The Western Isles will host the first-ever roadshow for Edinburgh Theological Seminary (ETS) next week.
On Wednesday, January 21st a special event will take place in the MA Macleod Hall in Stornoway beginning at 7.30pm, where addresses will be given by ETS Principal and Stornoway Free Church minister Rev Iver Martin and ETS lecturer Rev Daniel Sladek.
There will also be a question and answer session with current students.
It is hoped the evening will allow the people of Lewis to hear more about the work and vision of ETS and for island congregations to develop a closer relationship with the Seminary.
Numbers have continued to soar over the past two years at ETS with a record number of new students. This includes Innes MacSween and Paul Murray from the Cross congregation in Ness, Iain Morrison from Back Free Church and David MacDonald from Stornoway, who are all training for the Free Church ministry.
While ETS has historically been the Free Church College, it very much seeks to serve the whole church in our country. Every year there are students from a very wide range of congregations and backgrounds, both from Scotland and from abroad, and the Seminary is keen to further develop its ties with the wider church.
ETS is not simply a training institution for ministers, it offers a huge range of courses for which can be studied part time or full time. There are options for anyone to benefit from, both young and old, and the courses fees are kept at an affordable level.
ETS is also a great option for school leavers to consider, as it can offer a degree course validated by the University of Glasgow while at the same time providing superb opportunities for practical, hands on training in mission, outreach and pastoral work.
Rev. Iver Martin said: “This event is a serious and important attempt at bringing the Seminary close to the people who support it.
“Theological education can seem remote and detached from the real world. It shouldn’t be, and it’s our job to tell the church what goes on in our Seminary, how crucial it is for today’s world and how we train our ministers to function as pastors in modern Scotland and beyond.
“To do that we need to meet the students who study there, find out who they are, get to know them and discover for ourselves how they are being prepared for life in ministry.
“The Roadshow will provide a window into the Seminary.”
Rev Thomas Davis, minister of Carloway Free Church on the west side, completed his studies earlier this year before his induction.
Mr Davis added: “Studying at ETS was an enormous privilege for me, during my three years I feel I learned a vast amount and I developed wonderful friendships with people from all over our country and beyond.
“ETS really is a hidden treasure in our church and nation so this roadshow event is a fantastic opportunity for our wider church to learn more about the wonderful asset that we have in our Seminary.”