A Distinctively Reformed & Baptist Seminary. The Story of Prof Renihan, IRBS & the UK.
Prof James Renihan, alongside a team of like-minded brothers trained young men for the ministry through the Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, based at Westminster Seminary in California, for many years.
By God’s grace, a residential Seminary was finally established in Texas in 2018. The IRBS faculty are training more men each year to be faithful pastors, powerful preachers and sound theologians at their Mansfield campus and online.
Since 2011 Dr James Renihan has visited the UK many times to encourage and direct us to return to our confessional roots and build churches that are distinctively Reformed Baptist, committed to the Second London Confession of Faith.
Our relationship with IRBS has grown in recent years, and we have recognised the need for a theologically rigorous confessional Baptist Seminary in the UK. In light of this, we began holding training weeks where Dr Renihan came and taught some of his courses, first he taught Baptist Symbolics, which explores the Reformed Baptist Confessions, their context, content and use.
In the Spring of 2020, Dr Renihan came and taught his ‘Theology of Ministry’ course to twenty-two registered students, seven of them taking the course for credit and carrying out the course assignments. This was a week of MDIV level training on the nature and practice of gospel ministry including teaching on the call, the role of the minister, preaching, worship, the gifts and graces of the minister and much more.
Shortly after this week, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic halted our efforts in arranging future in-person training days. However, in God’s providence, this provided the opportunity for UK brothers to take IRBS courses as the Seminary moved to online teaching over the summer months. Several men took courses in Basic and Intermediate Biblical Hebrew, Puritanism and Puritan Preaching. These courses were a great blessing to those that attended them, and we thank God for working out his gracious purposes through a time of trial and challenge.
Since then, we have recommenced in-person courses in the UK, with teaching from both Dr Renihans (Jim and Sam) on the doctrine of the church and covenant thelogy. We have further courses planned for 2022 with Dr Jim Renihan and Dr Jason Montgomery, while we are in discussion with others in the US and the UK to teach more courses for us in future.
Please pray that God will make it possible for these weeks of teaching to develop and that in future days men may be fully trained in the Scriptures due to these weeks of biblical and confessional teaching.
Patristics: The Study of the Church Fathers July 11th to 15th 2022
Trinity Grace Church is pleased to have Dr Jason Montgomery teach Patristics: The Study of the Church Fathers, in the summer of 2022. IRBS UK will host this course July 11th to 15th in Ramsbottom DV. All are welcome to join us for this important study of the ancient Church. The student will learn of the doctrine and life of the church in this crucial period of her early formation, as we see that our Reformed faith is rooted and grounded in the great tradition. This course is offered for those interested in studying with IRBS UK, as well as for those who desire to grow in their understanding of the faith from a confessional Reformed Baptist position. See the attached flyer for more information and for the application.
International Reformed Baptist Seminary News April 2022
The big news to announce is the new name for our Seminary. After many conversations with different people over the past three years, we have concluded that a new name–International Reformed Baptist Seminary–best describes the work we are doing. The new name keeps the well-established IRBS acronym (which we will continue to use), and expresses some of the exciting developments the Lord has permitted us to participate in. We have entered into agreements with IRBS UK (United Kingdom) where we expect to offer four courses each year, and with IRBS NZ (New Zealand) where the annual School of Theology will serve as a classroom for IRBS courses. We are in the process of developing other international agreements, as well as planning to offer our missions course in Tijuana Mexico. We currently have 11 international students enrolled in our courses, with the hope that more will take advantage of the outstanding instruction offered by our experienced faculty.
Preaching the Psalms in a Christian Congregation with Dr James Renihan, May 9th-11th 2022
Trinity Grace Church in Ramsbottom will host Dr. J Renihan to teach Preaching the Psalms in a Christian Congregation, May 9th -11th 2022. All are welcome to join us for this study of the Psalms, learning to read, interpret and preach the Psalms in light of Christ. We hope that pastors and those being trained to preach God’s Word, will be encouraged and refreshed by this course. While the focus is on preaching the Psalms, we will be instructed in how to interpret the entirety of the Old Testament from a Reformed Baptist Confessional hermeneutic. This course will therefore be especially appropriate for those who have never attended an IRBS UK course before, and wish to discover what can be gained from Confessional Seminary teaching.
Baptist Covenant Theology: 5 days of Study in partnership with IRBS Seminary, January 2022.
Trinity Grace Church will host 3-4 IRBS courses in 2022, starting with covenant theology. We are pleased to have Dr Samuel Renihan with us to teach covenant theology, January 10th – January 14th. Dr Renihan has lectured and written on Baptist history and covenant theology, including his works, From Shadow to Substance: The Federal Theology of the English Particular Baptists (1642-1704) and The Mystery of Christ, His Covenant and His Kingdom.
Please see the attached flyer for more information and the application for the course.
IRBS Church Partnership Program
IRBS Theological Seminary recently launched a new program for local churches to partner with them in the training of men for the ministry. Local churches can partner with IRBS and IRBS UK by investing in confessional ministerial training through financial support.
Churches that regularly support the seminary with a monthly gift of £150 ($200) will receive significant benefits including tuition-free enrollment for members of your church, free access to video courses, and reduced costs to various resources.
For more information about how your church can partner with IRBS TS and IRBS UK please consult their website, Church Partnership Program – IRBS Theological Seminary (irbsseminary.org)<https://irbsseminary.org/church-partnership-program/>