Theological Education Opportunities in French
This report was submitted by Professor Pierre Bethoud, member of the Board of Directors of the WRF and Doyen (President) of the Faculte Libre de Theologie Reformee in Air en Provence, France. He may be contacted at PeBerthoud@aol.com.
1) One of the major steps forward in the Seminary's ministry has been making available the "At a Distance program" on Internet. This was made possible thanks to a partnership established with WRF member Miami International Theological Seminary (MINTS) which has made a platform available on Moodle. This means that the Seminary in Aix en Provence is progressively making all its courses available on Internet in French. The French speaking population in the world represents roughly the inhabitants of North America. It is possible to have free access to some of the lectures, but the program is oriented towards students who want to follow a regular Seminary program in view of acquiring a diploma and preparing for a future ministry.
2) Another aspect of the ministry in Aix en Provence is related to publications. The Seminary has a Journal which is published four times a year. It also has a publishing house, Editions Kerygma. We seek to publish articles and books that deal with contemporary issues from a Christian Reformed world and life view. These publications are also geared towards the needs of the Churches. Among recent publications:
- Paul Wells, De la croix à l'Evangile de la croix (From the Cross to the Gospel of the Cross - available in English). Dr. Wells has also been involved in preparing a new edition of J. Calvin's Institutes (1559) in modern French. In fact, this work is comparable to a translation. This publication will be available in the Spring of 2009.
- Pierre Berthoud, En quête des origines: les premières étapes de l'histoire de la Révélation. Genesis 1-11 (In search for origins : the first stages of the History of Revelation. Genesis 1-11); "God's Compassion in Exodus 32-34" in Engaging the Doctrine of God, Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, 2008.
3) The Seminary has set up several events on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of J. Calvin's birth. First of all, the Crossroad Symposium involving the Seminaries in Aix en Provence and Vaux sur Seine, near Paris (Evangelical, with a Reformed emphasis) on the following theme: “The Relevance of John Calvin: Theologian, Exegete and Churchman” (20 and 21 February in Aix; 27 and 28 March in Vaux). The second major event is related to the Conference the Seminary is organizing with the International Reformed Theological Institute (IRTI) related to the Free University of Amsterdam (Holland). This Conference will take place in English, just outside of Aix en Provence (La Baume lès Aix). The details of these conferences, including the programs, are available on the website of the Faculté: www.fltr.net.