Who we are
Solid Training for the Kingdom of God
Missions through Research
MBS allows students to create a course of study that equips them specifically for their ministry, rather than forcing the student to “fit a system.” It is one of the few theological institutions that recognizes work done at other theological institutions. MBS caters to those who can only study part-time. And we would rather send a seminary to the students than send students to a distant seminary.
Only God’s eternal commandments are inviolable, not our cultures or traditions. To paraphrase Jesus’ comment on the Sabbath, educational institutions and theology are for man, not man for education.
MBS does not see the world as an enemy, but rather as a part of God’s creation that is to be reconciled with Him; therefore, we aim to take every thought captive (II Cor. 10:5) and to test our thinking and actions regarding how they address and transform the surrounding culture.
Christianity is not limited by national borders; consequently, MBS is intentionally open to learn from Christians from other cultures. We welcome teachers and students from all over the world to give our students a global perspective on God’s kingdom.
Thomas Schirrmacher, founder of MBS writes, “The MBS goal is that all aspects of theological education are directed towards church planting and world missions. Missions are at the center of the curriculum.”
Our training program is intended to enable our students to fulfill their various personal ministries not only in their own lives, but also in the lives of their congregations and in the global church (2 Tim. 3:17). We consciously judge our program on its relevance for practice. Our instructors have practical experience in ministry and missions. Experience in church and missions is central to our study programs.
Paul’s missions mandate is spelled out in greatest detail in the book of Romans. MBS sees good, thorough biblical doctrine as the motor which drives us to evangelize. Germany is the beachhead for theological liberalism in Europe. The undermining of the authority of Scripture still riddles the church and its seminaries. MBS is one of the few theological schools based in the German speaking countries which holds to the infallibility of the Word of God.
Just as Paul based his missionary activity on the careful and extensive explanation of his gospel in the book of Romans, we want to encourage local and global missions based on thorough, thoughtful, biblical foundations. We will strive for academic excellence without retiring into an intellectual ivory tower or speaking a language incomprehensible to educated lay people. Like Paul, we will attempt to speak the whole counsel of God both to believers and to our cultures.
We are not satisfied with summarizing and repeating old familiar truths, but seek to discover new depths of understanding in various fields of interest and to stimulate our students’ enthusiasm in questioning, study, and research. We encourage them to test and improve on what they have learned rather than merely accepting the opinions of others. We think this research orientation will help students become future leaders.
Thomas Schirrmacher: “Our training program is intended to enable our students to fulfill their various personal ministries in their own lives as well as in their congregations, and in the global church.”
We consciously seek to link theology with other fields of learning, such as medicine, psychology, law, linguistics, politics, literary analysis, and Islamic studies – to mention a few. We always benefit from taking a look at the other side of the fence! Many of our students and instructors seek training in “secular” fields as well in theology, because we see the secular world as a place to serve God!
Since most of our branches are close to state universities, we can easily visit academic lectures or seminars held in other fields and many of our students acquire other academic degrees along with their degree in theology. We do not want to leave any aspect of private or public life untouched by Christian thinking and activity.
You will find our educational philosophy stated in 21 proposals in the article “An Appeal for Alternative Education Models for Church and Mission.” It is available as a download as MBS Text 14http://www.bucer.eu. Here is a short summary: