be of interest to anyone. Please leave some feedback in the comments below that I can pass on to him.