Deprecans supercertari semel traditae sanctis fidei.
Do you know what these words mean? Above is the crest for our newly-formed Northwest Institute of Christian Studies. At the top of the crest is the Latin phrase, which is the motto of the school. Interestingly, we were challenged to these very words by Dr. Evan Burns this past Sunday when he said we are to “fight for Gospel faith at home for the nations.”
As it turns out, Dr. Burns’ challenge to us is also the motto of NICS. The Latin words are from Jude 3, “Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
This, as Evan said, is the mission of the Church in making disciples. It is the mission of our church, all churches, and those on the mission field. It is also the mission of NICS. This fall, with the aid of Dr. Evan Burns and Dr. Mike Powell (our other founding faculty member), we are launching two inaugural courses. The two classes are “Biblical Spirituality and Prayer” taught by Dr. Burns; and “Hermeneutics” taught by Dr. Powell.
These will be pilot courses as we begin the school seeking God’s direction and favor. However, these are not pilot as in, “Let’s just try it out and see how it goes,” but pilot as in, “These are the classes that lead the way and set the direction and philosophy of the school.”
These two topics are carefully chosen because, as foundational courses, they embody the motto from Jude 3 and our entire philosophy of biblical education.
We are committed to growing disciples; training them for ministry by equipping them with the proper tools of biblical and theological training. And just as important, we seek to grow disciples in the spiritual disciplines of the faith, seeing their greatest asset as practical godliness borne out of a close relationship with Jesus Christ. We are committed to the centrality of the Scriptures, and that knowing how to properly study and teach God’s Word is foundational to all we do.
NICS will begin this fall with students from Valley Bible Church. This will allow us to start small and make necessary adjustments during our first year. We will then branch out to pastors and other church leaders in our area who have limited theological training.
Why is Northwest Institute of Christian Studies being founded by Valley Bible Church?
• VBC is a church with a tradition of biblical exegesis, exposition and theological emphasis.
• We have been graced with academic personnel including multiple doctorates and multiple masters degrees.
• VBC is the home church of many career pastors, missionaries, and other vocational ministry leaders attracted by our emphasis on biblical teaching.
• We have a responsibility to best steward the resource of gifted people whom God has brought us.
• There are few local churches and ministries offering high-level biblical training in an affordable and accommodating way.
• We perceive a need for training for lay church members, associate pastors, lay elders, etc., that is not currently being met.
• There is a stated desire among our church members for education of this caliber.
• Current opposition to the Christian worldview in our culture demands theological precision in order to “Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
Where do you fit in? First and foremost, we ask you to pray. In addition to praying for all the logistics of such an enterprise, pray that God would use NICS to train disciples to become godly, skilled ministers of the faith who ultimately bring great glory to God.
Are you interested in being a student at NICS? Do you seek a higher level of biblical knowledge and training in theology? Do you dream of serving God in a different capacity but feel you are just not equipped? Are you even considering becoming a missionary or embarking on some other bold, new ministry for your life? Then perhaps you should pray and seek God’s direction. Please talk to Ben, Chris or Chad if you have more questions to determine if NICS is right for you!
Check out the NICS website at nics.spokanevbc.org.