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Biblical Seminary | News and Upcoming Events

Following Jesus to Rwanda: Drs. Langberg and Monroe Lead GTRI Immersion Experience

Global Trauma Recovery

Trauma is the mission field of the 21st century. Trauma disrupts life, dissolves relationships, and hinders faith development wherever it is experienced. As an expression of the Gospel, missional Christians follow Jesus into the world to care for the least of these suffering the effects of trauma.

The Global Trauma Recovery Institute (GTRI) provides high quality continuing educational resources, skills training, and case consultation for mental health clinicians, ministry leaders, and professionals interested in addressing the needs of psychosocial trauma victims around the world.

The first GTRI cohort recently returned from Rwanda. In a country devastated by the genocide in 1994, they witnessed healing and hope—light penetrating darkness (John 1:5). Drs. Langberg and Monroe participated in the birth of the Rwandan Association of Christian Counselors, under the leadership of Baraka Paulette Uwingeneye, a counselor they have invested in for years. They also partnered with the Bible Society of Rwanda to lead a trauma healing conference. The group taught pastors, counselors, nonprofit leaders, representatives from the National University of Rwanda, and Bible Society volunteers on trauma, shame, addictions, suicide, and domestic violence. GTRI students counseled, participated in small group discussions, and provided case consultations to Rwandan counselors and leaders. Drs. Langberg and Monroe also partnered with an Anglican Bishop and provided trauma training to a group of pastors and leaders within that denomination.

The group visited Kigeme Refugee Camp where 18,000 Congolese live, many of whom have experienced significant loss and trauma. After touring the camp, the group met with 30 refugees who are trauma healing facilitators in the camp and heard story after story of healing. "Trauma takes us far away from God... these classes help us to grow closer again. We are standing because of God..." shared one facilitator.

In the words of Carine Toussaint, GTRI graduate and director of global outreach for Stone Hill Church:

We accomplished all we set out to do—encourage, strengthen, and equip those engaged in the hard work of global trauma and recovery. We, as GTRI students, wanted to have an “out of the book” learning experience as to how people cope with trauma and learn to live side-by-side with perpetrators after forgiveness, reconciliation, and mediation takes place. Rwanda gave us all those lessons and more. We had the opportunity to counsel one-on-one and in small groups. I learned from pastors, teachers, and lay counselors on post-traumatic symptoms and treatment. I cried, laughed, danced, and sang with some of the most courageous people I have ever met. I felt the heartbeat of Africa.

Emmanuel’s (General Secretary of the Bible Society of Rwanda) words will stay with me forever: “We thought we were dead or just animals. They called us cockroaches. You came; you sat with us; you listened; you saw us. We remembered that we were alive. We remembered that we were human.”

If you are interested in learning more about the GTRI, visit their website or contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Global Trauma Recovery Global Trauma Recovery Global Trauma Recovery
 

Dr. Dunbar is Back in the Saddle Again...

Dr. Dave Dunbar, president emeritus and BTS professor of theology, celebrates his return to the classroom by teaching what is often called his signature course, “Authentic Biblical Interpretation”.

Plan now to spend Thursday mornings from September 11 to December 11 and experience Dave’s engaging teaching style. This 3-credit class is open to all students.

Enroll Today

Call 215-368-5000 x111

 

Pam Smith to address Rotary Club

rotary club

Pam Smith, VP for Student Advancement, will be speaking at the July 15 meeting of the Rotary Club of North Penn at the William Penn Inn. She will be sharing some of her most requested business and leadership tools.

Rotary is one of the oldest and largest service organizations in the world. It consists of business and professional leaders who provide humanitarian services, encourages high ethical standards in all vocations, and helps build goodwill and peace in the world.

BTS alum Will Liegel has been installed as the new president.

 

New Elective This Fall:

Dr. Williams

Dr. Dan Williams, BTS MDiv and DMin, will be teaching an exciting and engaging new course on the main campus this fall. The course is entitled “Transforming Global Systems with the Gospel” and will address how systemic realities impact churches and communities.

Plan now to be a part of this learning experience.

 

BTS Hosts Symposium on How the Gospel Transforms Gender Dynamics

Dmin Symposium at BTS

BTS’s Doctor of Ministry program recently hosted a symposium led by noted Christian authors Paul Louis Metzger and Carolyn Custis James. The title of the symposium was “Gospel Subversion: How the Gospel Transforms Gender Dynamics in a Fallen World.”

We were delighted at the high level of community interest in this topic. One person travelled from Washington DC to attend. BTS is committed to serving our local community by providing thoughtful engagement on the pressing issues of our day.

In the symposium, the speakers gave presentations related to the nature and design of humankind, particularly as it relates to men and women. Prof. Metzger discussed the impact of American culture on gender relations when men and women are viewed as “consumers” rather than “communers” that belong to the Triune God and to each other. Mrs. James then offered a close reading of Genesis 1-3 and of select portions of the Book of Ruth. She offered fresh insights into gender dynamics in the Old Testament and how Christ has redeemed these fallen dynamics in the New Testament. After the presentations, BTS’s president, Dr. Frank James, facilitated questions between the audience and the speakers.

Due to the great interest in this symposium and the importance of this topic for the American church, BTS is pleased to offer a recording of this symposium to the public.

 

Frank James Speaks at Bethel Deliverance Church in Wyncote

Frank James at BTS

Dr. Frank James spoke at the Pentecost prayer service at the Bethel Deliverance Church in Wyncote on Saturday, 7 June.

This was a prayer service organized by Dr. Gus Roman with assistance from BTS DMin student, Mike Majors and hosted by Bishop Eric A Lambert, Jr., pastor of Bethel Deliverance Church. The goal was to invite seminary presidents from the Philadelphia area to join together for extended prayer in celebration of Pentecost. Dr. James spoke on the power of prayer.

Also in attendance was Dr. Wilbert Richardson, president of the Center for Urban Theological Studies and Dr. Philip Krey, president of Lutheran Theological Seminary. Dr. James said: "For three hours nearly 200 people from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities came together to pray, and pray they did. It was spiritually invigorating to see the passion and intensity of God's people."

 

Steve Taylor Teaching in Singapore

Steve Taylor Singapore

Steve Taylor will be teaching a ThM course at Singapore Bible College, heading there August 3 and returning to BTS September 3.

The course is entitled Philosophical Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation and will introduce students to the history, important thinkers, main problems, and concepts of Philosophical Hermeneutics (PH) in the Western tradition of thought. Students will also be encouraged to develop a critical appreciation for the relevance and value of this stream of reflection for the interpretation of the Bible.

Steve will be engaging students on the relationship of PH to the categories of General and Special Hermeneutics, (Literary) Critical Theory, and Linguistics and Semeiotics. He will address the first perceptions of the hermeneutical problem and the inception of Special Hermeneutics among the Greeks and the rabbis, early Christians and the Jewish Bible as well as the Renaissance and Reformation and the fragmentation and failure of Special Hermeneutics.

 

DMin Class Upfront and Personal at Gettysburg, PA

BTS at Gettysburg

Last week, BTS’s Doctor of Ministry program took students on a field trip to Gettysburg, PA. The trip was a required component of the DMin class titled “Missional Theology,” taught by Dr. Paul Metzger from Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, OR. The purpose of the class trip was to reflect on the significance of the Civil War on Christianity in America, and specifically to discuss the impact of race, slavery, and war on biblical interpretation, ecclesiology, and theology.

In preparation for the trip, students were encouraged to read Mark Noll’s The Civil War as Theological Crisis or George Rable’s God’s Almost Chosen Peoples: A Religious History of the American Civil War. On the bus ride to and from Gettysburg, students discussed thought-provoking questions related to the Civil War and Christianity, such as: Is the Civil War still being fought in America? Did Lincoln die in vain?

