Last weekend, Providence students had the opportunity to attend the annual Westminster Seminary conference. The topic for 2013 was “The Whole Armor of God: The Belgic Confession and Heidelberg Catechism for today.” Faculty speakers explored the relevance of these Reformed confessions in connection to Ephesians 6. This year, the seminary offered a special deal for Providence students eager to attend the conference and learn more about the seminary at the same time, inviting them to stay in the area overnight and even treating them to gas and lunch with a faculty panel during the day. A dozen students took advantage of this offer and had a enriching time last weekend.
“The speakers were interesting,” junior Danielle Yett explained, “And the topic was interesting. It was different because it wasn’t just expositing a verse – it was integrating it with the reformed tradition of confessions.”
Senior Bryan Punter agreed, “What stood out most for me was the talk by Dr. Godfrey at the end. He reminded us of the incredible struggle of our forefathers to preserve truth. We still have that truth, and it’s still relevant for today. It’s something we should continue to protect.”
Visiting the seminary was not only a good time for theological discussion, it was a time to reconnect with past alumni who were in attendance, as well as a time for prospective seminarians to explore their options. The faculty panel at lunch was more than willing to answer students questions, whether about theology or the benefits of attending a seminary. Not all the seminary graduates mentioned were pastors; some were teachers, homemakers or businessmen. “It just made me realize that a solid foundation of studying the Bible is valuable as preparation for a number of careers, for life really,” reflected senior Shelli Cammenga, “ That’s something we definitely get at Providence, but it was good to realize that there is even further to go. It’s a lifelong process!”
The conference spanned Friday evening and much of the day Saturday. Students stayed overnight at a nearby hotel to save travel time and allow them to make the morning sessions. The final day ended with a panel which included Dr. Godfrey and Dr. Michael Horton alongside others who had spoken, during which the audience could ask questions of clarification or further discussion. One of the last questions reiterated the importance of protecting sound doctrine today, something the Providence students as future pastors, church members and parents certainly recognized the importance of.
“This conference was a good reminder to treasure our heritage,” Punter concluded.
Two more Providence grads will complete graduate studies at Westminster this spring: Clay Smith ’10 and Chad Tyler ’10. Brandon Addison ’09 graduated last spring with his Masters of Divinity. He now serves at a church in Artesia, California.