by Dr. Harry Gardner, ’77
Evangelism: God’s Work and Ours Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2 No one was more surprised than me. As a young pastoral couple, Gail and I were attending an evening service in the small rural church where I grew up. Uncharacteristically, the pastor gave an invitation for anyone who wanted to receive Christ as Saviour to come forward as we sang the last hymn. There might have been twelve people present. That was when the surprise began.
step. Most of that resistance rested with his oft-asked question, “How could a good and loving God allow such evil in our world?” He had served in World War I and suffered at a depth he never fully disclosed. However, one night he awoke and sitting up in bed, found himself saying out loud, “God did not cause the war, men did.” Shortly after that, he came to know Christ personally.
I saw him move out from the pew and come forward. He turned and faced the people with the pastor beside him. He began to speak and told us that he was repenting of his sins and receiving Christ. He went on to say that he hoped no one would wait as long as he had. In amazement, I saw the pastor place his hand on my father’s shoulder and end the service in prayer.
My father thought he could not come to Christ unless it happened in a church and unless he walked an aisle and prayed a particular prayer in a certain way.
What I did not know was that my father had met with the pastor during the week and had arranged for everything. He believed that he could not come to Christ without walking an aisle in the church and that he needed to do that publicly. He had chosen the final hymn, “Lord, I’m Coming Home” with the opening words, “I’ve wandered far away from God, but now I’m coming home.” That wonderful spring evening resulted in a summer baptism, church membership, and the only major difference I noted was that my father now desired to read the Bible every day. He had been resistant all his life to this 2
Have we become stuck in our understanding of evangelism? How that actually works or does not work in our church? What are we communicating to others about this?
to ‘believe’ in Christ. We join God in His work of evangelism through our prayers for specific individuals, tangible love for others, and commitment to justice for those in our immediate sight as well as those in our community and national life. At the time, I was surprised when my father came to Christ. I think, at the time, I may have given up on that happening. And, my father thought it had to happen in a certain way. The memory of this challenges me to find new pathways for people to know Christ, to build bridges and remove barriers in this process. And, I am challenged to help students do the same. Thankfully, our growing secular Canadian culture provides great opportunity for fresh approaches.
In this edition of ADC Today, you will read about the sad state of evangelism in most Canadian churches. Recognizing where we are is the first step. Recognizing the need for a new mindset as well as fresh approaches to evangelism and church planting is a second step. Understanding that that those approaches are needed in our particular church is more difficult. My ministry experience indicates that genuine pastoral care naturally opens the door over time for people to receive Christ into their lives. And, I often observe that people ‘belong’ to a community of faith before they come
Dr. Harry Gardner is the President and the Abner J. Langley and Harold L. Mitton Professor of Church Leadership of Acadia Divinity College, and the Dean of Theology of Acadia University.
by Dr. Stephen McMullin
The State of Evangelism in Canada Today When it comes to evangelism in Canada, much has changed in just one generation. Evangelism used to involve programs and events: a local church might schedule special evangelistic meetings to provide opportunities to come and hear the gospel and respond in faith. Scheduling and publicizing such campaigns emphasized to both the church members and to the surrounding community that evangelism was important to the church and to its members. Even though these special meetings were the public face of evangelism in many local churches, the evidence is clear that most people did not actually become Christians through those methods. What worked far more effectively were the weekly programs for children and youth that contributed to the vast majority of new professions of faith. For much of the 20th century, most new Christians were younger than 18 years of age. Changed Attitudes Toward Evangelism. Things have changed. In today’s social environment, some Christians in Canada have become uncomfortable about evangelism. Instead of emphasizing evangelism as a central aspect of church life, some Christians today act as if it is a bad word. They feel embarrassed by the thought of sharing their faith with their secular neighbours. They may even wonder if it is unethical to share our faith with people who have their own beliefs.
This change of attitude is related to two things. First, Christians are being influenced by society’s emphasis on “tolerance” – an emphasis that now carries with it the quite irrational postmodern idea that all truth is relative. Second, and more profoundly, the negativity toward evangelism is related to doubts and questions that many Christians in Canada have about the gospel. If evangelism is to be a priority in local congregations today, then church members will need to have a deep understanding of what the Scriptures teach about salvation and about the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Today in Canada, many local churches have neglected discipleship, leaving members with only a superficial understanding of the deep truths of the Christian faith. The result is that many church members lack confidence in the truth of the gospel. Congregational Survival is the New Priority. In my sociological research among declining congregations, I have been surprised to see the extent to which evangelism is no longer a priority. In the face of aging members, aging church buildings, and challenging church budgets, the central mission of many congregations has changed from evangelism to congregational survival and building maintenance. Too many of the church’s resources are being focused
internally, with less being done to reach out to new people with the gospel message. Evangelism Has Been Replaced by Recruitment. Children’s programs were seen by many churches as a conveyer belt that produced readymade Christians at the age of about 11 years, but program-centred children’s ministries became ineffective in the latter part of the twentieth century. In an increasingly secular age where both children and adults ask meaningful questions and are looking for meaningful answers, programs do not reach new people of any age as they once did. With the quite sudden loss of children and youth and young adults in many congregations, local churches desperately want new people to begin attending, but for the wrong reasons. When a congregation begins worrying about its own survival, their motivation is not to see lost people saved or to share the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ with our neighbours; the motivation is to find new and younger people who will give church offerings and volunteer in church programs. The congregation’s focus is not the salvation of the lost, but the salvation of the church! When that happens, the church is doomed unless it can move back to a Biblical understanding of evangelism that is centred in genuine love for others.
