Welcome to The North American Reformed Seminary

by on February 20, 2008

Going to Seminary would like to offer a warm welcome to the folks over at The North American Reformed Seminary (TNARS). Some of the guys from TNARS have been hanging around Going to Seminary and have decided to become sponsors. I’m really happy to welcome them and would like to thank them for helping me keep this site up and running.

If you’re never heard of The North American Reformed Seminary, go check out their site. The seminary is FREE and conducted via distance education. Endorsed by Dr. John Frame, Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., and Mark Ryan (Director of L’Abri Institute), TNARS offers several degrees and has a very interesting approach to the education process. Go check them out!

Again, thank you TNARS for supporting our site and may your endeavors bring Glory to God.

About

The author of this post is noted above. GoingtoSeminary.com and Best-Seminary.com were created by Ryan Burns. He is currently on staff at Redemption Hill Church in Richmond, VA, and recently launched a site to help people find Seminary Scholarships and anther site to help people find Church Jobs. He also writes about his experiences doing GORUCK events on his hobby blog.

Comments

The website does not state a permanant address, it appears to be a ministry ran out of someones home.

The materials are all borrowed from other institutions websites. The faculty has awarded itself degrees from its own school.

There is no published syllabus, just a chaotic jumble of free online continuing education classes.

Free education is a noble idea, but in this case you get what you pay for; a waste of time.

Many of the links are dead or not working.

Website is very amatuer.

Statement of faith is dogmatic and has elements of Montanism; certainly not within Orthodoxy. It is obvious that the World Reformed Fellowship has no oversight of this lay ministry.

Dr. Lamil,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on TNARS. Some of your observations are true, like the fact that the materials are often from other institutions, some of the the members of the oversight committee have received degrees from TNARS, and they have no listed mailing address.

In regards to your comments on the quality of the website, I would disagree that it is amateur, but rather minimalistic. As a designer I think their approach to design shows great restraint to keep content, layout, and navigation to a minimum. I find the site design refreshing in a world wide web that has FAR too many obnoxious websites.

On a far more important note, I would appreciate it if you would please elaborate on your comment that the statement of faith has elements of Montanism. I’ve read it through and have not been able to see where you draw this conclusion but would appreciate the insight if you believe that TNARS has strayed from Orthodoxy. It seems unlikely to me that World Reformed Fellowship or Dr. John Frame would stick their name onto something the strays from Orthodoxy, specifically of the Reformed tradition.

Finally, I would disagree that TNARS is a waste of time. TNARS is not for everyone. Traditional, accredited, seminary is the path that many can and should take in preparation for full time vocation ministry. However, there are many people and cases where this type of preparation is simply not attainable. For some, the reason is financial and for some the reason is geographical. I believe that if a person has wrestled through the books, lectures, and writing assignments of the TNARS classes that he or she will be better for it.

As I state elsewhere in the site, each person must seek the Lord as to his call for them personally. Traditional seminary is not the right route for every person. For that reason, I am glad that TNARS is available as an option for people to consider. Those thinking about any course of continuing education must be diligent to wrestle through the implication of studying through TNARS or any institution. Individuals must consider consider the statement of faith, accreditation status, the content of the curriculum, and numerous other personal, internal, questions before deciding to enroll in any Christian education program. In the end, TNARS might be the best decision for some people.

I’m sure Larry will be by here later to offer his response, but I encourage all dialog to remain civil and that we respect eachother as brothers and sisters in the Lord.

(For the record, other than the business relationship in which TNARS has purchased ad space on goingtoseminary.com I am not personally involved with TNARS.)

Dr. Lamil,

You said: The website does not state a permanant address, it appears to be a ministry ran out of someones home.

My reply: It is an online ministry and in that regard has no need for a brick and mortar building to run classes out of. Our official address is:
8290 Stardust Trail
Flagstaff, AZ 86011

You said: The materials are all borrowed from other institutions websites. The faculty has awarded itself degrees from its own school.

My reply: I’m not sure i would call it “borrowed” since we actually link over to their websites… It’s not like we are copying their stuff over to our site. As TNARS is completely free we use resources that are already freely available. I am glad that you didn’t say the material is substandard.

As far as the faculty having degrees from TNARS, i think you are giving the wrong impression. I am the only one on the oversight dept. that has a degree from TNARS. Others have degrees from Covenant Seminary, Westminster Seminary, Mount Carmel Institute of Biblical Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary, and the University of Toronto.

You said: There is no published syllabus, just a chaotic jumble of free online continuing education classes.

my reply: All of our course requirements are publicly listed on our website under the “academics” link. I would hardly call it “a chaotic jumble”, but folks can check that out themselves and make their own decisions about it.

You said: Free education is a noble idea, but in this case you get what you pay for; a waste of time.

My reply: ouch!…that hurts 😉 I hardly think that my time in TNARS was a waste of time…and that’s why i came on board to help out. I find the diverse opinions on the rigor of TNARS to be quite interesting. On another blog…
http://psalm73-25.blogspot.com/2008/03/more-for-less.html
were it says…
“There’s no doubt that anyone who earnes one of these degrees will receive an excellent education.”
“My wife described the assignments as “daunting”, and I would have to agree.”

So i guess what you consider education that’s not worth much others consider quite “daunting.”

You said: Many of the links are dead or not working.

My reply: Post the links. I don’t think any are dead. Perhaps you are speaking about links to the biblecentre.net which require a login and password?

You said: Website is very amatuer.

My reply: who cares? I disagree, but really…who cares? It’s about the education, not about the website.

You said: Statement of faith is dogmatic and has elements of Montanism; certainly not within Orthodoxy. It is obvious that the World Reformed Fellowship has no oversight of this lay ministry.

My reply: Could you post something that our site promotes that are these elements of Montanism? Some proof to back up these wild accusations would be nice. I find it hard to believe that our statement of faith, which comes from Warfield falls outside the pale of orthodoxy.

Dr Lamil –

Is it ever a waste of time to study God’s word? I bet it is your wish everyone would delve into the Word of God on this level as well.

Nowhere, and I mean absolutely nowhere does TNARS statement of faith promote even an inkling of montanism. TNARS does not promote the speaking of tongues today! So just what he or she is referring to is beyond me to this point. Reformed theology is not popular with the mass of humanity so perhaps this is why a wild strawman was set up? Perhaps the enemy to truth would divert the tares within Christendom from coming to TNARS? If so I’m glad he did. The reason is that anyone who has taken the time to read TNARS statement of faith will find it nothing less than orthodox. And to those who truly believe it to be unorthodox do not know orthodox Christianity and without such knowledge do not know the true God either. One more thought I’d like to add! Churches were out of homes in the early church, so rather it is ran from someones home or under some tree, “it doesn’t make it a fraud. Most seminaries today are accredited by humanists.. Do we need thier approval? I think not!

To think for a second that the Westminster Confession or the Three Forms of Unity are anything but Orthodox boggles the mind. I think the writer needs to be a bit more carefull. My suggestion is that he learn a little more about these confessions and then hopefully then by the mercy of God he will have a more accurate opinion. The only reason I have not committed to the program yet is because the courses are daunting, and I need to improve upon my writing skills first. Just so that people know these classes is recognized by Westminster Theological Seminary, and Biblical Seminary to name a few. Also The Orthodox Presbyterian Church recognizes it along with the Presbyterian Church in America and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Thats pretty darn good if you ask me!