Western is committed to a “renewal through reformation and revival” agenda. We are laboring to train leaders who can effect positive change by bringing a classic, robust evangelicalism to bear upon the contemporary scene.
Conversations at the end of sermons can go many places. I have forgotten most, but a few stand out. I particularly remember one that took place some thirty years ago. I was just into my first Senior Pastorate, having worked my way through the ranks of Youth Pastor and Associate Pastor. I was still in the process of completing my Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, having acquired a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology degree. Nonetheless, I felt overwhelmed and woefully inadequate. I felt very much a novice at preaching, pastoral care, and board leadership.
What if we encouraged those in the pew, as we should in the classroom, to adopt a far more active stance? Imagine a church where the expectations for learning were far higher. People are not expected to simply take things in–but figure things out.
This, in the final analysis, is what marks out the best seminary professors: they don’t just communicate facts and ideas, but they present their own lives as an example of what it looks like to be a passionate follower of Christ.