A dear brother, Clint Humfrey (see COWBOYOLOGY ), recently asked me what, in my opinion, were the “top ten most important things for founding a theological institution for training pastors?” Well, I would say the following are vital—the order is not important: 1) The school must be confessional—the school must have a solid statement of faith that at a minimum affirms inerrancy, a robust Nicene Trinitarianism and Chalcedonian Christology, the solas of the Reformation, justification by faith alone, and the doctrines of grace. All faculty at the school need to yearly pledge their commitment to the statement of faith without any mental reservation.
2) The school must be passionate about missions, local and global.
3) The leadership of the school must be subject to an association of local churches, whose pastors and members are vitally involved in supporting the church in spiritual and material ways. I fully believe that the ownership of such a school is best drawn from a group of churches.
4) The school must be committed to the highest academic standards and provincial/state accreditation needs to be eventually sought.
5) The majority of the teachers should have had some pastoral experience and they must be demonstrably lovers of the church.
6) The leadership of the school needs to be directly appointed by a Board of Directors/Trustees drawn from the churches supporting the school.
7) Along with the academic emphases of the school, there must be a stress on spirituality/spiritual formation/piety.
8) The school needs, at a minimum, a good solid reference library of 10,000 volumes.
9) Each of the students entering the school must have a recommendation from a local church. In turn, they must be involved, throughout their studies, in practical ministry.
10) Days of prayer need to be instituted and observed by the school.