Thursday, November 27, 2008

Theological Education in Denmark

There is currently a dearth of pastors in the Danish free churches. Older pastors are retiring and a number of churches have been without pastors for some time. The overall, long-term outlook for an adequate number of pastoral replacements is apparently not too promising. It is cause for concern that young people are not committing to biblical/theological study and full-time ministry in numbers that would insure the needed and continuing flow of pastoral leadership to fill pulpit vacancies or to keep pace with the retirement of older pastors. This appears to be true of the older Danish denominations but may be less so of the more charismatic (Pentecostal) denominations.

Other than the two charismatic Bible colleges at Mariager and Kolding that have been previously mentioned in these postings, the free churches’ main framework for theological education is the Skandinavisk Akademi for Lederskab og Teologi, (SALT - Scandinavian Academy of Leadership and Theology), that offers church-based, seminary-level theological training for Denmark’s free churches. SALT, founded in 2000, comprises a network of several entities in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, including, Hyllie Park Folkhögskola (Malmø), Baptistkirkens Teologiske Seminarium (Tølløse), Ørebro Missionsskola (Ørebro), Baptisternes Teologiske Seminarium in Norway, Pinsekirken København, Dansk Oase, the Apostolsk Kirke, and the Lutheran charismatic revival movement OASE. We understand the Danish program currently has about 30 students with two full-time and three half-time professors. Accreditation of aspects of the SALT Danmark program is through association with Sweden’s Örebro Missionskola. Every SALT student is required to have a church relationship and a pastoral mentor throughout his/her studies. The school has administrative and classroom facilities in Copenhagen, though courses are also held in other areas of the country. The website for SALT may be accessed at

Those desiring to enter the ministry of the Folkekirke (the Lutheran State Church) generally prepare for ordination at the Universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus that are not particularly noteworthy as centers of evangelicalism in Denmark. However, there are two independent Lutheran seminaries also training ministers for the Folkekirke that by contrast offer a curriculum based on a high view of the inspiration of the Scriptures. These are the Dansk Bibel-Institut in Copenhagen (also known as the Copenhagen Lutheran School of Theology), founded in 1972 and the Menighedsfakultetet in Aarhus, founded in 1967. The Dansk Bibel Institut website declares openly that the school holds to (1) the whole Bible as the inspired and inerrant Word of God; that (2) Scripture's prophetic and apostolic testimony to Christ and the view of Scripture is that of Jesus and the apostles, and that (3) this testimony is expressed in the biblical writings themselves. Both schools are committed to classic Lutheran theology. That such Bible-affirming schools exist in Denmark is further reason to believe that God can and will yet bring revival to the Danish Folkekirke. A genuine and sustained revival of biblical faith in Denmark’s Lutheran churches would have profound implications in arresting the spiritually deadening secularization of Danish culture. For further information, relevant websites are and

PRAY that Danish young people will respond to the call of God in increasing numbers for local church ministry with the full knowledge that such a commitment will undoubtedly involve a life of sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel.

PRAY that SALT and the other independent theological schools in Denmark will not be swayed by post-modern theology and pseudo-evangelicalism that have begun to seep into theological faculties in other countries.

PRAY that Danish evangelicals and their churches will see the importance of a trained ministry and unite to insure that the theological schools will serve as centers of unity rather than dissension.

PRAY that the Danish churches will see the need for providing adequate support for SALT and other independent theological schools.

PRAY that the theological schools will be able with greater financial support to establish stronger academic standards, achieve relevant academic accreditations, and recruit academically and spiritually competent faculty.
PRAY for those churches that are having difficulty finding and calling pastoral candidates.