Two weeks ago I was coming towards the end of my first Westminster Theological Centre (WTC) residential in Telford. This is my first step in taking a two year Graduate Diploma in Kingdom Theology. WTC allows anyone to study on a part time basis everything from a Certificate in Higher Education through to an MA, taking twice the time a full time degree or MA would take. Each year half the teaching takes place at two residentials, and half at a local hub which for us is the Thames Valley hub which we are hosting.
It was a brilliant five days away, although the pace was intense with 7 or 8 hours of lectures every day, combined with times of worship, lessons on how to write essays (a whole new world for me) and a personality profile alongside meals, an early morning run, a trip to the pub and not much time for anything else. There are a number of people from Kerith studying with WTC, including two of our sites pastors Heather Pocock and Leon Johnson, and Judith and Andy who are part of our deaf community and the first ever deaf people to study with WTC.
The highlight for me was the lectures we had on the Old Testament. Our lecturer was Dr. Stephen Dempster who has spent his whole life studying the Old Testament and it showed! He wrote the NIV Study Bible notes for Deuteronomy, and started each of his lectures by praying a psalm over us first in Hebrew, then in English. Stephen lectured us for 16 hours, by the end of which we’d only got to the end of the book of Kings, but such was the depth of his knowledge and passion for the subject that he could have gone on for many hours more without it ever becoming dry or starting to drag. He made the Old Testament come alive in a way I’ve never seen it before.
I’m really excited by our partnership with WTC, and the theological depth it is going to sow into our community over the coming years. For many years in charismatic circles there has been a rejection of formal theological training, which has been unhelpful and I think longer term is dangerous for churches like ours seeking to be strong in both word and spirit. I’m therefore delighted by our growing relationships with WTC, as well as St. Mellitus College where a number of our youngsters are gaining BA’s in Theology, Ministry and Mission and with Moorlands College.
If you’d like to go deeper in your relationship with God through getting a better understanding of the Bible, but don’t yet feel you’re in a position to study with WTC, I’d really encourage you to consider joining our Equip course which launches this coming Monday evening. Over two years you’ll get to work your way through the whole of the Bible, with the option of skipping terms if you can’t do the whole course in one go. The course is being certified by Moorlands College, and having seen the manuals I’m sure it’s going to be excellent.
There is a termly cost of £75, which although much cheaper than WTC may still I realise be an issue for some. We don’t want the cost to stop anyone from attending so if that’s the case for you, or you have any other questions, please contact Karen Dack who will be able to answer all your queries. I’m going there on Monday to say hello to and pray for everyone starting the course, so I’ll hope to see you there :)
Finally we’ve also got the Bible Course, which is an 8 week introduction to the Bible, starting at our Windsor and Maidenhead sites next week. A great place to start your theology journey.
Let’s go deeper together.