Transformation at Evangelical
From Anthony L. Blair, ’91, PhD, DMin, President
Evangelical is not your usual seminary! This is probably good news if you’re wondering whether a seminary education is all that relevant for ministry in the twenty-first century. Indeed, it is…but only if it is as intentional as you are about pursuing God’s calling in this time and place. At Evangelical, we are very intentional about such things. So, as you check us out in these pages, I invite you to particularly notice several things that set us apart.
First, rather than reacting in alarm to the challenges of this generation, we believe this may be the Church’s finest hour. When the world is engulfed by despair and anxiety, God’s People shine with hope. When the economy falters and uncertainties abound, God’s People confidently proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. At Evangelical, we lean into hope, for we know the God who shows up in the dark night and gives us joy.
Second, we emphasize formation, not just information. Nearly any school can offer you a degree and sharpen your mind. But our Pietistic/Wesleyan heritage causes us to cultivate the heart as well…to allow the love of God to shape and mold our entire being, and to love God back with all that we are, heart as well as mind. Spiritual formation is not an add-on at Evangelical; it’s central to what we do.
Third, we all know each other here. That’s the blessing of learning in a small community… we care for one another as real persons. We practice authenticity and grace with each other. We look out for each other when we’re struggling with the inevitable disruptions and intrusions of life. We notice when you’re missing and celebrate when you’re rejoicing. God’s presence permeates our campus. And you will matter here.
Finally, we’re proud of our name. The word “evangelical” has been sullied a bit in recent decades, but it far predates our generation’s controversies. It was chosen for us two centuries ago by a group of ethnic revivalists who had the audacity to believe that the transformation they had experienced through Christ would be good news (“evangel”) to others. We are their heirs in spirit and in message. The news is still good!
In short, we are boldly, broadly, and beautifully Evangelical. Might you be too?
Tony Blair, President