Just as Mid-America Reformed Seminary seeks to glorify God by training godly men for the ministry of the Word, it also seeks to glorify God in every aspect of its community life. That includes various aspects of the student’s spiritual growth as well as fostering a sense of Christian community among our students and within our Seminary families.
Mid-America recognizes students come from various backgrounds and are at different stages in their lives. Some students have benefited from Reformed teaching since infancy; some are new to the Reformed faith. Some students are single and fresh from a pre-seminary program; others have families and years of work experience. But all students are united in the common purpose of desiring to preach the gospel of Christ.
The Seminary ministers to each student’s unique situation and enfolds students and their families into the community of believers:
- Regularly scheduled times for worship and edification.
- Holding students accountable for their Christian life and walk.
- Special opportunities for students’ wives to get to know other women of the Seminary community.
Not only does Mid-America hold individual students accountable in their personal life, but the Seminary also fosters fellowship and a sense of community among those associated with the seminary.
All students are members of the Mid-America Student Association. As the vehicle for student government, the Association facilitates communication between the seminary and the student body through effective exchanges of information. The Association may adopt special projects to advance the work of the Seminary or the work of Christ’s church in the world, but it focuses on Seminary families. It practices the biblical model of “weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice” by extending messages of concern or congratulations when significant events occur in the lives of members of the Seminary community.
Community at Mid-America is strengthened in a number of ways. The annual Seminary Retreat at the beginning of each academic year provides an opportunity for existing members of the Seminary community to become reacquainted and allows new students and spouses to be enfolded within that community.
The Seminary desires that the family relationships of married students remain healthy. Mid-America recognizes that married students are not only called to the ministry, but are also called to nourish their families. While seminary training may require some sacrifices, married students are encouraged not to sacrifice in the crucial area of family relationships. The Seminary promotes healthy relationships within the student’s family as a foundation for a future life of ministerial service.
Preparation for a life of Christian service takes commitment on the part of a student’s spouse. The Seminary Women’s Fellowship supports women during the seminary years. Students, spouses, and staff members meet each month to hear various speakers, discuss relevant books, and enjoy informal times of Christian fellowship. Additional events— such as picnics, banquets, and Chicagoland field trips— are planned throughout the year. Faculty wives take an active interest in mentoring women by coordinating the Fellowship’s activities.
Mid-America does not offer on-campus housing, but there are numerous housing opportunities near the Seminary. Prospective students may contact the Seminary office for a listing of available housing. The Seminary staff and community are willing to help locate housing for students.
Since worship is a primary obligation as well as a great joy, morning chapel services are a priority. Chapel sessions include prayer, praise, and meditation on God’s Word.
Faculty and students lead chapel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while area pastors or visiting speakers are invited to lead chapel on Fridays. On Thursdays, students meet in small groups with their faculty advisors for prayer. Faculty and students who are on campus are expected to attend chapel.
In the annual Fall Lecture Series, distinguished scholars share insights from their areas of expertise relating to current theological issues. The Seminary community seeks to be informed regarding contemporary issues. These popular lectures are well received and well attended by the public as well as the Seminary community.
In recent years, special lectures have come from a variety of locations and institutions to speak on issues of theological interest.
Dr. Herman J. Selderhuis, Professor of Church History and Church Polity at the Theologische Universiteit Apeldoorn in the Netherlands, examined the Reformed Heidelberg Theologians of the sixteenth century in relation to Lutheranism.
Dr. Gregory K. Beale, Chair of Biblical Studies and Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Illinois, presented a biblical-theological study of the Temple of God in Scripture.
Dr. Albert M. Wolters, Professor of Religion and Theology as well as Classical Languages at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, gave a series of lectures on the prophecy of Zechariah.
Dr. Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Chairman of the Systematic Theology and Apologetics Departments at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, spoke about the eschatological theology of the apostle Paul.
Dr. Joel R. Beeke, President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Homiletics at the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, presented lectures on John Calvin.
Dr. Willem J. van Asselt, Professor of Church History at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, lectured on Cocceius.
Dr. Robert Letham, Professor of Systematic and Historical Theology at the Union School of Theology in Bridgend, South Wales, spoke on controversies at the Synod of Dort and the Westminster Assembly.
Dr. Carl Trueman, Professor of Historical Theology and Church History at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadephia, spoke on John Owen’s Trinitarian piety.
Dr. Richard A. Muller, P. J. Zondervan Professor of Historical Theology at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, spoke on predestination.
Dr. Eric Johnson, Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, spoke on the care of souls.
Standards of Conduct
A student within Mid-America’s community should exhibit traits of character that testify to his qualifications for the ministry. He should demonstrate servant leadership, wisdom, religious commitment, doctrinal reliability, and a willingness to serve without regard for personal gain. He should also be honest and self-disciplined, with evident emotional health that is expressed in his affirming and loving attitude toward others.
Part of belonging to a community means abiding by its principles. Students of Mid-America support and contribute to the spiritual life and testimony of the Seminary. Student conduct is expected to conform to the standards of Scripture. Specific regulations and suggestions regarding conduct are explained in the student handbook. The student’s signature on his application to Mid-America indicates his willingness to comply with scriptural standards as interpreted by the Reformed Confessions regarding the Christian life, including the responsible use of Christian liberty. Students guilty of serious moral offenses are subject to dismissal from the Seminary with no tuition refund.
In addition to abiding by specific moral standards, students are expected to sustain an effective academic standard. Persons experiencing serious academic deficiencies over a period of time may be advised to discontinue their studies.
Mid-America recognizes that the rigor of seminary training requires divine grace for success and that a seminary education is not life’s ultimate goal. With this awareness, the seminary encourages each student to prioritize and exercise his responsibilities to God, his family, and his school.