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Effective Evangelism Is Changing. Many churches in Canada are effectively reaching their communities with the gospel, but almost all of them are doing it in non-traditional ways. They make excellent use of digital technologies, including social media; their members open their homes to provide generous hospitality to people who are not yet Christians; they have removed the “sacred status” of the church building so the building can be more welcoming; they successfully communicate truth through the arts and through dialogue; and they go into the community with the Good News rather than waiting for people to come to the church to hear the message. These growing churches have faith in God and they are confident in the power of the gospel.
there are relatively few Christians, the most effective evangelistic churches are putting considerable effort and resources into reaching immigrants. That means that instead of being afraid of people with different religious beliefs, these churches choose to love and to welcome immigrants with the hope of reaching them with the gospel. Reaching immigrants means removing cultural barriers from church life, incorporating new languages and worship styles in the life of the congregation, and being willing to turn away from the Eurocentrism that is common in many local churches. Those changes can be difficult for traditional congregations, unless we understand the gospel is for all cultures and our traditions should never become barriers to the gospel.
Reaching Immigrants. At a time when the rate of immigration to Canada has increased, and when most immigrants are young adults with families who come from areas of the world where
The State of Evangelism in Canada. There are more Canadians to reach with the gospel than ever before in history. The power of the gospel is the same as it has always been. No one comes
to the Father except through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Salvation is found in no one else (Acts 4:12). And we are commissioned by Jesus to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19). If we understand that the gospel is essential for the salvation of our neighbours, and if we love our neighbours, then evangelism will be the priority that it needs to be in our lives and in our congregations. We will be willing to change and to forsake unhelpful traditions. And we will have faith that God will carry out his mission through us – even in this secular age.
Dr. Stephen McMullin is the Academic Dean of Acadia Divinity College, as well as the Sheldon and Marjorie Fountain Associate Professor of Evangelism and Mission, the Director of ADC New Brunswick, and the Director of Simpson Lectures.
by Rev. Jeffrey Laurin
The State of Evangelism in Québec I believe sincerely that evangelization always presupposes a past. It is necessary to ask the question, “On which type of ground will the seed of the Word fall?” (Matthew 13:3-8). Québec is a “reactionary” ground for the Gospel. Contrary to the Englishspeaking evangelical movements in Canada, which show more stability, the French-speaking evangelical movement in Québec underwent several cycles of highs and lows, with more lows than highs. In his book on
conversions in Québec, Wesley Peach summarizes our French-Protestant history: “The evangelical Protestant movement had several rendez-vous with the history of Québec. Established at the beginning of the NouvelleFrance with the first Huguenots (Calvinists), the Protestant faith then evaporated under the ban on the king of France. The second wave of growth […] took place in Montréal religious awakening of the 19th century […] It numbered according to the estimations more than thirty thousand at the
beginning of the 20th century, but the movement almost disappeared one “more time.” 1The last one, I presume, was the charismatic movement covering the 1960s and 1970s. Again, the same cycle; high then low. I have worked for almost 40 years, using all possible means, to bring the Gospel to people in Québec. As a church, we were involved in door-to-door visitation, street-preaching in parks and in the red-light district of Montréal. We also did bus ministry, bringing children to … continued on page 6
by Dr. Anna Robbins, ‘97
The Embarrassment of Evangelism Evangelism. Sorry, I know it’s a bad word these days. It’s so close to ‘evangelical’ and that’s become a word associated with very bad news in our world today, it seems. Are you embarrassed? To be thought of as one of ‘those’? I am. Not because I am embarrassed at all by my faith. But because of the cultural and theological baggage it seems to have picked up in recent decades, that I’m not convinced has a lot to do with ‘gospel’ – good news. Once upon a time, we reduced the idea of evangelism to a booklet and a prayer. We gave over to travelling preachers to do the reaping while all the year we sowed. Eventually, we came to the biblical realization that turning to God in Christ must be about more than reciting a prayer and then living whatever life we want to afterwards.
a violence upon them. Evangelism is turned on its head and we are the ones in need of reform. Calling people to repentance? This is wrong. This is sin.
telling them who they are created to be: image-bearers of the God of the universe, deeply loved, and called into relationship with him.
Embarrassed again, we turn to ‘discipleship’. We look at ourselves and our lives instead of judging others. That’s not a bad place to start. But, we quickly become private, navel-gazing, insulated, defensive, and declining communities rather than messengers of grace, ambassadors of reconciliation. We are less than we are meant to be. We have something to share. It is a good thing. It is good news. Fundamentally, it is not to be kept to ourselves.
