On behalf of the seminary overseers, I’d like to express our gratitude for your partnership in training gospel laborers. In May of this year, we celebrated the 12th anniversary of our ministry. Our vision remains the same: RBS exists primarily to provide theological education from a Reformed and Baptist perspective for men who aspire to or are already engaged in the gospel ministry. Secondarily, the seminary makes theological education available to laypeople who desire to enhance their understanding of Scripture and serve in some capacity in the local church.
RBS began May 2005 with 9 students. We currently have over 100 students enrolled. A total of 52 students have graduated since the seminary’s inception. Of that number, 41 completed the Marrow of Theology program, 12 the Divinity program, and 4 both programs. These numbers do not include the many graduates from our international ministry in Latin America. A total of 68 students have graduated from our international “Marrow program.”
RBS is under the direct oversight of local churches. To assist with the oversight of a growing ministry, we invited two additional churches to serve with us in 2016 and another church in 2017, bringing the total to six churches. Each overseeing church has elected one of its elders to serve on the executive board of the seminary. Here are the board members and the overseeing churches they represent:
- Greg Nichols; Grace Immanuel Baptist Church, Grand Rapids, MI
- Robert Briggs; Immanuel Baptist Church, Sacramento, CA
- Robert Elliott; Reformed Baptist Church of Riverside, CA
- Nick Alford; Grace Baptist Church, Taylors, SC
- Brian Borgman; Grace Community Church, Minden, NV
- Jeffery Smith; Emmanuel Baptist Church, Coconut Creek, FL
We met August 15 -16 for the board’s annual meeting at a home on the shore of Lake Tahoe, which friends of Brian Borgman provided. The meeting was productive as we planned for the year ahead.
A New Program
This fall we launched a new program. The 60-credit Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling (MABC) combines RBS courses in Hermeneutics, Apologetics, Systematic Theology, and two Counseling Practicums together with 10 biblical counseling courses offered through the online ministry of the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation. A counseling certification process is completed through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. This program is open to men or women who seek to serve the local church. For those without an earned Bachelor’s degree, the program may be completed for an Associate of Arts in Biblical Counseling (AABC).
We provide a complete theological curriculum online and through live modules. This keeps education affordable and allows the student to remain in his local church under the oversight of his pastors. It also provides the student with a flexible format to complete coursework at his own pace.
Live Modular Courses
RBS tries to offer two to four live modules or seminars every year at different locations in the United States. Students have the opportunity to meet the seminary instructors and other students.
In October 2016, First Baptist Church of the Lakes in Las Vegas hosted a conference on defending the faith, featuring Dr. Brian Borgman, Dr. Jeff Johnson, and Pastor Robert Briggs. We are using these lectures to supplement our course on Apologetics.
On February 17th, 2017, Dr. Scott Oliphint gave six lectures expounding and critiquing the theological method of Thomas Aquinas. We have added these lectures to our course Medieval Church. Lord willing, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishers will publish the substance of these lectures later this year.
More recently, Michael Emadi, an RBS graduate (MDiv) with a Master of Arts in Biblical Languages from Houston Baptist University gave 26 lectures on various topics related to New Testament studies. These lectures form the core of an entirely new course on New Testament Introduction.
On the last week of September (27 - 30), I will teach Old Testament Introduction as a joint offering for students of RBS and for students of Grace Bible Institute in Conway, Arkansas. The lectures will focus on the historicity, reliability, and relevance of the Old Testament for the New Testament church.
A module on Modern Church is planned for the week of January 29 - February 3, 2018 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Sacramento, California. The lectures for this course will survey church history from the Puritan era to the present with special emphasis given to the great missionary movements, the Fundamentalist-Modernist controversy, and the recent rise of Reformed Baptist churches in America.
Then, in the week of March 26 - 30, 2018, Brian Borgman and Jeffery Smith will give a total of 32 lectures on the Doctrine of Salvation. The lectures will provide a systematic study of the application of salvation to the believer, including such topics as the ordo salutis (order of salvation), union with Christ, effectual calling, regeneration, conversion, good works, justification, adoption, sanctification, perseverance, assurance, and glorification.
To keep informed of upcoming modules, check the seminary’s homepage (www.rbseminary.org) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and request to be added to our email newsletter.
RBS has sought to bring theological education to countries where sound training is inaccessible or unaffordable. We created a 24-credit certificate program that provides pastors or ministerial aspirants with a theological foundation on which to build.
RBS continues to work with La Academia Ministerial de la Gracia (AMG) in Santiago, Dominican Republic. This ministry is an outgrowth of a four-year training program we offered through Iglesia Bautista de la Gracia (IBG). Since 2008, AMG has graduated over 150 students from different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This past June I had the privilege of teaching Old Testament Introduction and participating in AMG’s 9th graduation. One of the highlights of the ceremony was the conferral of the Master of Divinity degree on Juan Jose Perez, who serves as a pastor of IBG and as the dean of AMG.
We are working with HeartCry Missionary Society to provide a three-year program of theological training for national pastors in Nepal. The country is still under the shadow of Buddhism and Hinduism. There are also false gospels being promoted as “Christianity.” Lord willing, we will begin offering the modules in 2018.
We are a little over seven months into our fiscal year (which begins February 1), and we’ve received $58,615.00 in student income (application, module, enrollment, tuition, and audit fees) and $41,746.68 from local churches and individuals. That puts our current income for 2017 (with a little interest) at $100,426.37. That’s about 66% of the $153,585 of income projected for fiscal year 2017. Our total expenses stand at $104,186.71, which is about 67% of the projected $156,165 for the fiscal year. We currently project a small surplus by the end of the year. God has continued to provide for our needs this year, as he has in the past. For a fuller financial report, feel free to contact Mona Cooper (email@example.com).
RBS remains committed to provide gospel laborers a sound theological education without placing them under a significant financial debt. Your generous contributions help us toward that end. Thank you!
- Pray that God would bless the lives and ministries of the students and pastors who have received training through Reformed Baptist Seminary.
- Pray that the Lord would grant the seminary staff, overseers, advisors, and instructors the wisdom and skill necessary to continually improve and refine our courses and programs.
- Pray that Christ may be pleased to provide RBS with the financial support we need, not only to maintain our present ministries, but also to expand and enhance our theological training options.