Summer Update and Prayer Request

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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Update and Prayer Request – June 2020

Academic Year 2019-2020. What a year it was! It will certainly go down in the history books as a most memorable one.  It began with celebrating the seminary’s 50th anniversary; it ended with online education in the midst of a global pandemic. Along the way we hosted, virtually at least, an evaluation team from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) for the purpose of reaccreditation. Allow me to expand on these points briefly, also so that you can remember these matters before our Lord’s “throne of grace” (Heb 4:16).

  • We are deeply thankful to our heavenly Father that in spite of all the disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic caused, the faculty, staff, and students at CRTS were able to finish the semester through online means. It was not ideal but we sure learned a lot in a little time.
  • We are truly grateful that many of our students went through classical exams in order to speak an edifying word or become eligible for call.  More specifically, the nine students who sustained their licensure exam have gone on to begin their summer internships: Tsjibbe deJong in Strathroy URC with Rev. H. Zekveld, Rodney den Boer in Aldergrove CanRC with Rev. R. Schouten, Raoul Kingma in Lincoln CanRC with Rev. D. Wynia, Ruurd Offringa in Willoughby Heights CanRC with Rev. R.C. Janssen, Kevin Star in Dunnville CanRC with Rev. J. Van Woudenberg, Tim van Beek in Atterclife CanRC with Rev. R. Vermeulen, Anson van Delden in Mercy Christian Church with Rev. I. Wildeboer, Bryan Vanderhorst in Edmonton Immanuel CanRC with Rev. J. Van Spronsen, and Tim Veenstra in Brampton CanRC with Rev. M. Van Luik. Two of our graduating students, Kelvin Dekker and Aidan Plug, sustained their preparatory exams and are already considering calls from various congregations. May the LORD bless all of these students as they advance toward their goal of becoming ministers of the holy gospel.
  • All praise is due to our God that CRTS received a positive evaluation by the ATS visitation team and was granted a ten-year term of re-accreditation. This is the longest term that the Board of Commissioners grants.
  • There is a transition happening in our New Testament department.  Dr. Gerhard H. Visscher has retired after nineteen years of service at our seminary, and Dr. William den Hollander is taking over. Please ask the Lord of hosts to supply these brothers, along with their wives and families, with everything that they need for the changes that lie ahead of them.
  • Looking forward to the Fall 2020 semester, due to the ongoing challenges related to COVID-19, the seminary is planning to deliver its education through a hybrid model that can best be described in this way: face-to-face education as much as possible and online learning as much as necessary. Details of how this will work can be found here. Please ask that the Lord may grant wisdom to the faculty and staff as they plan for the challenges that lie ahead.

As the above points demonstrate, we have much reason to rejoice in the gracious blessings of our faithful covenant God. We have as much reason to remain constant in prayer, realizing that we are completely dependent upon him. These recent months have put that into sharper focus for all of us. We also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your loyal and loving support of our seminary. That, too, is an immense blessing that we do not take for granted.


In Christ,

Dr. Jason Van Vliet (principal)