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Evangelical Theological Education: Implementing Our Own Agenda

Theme: Theological Education and Global Christianity: Evangelical Theological Education: Implementing Our Own Agenda
Purpose: International Consultation for Theological Educators
Dates:  August 20, 2003
Location: High Wycombe, UK

Larry J. McKinney
Executive Director Association for Biblical Higher Education(ABHE)

During the harrowing years of the American Civil War, the College of William and Mary (VA), founded in 1693 as the third oldest college in North America, emptied its buildings to supply young soldiers to the cause. Between 1861 and 1865, no students sat in classrooms, no professors prepared lectures, no books circulated from the library, and no graduates received diplomas. The buildings fell in disrepair. Soaking rain dripped through the roofs that needed to be maintained and snow blew into buildings that needed broken windows to be repaired. The campus was like an academic ghost town. No voices were to be heard for four years. It appeared as if the College would never open again.

Yet, everyday of the War, President Ewing left his house and went up to the bell tower of the College chapel. There he would take the rope in his hand and ring the College bell loudly and defiantly in the face of the distraction that maimed the campus around him. The sound of that bell echoed through the empty buildings and across the abandoned countryside. It was the sound of confession and hope that the College would someday open it doors again.

Mindful of Ewing’s example, I am grateful for an opportunity to ring another bell. It is a bell that peals out a message that needs to be heard, understood, and advanced within the church and the international higher education community. It is the message of evangelical theological education.

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