By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERUQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – March 9, 2017) — According to Dr. Joseph Holden, President of Veritas Evangelical Seminary (VES), “It’s been a long time coming.” The “it’s” in his sentence is the fact that VES will open a teaching campus in Albuquerque, New Mexico beginning in Fall 2017.
Holden states, “Our team in Albuquerque, which includes noted archeologist Dr. Steven Collins, met with the accreditation agency TRACS this past year. After the site visit, Albuquerque was approved as one of our teaching locations.”
When asked why this is an important step in the outreach of VES, Dr. Holden states, “To my knowledge VES will be the only fully accredited evangelical seminary in New Mexico. As a matter of fact, it may be the only accredited seminary in the southwest arc, the area that falls within the region between Phoenix, AZ and Dallas, TX. This means people seeking a seminary education in southern Colorado, eastern Arizona, west Texas, not to mention the entire state of New Mexico, have a place to study and grow as Christian leaders.”
Holden continues, “Several years back Calvary Albuquerque hosted a VES Conference with some of our professors such as Dr. Norman Geisler, Dr. Ron Rhodes and myself. After I toured the city, I realized that there is a definite need for an accredited seminary in the region. If you think about it, the Albuquerque area alone has around one million people. And the University of New Mexico has over 27,000 students. In my mind there should be a top-notch seminary that will help equip and empower Christian leaders in the state. I met with key people over the past couple of years, and after prayer and support—largely through Dr. Steven Collins, the teaching site became a reality.”
What are some of the classes one can expect from VES Albuquerque, I ask. “To begin with, 49% of all classes can be taken from live teachers in Albuquerque, including Dr. Collins. The remaining 51% of the classes can be taken online or at our main campus in Orange County, California through modules. Some of the classes one can expect to take in Albuquerque would include Old Testament survey, New Testament survey, Jesus and the Early Church, Christology, Historical Theology, Christian apologetics, among many others. The fact is that there will be a host of offering over the next few years. We’ll probably start off with a couple of core classes and then build from there.”
What are the programs available for students? “VES is currently accredited to offer four degree programs. These include, Master of Arts in Theological Studies (36 unites), a Master of Arts in Christian Apologetics (66 units), A Master of Arts in Biblical Studies (66 units) and a Masters of Divinity (93 units). But we are currently in dialogue to expand our offers to include more degree programs. We’ll know more in 2018 concerning these plans.”
What type of student are you looking for? “We are looking for a wide array of students, from adult learners yearning to deepen their understanding of the Christian faith to individuals seeking ministerial training, and everything in between, really. As our mission statement says we want to ‘equip Christians to evangelize the world and defend the historic Christian faith through rigorous academic and devotional study of the inspired Scriptures.’ And if someone is passionate about the things we’re passionate about, we invite you to apply — one and all.”
I ask Dr. Holden if VES has a theological angle or denominational affiliation? “Yes and no. No, we do not have a denominational affiliation; we are a non-denominational seminary. We have people from many backgrounds in our school: Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, Anglican, Calvary Chapel, and the like. But, yes, we do have a theological angle. We stand firmly within the Classical, evangelical school of learning and doctrine. We adhere to the historic Christian faith as taught by men and women throughout the ages as defined by three of the early Christian creeds (statements of faith). And through the influence of Dr. Norman Geisler we lean towards Thomastic theology, named after the theologian Thomas Aquinas. But I think the average person would say that we are historic-evangelical.”
One last question, Dr. Holden: what are some of the attractions of Albuquerque? “As a non-resident, I’m sure there’s lots of things I’m missing. But as one who’s visited the city I can think of a few things. One, Albuquerque is a beautiful urban area, part of the Rocky Mountain range, with open spaces and the Rio Grande River running straight through it. If you love the outdoors and mountains, then Albuquerque is for you. Two, there’s lots of culture in Albuquerque. From the early Native Americans to the Hispanic and Anglo cultures, Albuquerque has a fascinating and ancient history, as Old Town will attest. Three, one has to mention the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. Though I’ve not had the privilege of attending, the pictures I’ve seen are amazing. And as I understand it, it is one of the most photographed events in the United States. Finally, there’s a deep academic culture. As mentioned, the University of New Mexico is there as is our partner university Trinity Southwest University that houses a Biblical Archeology Museum. I’m sure there’s much, much more, but these are some of the highlights. In the end, Albuquerque and Veritas Evangelical Seminary are a marvelous fit. We look forward to what God will do through the partnership.”
For more information on Veritas Evangelical Seminary, click here: http://www.ves.edu/.
Or contact the school registrar for more information about VES Albuquerque: 3000 W. MacArthur Blvd, Suite 220, Santa Ana, CA 92704. Local: 714.966.8500 and FAX: 714.966.8510.
Photo captions: 1) Dr. Joseph Holden, President, Veritas Evangelical Seminary. 2) VES Logo. 3) Archeologist, Dr. Steven Collins. 4) Albuquerque Balloon Festival. 5) Brian Nixon with ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, pictured during Dan’s visit to Albuquerque..
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, artist, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA), Veritas Evangelical Seminary (MA), and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
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