As hard as we might try, we stretch toward God but we cannot reach. The good news is that regardless of who or where we are, love comes down to us. Jesus Christ, the embodiment of God’s love and his glory, meets us where we are. Love, rather than sin, has the first word.
Evangelism is GOOD news. It’s not to point fingers, or rage at people. The goal of evangelism is not to make other people look like us; like you, like me. It’s to let them become authentically who they are in Jesus Christ. It’s his image we bear, not one another’s.
for individuals. It is a balm for our world. The mess that we encounter every day on social media, and in our politics and self-destruction, the unity and peace that seems impossible, hopeless even, finds renewal in him. I might find it difficult to see and admit my sin today, but everyone can see the sins of the world. These are our sins for which we desperately need a Saviour.
And yet, sin is still present, and introduced on a collective level. Christ’s light and wisdom is not merely a claim
We turned instead to the idea of ‘mission’. That’s better, more positive! It focuses outside of ourselves, on reaching out, social action and connecting with our neighbours. But then, the idea that we have an agenda for other people beyond serving them socially (that they be reconciled to God) leads to a rejection of mission too. In postmodern culture, you can’t tell me I have a need. You can’t tell me there is anything wrong with me. You can’t tell me that I should do or be anything that I am not already. You can’t tell me that there is a way I ‘ought’ to be – that’s nothing more than colonialism. Therefore, the philosophers would refer to evangelism as practicing ‘violence’.1 In contemporary context, people need to be left to be authentic expressions of themselves. To refuse to endorse all that they are, or to require change is to make them into something they are not, to impose external power, to enact
What is it in people that we want to affirm; that we want to draw out, and nurture into flourishing? Perhaps evangelism today is less about telling people they are wrong, and more about
Is this simply abdicating responsibility from human hands to an imaginary … continued on page 6
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power who lets us off the hook at a time when things are quite urgent? Quite the opposite. Christ is the source of our responsibility to act, and of our power to achieve transformation, when we seem powerless to do anything about conflict and climate change. He makes the impossible possible. Once we grasp Christ’s relevance to the big picture, then we can see that if we are going to stop poisoning the world, we need to stop putting ourselves first. The plastic in the ocean is my water bottle and my bath beads. Repentance comes home. In a world of self-fulfilment, Jesus calls us to self-sacrifice. But, you cannot know what that is unless you know Jesus first. Jesus doesn’t call us to achieve some unattainable standard
that we are shamed about every time we fail to reach it. Rather, he calls us to live the life we were created for, and makes us our best selves, by breathing his life into these culturally weary bones. Christ made a way to do what we could not do on our own. Without evangelism, both mission and discipleship fall flat. When we offer an invitation to participate in the transformative body of Christ, and give the Spirit room to do his work rather than impose our own agendas, discipleship results, and mission flows naturally. If we are going to be embarrassed as Christians (and we will be sometimes) let’s be embarrassed by the right things.
1 If we are honest with ourselves, this has often been a true description of evangelism in the history of mission, as western Christians frequently insisted on cultural conformity as a condition of conversion.
That Jesus lived and died in history to show us true humanity, and to bring us into a full relationship with God, is our hope. In fulfilling our purpose and identity in him, we are able to live truly authentic lives in an artificial culture. We are loved, forgiven, renewed, and empowered as change agents for the world. No matter what we call it, this is the gift of evangelism. This is good news.
Dr. Anna Robbins is the is Vice-President of Acadia Divinity College, the Dr. Millard R. Cherry Chair of Theology, Ethics and Culture, the Director of Doctoral Studies, and the Director of the Andrew D. MacRae Centre for Christian Faith and Culture.
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church, as well as leading Bible studies in people’s homes. For 20 years, we had a radio program in the afternoon teaching from the Bible, addressing contemporary topics and answering questions. This became, for us, the most effective outreach. Now, I participate on two TV shows, and we are investing more time on the web to reach more people in the French world. Our missions in Haiti and in West Africa attract many participants. Doctors, nurses, dentists, teachers, builders and even architects join us in the medical clinic, with construction, organizing agriculture projects, and teaching
classes. We tell each participant that we are Christians, and that in all we do we are showing the love of God. Everyone attends daily chapel; a time when real solutions to human needs are found, in the reconciling work of Christ at Calvary. Today, at the beginning of 2018, we see in Québec a regain in evangelism. Some Christian groups are reaching out to young people through concerts, others by caring for the homeless. Still others are helping families who need food and assistance with their children, such as helping them do their homework. Other leaders are getting
1 Wesley Peach, Itinéraires de conversion, Montréal, Éditions Fides, 2001. 2 https://www.facebook.com/pubsocratique/
more involved in the community by offering help and support to the city council while other Christians give lectures in apologetics in cafés, like “Le Pub Socratique”2 or Axiom. In all these enthusiastic endeavours, my hope and concern is that we maintain faithfully the message of the cross! May our gracious Lord help us to do so.
