FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) -- As Germany celebrated the 19th anniversary of the reunification of East and West, Bibelsemminar Bonn (BSB) in Bonn, Germany, commissioned 74 graduates as ambassadors of reconciliation for Christ during its commencement ceremony, Oct. 3. German Unity Day is the formal holiday celebrated on Oct. 3 that recognizes the reconciliation of East and West Germany in 1990 after 40 years of separation.
Six of the graduates completed their Master of Theology degrees at BSB as part of a partnership between BSB and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Started in 2005, the partnership provides an accredited Master of Arts in Theology program for BSB through Southwestern. Additionally, two full-time resident faculty members from Southwestern serve as professors at the extension center in Germany.
Southwestern president Paige Patterson attended the graduation and charged the graduates with faithfully proclaiming the Gospel in the face of adversity.
“In a very real sense,” Patterson said, “the world into which you are entering is not a friendly world. The truth is that the world is not neutral about Christians. For you to be a follower of Christ in this world is going to mean hardship.
“You must be God’s spokesmen to this generation. It will not be an easy ride. There will be many who will misunderstand you and misrepresent you … but I can promise you more joy and happiness than anything else you could ever do.”
In a graduate reception the previous evening, Patterson expressed his excitement about a generation of conservative Evangelical Christians who can spark a revival in Germany, which is historically known as the birthplace of liberal theology.
“You are completing this part of your schooling at a very critical moment,” Patterson told graduates at the reception.
“I believe that God is doing something very significant in Germany. I believe each of you will live to be a part of one of the great revivals in history. If we pray, and if we work, we will see more German people come to Christ over the next 25 years than we have seen come to Christ in the past 200.”
Referencing the ill effects of liberal theology, Patterson said, “Every other promise has failed, and now the superiority of Christ is going to become apparent to the German people. Each of you as graduates will play a pivotal role in that.”
Marco Herr, one of the graduates, believes the Lord has called him to help turn the theological tide in Germany. Seeing the effects of liberal theology and the lack of knowledge in Christians who cannot explain their faith, Herr feels called to disciple believers in the fundamentals of the faith. Currently, he teaches the foundations of Christianity in local churches and has written curriculum for church plants to use in educating people about the Gospel message.