The vast changes taking place in every phase of life about us have necessitated a forward movement in Seventh-day Adventist educational plans. Our senior colleges and other institutions of advanced education have raised their standards of scholarship. More strongly than ever they are taking the lead in certain fields of knowledge.
This advance move affects our theological departments in particular. The marvelous progress in Biblical science challenges our best scholarship. And it presents a need that can be met only by strengthening the instruction given in our theological departments. Recent events in religious history demand the giving of closer attention to the religious movements of the time. Postwar materialism and the sad failure of the Christian churches to rise to their sacred calling have permitted a paganistic generation to appear on the scene of action, and largely to dominate it. The fundamentals of true Christianity are being attacked on every hand. These attacks cannot be met without a more thorough preparation than most of our ministers and teachers have thus far obtained.
Then, too, Romanism is launching a campaign of evangelism, with amazing success. For the first time in modern history the Roman Catholic Church is offering the Holy Scriptures to the world, giving them the greatest possible publicity and circulation. Hence it has become a matter of primary importance that the educational system of Seventh-day Adventists include advanced learning, especially in theological lines, that will enable our ministry to master the great issues at stake. Knowledge of the word of God must be enlarged and deepened to include the truth that will stand in the face of present-day attacks.
It is for such a time as this that the Advanced Bible School, now the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, has been founded. This school gives opportunity for a restudy of the advent message in the light of the most recent events. It provides a new lead in the field of theology and fundamental Bible study. Here the best scholarship of the denomination is called upon to concentrate upon the revival of spiritual truth for the salvation of men and women.
What a wonderful opportunity this institution affords our ministry and teachers to lay aside the routine business of their vocations and dig into the hidden veins of divine truth. In the early years of the advent movement our pioneers had to leave the field of activity at times, go to their homes, and do nothing but search the Scriptures for extended periods, before they had the requisite strength to go on and again preach the truth. This same need has been felt by scores of ministers and teachers in recent years. The changed mentality confronting them in the world about, and the increased pressure of the work, have brought to their attention the necessity of closer communion with God and His word. The Theological Seminary is surely God's appointed agency in the church to supply this great need. And as it is strengthened, it will also meet the scholastic needs of the time.
The great importance of the Theological Seminary in meeting the needs for more advanced knowledge of the truth of God and for providing spiritual strength for the time, is quickly recognized by the sincere observer. One glance at the earnest men and women from many parts of the world who are in attendance at the school, will convince anyone that this is more than an ordinary institution of learning. These students have passed through some of the initial controversies with errors of the day, and have come determined to get the equipment necessary to make them truly effective soldiers of the cross.
The teachers of this school fill the classrooms with an atmosphere of determined search for truth. As teachers and students pursue truth as the pearl of great price, the Holy Spirit guides, and often moments of deep spiritual blessing grace the assembly. At the close of last summer's term, both teachers and students testified that they had experienced many such heavenly moments while they studied and prayed.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church can rejoice over the Theological Seminary and its leadership. The General Conference Committee has given its best thought to the upbuilding of this institution. Elder M. E. Kern, the president, and his staff have been greatly blessed in their work. Surely we have every reason to support this advance move in our educational program. There should be hundreds of ministers and teachers in our ranks planning to attend the Theological Seminary as soon as possible. The times demand it of us, and we are in great need of all available help.