Rev. Jeffrey Laurin
is the President of the Faculté de Théologie Évangélique in Montréal (FTÉ); an affiliated college of Acadia Divinity College. Acadia University accredits FTÉ and awards their degrees.
by Natasha Schoultz
Evangelism: Friendship in the Brothels of Prague My work in anti-human trafficking involves sharing the love of Jesus with women in the brothels of Prague. Czech Republic is statistically the most secular nation in Europe, with the highest percentage of atheists. Because of the post-Communist, post-Christian, postmodern context in which I work, my approach to evangelism is relationship building. The women I meet in brothels are usually experiencing high levels of trauma and have a lot of trust issues. They are accustomed to being told what to do. They are pushed and violated, and exploited. As such, I am careful when I share Jesus with them; I donâ€™t tell them what they should or should not believe. Instead, I give us the space and freedom to get to know each other as persons irrespective of what we do or do not believe. After a few weeks or months of interaction, I begin to share my personal faith journey in the form of storytelling, and hope they are ready to discuss their stories with me. Depending on their nationality, some are more open
(e.g. Nigerian and Slovak women usually have some form of faith background) or less open (e.g. women from the Czech Republic tend to be atheists). Most people in the Czech Republic, including women in prostitution, are well-read; some holding university degrees. One woman I met has a university degree in comparative religion from the Czech Republicâ€™s top university. Despite this, when it comes to hearing about Jesus, they do not want to know about the reliability of scripture or about historical evidence of the resurrection. Rather, they are interested in how my relationship with Jesus has personally impacted my life. Once, we visited a very large brothel in Prague which has approximately 60 women working on any given night. My Romanian team member and I began talking to three Nigerian women grouped together in a small brothel bedroom. The Nigerian women tend to cluster together, and have a very communal oriented culture - even in the brothel environment.
One of the women was very loud and boisterous, and soon uncovered the top half of her body in front of us, screaming. Instead of rejecting her, we sat down calmly and began talking together. After a while, she told us that when she goes home and is alone, she wants to kill herself; she cannot cope with the pain created by her work. She told us that she knows that what she is doing to her body is not good because it is the temple of God; she does not want these things happening to her body. We listened as she expressed her pain. She spoke of the trafficker who brought her to Europe and the debt she owes that person. She told us about her large family in Nigeria and that because she is the only one with a job, she sends much of her money home to support her family. She said she did not see a way out of her cycle. After listening to her story, I suggested we pray together. She immediately wrapped a clean bed sheet around her body to cover herself. Her two Nigerian friends started laughing at her and asked why she was bothering to do that. But, she insisted that this is what she will do for prayer, and then she knelt on the floor in front of us while her friends continued laughing. She closed her eyes as she knelt on the floor and started singing in a beautiful strong voice "God is my strength".
Natasha Schoultz, a current Doctor of Ministry student with Acadia Divinity College, serves the European Baptist Federation and Operation Mobilization in the area of antihuman trafficking. Winter 2018
News A D C
Dr. Anna Robbins speaks at Summit on Human Rights In July 2017, Dr. Anna Robbins was the keynote speaker at the RZIM Understanding and Answering Summit on Human Rights held at the Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She also hosted a debate between Dr. Andy Bannister and Dr. Chris DiCarlo titled “Human Rights: By Design or By Default?” which was held at the Canadian Human Rights Museum.
Hayward Lectures 2017 ADC’s annual Hayward Lectures took place October 16-18, 2017, at Acadia University. Dr. Oliver O'Donovan, Professor Emeritus of Christian Ethics and Practical Theology of the University of Edinburgh, presented three lectures on the topic of “Religion Without Morality?”. To view recordings of the lectures, please visit www.acadiadiv.ca/hayward. Pictured here are Dr. Danny Zacharias, Dr. O’Donovan, and Dr. Harry Gardner.
Lester Randall Preaching Conference with Keynote by Dr. Anna Robbins In October 2017, Dr. Anna Robbins was the keynote speaker at the Lester Randall Preaching Fellowship “The Contagious Joy of Preaching”, an annual event held at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto, Ontario. While attending, Dr. Stuart Blythe, ADC’s new John Gladstone Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship, spoke at Calvin Presbyterian Church and Deer Park United Church in Toronto.
Dr. Stuart Blythe speaks at Baptist Union of Scotland In October 2017, Dr. Stuart Blythe spoke at the Annual Assembly of the Baptist Union of Scotland near Glasgow. Dr. Blythe’s presentation on the final night of the Assembly was titled “Keep Hope Alive: Dancing on the Quaking Ground of Resurrection”.
Visit from Faculté de Théologie Évangélique On October 18, 2017, Acadia Divinity College was visited by Dr. Meine Veldman, the Academic Dean of the Faculté de Théologie Évangélique in Montréal, one of four affiliated colleges of Acadia Divinity College. Pictured here are Dr. Stephen McMullin, Dr. Meine Veldman, Dr. Anna Robbins, and Dr. Harry Gardner.
ADC Welcomes Rev. Edward Powell as Donor Relations Associate In October 2017, Acadia Divinity College welcomed Rev. Edward Powell as Donor Relations Associate. Edward, a graduate of Acadia’s Master of Religious Education (MRE) and Master of Divinity programs, has over 30 years of pastoral ministry in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. He and his wife, Beverly (a graduate of Acadia’s MRE), live in Grand Bay-Westfield, NB. Read more on Edward at: http://acadiadiv.ca/staff/edward-powell/.
