We’re Moving to Minneapolis: 5 Reasons We’re Excited to Serve at Bethlehem College & Seminary

Andy Naselli —  January 16, 2013 — 14 Comments

bcsLogoColorBethlehem College & Seminary (BCS) just announced that I’ll be joining their faculty in August 2013 as Assistant Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology.

Jenni and I are grateful to God and excited to join the BCS family. We’re planning to move to Minneapolis this summer.

If you don’t know much about BCS, these links are a good place to start:

We’re excited to serve at BCS for at least five reasons:

1. Doctrine

The doctrine BCS affirms and celebrates is what we affirm and celebrate.

BCS embraces “historic Christian orthodoxy” (e.g., what the Nicene and Chalcedonian Creeds teach about the Trinity and Jesus’ incarnation).

BCS also affirms important second-level doctrines such as

“On matters such as eschatology and the continuance of the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, we allow for a range of perspectives, provided that such positions are held in submission to the inerrant and infallible Word of God.”

For a fuller statement of BCS’s doctrinal beliefs, see their Affirmation of Faith.

2. Strategy

BCS is connected to several affiliate ministries, including Bethlehem Baptist Church.

Our aim is to give students an intense immersion in a God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated local church that combines rigorous study with church-based application, all to the end that they might joyfully magnify the infinite worth of Jesus Christ, and live for the praise of God’s glory in affection, thought, word, and deed. (“Mission and Vision”)

Education exists because worship doesn’t. (“Core Values”)

The seminary has a cohort-model that accepts only fifteen students a year, and those students take all their classes together. (My responsibilities will be primarily at the seminary-level.) The courses intentionally build on each other, and the professors (who are members of Bethlehem Baptist Church) shepherd the students.

Cf. these videos:

Testimonies (4:38 min.)

Jason Meyer – Associate Professor of New Testament (6:24 min.)

3. Research

BCS has three types of professors. All of them teach, but they each have a different focus:

  1. Teaching
  2. Administration
  3. Research

The latter two have a lighter teaching load. In addition to mentoring a few students, the “research” professors also (a) supervise ThM students, (b) engage in ongoing research and writing, and (c) teach and preach outside BCS as feasible.

I’ll be serving as a “research” professor, which is an ideal fit. It’s exactly the sort of position I’ve longed for.

4. Synergy

I didn’t realize until we moved to a small town in South Carolina—where I work in my home office—how much I love the edifying synergy that occurs when I regularly interact in person with colleagues. I miss that, and I’m looking forward to the camaraderie with the BCS team.

In God’s providence, I already know Tim Tomlinson and Jason DeRouchie fairly well since we rafted through the Grand Canyon together in July 2011, and I’ve been friends with Jason Meyer since his first book came out. (Jason Meyer was recently formally approved as successor to John Piper.) Jenni and I have already enjoyed getting to know the BCS family and look forward to building deeper friendships.

5. Piper

It’s an honor to serve with John Piper. He is BCS’s chancellor, and he plans to invest himself in BCS and to teach one course each semester.

Piper is a modern-day Charles Spurgeon and one of my favorite preachers. He exalts God by carefully and passionately explaining and applying the text of Scripture.

God used Piper to transform me as a freshman in college. On Christmas Day 1998, I read The Pleasures of God. I was riveted. I worshiped God as supremely sovereign over all things, including our salvation.

I didn’t know anything about Piper at the time, but what he wrote deeply resonated with me. Shortly later I read Desiring God. Then I started listening to Piper’s sermons and reading more of his books. Very influential then. Very influential now (e.g., over 45 of my blog posts have “John Piper” as a tag).

When Jenni and I started dating in late summer 2003, one of the first things I did was lend her my marked-up copies of Desiring God, The Pleasures of God, and Rediscovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and I asked her to read them to make sure that we were on the same page theologically. She read them very carefully (especially the chapter on marriage in DG!), and God used them significantly in her life. Since that time, she’s enjoyed listening to hundreds of Piper’s sermons and many of his interviews and audiobooks that I’ve loaded on her iPod.

I’ve enjoyed interacting with John at various venues, and Jenni and I have regularly prayed for him. But we didn’t envision partnering this closely with him. We thank God for John and for this opportunity to serve at BCS.

Cf. John Piper at Bethlehem College & Seminary (3:19 min.)

14 responses to We’re Moving to Minneapolis: 5 Reasons We’re Excited to Serve at Bethlehem College & Seminary

  1. Congratulations, dude.

  2. Blessings and congratulations!
    I am very pleased to see your ministry growing & and developing in this way at Bethlehem. It brings you even closer to our church in Lakeville, MN. As you may recall, we are searching for a Sr. Pastor at Trinity EFC and hopefully your proximity will allow for an opportunity to visit and fill our pulpit in the future.
    Chuck

  3. Andy, Pleased to hear this news. You’ve been wonderfully blessed over the years and going forward looks very promising.

  4. Congratulations, my friend. I think Bethlehem is a very fortunate institution. May the Lord bless you as you impact multitudes of God’s servants for the kingdom.

  5. Blessings and congratulations from Denmark.Will this move include you now cheering for the Vikings?:)

  6. Are you still going to be Dr Carson’s research assistant?

  7. Andy,

    I am thankful for this news. As one who has been blessed by your ministry, as well as John Piper’s (and the whole staff of DG), this is an exciting “pooling” of gifts and resources. May the Lord use it to continue the fervent advance of the Gospel and His Kingdom.

  8. Exciting news. Maybe one of these days I’ll bump into you. We loved our four 1/2 years at Bethlehem. We’ll be neighbors as we live in St. Paul.

    The BCS makes me wish I was back in school again. Very excited for what they are doing there.

    Oh, and we loved having Jason DeRouchie as our adult SS teacher for about 3 years. His passion for God and God’s Word is a joy to behold.

  9. Andy, that is great news. It is always encouraging to hear how the Lord is using you in the church! Still pray for you from time to time.

    Regards,

    Mark

  10. I know I am very glad to hear this (as are other BCS students)! We enjoyed having you grill us in our Greek course on Ephesians with Tom Steller! I am glad the ridiculous snowstorm didn’t dissuade you and the wifey!!! Haha! I promise it hasn’t snowed that much since you visited!!

  11. Congratulations, Andy! Very happy for you. I’m confident you’ll make a great contribution to the faculty there.

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