Regents Theological College launches The Institute for Pentecostal Theology (IPT)
With the increasing importance of Pentecostal theology, Regents launches a community of scholars working together to promote theological research in the Pentecostal tradition.
Pentecostal and charismatic churches are growing around the world, and their voices are becoming increasingly significant in the theological world. With the rise of interest in the supernatural, people of all ages are turning back to theology as part of their life journey, and local churches have witnessed a renewed desire for a more in-depth study of the Bible and its theology.
Once known as "The Queen of Sciences", theology was seen as supreme above other forms of education. During that time it was the overarching standard by which others were judged. That may have changed through modernism, but theology is beginning to challenge the predominance of psychology in our post-modern world.
Both are valid, and certainly not opposed to each other, but psychology is "rooted in natural insight and human understanding", and people want more than that. There is certainly a renewed desire to study 'truth' at a deeper level; to explore and research the nature of God.
Regents Theological College has been witness to this over recent years, and in response to their commitment to Scripture, theological inquiry, and the history of the Elim Churches, early in 2020, the College launched a new initiative: the Institute for Pentecostal Theology (IPT).
Led by Revd Dr Simo Frestadius, Revd Dr Jonathan Black, and Dr Martin Clay, all of whom lecture in theology and biblical studies at Regents, the IPT seeks to promote and support Pentecostal research in the areas of theology, history, and biblical studies. The Institute is also privileged to have Revd Professor William K. Kay and Revd Dr Keith Warrington, two of Britain’s leading Pentecostal scholars, as Honorary Fellows.
Located on the Regents campus at the Elim International Centre in the Malvern Hills, the IPT also houses the Elim Pentecostal archive, with a number of special collections, which provide unique resources for students and researchers engaged in Pentecostal theological research. To date, the archive has been managed by a dedicated group of volunteers, who have methodically catalogued the material since everything was moved to the Malvern site some 10 years ago. Dr John Usher was recently appointed as the Institute’s Archival Research Fellow and works alongside this team of invaluable helpers.
Already some significant new research has been coming out of the IPT, with the publication of three books this year, as well as several articles in theological journals. Through these publications, the IPT staff have been contributing to the Pentecostal understanding of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the Lord’s Supper, Pentecostal rationality and epistemology, spirituality, the Body of Christ, British Pentecostal history, and the future of Pentecostalism.
The IPT’s regular research seminars were launched with a visit from Professor Allan Anderson who spoke on ‘Pentecostalism and the Theological Academy: A Global Challenge.’ Each spring, the Institute also hosts the annual Wesley Gilpin Lecture, in memory of the longest-serving Principal of Regents Theological College.
The IPT is deeply grateful to have recently received a life-times collection of Pentecostal, charismatic, and revival history, which was gifted to the archive. It includes an incredible amount of material, much of which was not known about, or assumed to be out-of-print. Amongst a catalogue of books, there are also press cuttings, accounts of revival meetings, and reports of Elim Church gatherings that add to the archival history and clarify some of the gaps in Elim's history.
If all this sounds rather highbrow, at the heart of the IPT is a simple desire to provide a network amongst enthusiastic Pentecostal researchers, who wish to contribute to the future of the worldwide Pentecostal movement. Already those contacts are being made, and not just amongst charismatics.
It is exciting to hear from people associated with other denominations who value our Pentecostal journey, from both a historical and spiritual point-of-view, and want to be part of the IPT future. At the heart of the IPT is a simple desire to provide a network amongst enthusiastic Pentecostal researchers, who wish to contribute to the future of the worldwide Pentecostal movement, both in the academy and in the church.
Subscribe to the IPT podcast
The IPT which serves as a resource for students, scholars, and the church across the UK, Europe, and further afield, has recently launched a new podcast where it discusses theological issues.
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