Aug 22, 2011

A Day 452 Years in the Making

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Today we welcomed our first class at Reformation Bible College. Even though the Ligonier staff has been working diligently for several years, this college is 452 years in the making.

When Dr. R.C. Sproul first laid out his vision for Ligonier Academy and the college that would eventually develop here, he explained the world-changing work undertaken in John Calvin’s Geneva. Looking to that school in the mid-16th century, Dr. Sproul took encouragement for the educational goals he had in mind. It was there in Geneva in 1559, that John Calvin welcomed the first students to the Academy. That work blossomed within a few years as the Protestant refugees came from throughout Europe to learn God’s Word and be discipled for the hard work of reformation.

In a touching letter to French Protestants, John Calvin wrote to these persecuted brethren and encouraged them to “send us wood and we will send you arrows.” The work of the Geneva Academy would go on to be a blessing to the worldwide mission of the church as students and churchmen circulated through the school for years to come, learning from the likes of Theodore Béza and Francis Turretin.

It is our prayer that students from Reformation Bible College would be sharp arrows in the hand of the Lord to “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (2 Cor. 10:5). Dr. Sproul has committed Ligonier to expand its outreach to include formal undergraduate education. This multi-generational emphasis brings focus to Ligonier’s mission to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God to as many people as possible. Indeed, to serve the cause of biblical reformation through the church we must invest in the next generation.

Here we stand at the start of the school year with grateful hearts and hopeful vision. All glory belongs to God alone. He has brought us to this day through thousands of generous, prayerful donors who have given to help these students embark on this journey. (And if you know of potential students in your family or church, we are already starting to look for wood for next year's class.)