A Brief History of Baptist Ministerial Education [James Renihan]

James M. Renihan, over at the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, concludes:

Our fathers promoted the cause of education and training. They raised funds. They asked some of their most capable pastors to take the lead in developing training programs. They urged capable men to earn credible academic credentials. They built institutions which served the churches very well for many years.


… It is curious that many people think that Baptists undervalue the need for education and preparation while our history testifies to exactly the opposite. Will we be like them? Will we give time, effort and funds to plan for the future?

Read “Baptist Ministerial Education


IRBS Seriously Considering a Stand-Alone Seminary, More Info at the Sept. 22 Ice Cream Social in Mansfield, TX

The Institute for Reformed Baptist Studies (IRBS) has worked in and along side Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA. since 1998.

They are currently seeking the Lord’s will about building a stand-alone seminary in Mansfield/Ft. Worth, TX. in 2018.

Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies Seminary

Dr. James Renihan
Dr. James Renihan

Dr. James M. Renihan will present an update on the plan to form their first confessional Reformed Baptist seminary on September 22, 2016 after the 7pm Founder Conference lecture.

See flyer below:

Download (PDF, 711KB)

New Seminary: Grace Bible Institute of Pastoral Studies

Pastor Jeff Johnson:

Grace Bible Church of Conway, Arkansas, where I am privileged to pastor, is starting a church based seminary called Grace Bible Institute of Pastoral Studies. See here:

Grace Bible Institute

This is truly amazing. Planting the church over fifteen years ago in my living room, I never thought this would be something God had in store for us. We are thanking God for this great opportunity.

In some ways, the seminary has been forced on us. With more and more young men joining our church with a desire to minister and preach the Word, our responsibility to train them became more and more evident. I have felt for some time now that it is the local church’s responsibility to equip the next generations of pastors. 2 Tim. 2:2 teaches us that pastors are responsible to train pastors. After starting a class that would meet once a month, more pastoral students have been sent to us by God. With such a reservoir of men, and with God supernaturally supplying the financial resources, it became clear to us that we needed to start a more robust training program.

Our objective is to equip, ordain, and send out the next generation of church leaders by providing faithful men with a doctrinal education and pastoral experience within the context, oversight, and accountability of our local church. We not only desire to offer a rigorous education in the classroom, but supply practical, real-life experience under the mentorship of our pastors.

So we created a degree program that is based on four avenues of study. First, we are offering four module courses a year where we will bring in some of the leading professors in America. Over an extended weekend, our students will be able to earn 3 credit hours in a classroom setting. Second, we will provide four residential classes a year that are taught by the elders of the church—including myself. Third, we will require six credit hours of self study a year that will be guided and overseen by the Institute’s staff. Fourth, preaching and counseling practicums will be required throughout the program.

If you want to view our course list, check here.

Dr. Bob Gonzales taught our first module on the Doctrine of the Word, and Dr. Tom Nettles is scheduled to come and teach Baptist Church History next week. For more information on this, see here:


We desire to train pastors who self-sacrificially care for God’s sheep.

Though we are not currently accredited, our goal is to become affiliated and then accredited with the Association of Reformed Theological Seminaries.

If you would like to help us, we are seeking to build a robust theological library and would appreciate book donations. We are in the mist of the building construction of our new church and seminary facilities, and with limited wall space, we plan to build a 25 by 16 foot bookshelf with a spiral staircase and catwalk at the 8 foot mark. So, we need books.

Most importantly, we could use your prayers as our goal is not to make a great name for ourselves, but to help ordain and send out laborers into the harvest.

Podcast Interviews on Reformed Baptist Seminaries of America [AUDIO | RBS, CBTS, & IRBS]

With the release of our latest podcast interview we now have an interview with each of the three Reformed Baptist [1689] seminaries in America.

These are helpful if you are looking into these particular seminaries but also give you a lot of wisdom regarding seminary life and continuing education.

1689r Seminaries in America

You can find them all tagged under Reformed Baptist Seminaries in America or below:

PodcastPromo012Interview #12 – Reformed Baptist Seminary – Bob Gonzales (1 of 2) + More [mp3]:

PodcastPromo13Interview #13 – Reformed Baptist Seminary – Bob Gonzales (2 of 2) + More [mp3]:

MCTS is now Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary!Interview #53 – Sam Waldron – Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary (formerly Midwest Center for Theological Studies) [Audio Podcast] [mp3]:

ARBCA IRBS BannerInterview #85 – Seminary Life at The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA) – Dabney Olguin & Nathan White [Audio Podcast] [mp3]:

Interview #85 – Seminary Life at The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies – Dabney Olguin & Nathan White [Audio Podcast]



The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA
The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies
at Westminster Seminary California in Escondido, CA

On episode 85 of our interview podcast we have The Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies (IRBS) students Dabney Olguin and Nathan White on to tell us all about IRBS.


  • Testimony
  • On Seminary:
    • Why IRBS
    • Campus Life
    • Family Life
    • Baptists in a Presbyterian School
  • Life in Cali
  • + more


Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcherTuneIn or by Email.



May the Mind of Christ, My Savior by Jake Armerding

‘Pastoral Perspectives: Raising, Mentoring, & Affirming Men for the Ministry’ [VIDEO] feat. Waldron, John Miller, Mike Waters + more [CBTS]

CBTS Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary

Pastoral Perspectives WebcastHere is the video from the second Pastoral Perspectives webcast [Dec. 1, 2014] from Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS). Pastors Brian Croft, John Miller, Mike Waters, and Sam Waldron came together again to discuss “Raising, Mentoring, and Affirming Men for the Ministry.”:

Pastoral Perspectives will be an online video discussion focusing on practical ministry issues and insights for the edification and encouragement of church leaders and fellow believers.



pastoral perspectives

57 minute video:

[source: Practical Shepherding]

Interview #71 – Ray Warwick – African Christian University [Mini Podcast from SCRBPC 2014]



Ray Warwick
Ray Warwick

On episode 71 of our interview podcast, we have a mini-interview with the academic dean of the the African Christian University, Ray Warwick. He tells us about the seminary plus more.

This interview was made possible by the generous  donations from our listeners. The recording took place at the 2014 Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors ConferenceStay tuned tomorrow for another!

SCRBPC Southern California Reformed Baptist Pastors Conference

Following the first interview is another mini interview with one of the conference attendees, Douglas Davis.


Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcherTuneIn or by Email.

Interview #53 – Sam Waldron – Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary (formerly Midwest Center for Theological Studies) [Audio Podcast]

NOTE: As of August 2014 Midwest Center for Theological Studies (MCTS) was renamed to Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary (CBTS):


Dr. Sam Waldron
Dr. Sam Waldron


mcts header

“Informed Scholarship with Pastoral Heart”

On episode 53 of our interview podcast we interview Pastor and Dr. Sam Waldron who is the Academic Dean of Midwest Center for Theological Studies (MCTS) in Owensboro, KY. We learned all about him on interview 14 of our podcast so we just jump straight into learning all about MCTS and what they have to offer:

Subscribe to the podcast in a RSS readeriTunesStitcher or by Email.



Post-Interview Music:

James White, off the cuff, on the Modern American Seminary Situation [Video]

James White off the cuffWith James White out of country for several weeks I know some folks are gonna need a fix.  Well, check this out:

Dr James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, Pryor, OK, 24 August 2013.
He decided to sit down to give us some of his thoughts about the modern American seminary situation and I decided to grab some footage with my iPod Touch. I’m glad I did.

Check out the nine minute video:

Samuel Pearce to a Seminarian: 6 Tips

pearce2-samuel 237x300Jeremy Walker highlights a post from The Gospel Coalition:

Always good to see Samuel Pearce getting a nod. Here is a summary of his counsels to a man attending a ministerial academy:


1. Cultivate Personal Spiritual Disciplines


2. Submit to Your Professors


3. Practice Self-Control


4. Be Wise with Your Time


5. Pursue Excellence


6. Stay Focused


I know it sounds obvious, and it might apply to the ongoing life of ministry in Christ’s church, but still worth reading [4 min. readout].


Samuel Pearce was a Baptist minister in England at the close of the eighteenth century whose preaching and walk with God, despite an early death at the age of thirty-three, made him an influential figure at the beginning of the modern worldwide expansion of Christianity.

