Forty-five theological educators representing twenty theological colleges and a number of partner organisations met to listen to one another, pray together, and consider the principles of theological education endorsed by the Primates’ Council in 2017. The hope was that a network of colleges governed by these principles could come into being under the auspices of Gafcon. The purpose of this network would be to give every bishop in the Anglican Communion access to excellent theological education.
As we met we focused on the sort of person that we believe every theological college should be producing: godly pastors who devote themselves humbly to serve God’s people, who teach others to imitate them as they imitate Christ. Discerning teachers who know and submit to the Scriptures, who proclaim Christ faithfully, and who seek to make disciples of all nations.
We recognised the many and varied challenges that face our colleges as we seek to raise up the next generation of leaders. These include the challenge of finding godly, servant-hearted candidates for training; the challenge of raising up well-trained and godly faculty who remain in place for the long term, and the challenge of providing experiences of fellowship generated by the word of God, by which students may be formed into the Christ-like leaders the church needs.
Finally, we recognised the power and potential of a Network coordinated by Gafcon for addressing these challenges. Gafcon, thanks be to God, now has the resources to staff a network with dedicated experts who can turn possibilities into realities. And Gafcon is in a position to ensure that the members of this network are orthodox, subscribing to the Jerusalem Declaration; and principled, submitting themselves to a common vision for theological education.
After prayerful discussion and consideration we therefore resolved the following:
“We endorse the Gafcon Primates’ principles of theological education, and enthusiastically support the formation of a Gafcon theological education network.”
Bishop Peter Jensen, first General Secretary of Gafcon, and former Archbishop of Sydney has a deep commitment to theological education. He was for sixteen years Principal of Moore Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He has special interest in Christian doctrine and continues to lecture in this area. He regards the sharing of theological resources and wisdom as being a top priority for the Gafcon movement as we seek to preach Christ faithfully and make disciples in all the nations. He has written several books and a numerous articles. From 2019, he becomes the Editor of the Churchman in succession to Professor Gerald Bray and is already joint Editor of the Reformed Theological Review. He is married to Christine and they have five adult children.