––by Douglas Wilson
Greyfriars Hall began with the conviction that ministerial training needs to occur within the confines of the institutional church. This conviction does not spring from an ungrateful disregard all the good that parachurch seminaries have done over the years, but rather with the view that it should always be possible to learn as we go, and also possible to inquire how we can raise the standard. As the church grows and matures, and as God has brought our generation the gift of massively decentralized resources, we believe that it is increasingly possible for church leaders train up their own successors.
Near the end of his life, the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, and one of the things that was on his mind was the critical task of ministerial training. It is striking that Paul expected Timothy to do this.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
Notice that there are four generations of ministerial training represented in this short verse. Paul taught Timothy, and Timothy was to teach “faithful men.” One of the tasks of these faithful men, the men taught by Timothy, was to turn around and teach “others also.” These others would be the “great-grandsons” of the great apostle.
There are a few distinctive features of Greyfriars Hall that should be mentioned. The first is that if a prospective minister is accepted, his tuition costs are covered by the church. We do not believe that going into debt is good preparation for ministry. The program is designed to run for three years. There is extensive reading associated with it, as well as regular meetings with ministers of Christ Church. One of those weekly meetings is set aside to go over the sermon outline that will be preached the following Sunday. After completing the first year of Greyfriars, the prospective minister begins sitting in on the weekly meeting of the Christ Church elders. In some ways this is inspiring and in others it is the equivalent of viewing the ecclesiastical sausage get made.
If you believe that God is calling you to the ministry, and if you and your mom are not the only ones who believe this, we would encourage you to look around the rest of the Greyfriars Hall website, starting here.