Church-Based Theological Education

Michael WilburnChurch News

Dear Immanuel Family,

Some of you noticed on the sermon card that I’ll be out of the pulpit for the next five weeks. It’s true. I am thankful for the elders granting me a short sabbatical to give full attention to the research phase of my Ph.D. dissertation. I am grateful to the church staff for picking up the slack in my absence. And I praise God for Dr. Daniel Davey’s willingness to commute from Virginia Beach weekly and preach through the book of Jonah. With the stellar help of elders, the staff, and Dr. Davey you may not miss me.

What is a sabbatical? It’s a period of paid leave for study, travel, or rest. Sabbaticals are a necessity for today’s pastoral ministry. The burdens are too great and sustained to forego breaks between seasons of labor. In this instance, I am gathering research data. The topic is Church-Based Theological Education (CBTE). In short, I’m researching seminaries under a single church’s influence and located on a church’s property. At least twenty CBTE institutions offer degrees in North America. My particular study will determine the educational philosophy, church proximity, and academic standards among CBTE institutions. Our pastors are deeply influenced by these seminaries. Pastor Mike Srisam-ang graduated from The Master’s Seminary (Grace Community Church), and I graduated from Virginia Beach Theological Seminary (Colonial Baptist Church).

I’m spending the majority of my time in Daniels, WV at our family home. Our cat, Pilgrim, tagged along to keep me company. It’s cold on the mountain, snowing twice in the first five days. I joined the YMCA to exercise. And occasionally make excursions to Starbucks or Panera Bread. Otherwise, I’m plodding along at the kitchen table.

While I’m gone, please add the following needs to your prayer reminder: (1) Strength for Sarah, Chloe, Titus, and Noelle while I’m gone. Encourage them when you see them at church. (2) Diligence and focus. Ask the Lord to give me energy and joy for prolonged hours of interaction, interviewing, and editing. (3) Access to institutions. Ask to Lord to open doors so that a majority of CBTE institutions grant permission and give interviews. A high response rate increases the validity and reliability of the research. (4) That the research will benefit and encourage theological education in the local church.


Michael L Wilburn


Jonah: What it’s Really About
Jonah 1:1-3
Dr. Daniel Davey

Psalm 34:1-8

Evening Service:
The Purpose of Scripture
Romans 15:4-7
Pastor Mike Srisam-ang

Sunday is the last day to register for Soma Life Groups. Visit the Welcome Center immediately following the morning service to sign up. If you are NOT currently in one of these groups, you may pick up a SLG flier on any of the tables as you leave the sanctuary for details.

Men’s Ministry starts back Wednesday, February 7th at 6:45 PM

• First eight weeks begins with “Victory in Spiritual Warfare” by Tony Evans
• Last five weeks conclude with “Anxious for Nothing” by Max Lucado
• Men’s Ministry meets upstairs in Room 206

There will be a retirement service, reception and offering for Pastor Geoffrey Chan on Sunday, February 18 at 6:30 PM.

The Audio Bible
Have you ever met someone from another country in a store and wanted to give them a Bible in their language? Well, Faith Comes by Hearing has produced an app, “” that has an audio Bible in 1356 languages. Along with the Bible readings, the Jesus movie is also available in various languages.

The Pregnancy Resource Center is looking for men and women who hold a biblical worldview of life and have a desire to compassionately serve people who may be unprepared for pregnancy. Training is held twice a year and is required for volunteering. Training dates are Feb. 10, 15, 22, Mar. 1, 8, or 15. Registration deadline is January 26. RSVP to Rebecca Jones at 804.673.2020 or

Israel and the Church Conference

Grove Avenue Baptist will host a mini-conference sponsored by Words of Victory and Hope for Israel. It is a unique opportunity to understand what the Word of God really says about Israel and the relationship between the Jewish people and the Church of Jesus. Speakers will include: Dr. Ed Hinson, Liberty University Divinity School, Dr. Jim Showers, Executive Director of Friends of Israel, and Dr. Tony Crisp, Exe. Comm. SBC

Date: February 3, 2018
Time: 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM EST
For registration go to: