BASIC Newsletter #261
Volume 12 Issue 5
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The series of articles on the SDA will resume next issue.
The CLCI Seminary
Pastor Jyothi Benjamin
Psalms 103:21 “Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who do His pleasure.”
Greeting! It’s been sixteen years since the CLCI Seminary has started and we are glad to inform you that it is running very successfully from the year 1997. In all aspects of its ministry, the seminary is grateful for the prayers and support of the members and congregations of the CLCI and respected CLC-US. Blest be the ties that bind our hearts in Christian love!
The purpose in offering this three year Bible Theology course for the CLCI members and other Christians who are basically involved in Christian responsibilities and who are poor and not able to pay fees for their Bible training studies, is to prepare them to be more efficient instruments of God in Christian mission and evangelism. Our course also serves as a firm basis to equip the students well qualified for the preaching ministry of the Church of the Lutheran Confession of India. At the CLCI seminary, we aim at all rounded training, equipping each student to be able to well fit and gives various services to our CLCI congregational Churches. Thus we train them not only in the classrooms but also in the various Church fields through entire year. We thank and praise God for the wonderful assistance we have been receiving from honorable CLC Missionaries to run this CLCI Seminary. With the exposure and good teachings from our CLC missionaries from abroad, our students will able to work with full of dedication and enthusiasm in their mission fields. Rev. David, Rev. Matt and Rev. Ed Starkey have been visiting the CLCI Seminary regularly and preparing the students with their wonderful lessons and power point presentations. It was quite an experience for these pastors to have life time lessons from our beloved and honorable CLC Missionaries.
The Lord was very gracious to us in all aspects of the CLCI Seminary. How grateful we are to God that He has entrusted us with the CLCI seminary ministry of preparing students for lifetime service of the Lord. We are honored and glad to inform you that in the midst of these past sixteen years of period until 2013-2014, 119 fully trained pastors came out of this CLCI seminary and all of them have been rendering their valuable services in various CLCI congregations.
Every year we conduct a special graduation day in the month of June. As we know, for all those who have maneuvered through seminary, there is one day that everybody has to face – graduation day. A day where they breathe freedom yet shed tears for leaving behind the place where they transformed from ordinary men to fully trained pastors. Graduation day is filled with multi-emotions; feel elated yet dejected, happy yet sad. As the roots of seminary education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. After the graduation, they are ready to serve the Lord with their whole hearts. They will find themselves refreshed in their work by the presence of Lord. All the pastors who have come from the CLCI Seminary love each other and they become great friends during their rest lives in serving the Lord. We pray for them for a good life and success flies in every corner where they go and serve the Lord. Our Mission is to produce academically well prepared students who model the character of Jesus Christ. St. Paul said in the book of Philippians chapter 4: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
CLCI seminary is leading the role as the bridge between two systems that are theological education and CLCI Mission. We have been receiving responses from many students who would like to join in this seminary, both from our CLCI and from outside. It has been an encouragement for us. We continue to praise God at the way He shapes and molds our Pastors and students here in the CLCI Seminary through the wonderful teachings from our beloved CLC Missionaries and CLCI faculty. Though them God has been touching and changing all the students to be His better instruments. As fully trained pastors from the CLCI, they are sure to have a great measure of satisfaction in entering into CLCI preaching ministry. These men are the witnesses to what the Lord can do through the power of His Word. Acts 6:4 “…But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
We thank and praise God for the wonderful assistance we have been receiving from the respected CLC Mission Board, Kinship Committee, Sponsors, Missionaries, CLC visitors and volunteers. You all have been contributing so much to the life and growth of the Seminary.
At present there are 38 students in the seminary. Now 12 students are there in the final year, 14 students are there in the second year. This year we have joined 12 students in the first year. Before join the students we conduct an interview to the new students, to check their spiritual knowledge and doctrinal position. In that interview the faculty will determine the admission or non-admission of the applicant.
The CLCI seminary has a three year course. The purpose of this three years course is to prepare the people to be more efficient instruments of God in Christian mission and evangelism. This seminary course is for the CLCI members and also for other Christians, who are basically involved in Christian responsibility and who are poor and not able to pay fees for their Bible training studies. This three year course is also designed to serve as firm basis to equip the students well qualified for the preaching ministry of the CLCI. We conduct classes from Monday through Thursday, four days in a week from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm including lunch break and tea breaks. In the weekends, along with the students, we visit some of our CLCI congregations and do some outreach work in the new villages. This course is designed to meet the academic need of the dedicated Christian candidates to infuse firm foundation in Biblical teachings to inculcate positive attitude towards the practical issue of the Indian society with a true Christian perspective, to awaken and edify the hidden skills in preaching and teaching fields of Gospel ministry; to expose them various trends of Christian Mission and Evangelism and to coach them to defend their Christian commitment and take active part in mobilizing the Christian ministry.
This following is the three year seminary curriculum which gives the student a thorough Lutheran knowledge.
1st year:- Introduction to the Bible, OT Isagogics (study of the Bible Books and survey), Catechesis and teaching methods of Bible stories, Sunday school and VBS, Greek fundamentals and grammar, Gos-pels, Hermeneutics – study of Biblical Principles of Interpretation (Zorn’s 22 principles), Indian church History, Pastoral theology – conducting services, church ad-ministration, Pastoral counseling and Hymnology.
2nd and 3rd year:- NT Isagogics, Homi-letics – preparation of sermons, Lutheran symbolic & comparative symbolic, creed study and Church sacrament, Gospels, Christian church History, Pastoral theology – liturgy, church year Pericopy, Luther-an agenda , Evangelism, outreach and church planting, Fundamentals of He-brew, Dogmatics – Doctrinal theology, Law and Gospel.
The Lord had been with us in all our efforts during these sixteen years and surely we have confidence in Him as we look into the future so that more young people will be challenged to take up the call to the ministry. It has been an abso-lutely rewarding ministry. Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which, you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
Please remember the CLCI Seminary in your daily prayers.
Thank you very much.
—respectably submitted to BASIC by CLCI seminary
Psalms 103:21 “Bless the LORD, all you His hosts, You ministers of His, who
do His pleasure.”