The Particular Emphases
1. The Supremacy and Sufficiency of Christ
The person of Christ is the beginning, middle, and end of the school’s curriculum. The supreme glory and beauty of Christ is the focus of attention because it gives significance to His work and grips a man with a passion to serve and exalt Him, all the while humbling him with a sense of his unworthiness. The all-sufficiency of Christ for the salvation and sanctification of His people is accentuated. The incipient danger of adopting man-made techniques of ministry, psychological counseling, and other extra-biblical concepts for building the church become evident in the course of instruction.
2. The Scriptures’ Nature as the Sufficient, Inerrant Revelation of God’s Mind and Will
As the inerrant Word of God, the Scriptures are the supreme and sole source by which the authoritative voice of God is heard in the church and Christ’s glory is manifested through the Spirit in the world. We stress that the Scriptures are entirely sufficient as Christ’s means (through the Spirit of God and the people of God) by which He accomplishes both the salvation and the transformation of His people.
3. The Spirit’s Work in the Ministries of Preaching, Edification, and Evangelism
The Holy Spirit’s work is crucial for the efficacy of preaching, the dynamic operation of spiritual gifts in the church, and the spread of the Gospel. The reality of the presence of Christ through the Spirit and the Word is underscored, and models from church history that gave due focus to the role of the Spirit are highlighted.
4. The Work of Missions as the Spread of God’s Glory to All Peoples
The biblical teaching of the supremacy of God’s glory as the chief motive for missions and God’s plan of reaching every people group for His glory are impressed upon the student.
5. The Sovereignty of God and Man’s Responsibility in Salvation
The need for God’s sovereign initiative in mercifully saving, choosing, calling, justifying, and preserving sinners to promote His own glory is prominent. An equal emphasis is placed upon man’s responsibility to repent and believe. Man’s total depravity and inability raise the necessity of seeking and depending upon the Spirit’s power and presence.
6. The Supremacy of Preaching to the Life of the Church and the Advance of the Gospel
Authoritative, Spirit-empowered, Christ-centered preaching as the chief means for the advancement of the Kingdom is a central emphasis. The central theme of Scripture is Christ and His redemptive work. Therefore prominence is given to Christ-centered preaching and the application of the gospel to every area of life. Prayer is seen as absolutely vital to effective preaching and ministry.
7. The Necessities of Calling, Character, and Gifting of a Man of God for Ministry
Focused attention is placed on calling, character, family, fruitfulness, shepherding, servanthood, prayer, faith, and biblical counseling. Examples from church history are studied.
8. The Need for Broad-Based Ministry of the Word by Others throughout the Church
The goal of church leadership is the mutual ministry of all the members of Christ’s body (Ephesians 4:11-12). Therefore the preacher’s role as a pastor is stressed. Preaching and pastoral ministry are seen as catalysts for the comprehensive ministry of the entire body.
9. The Importance of Priorities, Biblical Eldership, and Leading the Local Church
The importance of being a shepherd who loves the people under his care is impressed upon the student. The raising up of a leadership team of elders in a church is given prominence.
The vital place of discipleship and a plan for implementing it in the church is taught, giving special attention to developing home fellowship groups and the vital role of spiritual gifts.
The central place and proper observance of the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper along with the biblical teaching of acceptable worship is accentuated.
10. The Need for Skill in Biblical Languages for Preparing to Be Expository Preachers
Believing that God has conveyed his truth in written form to be understood in its normal grammatical sense, focused study is directed toward learning the lexicology, morphology, parts of speech, and syntax of the two main original biblical languages (Koine Greek and Classical Hebrew). Great weight is placed upon developing an expert handling of the text, applying an exegetical methodology, and preparing effective expository sermons.
11. The Significance of Church History for Understanding the Need of Doctrinal Fidelity and Adoption of Effective Models for Ministry
The study of godly men and great movements underscores the importance of understanding God’s hand in the history of the church. Such concentration especially highlights proper evaluations of revivals, confessions of faith, the development of doctrine, and persecutions in order to bring greater discernment of truth and understanding of the cost of standing for it.