Training for the Ministry
A Sermon from the Opening of the London Theological Seminary
In this sermon titled “Training for Ministry,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones shares his vision for the theological training of pastors and preachers at the inaugural address for the London Theological Seminary in 1977. In his day, theological training had veered off course as the curriculum had been shaped by liberal theology. As the scholastic movement produced well-known universities, a heavy emphasis on philosophy and intellectualism had eclipsed the training of pastors for churches. A new institution for theological training was needed. The Christian church has a long history of training ministers for the gospel. As Dr. Lloyd-Jones surveys the Christian history of producing preachers, he laments the poor education that this modern era has produced. There must be a reconsideration of training ministers, a training that produces preachers of the gospel. Preachers, not mere teachers, must be trained. Teachers merely impart knowledge, but preachers seek to bring the whole Bible alive, proclaiming the great message, remembering that people have hearts as well as heads. These men must not be mere professionals but pastors who can lead God’s people. Additionally, training must be church-based. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that churches must have the confidence of these men and remain in contact with them throughout their training. Listen in as Dr. Lloyd-Jones’s vision unfolds in the opening of a new seminary.
- Dr. Lloyd-Jones is the chairman of the sponsoring committee for the London Theological Seminary. He expresses gratitude to the Kenziet Memorial College for hosting the event.
- Dr. Lloyd-Jones considers himself a "poacher turned gamekeeper" indicating he previously held different views but has now changed his mind. He believes theological training needs to be reconsidered.
- Many are dissatisfied with existing theological education systems. Some think no training is needed while others want ecumenical training. Dr. Lloyd-Jones believes an evangelical seminary is needed.
- Dr. Lloyd-Jones considers the history of theological education from early Christianity to today. He believes the 19th century approach focused too much on knowledge over preaching.
- Dr. Lloyd-Jones believes preachers, not teachers, are most needed today. Preachers inspire and move people. Preachers are born, not made, but still need help and training.
- Students should feel a call to ministry and have certain character traits like humility. Tutors should be preachers and pastors, not just academics.
- Theological education is unique and spiritual, not just academic. Students will not have exams or degrees. The goal is to produce preachers, not experts.
- Students will learn biblical knowledge, exegesis, hermeneutics, theology, church history, revivals, and apologetics. Theology should lead to reverence, not restrict.
- The goal of the seminary is to broaden students' understanding, give them a deeper love of the Bible, inspire them to preach, and call down the fire of God.
- Pray for the seminary, students, faculty, and the descent of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.