I am very excited to announce that in fall, 2016, RTS Charlotte will launch the new Center for Church Planting. The new center will include a MDiv emphasis in church planting along with a host of other types of specialized training for church planters.
In many ways, this new center is driven by what God is already doing in the city of Charlotte and among our alumni. The city has had a boom of new church plants over the last decade, many of which are being led by our own grads. Thus, the new center is really a response to the fact that Charlotte is naturally becoming a church planting hub.
Here is the full press release that went out today:
Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC is pleased to announce that it will launch The Center for Church Planting (CCP) in fall, 2016.
The purpose of the CCP is to become a national and international resource for the planting of Reformed churches committed to the authority of Scripture, the centrality of preaching, and the great commission. It will specialize in training future pastors for the unique challenges, complexities, and opportunities that church planters face.
The CCP will offer a Master of Divinity emphasis in church planting, specialized internships, mentoring by seasoned church planters, and generous scholarship support. In addition, students will participate in the church planters fellowship, annual conferences and lectures, and enjoy unique networking opportunities in the Carolinas and beyond.
RTS Charlotte President, Dr. Michael J. Kruger, commented on the new center, “We are so pleased to see how God has opened the doors for the new Center for Church Planting here in Charlotte. We believe that the great commission moves forward most effectively through the planting of new churches. And we want those churches to be planted by pastors who love Reformed theology, believe in the power of preaching, and have a heart for the lost.”
The city of Charlotte provides the ideal environment for the new CCP. With a population of 1.8 million in the metropolitan area, a world class business and professional community, a vibrant and growing urban center, a rich cultural heritage, and a diverse mix of people groups in need of the gospel, Charlotte provides future church planters with endless opportunities for ministry.
In addition, Charlotte is already a city with a rich history of church planting. The number of Reformed churches has grown exponentially over the last decade, providing a variety of opportunities for church planting internships and for mentoring relationships with seasoned church planters.
Harry Reeder, Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL, expressed his excitement about the new center, “There is a desperate need for Gospel healthy churches which display the majesty of the triune God of glory and grace. Such churches are delivered by the sovereign Hand of God through Gospel saturated church planters. This is why I am grateful for the Center for Church Planting at RTS Charlotte and the privilege to both benefit from it as well as support it.”
The director of the CCP will be Dr. Tom Hawkes, senior pastor of Uptown Church (PCA) and Visiting Lecturer of Practical Theology at RTS Charlotte. Tom planted Uptown Church in the heart of Charlotte over 21 years ago, out of which five additional churches have been planted. The assistant director will be Dean Faulkner, a Visiting Lecturer of Practical Theology at RTS Charlotte and a seasoned church planter who has trained many young pastors and church planters in the PCA. Dean is finishing his Doctor of Ministry degree at RTS Charlotte.
The RTS Charlotte campus has become a national and international training ground for pastors, missionaries, educators, and leaders in the church. It has a beautiful 17 acre campus, ten full-time resident faculty members, a library of 60,000 volumes, and hundreds of alumni serving Christ all over the globe. RTS Charlotte offers the Master of Divinity degree, the Master of Arts degree (in Christian Counseling, Biblical Studies, and Theological Studies), and the Doctor of Ministry degree. It also hosts the Institute for Reformed Campus Ministry designed to provide additional training for students who plan to minister in a university environment.
Those interested in learning more about the RTS Charlotte campus can go here.