Athletes spend countless hours training to compete. Underwater welders persevere through a rigorous apprenticeship before making the big bucks. Judges spend years clerking before their first gig. For every hour of performance, musicians spend a hundred hours woodshedding in the practice room.
It's no different for pastors. Training men to be shepherds of Christ's flock requires difficult intellectual and moral development. Seminaries today think pastors only need their brains filled with knowledge, so they leave off shepherding their students' character and godliness. Other groups lay hands upon a gifted man too quickly and leave off any requirement for serious study. New Geneva Academy has determined to hit the sweet spot of giving full attention to each student's mind and character.
Our three-year curriculum develops the student's mind. Here's the view of that curriculum from 40,000 feet in the air:
As to the discipleship of our students for their growth in Christian maturity, we work closely with their pastor/mentors. The practica allow our students the kind of apprenticeship that will get their hands dirty in the work of ministry. Exposing them to a variety of work will reveal their strengths and weaknesses. It is precisely at that point that their local mentor can challenge them with hard questions and steady encouragement.
The Apostle Paul made sure that Timothy was able to preach the word in season and out of season; he also made sure that Timothy showed godliness. The Apostle, concerned about more than Timothy's facility with the Biblical text, exhorts him to take a little wine for his stomach and frequent ailments (1 Tim. 5:23). Many today would accuse the Apostle Paul of meddling; we call it good discipleship. Nothing about a man's character is off the table when it comes to preparing a man for ministry. The Apostle knew that a man who was good with words but precious when it came to his physical ailments would be a terrible pastor.
Thanks for supporting the work of New Geneva Academy. Continue to pray for the success of our grant proposal mentioned in last month's newsletter. Also, pray for God's strength to complete our preparations for the fall semester.
Love in Christ,