LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)–Thirty students from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will spend 10 days this summer in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, learning about evangelism through the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Southern Seminary has received 30 student scholarships for Amsterdam 2000, which will train participants to do effective evangelism in the 21st century. The conference also seeks to provide participants with fellowship and encouragement from others in ministry from every country in the world.
“This is a huge thing in terms of having this number of students chosen,” said Tim Beougher, associate dean of Southern Seminary’s Billy Graham School of Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth.
“After they go through with this week, I don’t think these students will ever look at the world the same way. A high percentage of the people in the past who have participated in these conferences have gone on to be missionaries, because these 10 days burn into their hearts a world vision and a world passion.”
The Graham Association provided funds for 200 seminary students in the United States to attend the conference. It will bring together persons from every country in the world for evangelism training, he said.
“This is the largest gathering of this sort in history,” Beougher said. “It is a conference for itinerant evangelists. The primary thrust is to encourage those involved in itinerant preaching ministries around the world. It will be a unique gathering.”
Beougher said students in Southern Seminary’s Graham School were given first priority to receive the scholarships. Students from the seminary’s other schools, including theology and music, were also able to apply and some did, he said. Thirty students were chosen from among the applicants and there were more applicants than scholarships, he said.
“Because we have become familiar with the high caliber of students from the Billy Graham School at Southern Seminary, we are inviting those students to attend this important event,” said Robert Coleman of the Graham Association in a statement notifying Southern Seminary of its selection.
The workshops will offer students a broad scope of training and education from the practical to the theological in evangelism and evangelistic preaching. Workshop speakers will include J.I. Packer, Ravi Zacharias and other well-known scholars and theologians. Other workshops will cover topics such as modern issues that face evangelism and evangelistic strategy.
Beougher will teach a workshop on the history of evangelism, called “Lessons from Evangelists of the Past.”
“We will be asking, ‘what can we learn from those who have gone before?'” he said. “We will look at historical examples of evangelists from different backgrounds, like Billy Sunday, who came from a professional baseball background, to Charles Finney, who came from a legal background. We will look at their methods, which will hopefully tell people that evangelists in each age have been on the cutting edge of evangelism.”