As I enter this day into the presidency of Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, I rejoice that in your providence, O Lord, you set it to be on the Lord’s Day, a day of worship. I am thankful that I can begin this tenure, however short or long you decide it shall be, resting in the completed, wondrous work of Christ who lived, died, and was raised for me. By your grace you saved me from my ignorance and sin. You granted me by your Spirit the gift of faith by which I trust in Your Son. You have set before me the works that you have called me to do in this role, having ordained them before the creation of the world that I should walk in them (Eph. 2:8-10).
To that end, Heavenly Father, I make the following covenant with you. Because of the public nature of my work, the entrusting of this responsibility upon me by your church, and our heritage of covenanting publicly with you, I make these following seven pledges with you known for the accountability, the support, and the prayers of your people.
I pledge to keep a close watch on myself and my teaching, guarding my heart by walking daily with you in prayer and your Word, and examining the motives by which I decide, speak, and act (Prov. 4:23; 1 Tim 4:16; Acts 20:28).
I pledge to protect and build upon the wonderful foundation and ministry of RPTS that my immediate predecessor and godly mentor, as well as all of those who came before us, has entrusted to me by seeking daily your wisdom and redemptive strength to shepherd its affairs (Ps. 61:5; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; 1 Cor. 1:30).
I pledge to strive with all diligence, during both times of peace and times of enemy attack, to ensure that RPTS does not remove the ancient theological boundary stones set by her forefathers, which are captured in the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and the Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (Ps. 16:6, 119:111; Prov. 22:28).
I pledge to remain under submission to Christ’s Lordship by heeding with humility the counsel of the RPTS Board of Trustees and co-laboring with these men; by seeking the prayers and further counsel of the elders of my congregation; by offering myself as a servant to the church; and by further surrounding myself with godly counselors and friends (Prov. 11:14, 15:22; Eph. 1:15-22).
I pledge to acknowledge and honor the gifts you have bestowed on others in the RPTS community by supporting and promoting the faculty in their teaching, research, and writing; by appreciating, encouraging, and listening to the staff in their service and representation of RPTS; and by maintaining and developing friends and supporters of RPTS who are regularly communicated to and thanked for their partnership in the gospel (Mark 10:42-45; Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 4:14-20).
I pledge to see RPTS co-labor in mutual cooperation and edification with the presbyteries and congregations of the RPCNA, denominational ministries such as Geneva College, Global and Home Missions, the Reformed Presbyterian Home, etc., and other academic institutions and ministries of kindred theology and spirit that will help in the spreading of the kingdom of God in this world (1 Cor. 1:10-17; Phil. 2:20-22; 1 Thes. 5:11).
I pledge to work diligently to see men raised up, trained in gospel preaching and labors, and sent out into pastoral ministry; to see other kingdom workers developed in Christ-like service for your harvest fields; and to connect the academy with those in local congregations who would profit from theological discipleship (Matt. 9:36-38, 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; 1 Tim. 4:11-15).
This covenant I make with you, O Lord, even as I am humbled by my own sins and weaknesses. Yet I ever abide in you and your word, trusting in your saving, sanctifying, and strengthening grace to aid me in fulfilling these promises to you (John 15:1-11). Amen.
Barry York, President @ RPTS
This post was originally published on the Gentle Reformation blog, and is shared with the kind permission of the author.