Latest News at WEST
Speakers for the 2013 WEST Revival Conference
Published on 12th December 2012
It is planned to send out brochures for the 22 - 29 June 2013 Revival
Conference in January 2013. The speakers are as follows: Mike
Milton, Erroll Hulse, Ian Parry, Gwyn Davies, Sheila Stephen and a
Christian leader from Algeria.
Mike Milton Sings
Published on 12th December 2012
Dr Mike Milton is clearly multi-talented. He is Chancellor
-elect of Reformed Theological Seminary, USA and a former pastor and
church planter. He is also an army chaplain and former
businessman. Mike is also a singer - song writer, and you can hear
a Christmas song of his: "Jesus came" at
So what is the WEST connection? Mike obtained his PhD through
WEST and is the main speaker in the 2013 Revival Conference.
New Ministerial Appointments for Former WEST Students
Published on 12th December 2012
Mark Fisher, since he graduated from WEST
several years ago, has held trainee posts at Heath Evangelical
Church, Cardiff. On Sunday 30 September Mark was ordained into the
Christian ministry. His new title is Assistant Pastor (Evangelism)
and he continues to preach in the open air with OAM, speaks in primary
schools, helps with the Internatyional Student work, chairs the church’s
Evangelism Group, advises on the evangelistic content of
the church's website and literature and trains up others in Gospel
proclamation. Pray for Mark and Miriam Fisher.
Darrin Gilchrist, has been serving as Assistant
Pastor in Caersalem Baptist Church, St Mellons, Cardiff since he left
WEST 18 months ago. He has been called to the pastorate of
Caergwrle Evangelical Church near Wrexham from Spring 2013. We
wish Darrin, his wife, Rachel, and their little baby God's blessing on
this future ministry.
Jim Hillier studied at WEST from 1999 to 2002.
He was pastor in Baldock, Hertfordshire from 2002 to 2005. Since
2006 he has been gaining life experience in the police force. On 1
November Jim returns to the pastorate at Grace Community Church, Looe,
Andy McKenna, who has been working as Assistant
Pastor at Minster Christian Centre, Cardiff, moved with his family
to engage in church planting in Market Harborough in the East
Midlands. He is Pastor of Christchurch, Market Harborough.
Jonny Raine was inducted to the pastorate of Pontrhydyrun Baptist Church, Cwmbran on Saturday, 8 September 2012.
May God bless them and their families in these new spheres of service.
Jamaican New Testament
Published on 24th October 2012
This month a new translation of the New Testament has been published
in Jamaica. The translators worked from the Greek text but the
product was not English as we know it but the patois that is used
conversationally on the streets of Kingston and elsewhere. Our own
Bertram Gayle, who graduated from WEST several years ago, was a key
member of the translation team. His hard work and skill honed by
Iwan Rhys Jones and John Kendall are being well used today. Pray
that the Scriptures in this easily understood form will be used by the
Spirit of God to mightily bless the people of Jamaica. Pray for
Bertram and his colleagues as they work on the translation of the Old
Calls to the Christian Ministry
Published on 10th October 2012
Hugh Davis completied his degree studies in
Theology this summer. He has accepted an invitation to be Pastor
of Wetherden Baptist Church, Suffolk. Pray for Hugh and family.
Dan Dwelly also graduated this summer and has been
appointed to the post of Assistant Pastor at Carey Baptist Church,
Reading from 1 September 2012. Pray for him and his wife, Emma.
Dan is regularly ministering in the Carey Westwood Farm church plant and
with Carey's youth ministries.
Julie Gower has completed 2 years of the 3 year
degree course. She has accepted an administrative post with
UCCF in Oxford and continues her WEST studies part-time by distance
learning. Pray for her in this new chapter in her life.
Matt Ingle completed his WEST studies in
Theology this year. On 1 July he took up his duties as Youth and
Children's Minister in the parish of Winklebury and Worting in
Basingstoke. May the Lord richly bless Matt, Lizi and the baby.
Emyr James (Binary Course) is continuing his studies
at WEST while working as Assistant Pastor at the Welsh Evangelical
Church in Cardiff. Pray for him and his wife, Catrin.
Steffan Jones (Binary Course) has been called to
be Pastor of Mount Elim Evangelical Church, Pontardawe in the
Swansea Valley. Steffan's Ordination and Induction service were on
Saturday, 29 September. Pray for him, his wife and young family.
