(HOUSTON, TX) - August 26, 2013 - Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church (CEPC) of Houston and Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS) announced today a significant advance in the strategic alliance they began in 2010 to bring graduate theological education to Houston. After careful scrutiny of RTS’s operation at its campus in CEPC’s facility, RTS has been granted approval for RTS-Houston to offer the complete Master of Arts (Biblical Studies) degree. This approval comes from RTS’ two main accrediting agencies: the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools and the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Tim McKeown, RTS-Houston’s Executive Director called this “wonderful news” and a great step forward for the Reformed faith in Houston and Southeast Texas. “Our goal is to develop a regional seminary offering a full complement of language and theological courses culminating in the Master of Divinity degree,” said Tim.
CEPC and RTS began their alliance in April, 2010, when the church and seminary entered into an agreement to cooperate in providing a Reformed seminary education in the region of this, the fourth largest city in the Nation, and began offering classes in the Spring of 2011. Enrollment and class offerings have grown dramatically in the ensuing two years. This approval for the RTS-Houston campus is a sure confirmation not only of that healthy growth but of the quality of education being offered.
Senior Pastor, John Crimmins called the alliance a victory of faith. “I rejoice with RTS that the Houston campus is now approved to offer the MA (Biblical Studies) degree. Our church is completing a building expansion that, among other things, will allow us to continue to offer a home to RTS-Houston for many years to come.” The Sonrise Expansion, as the new addition is called, is set for completion in June of this year, just in time for RTS-Houston’s growing student body. All of this has come about by God’s grace and His blessing the passion of concerned Christians and the prayers and support of faithful men and women, according to Rev. Crimmins.
CEPC is a congregation of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, a growing body of theologically conservative Presbyterians concerned to maintain the historic theology and biblical commitment of Presbyterians since the Reformation. In recent days the EPC has become a haven for increasing numbers of Presbyterian Churches concerned to maintain their commitment to their biblical and Reformed roots. “We are committed to the Westminster Confession of Faith, biblical truth and Reformed theology,” Rev. Crimmins said.
The church’s Sonrise expansion will house offices for RTS-Houston and other Christian ministries, classrooms for the church and seminary as well as a library and a chapel. “We are very excited about this expansion,” Rev. Crimmins stated, “and we believe it will enable us to function even more fully as a training center for our own people and a growing body of seminary students. Our hope is to change the face of 21st Century Houston by raising up a generation of passionate, dedicated, and informed preachers, ministers and teachers for the church of Jesus Christ. We hope and pray that the student body will increasingly reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of Houston and Southeast Texas while at the same time producing graduates committed to our Reformed heritage who will plant like-minded churches all over Texas and beyond.”