V. The Objective of The Missionary Training Institute
1. PRIMARY AIM
It is quite evident from what has been said above that the original and primary aim of The Missionary Training Institute was the preparation of young men and women for foreign missionary service.
2. FRIDAY NIGHT MEETING
The Master’s parting command, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost,” etc., to use the words of the Duke of Wellington, is regarded as the “Church’s Marching Orders” by the entire movement of which this school is the handmaiden. The key-service, the crowning meeting of the week is the Friday evening missionary meeting. A program, bright and stimulating, and pressing the claim of foreign service is conducted by the “Missionary Committee,” comprised entirely of students. Then there are eight prayer-bands, each one representing some field or group of fields. These bands meet each Friday from 4:30 to 5:30 to study and pray for their respective and prospective mission fields. Every day from 12 until 12:25 a good number of students, often joined by members of the faculty and staff, pray for some mission field according to the missionary Prayer Calendar. These activities indicate the objective of the Institute. It is primarily missionary.
But this accentuation of foreign missions does not reflect upon a conscious preparation for missionary and ministerial preparation for work in the home land. “The field is the world.” This includes the United States and Canada. And some of our courses are intended to prepare more especially for work in the home land. The crying need in centers of population, where only highly gifted and thoroughly trained and Spirit-filled evangelists and pastors are acceptable, compels us to aim to teach and train for home service.
Recognizing afresh the practical necessity of a clearly defined aim the Council Commission on Education drafted the “Object” of The Missionary Training Institute. This was ratified by the Annual Council held at Omaha, May 25-31, 1932, and is found on page 8 of the school catalog of the “Jubilee Year, Fiftieth Session, 1932-33,” as follows: “The object of The Missionary Training Institute is to offer courses of study for the education of Christian workers for the home and foreign fields; to establish students in the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith; to foster missionary interest and evangelistic zeal; to promote deeper spiritual life; and to aid in the training of a thoroughly evangelical Christian ministry.” The “Policy” of the Institute is first recorded in the same bulletin, and is suited to the realization of the Object. Thus it will be noticed that this pioneer institution for half a century has consistently held to the ideal of the founder.
4. BIBLE KNOWLEDGE
It is patent to all that in keeping with the well-defined objective of our school is the necessity of providing such a course in the English Bible as to make thorough knowledge of the Book of books possible to all students. Though the Bible is not our sole textbook, it is the textbook of our school. First-hand knowledge of the Bible is stressed rather than knowledge about the Bible. A complete course in the Greek New Testament enables earnest, hard working, capable students to drink from the fountain-head of revealed truth.
5. KNOWING HIM
Along side of this aim to know the Word of God, we place that of knowing the Living Word. Remembering the Lord’s reproof to the Jews of His day, who stopped with the scriptures, we would use them as a way to Christ, lest He say to us also, “And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” With Paul we would cry, “That I may know Him.”
VI. The Product of The Missionary Training Institute
To the extent that the education and training provided by The Missionary Institute could be reckoned as causes of the blessing that has come to thousands of hearts all over the world, just to that degree could we estimate the results of the work of the Missionary Training Institute during the fifty years of its history.
1. FIRST TWENTY YEARS
From the “Historical Review,” 1882-1902, as found in the “Souvenir of the Twentieth Commencement of The Missionary Institute, May 1, 1902,” under the text, “What Hath God Wrought” (Num. 23:23), we quote the “Summary of Results” as follows: “A conservative estimate places the number of students who have attended the Institute during the last twenty years at 2,500. Of these fully 1,000 have entered missionary service, at least 800 having gone out under The Christian and Missionary Alliance. Authoritative information has been received within the past five years that former students of our Institute have been laboring as missionaries and Christian workers in about forty different countries, as follows: The United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Turkey, Bulgaria, Armenia, Palestine, Arabia, Africa (East, West, North and South), India, China (North, South, Central and West), Mongolia, Thibet (East and South borders), Japan, the Philippines, Hawaii, Porto Rico, and the Islands of the Sea.
“Moreover, students who have remained in the homeland have entered the Christian ministry, evangelistic and tent work, city and rescue missions, Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A. Secretaryships, and many other forms of Christian service. An increasing number of our students are becoming leaders of Alliance branches, and are growing into even more prominent positions in our work. But no statistical exhibit can fully represent the results of the past two decades. Figures and even words cannot express the fruitage of these years. The transformed lives of the students themselves, the conversion of sinners and the edification and healing of believers under their ministry, the dissemination of the glorious truths of the Fourfold Gospel, the quickening in a measure of the Church at home, and the dispelling in some degree of the darkness of heathenism—these are some of the incalculable blessings to which the Institute has both directly and indirectly contributed.”
In his last convention address at Nyack Dr. Simpson said: “How we thank God for the product already of our Nyack School! Between three and four thousand consecrated lives have gone forth from this place, over one thousand of whom have already reached the foreign fields as missionaries. A large number are actively engaged in the work of other churches and other societies where they are spreading abroad these holy principles until our people today are being used of God directly and indirectly in undercurrents that have not been traced in any organized work, to influence men and women in all branches of the Church of Christ. Perhaps this has been our richest and most productive service.”
2. ABOUT 5,000 TRAINED
Since that time fifteen hundred consecrated lives have been graduated from the Institute. Of the 500 missionaries of The Christian and Missionary Alliance nearly all have been students of the Institute. In addition to these many have gone to the foreign field under other Boards, while hundreds are scattered all over the United States and Canada engaged not only in the Alliance work but laboring in various evangelical churches.
In addition to these leaders there are those quiet unobtrusive men and women, Christians of Bible culture and spiritual life who radiate the life of Christ wherever they go.
Rev. A. E. Funk—verbal statements
Rev. Kenneth Mackenzie—verbal statements
“Life of A. B. Simpson,” by A. E. Thompson
Rev. William Christie—verbal statements
“Romance of the Missionary Institute,” by J. Gregory Mantle, D.D.
“Souvenir of the Twentieth Commencement of the Missionary Institute, May 1, 1902.”
Statistical reports of The Missionary Training Institute
Mount of Prayer and Blessing
Thou Mother of a valiant line
Of sons and daughters true:
May God’s good favor long be thine,
May He thy youth renew.
The Tappan Zee reflects thy face,
The mountain holds thee fast;
But in our hearts with finer grace
Thine image loved will last
Mount of prayer and blessing,
Halls of song and praise,
Gladly we recall thee,
Songs to thee we raise.
Father still and farther,
Send thy children brave;
To earth’s utmost confines
Seeking souls to save.
In heathen lands across the sea,
When daily tasks are done,
Thy sons and daughters think of thee
And bring thee standards won.
‘Twas in thy halls we learned to wield
The sword with piercing edge,
We lived to trust with faith’s strong shield,
The truth of God’s own pledge.
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