The Ministerial Training Institute of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church offers three courses this summer, taught by the Rev. Dr. A. Craig Troxel, Mr. John Muether, and the Rev. Thomas Tyson. Dr. Troxel, pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Wheaton, Illinois, will teach Ecclesiology, which looks at the doctrine of the church, the biblical and historical foundations of Presbyterian government, and the principals and practices of shepherding the body of Christ. OPC Church History by Mr. Muether, the OPC historian, takes the student through a history of American Presbyterianism and focuses on the OPC. In Covenant Nurture, the Rev. Tyson, an OPC minister and former general secretary for the Committee on Christian Education, considers the history, principles, and importance of the catechisms.
These courses are primarily geared for ministers, licentiates, and men under care of a presbytery in view of the gospel ministry. Elders may also participate at an increased fee. The MTIOPC courses are designed to supplement seminary education in regard to OPC distinctives. These courses help men learn these distinctives in a way that concentrates on the OPC, which seminaries with their broad constituencies can’t do. Others seek to refresh their education through MTIOPC courses.
Deadline for applying for a course is May 26. Classes begin June 8.
A detailed description of the MTIOPC courses follows:
By the Rev. Dr. A. Craig Troxel
This course seeks to familiarize students with ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church) in the Reformed tradition, and to equip them with the theological foundations, principles and practices that support, guide and embody Presbyterianism. The goal of this course is to provide students with resources to answer the ancient and modern challenges of sacramental, ecumenical, consumeristic and post-modern views of the church, and defend—thoughtfully and winsomely—the conviction that the church visible is “the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Topics covered in this class include the relationship between ecclesiology and biblical and systematic theology, church power, church and state, church and the kingdom of God, the communion of the saints, as well as readings in John Calvin, John Owen, Charles Hodge, Herman Bavinck, G.C. Berkouwer, John Murray, Herman Ridderbos, Gerhardus Vos, Stuart Robinson and other contemporary ecclesiologists.
Orthodox Presbyterian Church History
by Mr. John Muether
Orthodox Presbyterian Church History examines the history, character, and distinguishing commitments of the OPC. The class surveys American Presbyterianism from colonial times to 1936, especially the events surrounding the formation of the OPC and the claims of "spiritual succession" to the mainline Presbyterian church. It then reviews the church's struggles through the seven decades of its life. Particular attention is devoted to the OPC's relation to American evangelicalism and to those churches with whom it enjoys ecclesiastical fellowship.
by the Rev. Thomas Tyson
The course on Covenant Nurture will look at the history, principles, and importance of catechizing in the practice of Christian nurture. The class will consider how adults and children learn, how to practice Christian education in the covenant home, and the Scriptural basis and model for Christian Education in the local church. The problems of state-run education, the options of Christian schools and homeschooling, and other church and denominational Christian Education curriculum will be discussed.
Classes begin June 8, 2009. All students are required to attend the three-day Intensive Training, which will be held at Emmanuel OPC in Wilmington, Delaware. Intensive Training begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11 and goes through 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 13.
Registration deadline is Tuesday, May 26. A $50 per course registration fee is fully refundable upon course completion. There is an additional cost of registration for OPC elders and men from other ecclesiastical bodies.
The MTIOPC makes available a $350 travel scholarship to help defray the cost of traveling to intensive training.
Applications are available at the OPC.ORG website. Look under Christian Education, then MTIOPC. Enrollment is limited.
Applications may be sent to: Orthodox Presbyterian Church, Box P, Willow Grove, PA 19090. Please address the $50 registration fee check to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and put MTIOPC on the memo line.