Dr. Robert Wilson presents at Kingswood University on the Reformation On October 31, Dr. Bob Wilson spoke at Kingswood University’s chapel on ‘Reformation 500’ recognizing Martin Luther’s nailing of his ninety-five theses to the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church on October 31, 1517. His message’s title was “What Are You Willing to Die For?”. Dr. Wilson spoke the next day during Kingswood’s student interaction session “Pulse” on the importance of the Reformation in the 21st Century.
New Appointments Recommended During Board Meetings in November During the ADC Board Meetings in November 2017, Dr. Robert Wilson was appointed to the rank of Senior Professor in the Thomas James Armstrong Memorial Professorship of Church History. Dr. Matthew Walsh was appointed to the faculty of ADC as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies on tenure-track.
Retirement Dinner for Dr. William Brackney On November 2, 2017, the ADC community gathered to recognize and celebrate the many contributions made by Dr. Bill Brackney during his tenure at Acadia Divinity College. The College wishes Bill all the best as he prepares to take the Pioneer MacDonald Chair of Baptist Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College in Vancouver. Pictured here are Dr. Bill and Mrs. Kitty Brackney with Dr. Harry and Mrs. Gail Gardner.
MacRae Centre Launches New Website - macraecentre.ca The Andrew D. MacRae Centre for Christian Faith and Culture is integral to the work of Acadia Divinity College in preparing Christian leaders to think more deeply on matters of faith and witness. The Centre provides a reliable setting for people to explore the intersections among faith, vocation, and realities of a shifting cultural landscape. Visit macraecentre.ca for resources on current issues.
CBM Missionaries - the Bustins and the Kennys - visit ADC In November, ADC was privileged to hear from two couples serving Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM) overseas. Darrell and Laura Lee Bustin spoke in chapel on November 1 about their ministry in Rwanda. On November 8, Aaron and Erica Kenny, and their daughter, Ava, participated in chapel. A 2002 graduate of ADC’s Master of Divinity program, Aaron shared passionately about their ministry in Kenya. Listen to chapel messages at: https://www. soundcloud.com/acadiadiv.
A Service of Celebration: Commissioning the Faculty of Theology With members of the Acadia Divinity College Board of Trustees and the Acadia University community as witnesses, on November 15, 2017, the faculty of Acadia Divinity College declared their commitment to their ministry and academic calling. They were commissioned to take their places, individually and together, as the Faculty of Theology of Acadia Divinity College and Acadia University. It was very fitting that the Commissioning Service took place on Founders’ Day, the anniversary of the day in 1838 when the Nova Scotia Baptist Education Society formally approved the establishment of an institution of higher learning where all people would be free to work and study. The service to commission faculty is a very special and meaningful moment in the life of the College. The College was honoured to have in attendance the 3rd Principal Harold L. Mitton and former faculty and staff, including Dr. Allison A. Trites, as all gathered together in community and in faithful prayer to ask God’s blessing for the faculty who have been called to academic ministry. Rev. Timothy McFarland, Chaplain at Acadia University, welcomed all to the service, held in the Manning Memorial Chapel at Acadia University. Mr. Douglas Schofield, Chair of the Acadia Divinity College Board of Trustees, delivered the Prayer of Invocation, and Mr. James Stanley, Chair of the Faculty & Staff Committee of the Board, delivered the Commissioning Prayer. On behalf of Dr. Peter Ricketts, President and ViceChancellor of Acadia University, Mr. Scott Roberts brought greetings from Acadia University, noting the influence of ADC faculty on both the university community and the community at large. The College’s commitment to students 10 ADC Today
was evident as they were invited to contribute to the service with gifts of music and in scripture readings. The College is both the Faculty of Theology of the University and the seminary for the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC). It was therefore meaningful to have Rev. Greg Jones, Associate Executive Minister of CBAC, offer an inspirational benediction to close the service. Dr. Robert Wilson was commissioned as Senior Professor, the first in the history of the College. Rev. Dr. Anna Robbins and
Rev. Dr. Stuart Blythe were installed as the occupant of the Dr. Millard R. Cherry Chair of Theology, Ethics and Culture and the occupant of the John Gladstone Chair of Preaching and Worship respectively. Dr. Blythe, Rev. Dr. Dorothy Hunse, and Rev. Dr. Matthew Walsh were welcomed as new faculty to the College. In his homily, Dr. Harry Gardner, President of Acadia Divinity College, spoke of the faculty as the heart of a seminary. He declared, “The heart of Acadia Divinity College is healthy and strong, with a unified beat to do our part in equipping Christians to serve.”