Joel Kendall, completed his undergraduate
studies in Theology this summer and was called to be Assistant
Minister at Christ Church, Westbourne, Bournemouth, Dorset from
September 2012. Joel's Induction service was on Sunday, 9
September. We wish Joel and Katie the Lord's richest blessing.
Peter Killingley was a Binary Course student.
He accepted a call from Trinity Baptist Church, Gloucester to be
their Trainee Pastor. Pray for Peter, Sophie and family.
Contributions to a Volume on John Owen
Published on 8th October 2012
WEST lecturers Bob Letham and Lee Gatiss have contributed chapters to
a new volume published in October 2012. It is the Ashgate
Research Companion to John Owen's Theology edited by Kelly M Kapic and
Mark Jones. Published by Ashgate.
Student Exam Results
Published on 3rd October 2012
Students achieved excellent results.
Undergraduates: 12 passes: 2 GDips, 6 BAs and 4 BDs (including 3 with first class honours).
Postgraduates (taught masters): 13 passes: 2 with distinction, 6 with merit and 1 postgraduate diploma with merit.
Published on 19th September 2012
A good crowd met on Saturday 15 September for the WEST Dedication
Service held in the SaRang Thomas Centre, and afterwards for tea in
Bryntirion House. Jonathan Stephen led the service and former
student, Steve Levy, of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Swansea, preached
most helpfully about the nature of true Christian service in the church
from Colossians 1: 24- 25. As usual, new students, mostly starting
BA/BD and Binary courses, were introduced.
Earlier we heard of encouraging developments. The grand old
entrance to Bryntirion House is now the visitor’s first impression of
the College via the new one-way vehicular access. The old chapel
is a meeting/board room, alongside a smart reception area. The
lobby opens on to the re-modelled and expanded library. The study
bedrooms in A-block have been refurbished. The well-equipped
kitchen is back in use, and seven days a week, with an excellent
full-time chef. A new boiler powers the heating for all the old
The partnership with SaRang Church is bearing fruit, founded on
mutual trust. This remarkable Korean church has a vision for
re-equipping the churches of Wales, particularly in the Valleys.
The Porterbrook Network in Wales – focused on church planting – is now
based at WEST and 40 of its students had already met that morning.
UCCF (Wales) also use the School’s conference facilities for training
WEST is working with Highfields Church, Cardiff, in order to deliver a
placement degree. Plans to develop training for ministry through
the medium of Welsh are progressing well. A Slovakian M-level student
will hopefully be the first of a new wave of highly subsidised students
from Eastern. (The re-evangelisation of Europe is a strategic priority
for SaRang, with WEST as a launch pad!)
A Church Theologian is to be appointed to support churches and their
leaderships. On Thursdays, well-known church leaders preach at 12
noon and lead a seminar after lunch at 2.10 pm. These meetings are
open to the public. A new International Foundation Course had
just started with an initial intake of over 20 students on 6 month
visas, mainly from Korea. The course covers English Language for
Theology, Bible Overview, Discipleship and visits to Christian
heritage sites in the UK. A few of these students could progress to
degree programmes. Former WEST students lead this course and teach
Further plans for development and expanding the work are in the pipeline...
Welsh Theology Book
Published on 12th September 2012
"Diwinydda Ddoe a Heddiw" (Doing Theology Yesterday and Today) was
published in late August 2012. It is edited by Iwan Rhys Jones and
comprises essays in Welsh on a variety of historical, biblical and
theological topics contributed by WEST Welsh-speaking staff past and
present. The book has been produced to mark the contribution of Dr
Eryl Davies to the life of the School.
Published on 21st June 2012
We congratulate Roger Abbott
who teaches the Pastoral Response to Trauma module on our MA programme
on his appointment as Research Associate in Natural Disasters at the
Faraday Institute in Cambridge. Roger will continue with his teaching
duties at WEST whilst taking up this post.
Bob Letham's New Book on Baptism: "The Water That Unites" (Christian Focus)
Published on 10th May 2012
"Rightly does Letham seek to understand the issue of baptism
within the canonical framework of Scripture. He is hopeful that
this is the way forward beyond the impasse that has stymied the church
for centuries regarding this precious ordinance ....if you are searching
for a well-argued, and irenic, approach to this subject from the
vantage point of infant baptism, this is the book for you."
Michael Haykin, Professor of Church History and Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.
"Here is a robust, articulate and biblical presentation of
covenant baptism that avoids populism and individualism. Dr Letham
has placed baptism in its covenantal and canonical context - a work of
God rather than an act of obedience - no bare sign but an active means
of grace - for believers and their children."
