Dear Brothers and Sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ:
We are nearing the end of another school term, and we thought it well to end the term as we began it, by communicating with you via our Standard Bearer. Without such communication the seminary tends to be somewhat isolated from the churches, while it is nevertheless the school of the churches and wants to be remembered as such.
We reported at the beginning of the term concerning our student body and its “international” flavor, and we need not repeat that information. As you perhaps remember, this year we have had one pre-seminarian and three second-year seminarians from our own churches. Our big news in this letter is about the progress of the latter—and you may take this as an official announcement. Beginning June 1, Messrs. Russell Dykstra, Steven Key, and Charles Terpstra have been licensed to “speak a word of edification” in the churches under faculty supervision. This is indeed a milestone for them in their seminary training, as well as an occasion for joy for the faculty. These young men already have some pulpit assignments during the month of June; and undoubtedly many of you will have the opportunity to hear them from time to time during the summer months. We wish them the Lord’s blessing as they go out among the churches.
A second item of interest concerns our new word-processing equipment. Last year synod authorized the Theological School Committee to use some of our special funds for the purchase of such equipment. Early in the second semester this equipment was received. And although there is much to learn with respect to using it (and this involves “teaching old dogs new tricks”), we are already making good use of it and enjoying its time- and work-saving features. In fact, this letter is being prepared with the use of one of our units. Undoubtedly during the summer months we will have time to learn and to take advantage of more of the many uses to which this equipment can be put.
Again this year we have been pleased about the many contributions to our Library Fund by individuals and organizations. At present this fund is prospering so well that it is not necessary to support it from the synodical budget. Prof. Hanko is in charge of the library, and he is assisted by a student librarian. During the past term we have again added a goodly number of books to our collection, and we have spent more than $1500.00 on what we think are quality additions to our library.
Finally, we call attention once more to the urgent need for new students at our school. We want to impress upon you the urgency of this need. Bear in mind that the training of a student requires four years of pre-seminary training and four years of seminary training; and at present there are no new students on the scene. We ask that you bring this need before the throne of grace and pray that the Lord will send us suitable young men to be trained for the ministry of the Word in our churches.
With Christian greetings,
Prof. H.C. Hoeksema (for the faculty)