Munster Bible College

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I am only just recovering from a fabulous trip to Cork, Ireland, last week. I had the real privilege of getting to teach for a second time at Munster Bible College; my first trip in January was to teach apologetics, this trip dealt with biblical spirituality. Munster Bible College (see video) is just a small and awesome part of what is going on among the Baptists in Co. Cork. Started this year the college is run by seven local Baptist churches whose pastors are part of a board of governors (if that is how they put it, not sure). The school now has about 30 students, most of them from the county, but a number from outside in places like Gorey and Thurles. These are students who, though they range in age and location, share one thing: a hunger to learn about scripture and theology. It has been a tremendous blessing to get to know and teach them.

The larger work that is happening is a result of the strong missions mindset among the Baptist Union and particularly Baptist Missions in the Republic. The Cork-Kerry Project is really a thing to behold. One of the highlights of my trip (of which there were many!) was getting to attend the annual joint Lord’s Day service of the key churches in the area. Some thirty years ago there were a handful of churches each with a handful of members. Cork Baptist Church, where MBC meets for classes, and which is one of the oldest Baptist churches in Ireland, began to grow and train pastors to go out and plant churches. These pastors plant churches that have the mindset to plant further churches. So of the seven main churches in places like Bandon, Carrigaline, Midleton, and Youghal, there are bible studies and mission churches all looking to constitute their own independent congregations when the time comes. This is seen in places like Passage West and Kinsale. The Cork-Kerry Project is vigorous in its church planting and it strikes me as not overly concerned with methods. These Christians just go out and do hardcore evangelism, start bible studies, and watch them grow into churches. I know there is more to it than that, but it really does seem that simple.

Now that the churches are multiplying, there is the great need to train new believers, laypeople, and future pastors. Hence why the college is so important. This, coupled with various conferences, is becoming the means whereby the churches are served with in-depth teaching on a large scale. Munster Bible College flies professors such as myself and others from Southern Seminary and Toronto Baptist Seminary (and one native Irishman!) to teach core courses in OT and NT, systematic theology, church history, apologetics, and spirituality. Excluding myself, the group makes up a world-class faculty of leading scholars.

Please pray for Munster Bible College, the Cork-Kerry Project, the growing churches, and for the pastors and Christians who are a part of it all. This movement of God’s Spirit in Ireland is quite breathtaking. They need prayer, they need resources, they need spiritual protection. I am so glad to play even a small part in this if only to witness this great revival—there is no other word for it. Praise God!