A selective lifelong learning opportunity, the Thompson Scholars program brings pastors and other church leaders with a special interest in evangelism to the seminary campus. The annual intensive study experience focuses on a variety of topics to prepare evangelism leaders for the future. The program is directed by Ralph C. Basui Watkins, associate professor of evangelism and church growth.
Thompson Scholars Seminar in 2013 on the topic of “Evangelism: A New Scorecard.” Many of us think about evangelism in terms of numbers of people we are able to draw into the church. Watkins wants to turn this concept upside down and get us to start thinking about evangelism in a new way in this year’s seminar. He suggests that we think about evangelism in terms of relationships and partnerships. The question we need to ask ourselves is no longer, “How many people came to our church events this week?” but rather, “How many relationships am I building outside of my immediate church context?” This leads to broader questions of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Are church attendance, participation in Bible Studies and mission projects the marks of a disciple or are there other ways to think about what a disciple is?
This is an application-based program. Applications are closed for the spring 2013 event. Information on the 2014 event will be available after July 1.
This program is generously supported by an endowment in honor of Cecil Thompson, former professor of evangelism at the seminary.
The Thompson Scholars program is part of the seminary’s comprehensive program in evangelism, which was initiated in 1981. This program includes not only lifelong learning opportunities, but also courses for basic and advanced degree students. Course work focuses on the church’s evangelistic mission in the rapidly changing context of North America and across the globe. Students wishing to emphasize evangelism and mission are urged to include an internship (from one summer to one year) in a teaching congregation with strong missional commitments.
For more information, please contact Sarah Erickson, director of lifelong learning, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 404-687-4526.