Liam Goligher, Senior Minister, Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Book Review of "Romans: the Divine Marriage"
Published on 7th December 2011
“Isn’t it somewhat arrogant to think that anything radically
new can be found to say about such a well-known text as the book of
Romans?” This was the perfectly understandable comment made to this
reviewer. Nevertheless, this commentary is truly path-breaking,
largely because care is taken to remove layers of Western cultural
baggage that have obscured the meaning of the letter as
understood by the original hearers.
Hearers? Don’t you mean readers? No, Paul’s letter
to the Romans would have been read to the gathered church community;
individuals would not have had their own copy. The letter would
have been understood for what it was – a message to the whole church and
not to an individual. Application would be essentially corporate
and not the way we today tend to read it – a message to me. Dr
Holland argues persuasively for the Jewishness of this
literature. All Paul’s quotations are from the Jewish Bible, the
Old Testament. A people are addressed, not a person. His
thinking was not Greek but Hebraic. We today are classic Greek
thinkers, stressing the individual rather than the
community. Whereas we correctly understand “the body of Christ” to
be corporate, “the body of sin” is not generally understood to be the
community of the unredeemed. Similarly, chapter 6’s reference to
baptism is generally applied to the individual though the comparison is
with the “baptism into Moses” of the children of Israel. Even “new
man” is a corporate.
So what difference does this approach make? It shows the unity
of the Old and New Testament. Paul’s theology was the theology of
Christ, which was the theology of the Old Testament. To understand
Paul we need to be saturated in the Old Testament as he
was. “Obvious” you may say, but much modern scholarship has given
the impression that we need to immerse ourselves instead in Greco-Roman
literature or the writings of the intertestimental period. Tom
Holland gives us back our Reformation heritage of one inspired, inerrant
and infallible text that is self authenticating. The challenge for
21st century evangelicals is to get to know their Bibles
better. The author notes that Paul interweaves 16 different
quotations from Isaiah in explaining God’s way of salvation. The
commentator instructs us on how these quotations should be
viewed. They are vital to our understanding of the overall
theme. Often a short quotation is used by the inspired writer to
remind us of a much longer section of the Old Testament story. We
must not be lazy readers but familiarise ourselves with the context of
the short snippet quoted. Often this will open up for us the clear
meaning in view – which would have been obvious to readers who knew the
Torah well but may be not to most of us.
What then is the big story line that the Apostle is tracing from
the Old and into the New Testament? It is a “New Exodus”
theme. The Old Testament records two great acts of God’s salvation:
the first Exodus - from Egypt and the second – from Babylon. The
New Testament writers, including Paul in Romans, use the language of
these two salvation events to describe the New Exodus of God’s
deliverance of a people from the dominion of Satan and sin through the
death of the Firstborn of all Creation, the Lord Jesus Christ. What
then of the “Divine Marriage” of the book’s title? Covenant is a
key concept throughout the Bible. Dr Holland argues that it
describes Adam’s relationship with his Creator. The Fall was a
divorce. Humankind “in Adam” has become married to another,
Satan. As a result of the New Exodus the redeemed community (the
Christian church) have become married to Christ.
I hope this has whetted your appetite. I believe this is a
highly significant book. It interacts with scholars across the
board (eg Wright, Dunn, Piper, etc) but is written in such a way that
the ordinary serious-minded Christian can understand. This is
definitely worth the price.
Reviewer: Kerry Orchard
Published on 1st February 2008
We thank God for our loyal supporters without whom the work simply could
not continue. Student fees meet only 60% of our costs. The financial
crisis has inevitably adversely affected giving (the only other element
in the absence of government or denominational funding). We recently
made it easier to donate to WEST through an on-line facility from the
home page of the web site. We have received several donations via this
means, some which took up the option of boosting their giving through
Gift Aid. Your gifts could help:
- Needy students: they include applicants from abroad but
increasingly are from UK - most British students at WEST have a first
degree, and if they are typical, a hefty debt too from paying off loans.
- Fund new staff appointments: we plan to develop our complement
of full-time academic staff by one a year over the next 3 years. All
will be godly conservative evangelicals with a wide range of pastoral or
- Develop the campus: we need more classrooms, a library twice the
size of the existing and a large meeting room to cater for 200 or so. A
scheme already has planning permission. We need the funds to proceed.
- On-going running costs: this includes staff salaries,
maintenance of the site, heat and light, etc. This may sound mundane but
it is nonetheless vital.