Faculty of Theology President, Acadia Divinity College Dean of Theology, Acadia University Rev. Dr. Harry G. Gardner, Professor Abner J. Langley and Harold L. Mitton Chair of Church Leadership
Associate Dean Rev. Dr. Stephen D. McMullin, Associate Professor Sheldon and Marjorie Fountain Chair of Evangelism and Mission
Vice-President Rev. Dr. Anna M. Robbins, Professor Dr. Millard R. Cherry Chair of Theology, Ethics and Culture Dr. Robert S. Wilson, Senior Professor, Thomas James Armstrong Memorial Professorship of Church History
Dr. Christopher Killacky, Associate Professor of Theology Rev. Dr. Carol Anne Janzen, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology Rev. Dr. H. Daniel Zacharias, Assistant Professor of New Testament Studies Rev. Dr. John H. McNally, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology Rev. Dr. Dorothy E. Hunse, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care Rev. Dr. Matthew L. Walsh, Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies Rev. Dale O. Stairs, Lecturer in Practical Theology
Rev. Dr. R. Glenn Wooden, Associate Professor, Payzant Chair of Old Testament Studies
Rev. Dr. Jody L. Linkletter (absent), Lecturer in Youth and Family Ministries
Rev. Dr. Stuart M. Blythe, Associate Professor, John Gladstone Chair of Preaching and Worship
Rev. Renée J. Embree (absent), Lecturer in Youth and Young Adult Ministry
by Rev. John Campbell, ‘07
Full of Hope for Empty Pulpits A concerning trend is happening in our churches. While it's not limited to our community or region, it is a serious issue that needs our attention. Churches are struggling to find pastors to serve in their congregations. In the past, congregations may have gone through challenging periods without pastoral leadership, but this present-day trend is broader. Currently, more than 30 churches within the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC) are searching for a pastor; some searching for three years or more. The shortage of pastors is experience by both small and large congregations, as well as across urban and rural areas of Atlantic Canada. The average age of pastors in Atlantic Canada is increasing, with many retiring, and fewer people are entering ministry. As a result, many churches do not have a minister. This, of course, has a direct impact on Acadia Divinity College (ADC), as fewer people entering ministry means fewer who need degrees to equip them to serve. Our churches are facing a significant challenge, but hope is not lost. We believe there is hope. We believe God continues to call men and women to serve him. He will provide the pastors, servants and leaders His church needs, and he is going to use us to make it happen. One such person, God is using to call people to serve him is Catherine Cole. Catherine joined the staff of Acadia Divinity College in December 2017 as the Manager of Recruitment and Admissions. In this new role, Catherine will work with churches, pastors, denominations, and other leaders to
identify potential students and assist applicants through the admissions process. "I hope that I can be an encouragement and help to those who are discerning God’s call on their own lives," Catherine said. "Just as every call is different, each potential student will need different support and attention on their journey, and I hope that I will be flexible to help them any way I can." Raised in Minto, New Brunswick, Catherine has served as a lay leader in many areas of the CBAC. She has volunteered in youth ministry in three local churches: United Baptist Church of Minto (Minto, NB), West End Baptist Church (St. John’s, NL) and Immanuel Baptist Church (Truro, NS). Catherine has also provided leadership as VicePresident of the Atlantic Baptist Youth, a member of the Springforth planning team, and a member of the CBAC Youth and Family working group. "Growing up in the Baptist world, ADC has always been on my radar. I’ve seen the posters, read the magazine, heard their staff and faculty speak at various events, and visited the campus," Catherine said. "Having wrestled with my call to ministry, and trying to discern what that might look like, I was excited when this ministry opportunity became available. I believe God’s been drawing me to and preparing me for this role and I'm excited to use my gifts at ADC." Catherine’s ministry experience also extends globally. She led mission tours to serve at Kamp Tumaini, Kenya, in partnership with the CBAC and Canadian Baptist Ministries (CBM). Kamp Tumaini, a Guardians of Hope program by CBM,
seeks to help families and communities affected by HIV/Aids. Reflecting on her exposure to a wide range of ministry contexts, Catherine said, "God calls each of us to minister and has equipped us with different gifts to be able to serve in unique ways. Theological education will equip you with the foundation you need to be ready for God’s purpose in your life." While admitting that tackling the shortage of pastors to serve in local churches is a bit daunting, she said, "I'm not in this alone. We all have a part to play. Sunday School teachers, deacons, pastors, camp counsellors, youth group leaders, denominational leaders - we all play a part in raising up people to serve Christ." Catherine is looking forward to partnering with you and your church to discover those who are being called to ministry. If you know of someone who is considering a call to ministry, Catherine wants to meet them. She will encourage them to explore the possibilities, to ask questions, to pray about it, to have conversations with people in their life who would recognize that call, and to pray. “ I want to look them in the eye and say go for it!" Seeing Catherine's passion for the next generation of pastors gives us hope. Christ is still calling people to serve Him, and with people like Catherine echoing that call, we are confident more will respond. For information on Acadia Divinity College, contact Catherine at email@example.com. Winter 2018 11
Now, more than ever... Annual Fund Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. - 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV Your Partnership Matters. The cost of theological training can be a barrier for those seeking to prepare to follow God’s will. By supporting ADC through the Annual Fund, you can help remove financial concerns for Theology students. Your gifts help Acadia Divinity College keep tuition affordable and provide great encouragement to all at the College – students, faculty and staff. Please consider giving to support students who are preparing to serve in ministry.
