I’ve just wrapped up an orientation course called Theology of the Evangelical Covenant Church. I have to take a bunch of courses with the ECC as a part of completing my ‘orientation’ to the ECC in order to be ordained by them. I took a couple classes about 4 years ago that have since been combined into one course. So after this week’s class I’ve completed two of the four courses. Woo Hoo!
For this course I had to read a number of short position type books of about 100 pages each, subsections of a few other books like the hymnal and the book of worship, and a very long reader that included a collection of articles, essays and sermons from ECC history. I’m counting these readings as one of my books read.
My thoughts on the class
I really enjoyed it. In fact, I loved it. I was reminded why I enjoy being a part of the ECC so much. What I loved:
- Our Professors: They love Jesus. It came across loud and clear throughout their teachings. One professor started weeping when he taught about the different theories of atonement. He did the same when he talked about the freedom we all have in Christ. Also, all of the professors did an excellent job presenting the material in a relevant and engaging way.
- My Classmates: The pastors and lay leaders who comprised the students in the class were thoughtful and seasoned minsters. They shared relevant and interesting stories appropriate to the doctrinal issues we discussed. On a number of topics regarding sensitive issues, some of the classmates shared vulnerably in front of the entire class of 50+ students.
- ECC Theology: I find myself theologically at home in the ECC. The ECC defines itself through a series of affirmations and resolutions. There is not strict doctrinal stances mandated for any topic. There are core affirmations around which we congregate. I find myself agreeing very much with the heart of the ECC affirmations, and I so appreciate the gracious spirit of engagement with those who see things differently.
It was a good class, but I’m glad it’s over. I missed my family very much. I was also getting tired of spending 7-8 hours in class every day, and eating every meal in a restaurant. I’m glad for the experience, but more glad to finally be home.