John Leland Center for Theological Studies

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Joseph M. Smith, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I am so proud to be associated, as a trustee, with a new seminary, the John Leland Center for Theological Studies, based in Arlington, VA, but with extensions elsewhere in Virginia. This school was born out of discussions among Northern Virginia and District of Columbia Baptist leaders, several years ago, who felt the need for contextual theological education in the national capital area. Dr. Randel Everett, at that time pastor of Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, VA, has been giving outstanding leadership as President, along with Dean Jeff Willetts. Both serve as pastors as well as staff for Leland. The resident faculty is small but well-trained and multicultural, and other courses are taught by adjuncts.

    In only a few short years we have amassed a student body of about 100 and have won a recommendation for accreditation from the accrediting commission of the Association of Theological Schools. We have several small graduating classes behind us now, and the graduates are beginning to make an impact on the churches, particularly those churches that need revitalization.

    Leland has studiously avoided affiliation with any Baptist national denomination, though we work closely with the Baptist General Association of Virginia and with the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, because we seek to remain "above the fray" of national denominational politics.

    I invite you to examine www.johnlelandcenter.edu.
     
  2. paidagogos

    paidagogos
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    Yes, I did view the site and found a number of interesting things. I was duly impressed with your faculty. However, my perusal of the site raised several questions. I am curious.
    1. Am I correct in assuming that John Leland Center is more at home in theology and practice with the moderate Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and the Alliance of Baptists than those of the conservative resurgence in the SBC? I noticed your connections with the World Baptist Alliance, Baptist General Association of Virginia and the District of Columbia Baptist Convention. This would seem to put you squarely in the moderate or more liberal camp of the SBC.
    2. Furthermore, Dr. Everett mentioned that John Leland Center was committed to educating leaders for the emerging church. Did he mean that the center is part of the emergent church movement or was he simply referring to a general notion of change?
    3. Finally, was John Leland founded in reaction to the takeover of the SBC seminaries by conservatives?
    Thank you for your time and consideration.
     
  3. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    Glad to respond. Today I accepted another three-year term on the trustees, and will be pleased to watch accreditation take full shape. I am also thinking in terms of donating my theological library ... or such of it as they would want ... to Leland.
     
  4. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Randall Everett is a wonderful, very conservative pastor - just dont let him accumulate too many technical fouls when he plays basketball!

    I have great memories of him when I was a young man and he was in his second or third full time church. One memory that stands out is that he would have his entire text of scripture memorized and would stand in front of the church and quote it verbatim. He was always a great example to me for personal evangelism and scripture memory.

    Another recollection is his talking about how his father would discipline him - that is he would pick up the couch and spank him with it - what a great visual!
     
  5. Joseph M. Smith

    Joseph M. Smith
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    I spent nearly all day yesterday in a meeting of the Board of John Leland Center. We received news that not only had ATS accredited us as an institution, but also that they had accredited our MDiv and our MTS degrees .. more than we had really expected.

    And we received and acted on an invitation to join the Washington Theological Consortium, which will give our students access to the courses and libraries of a number of other seminaries in the Washington-Richmond corridor (as well as giving their students access to Leland's resources).

    We are praising the Lord today for these great blessings, and believe that our student body will grow substantially, now that we can assure them of accredited degrees. And our graduates are finding placement in the churches of the area .. the impact we had desired when we began is coming to pass.
     

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