The great ethnic diversity of the DMin class—with an almost equal number of African-American, Asian-American, and Caucasian students - greatly enhanced the discussions. In one of the group discussions of which I took part, which included students from Germany, Sierra Leone, and the United States, we heard insightful comments about a range of issues related to the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Korean War, World Wars I and II, and various intellectual battles being fought on American soil today.

In Gettysburg, we toured each of the major landmarks associated with the battle and had a licensed guide walk us through important moments of the three-day battle in 1863. On the bus ride home, we reflected more on the Battle of Gettysburg, and students then spent the next two days in class discussing issues of culture, race, and theology flowing out of the Civil War.

BTS at Gettysburg BTS at Gettysburg BTS at Gettysburg BTS at Gettysburg
 

BTS Community Members Teach at Missions Conference

Missions Conference

Three members of the BTS community, each one a different type of stakeholder, will be sharing and teaching at the Church of Love in Philadelphia’s missions conference gatherings throughout June.

  • Dr. Chang Hoon Oh will be speaking on Missional Life in Korean-American Church on June 4.
  • Dr. Kyuboem Lee (BTS adjunct) will share about Urban Missional Life on June 11.
  • Rev. Daesung Kim (BTS grad. & DMin student) will address Mission for North Korea on June 25.
 

BTS Mourns Death of Student Seongi Lee

BTS passing

From President Frank A. James:

Sadly, I must report to you that one of our beloved students, Seongi Lee, passed away on 19 May from liver cancer. He was a pastor and MA in Ministry student from Korea. Todd Mangum informed me that even after his dismal diagnosis a few months ago, Seongi continued to come to class. Astonishingly, three days before his death, a very weak Seongi Lee turned in his last essay for his class. Such was his dedication to his calling that he labored until the very end. I trust his seminary education at BTS was good spiritual preparation for his journey home.

We will be holding a memorial service at the BTS chapel on Saturday 24 May. Please pray for Seongi's wife and family at this difficult time.

From the Academic Dean Todd Mangum:

Pastor Seongi (English name: Edgar) Lee came to Biblical in 2011, having already served as a Methodist pastor in Korea, he came to Biblical to be trained in missional ministry. His special passion was always reaching the seeker, the lost, and building relationships with unbelievers (or, as he saw them, the not-yet-believing).

After completing the Advanced Cultural Studies program at Biblical, he embarked upon the MA in Ministry; about halfway through, he was diagnosed with liver cancer (in October 2013). The doctors estimated that his life expectancy might be a year or so; but Seongi and his wife, Zoe, decided that he would press on with his studies, and with his ministry (he was a pastor of a church plant in the U.S.), for as long as he could.

I happened to have Seongi Edgar Lee for what turned out to be his last class at Biblical. My classes have regular assignments due, nearly every class period. Thursday, May 15, 2014, was no exception. A biblical study thought assignment was due at the beginning of class, 1:30 PM. A little after 1:15 PM, I was told that Seongi had just come from the hospital where he'd had a difficult and draining procedure done, which would prevent him from attending class that day. Nevertheless, I was told, he wanted to see me; he and his wife were in the parking lot. When I went down, I found him, very weak, reclined in the seat of his van. When I came to the side of the van to see him, he looked up and smiled faintly, and then handed me a set of papers — when I looked, it was the assignment due that day, which, despite everything, he had completed. He wanted to make sure I got it, and got it on time. In fact, up to the day of his passing, he'd completed every assignment — on time.

I only had Pastor Seongi for that one class; but I feel like I got a pretty good measure of the man just from that brief window into his life. He truly persevered to the end. And worked for the Lord, including maintaining daily study of His Word, through his last day.

BTS passing BTS passing BTS passing BTS passing BTS passing BTS passing BTS passing BTS passing
 

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