Goal $350,000 Donors - 387 Raised $200,900 (57%)
Gifts - 818 Annual Fund Giving between April 1, 2017, and December 31, 2017
12 ADC Today
Matching Grant Opportunity for Pastoral Care Caring for people is at the heart of the Gospel. Just as God enters our lives with grace and compassion, we are called to do the same for others. In a world where people need to be heard and understood, we need men and women who are trained to effectively minister to our communities. Acadia Divinity College relies on your help to provide the education and training for this vital ministry. We are very grateful for The Beatty Ryckman Trust’s substantial pledge of $20,000 per year for five years to support the salary of the Professor of Pastoral Care. Their support enabled the College to recently appoint Rev. Dr. Dorothy Hunse as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care. In addition, The Beatty Ryckman Trust also offered an additional $30,000 a year to match donations made by others. Through your generous support in 20162017, we could fully realize the matching grant offered by the Trust. We are now nearing the deadline for the 20172018 year, and we need your help.
Please prayerfully consider supporting this important area of ministry training. Your giving will be matched by The Beatty Ryckman Trust, significantly increasing the impact of your financial support of Acadia Divinity College. To give, please use the envelope enclosed in this publication, or visit www.acadiadiv.ca/donate.
About The Beatty Ryckman Trust Established by the late Rev. William Leach and Mrs. Virginia (Beatty) Leach of Toronto, The Beatty Ryckman Trust is dedicated to supporting those who equip and train clergy for self-knowledge and personal wellness. Since 2010, The Beatty Ryckman Trust has been an annual supporter of the ministry of the Charles J. Taylor Centre for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care of Acadia Divinity College.
The College Building: Update We need a strong home base. Acadia Divinity College is committed to maintaining a highly functional facility that will provide students with excellent learning spaces, in a contemporary university setting. The current College building was constructed in 1970 and occupies a prime location on campus. It has served the College well for nearly 50 years, and now critical renovations must occur. Two detailed engineering reports in 2013 have reached the same conclusion: The envelope of the College is deteriorating and needs significant restoration to keep it structurally sound. In November 2017, through architect and construction reports, it became apparent that interior upgrades are required to meet current fire and safety codes, expand accessibility for persons with physical disabilities, and improve air quality. The new work has increased the scope of the project as well as the cost. At its meeting on January 15, 2018, the Board of Trustees made the unanimous decision to complete the exterior repair and the
The College Building Financial Update as of December 31, 2017
Acadia Divinity College: Architectural rendering after renovations.
interior renovation. Construction is scheduled to begin this spring. The new projected total budget estimate is $2.3 million: • $1.5 million for the exterior repair; and, • $0.8 million for the interior renovation. On October 20, 1970, the new College building was dedicated to the glory of God and to the purpose for which it had been designed and built. By early 1975, the Acadia Divinity College Campaign had received excellent support in gifts from more than 290 churches of the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (formerly the United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces), the United Baptist Woman’s Missionary Union, as well as a great host of individual citizens and businesses.
Gifts $521,611 Pledges $122,614 Remaining $1,655,775 Total
In this same spirit, we invite you to join us in this vital project. By acting now, the value of the current building will be utilized and preserved while extending its lifespan. Please make a financial gift to this vital project and encourage your church to make a three-year commitment. Success will ensure that a high standard of theological education will continue to be available in Atlantic Canada to students from nearby and around the world. “The Acadia Divinity College building is not just a building; it is so much more. It is a place of learning, of worship, of personal transformation and of healing. It is a research centre, a hub of community and fellowship and a witness to the wider university community. We are asking you to prayerfully consider how God may lead you to support the refurbishment of Acadia Divinity College. Please join with me and others as we support the mission of Acadia Divinity College to equip Christians to serve.” Dr. Harry Gardner, President Acadia Divinity College
Gifts Pledges Winter 2018 13
News A L U M N I
1964 - Nelson Metcalfe, after twelve years serving as the part-time Minister of Visitation at First Baptist Church, Halifax, NS, retired on December 31, 2017.
2000 - Dan Austin has completed his
2016 - Evan and Kayla Colford were
ministry at Kiersteadville Baptist Church, NB and has accepted a call to Hartland Baptist Church, NB.
ordained at Berwick Baptist Church, NS on September 23, 2017.
1976 - Byron Corkum has completed
2002 and 2016 - Don Rafuse has his ministry at Amherst Baptist Church, NS. completed his ministry at Canning Baptist Church, NS.
1995 - Carol Anne Janzen (seen here surrounded by graduating students in 2017) will complete her ministry in May at Acadia Divinity College as Assistant Professor of Practical Theology, Dean of Students, Director of Charles J. Taylor Centre for Chaplaincy and Spiritual Care, and Director of Mentored Ministry, to accept a call to be the Regional Director for the Canadian Bible Society, Atlantic Region. 1997 and 2011 - Dan Green has completed his ministry at Chester United Baptist Church, NS, and has accepted a call to serve at First Baptist Church, Amherst, NS.
1999 - Donald Hirtle has completed his ministry at Woodville Baptist Church, NS. 14 ADC Today
2016 - Linda DeMone was ordained at Rossway United Baptist Church in Digby, NS on September 16, 2017.
