Dear Friends and Colleagues:
The plan adopted by the 1811 General Assembly for the founding of the
Seminary the next year stated broadly that its mission was “to provide for
the church an adequate supply and succession of able and faithful
ministers of the New Testament.”
Of the variety of forms such ministry assumes today, the plan mentions
only two: pastors and missionaries. While the latter have diminished in
number the past several decades, the need for pastors increases.
Presently, in fact, the “adequate supply” of ministers for the pastoral
office can no longer be taken for granted.
One encouraging sign was the exit interviews of the Class of 2001, which
stated that the single most influential experience of their three years at
the Seminary was field education, that is, exposure to the life of
congregations and the pastors who serve them.
Perhaps that explains why only 40 percent of the Class of 2001 identified
pastoral ministry as their vocational goal upon entering the Seminary and
60 percent did so upon graduation.
of inSpire features pastoral ministry and some of those here who prepare
students for this understanding of what Calvin called “the first office of
Thomas W. Gillespie