Greg Strand is EFCA executive director of theology and credentialing, and he serves on the Board of Ministerial Standing as well as the Spiritual Heritage Committee. He and his family are members of Northfield (Minnesota) EFC.
In the fall of 1963 Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, affectionately known as TEDS, classes first convened on the Deerfield campus where the school remains to this day. This school year marks the 50th anniversary of that move. During those years, God has drawn men and women to study at TEDS from all over the world “in order to equip them for the service of ministry in the church, the academy, and a wide variety of other ministry contexts worldwide.”
A special 50th anniversary celebration will be held on May 1 on Trinity’s campus in Deerfield, IL, to celebrate God’s goodness and faithfulness to TEDS. Any and everything that has been done in and through TEDS is because of God’s good and gracious providence. This is a unique time to pause, reflect and give thanks for this. It is also a time to think, ponder and pray about what God has yet in store for TEDS in days to come. By His grace and for His glory, we pray that TEDS will continue to be a humble steward of God’s good gifts.
For some history, it was the vision of Ken Kantzer in his first days of serving as Dean of the school that this move took place. And it was more than just a physical, geographical move. Kantzer changed the way to refer to the school from seminary to divinity school. This influenced the direction of the school, the faculty he pursued and the students he was responsible to prepare for service to Christ in all the various ministry domains of His kingdom. Kantzer “envisioned a broadly evangelical seminary with faculty who were united on the essentials of the faith, such as Jesus’ resurrection and the authority & inerrancy of Scripture, but whose backgrounds represented a wide variety of contributions to evangelical theology and ecclesiology.” All of this was undergirded by Kantzer’s commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the church, both local and global. This vision remains: “Today’s faculty reflects this vision well. The excellence of the faculty’s teaching & writing, the global reach and influence of TEDS alumni, and TEDS’ continued contributions to the local & global church all represent the outworkings of God’s faithfulness set into motion by the course Dr. Kantzer charted.”
The plans for this celebration on Thursday, May 1 at TEDS is a special thanksgiving chapel at 11:00 AM, and an evening celebration service beginning at 6:00 PM. The evening service will have three keynote speakers: Dr. John Woodbridge (Research Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought at TEDS), Dr. William L. Kynes (Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Annandale, VA) and Dr. David S. Dockery (Interim President, TIU, until approved by the EFCA Conference, most recently having served as President, Union University, Jackson, TN).
If you are able, I encourage you to attend this day-long celebration of giving thanks and praise to the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness to TEDS, our EFCA school.