PTS: Evangelicals and the Anabaptists to be Explored on Jan. 7-11

To assist all Anabaptist conferences whose members train at PTS

by EMC

OTTERBURNE, Man.—The next course offered at Providence Theological Seminary in connection with its new Anabaptist Studies Track is Evangelicals and the Anabaptists (January 7-11, 2019) with Dr. Darryl Klassen.

The Anabaptist Studies Track itself was launched on Feb. 22, 2018, at a campus dessert night with community members and Mennonite conference and Providence representatives in attendance.

Dr. Layton Friesen, the AST director, outlined the new major within the Master of Divinity program. It consists of five related courses, an internship in an Anabaptist setting, and a thesis (if that project is chosen) on an Anabaptist theme.

The courses deal with Radical Reformation history, thought, and practice; Evangelicalism and Anabaptism; contemporary Anabaptism and theologians; global Anabaptism; and Anabaptist perspectives on community, social justice, pacifism, and the state.

All students can take the courses, not only those in the MDiv program, for credit (graduate and undergraduate) or audit. The five courses will be taught as week-long intensives and offered over a three-year cycle.

The relationship between Anabaptism and Evangelicalism was explored by Dr. Friesen and Dr. Patrick Franklin, who then taught systematic theology and ethics. The relationship was seen as challenging, overlapping, and mutually enriching.

Two people led in prayers of dedication for the program: Dr. Lissa Wray Beal, chair of PTS’s Bible and theology department, and Terry Smith, an EMC minister who works in the EMC national office.

Before praying, Smith said he wished three EMC people were in attendance: Ben D. Reimer, Archie Penner, and Susanne Plett. Earlier, in the 1930s and 1940s, they chose despite criticism to study at Providence (then Winnipeg Bible Institute). They would be pleased to see this event, he said.

Reimer became the president of Steinbach Bible Institute (now College) and promoted church planting in Canada. Penner became the first EMCer to earn a PhD; he served as a professor and a pastor. Plett served as a foreign missionary when EMCers were suspicious both of missions and women serving as missionaries. She died on the field in Brazil, but her influence continues.

The program is designed to assist all Anabaptist conferences whose members train at Providence. For more information, Dr. Layton Friesen can be contacted through Providence or the EMC national office.

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