Local Church Mentorship Model, Pastors & Seminaries – Andrew Suttles

Over at the Abraham’s Seed blog, Andrew Suttles wrote a posted entitled “How Your Children Will Attend Seminary” where he gives a history of how people were trained up to carry on the work of the gospel. Here is his conclusion and suggested seminaries:


No one likes the present system. No one believes that ministers of the gospel, called at a mature age (child raising years) should have to quit a job and move family across country for ministerial training. No one likes pulpit committees and no one likes job interviews. On the other side of the coin, the alternative is to have lay pastors who are trained by the ruling eldership in a sort of mentorship-like program. These are the predominant methods in Indepdendant Fundamentalist churches where ‘education’ revolves more around indoctrination into the traditions of the elders than being trained in the things of God.

So the question is then: do you train your own pastor in the ministries and processes of the local church and sacrifice depth; or do you hire a pastor on the open market like any other professional and disregard Paul’s admonition of ‘appointing elders’ and committing these things to faith men who will be able to teach others, also?


Reformed Baptist Seminary has the answer! Distance Learning!

High academic rigour of RBS, coupled with the bewildering array of electronic tools available to the 21st Century educator – there is no need to chose. Pastors can be trained and mentored by local Pastors, without sacrificing the top-notch scholasticism of the academy. The academy provides the materials and structure, the local Pastor augments the training materials and provides the one-on-one guidance and mentorship needed to train a young man to serve the people of God.

The cutting edge of what RBS is doing today, will be the plastic handle of tomorrow’s cutting shear.

RBS Virtual Classroom


  1. Southern Baptist Seminary
  2. Midwest Center for Theological Studies
  3. Reformed Baptist Seminary


Read the rest or listen to seven minute readout. (Be sure to read the comments for some qualifications he made.)

The Local Church: The Training Ground for Ministry & The Impact of Mentoring – Phil Newton

Local ChurchOver at the Founders Ministries blog, Phil Newton wrote:

In a recent conversation with a seminary professor, we talked on a topic of great interest to me as a pastor engaged in training the next generation. He told of how he has been teaching Greek to members of his local church. He said that they started out with a class of fifty-five and ended up with six, but that decline in participation did not discourage him. He said that those six church members could now read their Greek New Testament. And they did it all without enrolling in seminary! He added that he thought the local church should be involved in training its people for gospel ministry. I agreed. Our discussion continued on the local church as the focal point of training men and women for gospel work to the nations.

Read the rest or listen to readout [5 min.]

He came out with a second part this morning:

In my last blog post I addressed the local church as the training ground for ministry. This post will look more specifically at the matter of pastoral mentoring for training gospel workers following the pattern of Jesus.

Read the rest or listen to readout [9 min.]

The Nicole Institute Of Baptist Studies

Nicole Institute of Baptist Studies

Mission and Vision:

The Nicole Institute of Baptist Studies exists to prepare leaders for the church who are marked with “a mind for truth, and a heart for God,” by imparting to them the riches of Reformed theology and piety while also conveying a robust Baptist vision of the church and its ministry.

In keeping with the mission of RTS, the Nicole Institute of Baptist Studies seeks to offer excellent theological education that is winsomely Reformed and missional. Our design is to serve the church in all branches of evangelical Christianity, especially that branch which is committed to “believer’s only” baptism. We seek to prepare our students for servant leadership through a program of graduate theological education that is based upon the authority of the inerrant Word of God, which is comprised of the 66 books of the Bible.

The Nicole Institute equips its students for ministry, primarily through pastoral preparation, to be servant leaders in a variety of ministry, missions, and church settings. This preparation is designed for, but not limited to, those desiring to serve in any number of the various Baptist denominations, Independent churches, Sovereign Grace Ministries, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Evangelical Free, and Acts 29 network. Students with affection for Reformed theology and a commitment to “believer’s only” baptism will find the Nicole Institute at RTS Orlando an effective and fruitful place to prepare for ministry.

As part of a confessional seminary, the Nicole Institute operates within a confessional framework in order to promote the great doctrines of the faith, which were laid down in Scripture, restored to the church by the Reformers, and affirmed by Baptists in the 1689 Confession of Faith and the Baptist Catechism of 1693.

For more information on NIBS, you can email our Interim Director, Rev. Barry Peterson, at bpeterson@rts.edu

Learn about some of the men influential in Baptist studies…

read more here…