2016 - Christoph Deutschmann was
2003 - Ellen Hunt has completed her ministry at Upper Vaughan Baptist Church, NS.
ordained at Billtown Baptist Church, NS on September 10, 2017.
2005 - Thelma McLeod has completed her ministry at Bethany Memorial Baptist Church, in Kentville, NS and will be involved in intentional interim pastoral ministry within the CBAC.
Baptist Church in Chester Basin NS on October 22, 2017.
2010 - Kristen Price has recently been called to Stewiacke Baptist Church, NS to serve as the Childrenâ€™s Pastor.
2016 - Angela Wade was ordained at Atlantic Community Church (Apohaqui), NB on September 24, 2017.
2014 - Rupen Das has been called to be the National Director for the Canadian Bible Society.
2015 - Patrick Gilbert has been called to serve as Senior Pastor of Aylesford Baptist Church, NS. 2015 - Erin Jackman was ordained on September 3, 2017, at Stevens Road United Baptist Church in Dartmouth, NS.
2016 - Joe Green was ordained at Aenon
2016 - Shawn Tait was ordained at Sussex Baptist Church, NS on October 29, 2017.
Mark Cress was ordained on October 22, 2017 at Smithâ€™s Cove Baptist Church, NS. Jacob Price has recently been called to serve at Stewiacke Baptist Church, NS as Youth Pastor.
1953 - Bill Oâ€™Grady passed away on August 6, 2017. He served as a Pastor at Upper Pointe de Bute, Shediac, and Calhoun, NB, as well as Hebron Baptist Church, NS. Bill served in various roles with the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (then the Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches). In 1989, Bill received an Honourary Doctorate of Divinity from Acadia University and retired from Ministry.
1970 - Gary Tonks passed away on
1985 - Don Krause passed away
July 8, 2017. He served as a pastor in Nova Scotia before entering the military as a Baptist Chaplain in 1974. He served in Canada and the Middle East. He retired in 1996 with several recognitions including the Canadian Peacekeeping Medal, UN Defence Observer Force Medal, and Canadian Forces Decoration.
December 22, 2017. In recent years, he pastored Hillcrest Baptist Church, Saint John, NB and Summerside Baptist Church, PE.
Page 6b â€“ Advertisement for Doctor of Ministry course 1.Details coming soon.
Winter 2018 15
ADC Alumni Distinguished Service Award Presented to Rev. Wayne Murphy
In August 2017, Rev. Wayne Murphy (Acadia 1999) was presented with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award by Dr. Harry Gardner, President. Photo credit: Troy Wilson.
On August 25, 2017, Acadia Divinity College presented the 2017 Alumni Distinguished Service Award to Rev. Wayne Murphy during the annual
If undeliverable please return to: Acadia Divinity College 15 University Avenue Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
ADC Friends and Alumni Lunch in Moncton. The ADC Alumni Distinguished Service Award, inaugurated in 1995, honours members of the Alumni of the Acadia University School of Theology and/or Acadia Divinity College who have contributed significantly to the Christian Church in Canada or throughout the world. Rev. Murphy was recognized for the outstanding work that he, his church, and his community in Saint John, NB have done in welcoming new Canadians.
as they settled into their new lives in Saint John.
Rev. Murphy, a Class of 1999 graduate of the Acadia Divinity College Master of Divinity program, was ordained in 2000. Following service at Port Mouton Baptist Church in Nova Scotia and Norton Baptist Church in New Brunswick, Rev. Murphy became the Senior Pastor at his home church of Lancaster Baptist Church in Saint John, where he was baptised more than 30 years ago.
Rev. Murphy’s Christian leadership has also been evident through his roles as Chair of the Camp Tulakadik Commission, Chair of the Long Lake Camp’s Society Board of Directors of the LunenburgQueens United Baptist Association, and as Moderator of the Saint John-Kings Association of Baptist Churches. Rev. Murphy has also served the Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada (CBAC) as Chair of the Training Commission of the Lunenburg-Queens Association, as Chair of the CBAC Board of Ministerial Standards and Education, and as a member of the CBAC Nominating Committee.
Under Rev. Murphy’s leadership, and in partnership with the Saint John YMCA Newcomer Connections, Lancaster Baptist Church plays a key role in supporting refugees and sponsoring Syrian families. In December 2015, the Church’s Christian Education Centre became the depot for gently used furniture and household goods donated by community members. Over 130 families, including Syrian refugees and other newcomers, have been welcomed by parishioners and supported by the “furniture depot”
Rev. Murphy reflects, “This has done more than just fill practical needs. It has fostered community within our church and engaged committed volunteers. We’ve also had the privilege of connecting with many generous people from our region and welcomed practically every Syrian family that has come to Saint John.”
With great pleasure, Acadia Divinity College recognizes and honours Rev. Murphy’s leadership in welcoming new Canadians by presenting him with the 2017 ADC Alumni Distinguished Service Award.
For a full interview with Rev. Murphy, visit http://acadiadiv.ca/adc-alumnidistinguished-service-awardpresented-rev-wayne-murphy/
Ev@nge1!$m - When did it become a bad word?