London Reformed Baptist Seminary
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The London Reformed Baptist Seminary (LRBS) aims to give the maximum encouragement and help to men who desire to preach. We cannot make preachers, nor accredit them, for this belongs to local churches alone. But we try to inspire minds and hearts to embrace the doctrinal, pastoral and methodological standards sought by many fellowships.
Never since pre-Reformation days has Western evangelicalism fallen to such a low spiritual condition. Never has it been infected by so many unbiblical ideas and practices. More urgently than ever we need to train men for a powerful ministry of the Word of God, re-emphasising the old paths of reformed Truth combined with vigorous evangelism. We need men who will not yield to the current tide of carnal Christianity.
We need men prepared and inspired to preach Christ in all his fulness, to win souls, and to contend for the faith.
We invite all who have a real burden on their hearts to minister the Gospel to consider joining the LRBS. Church officers are also welcome because they bear great responsibility for the health of their churches and need to be aware of the issues of the day.
The School of Theology of the Tabernacle, the largest conference of its type in the UK, has been held annually since 1976, with very many pastors, Christian workers and church officers attending, and younger people seeking a more biblical and committed style of Christian life and service. In some years Days of Special Study on particular topics are held in place of the School.
The Seminary began in 1975, with the online course being opened in 2011; it has grown rapidly with over 500 seminarians currently following the course from nearly 60 countries. It makes available the lectures, guided reading and assignment programme of the former part-time course through the internet.
LRBS Faculty and History
The lectures are delivered by a carefully-selected group of able men, who are active preachers and experienced pastors.
› See the full faculty
The LRBS part-time course extended over four years, with lecture days held at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on eight Saturdays each year. These were recorded in audio and video and posted on the internet for course members to access via a password.
Alongside the lectures is a reading course which also extends over four years. This covers the best available books for study, extending to some eighty titles.
Formal certification on completion of the course of studies is granted in the form of an LRBS Diploma in Theology and Pastoral Studies. The Diploma is awarded to course members who have pursued the course for four years and have submitted the required number of satisfactory assignments.
LRBS seminarians are required to return an average of five assignments each year, involving the writing of brief critiques of certain theological stances, reviews of books, and the preparation of exegetical assignments. These are submitted using the LRBS website and seminarians receive feedback from the Assignments Tutor.
Pastors, church officers and others may request to join the lecture course without completing assignments.
There is a nominal annual enrolment fee (currently £30). No enrolment fee is charged to men in full-time pastoral ministry or those following the course as auditors. The enrolment fee does not include the cost of the books on the reading course.
Many seminarians are graduates. However, no specific qualifications for entrance are required as each applicant is considered on the merits of his past Christian service experience and the office he holds. Each applicant must state his doctrinal position.
How to apply for the online seminary
Please email LRBS@metropolitantabernacle.org for more information about the course and application details.
When can I join the course? The course operates a 4-year rolling programme which means you can join at any time.
Can anyone join the course? No, the course is designed for men who are serving pastors and church officers, or men who wish to prepare for preaching and leadership responsibilities in the future.
What academic qualifications do I need to join the course? Although most course members are graduates, a degree is not essential. Applications are considered individually.
How much does it cost? The fees are currently £30.00 a year (waived for those in full-time Christian service).
Will I get a degree or credits towards a degree? We do not offer degrees or credits towards a degree. Those successfully completing the course will be awarded a Diploma in Theology and Pastoral Studies.
Are the assignments technical or practical? The assignments are not merely technical exercises. They are designed to be of practical benefit in a number of key areas including sermon preparation and understanding and responding to the key issues of our day.
What happens after I have submitted an assignment? You will get written feedback from the assignments tutor within a month of the submission deadline.
What if I cannot complete five assignments in a particular year? The flexible nature of the course means that we require an average of five assignments per year, so if (for example) you are only able to submit three assignments in a given year, you can make up the amount in subsequent years. Twenty satisfactory assignments should be completed in total over the four-year duration of the course.
What if I cannot read all the books set for a particular month because of pressures on my time? Don’t worry. The books are allocated to particular months to help with time management and to provide variety over the year. If you are especially busy for a month or so, you can catch up later.
How does the LRBS course differ from other evangelical seminary courses? It is distinctively reformed and baptistic in its teaching of doctrine, church government and polity. It teaches the exegetical and hermeneutical procedures of the reformed tradition as opposed to the neo-humanistic approach so widely accepted even by evangelicals today. It gives the fullest attention to practical organisation and evangelistic methods for church growth. It teaches that the modern charismatic movement does not fulfil the biblical pattern, character and purpose of the divine gifts of prophecy, healing and tongues.
Are there two different LRBS courses? No, the part-time course was merged with the online course in October 2014. UK residents can now apply to join the online course.
What happens if I have further questions about the course? You can email these to us.