Free? Or Cheap?
Christ Church offers Greyfriars Hall free of charge. You read that right, there isn’t a financial price tag for Greyfriars Hall! That might lead to an assumption that the training will in some way be “cheapened” by this; “after all,” the question might go, “how are you to pay competent tutors, instructors, lecturers, etc.?” This is a very important question, and we have been blessed to have a fine Christian liberal arts college, New Saint Andrews, a few blocks away, and this institution is also under the spiritual oversight of Christ Church’s elder board, so as to ensure our community is providing a robustly Christian education!
Now, this also provides us with a shared wealth of “instructional resources” with which Greyfriars Hall students are able to glean. Furthermore, the reason we make the training free of charge is two-fold.
First, we believe the local church should shoulder the burden of training and equipping men for the ministry either within her own walls or to be sent out to advance the mission of Christ’s kingdom in areas where there isn’t a healthy, evangelical, reformed church.
Second, we recognize that men who are pursuing pastoral ministry also face the reality that their “career” is not as financially lucrative as it would be if they pursued some other field; this could discourage many an able and gifted man from taking steps towards being evaluated and trained for Gospel ministry. We offer Greyfriars Hall free of charge in order to remove certain hurdles that should not prohibit a man from pursuing ministry; this also enables us to better enforce the biblical hurdles that should prohibit certain men from ministry!
Along this vein, William Perkins discusses three things that hinder good and godly men from pursuing pastoral ministry; the third reason is included here:
The third and last reason is especially relevant to ministry in the New Testament era, namely the inadequacy of the financial recompense and status given to those who enter this calling.
All men are flesh and blood. In that respect they must be allured and won to embrace this vocation by the kind of arguments which may well persuade flesh and blood. The world has had a careless attitude about this in every age. Consequently in the law. God gave careful instructions for the maintenance of the Levites (Num. 18:26). But especially now, under the gospel, the ministerial calling is poorly provided for, even although it deserves to be rewarded most of all. Certainly it would be an honourable Christian policy to make at least good provision for this calling, so that men of the worthiest gifts might be won for it.
The lack of such provision is the reason why so many young men with unusual ability and great prospects turn to other vocations, especially law. That is where most of the sharpest minds in our nation are employed. Why? Because in legal practice they have all the means for their advance, whereas the ministry, generally speaking, yields nothing but a clear road to poverty.
This is a great blemish on our church. I wish it were not true that the Roman Catholics, those children of this world, are wiser (in this particular area), than the church of God. Reformation here is a work worth the labour of both prince and people.
Unless special attention is given to this matter, it will be left unreformed. No doubt, in the Old Testament period, if God Himself had not given direct orders for the material support of the Levites, they would have suffered the same privation as the ministry does today. These considerations, taken together, produce an infallible argument. For who will accept such vile contempt and such a weighty responsibility for no reward? But where there is so much contempt and such a heavy burden, yet such a poor reward, is it any wonder that a good minister is ‘one in a thousand”?
Greyfriars Hall is our attempt to reform this matter, and by God’s grace we trust He will bless our efforts!
Why Is Greyfriars Hall Free?
Before you go…
Peruse a few of our other INTERVIEWS
If you’re interested in potentially attending Greyfriars Hall: