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 invited more teachers from IRBS to come, and plans are being made for Dr Sam Renihan, Dr Richard Barcellos and Dr Jason Montgomery to come and teach courses on several important topics in 2022.
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.