Posted by: Jack | September 27, 2015

Erasmus Exchange

Durham Magnificent Cathedral

Durham Magnificent Cathedral


A few weeks ago, I found myself in Durham, a small English village with a top ranked university, including a theology department and a seminary for training pastors. I participated in a study week where students presented research projects for their church ministry. It included projects like investigating how church members think theologically (or not) about their work, what future there might be for the ‘old’ cathedrals in reaching their cities, how Christians should respond to the increasing surveillance through camera’s everywhere in our cities, how dying churches could find new vitality, how revivalist movements develop today, and how preachers learn to listen first (to God and his Word) as they prepare to speak. Although some topics would not fit at the ETF, it was an inspiring week of interaction and learning.

Interaction in one of the week's many presentations

Interaction in one of the week’s many presentations

Why was I in Durham? Remember Erasmus? He was a Dutch theologian, scholar and linguist (from Rotterdam) who was very influential in the time of the Reformation. In his honor, the European Union makes available funds for students and professors to visit other universities in an exhange. Thus far, I have participated in three such exchanges: with universities in Slovakia, the Netherlands, and this one in Durham. These universities are all very different. Often I have taught my leadership classes, but I also learn from them. It enables me to further develop leadership training at the ETF in a way that fits our evangelical students and constituency.

2015-09-07 12.08.20

Wow, what a pulpit! Inside Durham’s cathedral

Thank you for being part of such efforts through your prayers and support. Our world changes quickly, so organizations and their leadership also change quickly — which includes churches and pastoral leadership. It is a challenge to remain faithful to Scripture while adapting to the new needs and questions of our world as we train pastors, missionaries and educators.

For a further update and prayer requests, please check the Barentsen Prayer Page


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