THEME FOR 13th ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL TEACHERS' SEMINAR
PATMOS & EPHESUS, 8-9 NOVEMBER 2007

Having solicited ideas from many teachers worldwide, it seems the best theme for our 2007 rendezvous will be:

LEARNING FROM THE EARLY CHRISTIANS:
Ephesus: Window into Church History

Ephesus is an ancient city into which we receive many glimpses in the apostolic and subapostolic age:
1. 53 AD: Its establishment and early days in Acts 19-20
2. 60 AD: Paul's letter to the Ephesians and other churches in the province of Asia
3. 63 AD: Paul's letters to Timothy, evangelist in Ephesus
4. 69-96 AD: Jesus' letter to the Ephesians in Revelation 2
5. 111 AD: Ignatius' letter to the Ephesians, on his way to execution in Rome

Thus we are able to gain invaluable glimpses into church life in Ephesus over the space of some 60 years, as the foundling Christian community entered its second and third generations. The challenges facing the Ephesians are our challenges.

Church history is replete with lessons pertaining to faith, leadership, unity, service, doctrine, cooperation, evangelism, Christian life, and so much more! Every century and every generation has much to teach us, though in this seminar we will be focusing on the early period. Patristics are a much neglected yet highly rewarding field of study, and Bible-centered Christians have much to learn.

Two other cities whose early Christian history we may study (not to say our look at church history will be limited to only 2 or 3 cities):

Rome

1. 30 AD: the church is founded (presumably), based on Acts 2
2. 52 AD: Paul's letter to the Romans, written from Corinth
3. 69-96 AD: Clement's letter from Rome to the Corinthians
4. 111 AD: Ignatius' letter to the Romans, on his way to execution in Rome
5. And much more...

Corinth
1. 51 AD: the church is founded, Acts 18
2. 53 AD: Paul's first surviving letter to the Corinthians
3. 55 AD: Paul's second surviving letter to the Corinthians
4. 69-96 AD: Clement's letter to the Corinthians

In addition to studying church history and making the modern applications, the teachers and those supportive of the teaching ministry will focus on curriculum development. Many congregations crave biblical teaching materials: midweek series, teaching day plans, Sunday adult education programs, etc.

Note: the ITS is separate (though slightly overlapping) from the Biblical Study Tour, Istanbul-Ephesus, 3-7 Nov 2007). Also note, there is still room if you want to sign up.