A Challenge to Take Up Together

Pierre Berthoud President of Faculté Jean Calvin and Professor Emeritus

Pierre Berthoud
President of Faculté Jean Calvin and Professor Emeritus

Dear friends,

As you know, the Faculté Jean Calvin (FJC) has been able to accomplish its ministry of training for almost 45 years thanks to the faithfulness, prayer, and support of its friends in France and abroad. We are very grateful, especially as this ministry is an expression of the universal Church, both in the composition of its professors and in the origins of those who share the same vision, the same call, and the same spiritual battle. This solidarity, which transcends human borders, is very precious to us because, while testifying to the vitality of the Reformed and evangelical family, it is a sign of the unity of the Church of Jesus Christ.

With the arrival of Rodrigo De Sousa and Pierre-Sovann Chauny in the autumn of 2016, a new generation of seven on-site teachers is now at work. This successful transition is very pleasing, especially as the theological, spiritual, and practical teaching of the new team is both appreciated by the students and also contributes significantly to the influence of FJC, especially within the churches. But this increase in faculty, as you can imagine, has had an impact on our budget, since now the support of six professors is at the expense of FJC. Only Donald Cobb is a missionary-professor. We have taken up and fully assume this challenge, because we are convinced that the presence of these two new faculty members has strengthened our ministry in France, in French-speaking countries, and even beyond.

However, to sustain this important and vital budget item, which represents the salaries of all the staff, we need to "enlarge the space of our tent ..., lengthen our ropes and strengthen our stakes." (Isa. 54:2) In other words, we invite you to think with us about how to expand the network of our partners and friends, especially in France. How to renew the interest of pastors, churches and their members for the ministry of FJC? How can FJC be more available and offer services more adapted to the needs of local communities? How to renew and extend enthusiasm and mutual commitment? As the wise man put it, "a great number of counsellors gives the victory." (Prov. 11:14)

As summer approaches, FJC’s cash flow is usually stretched. This year is no exception to the rule! Our 2019 budget is subdivided into twelve monthly installments of approximately 50,000 euros. However, our concern is tempered by the faithfulness of the Lord and the commitment of our friends who allow us to see the future with confidence. It is with confidence that we repeat these words of the Psalmist: "Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion: which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.(Ps. 125:1,2) May together we seize this beautiful promise of the Lord, listen to his call, and respond to it with discernment given by the Spirit. This is our prayer.

It is in the beautiful name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ, that we warmly greet you,

Pierre Berthoud
Professor Emeritus

(Translated from the original letter in French.)