School of Theology

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THE HERMAN PARRIS SPIRITUAL BAPTIST SOUTHLAND SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY - Founded 1981

 

 

The Herman Parris S.B. Southland School of Theology is the Educational  Institution of The West Indian United Spiritual Baptist Sacred Order Inc.

Motto. “ Be Thou Perfect” Gen.17:1

 

 

 

MISSION  STATEMENT

The Mission of the Herman Parris S.B. Southland School of Theology is to disseminate the knowledge of GOD and of the Spiritual Baptist Faith ,spiritually transforming individuals that they may become fully equipped to effectively take the Message of Salvation to the Spiritual Baptist Community in particular and to the World in general, and be adequately prepared to draw mankind unto the Saviour, Jesus Christ, our Lord and to eradicate the negative perception of the Spiritual Baptist Faith.

 

VISION  STATEMENT

The Herman Parris S.B. Southland School of Theology is envisioned as a unique, complex, multifaceted, transformational, spiritual experience that transcends time and space creating a legacy that reverberates through Spiritual Baptist  communities and generations, uniting and enlightening  Spiritual Baptists on issues of Faith in preparation for Kingdom living here and hereafter.

 

PHILOSOPHY

The philosophy  guiding the orientation and direction of Southland  is founded on the essence of Liberation Theology and the ethic of the Ministry of all Believers.

Liberation Theology also called Black Theology affirms “for the community of the oppressed….that their inner thrust for liberation is not only consistent with the gospel  but is the gospel of Jesus Christ. There can be no Christian theology which is not identified unreservedly with those who are humiliated and abused.” Cone , A  Black Theology of Liberation,p17.] If there is a modern day group of  Christians who have been and are still being humiliated and abused that group is the Spiritual Baptists of Trinidad and Tobago. We boldly declare with P.N. Williams  In Quest for a Black Theology,p86., “Christianity  cannot rob the black man of his blackness unless it desires him to be something less than a man. The black Church and  black theology thus seeks to permit the black man to be both black and Christian.” At Southland we confirm and affirm our identity and belief in Jesus Christ.

 

The Ministry of all believers is based on the reality that in our church the ministry gifts of the Holy Spirit of  1Corinthians 12 and Ephesians4  are indeed given to “every one of us …for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of the Christ”[Ephes.4:7,12]. It is incumbent on us therefore to learn of GOD and to study to show ourselves approved, workmen who need not be ashamed because we are able to rightly divide the word of truth because of our diligence and study.

 

On these orientations we fashion our programme and structure our curriculum and affirm that our spiritual identity takes pride of place; thus amidst our striving for academic excellence we insist that the spiritual development of our students must be advanced and the traditions of our Faith must be preserved.

 

HISTORY

The main Campus of the Herman Parris S.B. Southland School of Theology, is located in Chinese Village, La Brea, in the south western end of Trinidad. It started as a small group of interested elders  in the Diocese[W. I.U.S.B.S.O.] sharing the knowledge  gained by Dr. Parris during his studies at the  Canadian Chapter  of the Universal Life Church Inc. of California, U.S.A. Although the Diocese ran classes for ordination as all Baptist Dioceses did, there was no established school. Dr. Parris established a school which became not only the source of training of ministers for ordination in the Diocese, but also for members of the Faith wanting to study Theology or ministry. Classes were conducted in the Church halls [or annex where available] of Mt. Paran, La Romaine; St. Peters, Vistabella; Mt. Zion, Arima and Mt. Prisgah, La Brea.

When Dr. Parris was made the minister for  Mt. Prisgah, La Brea he acquired the lands  adjacent to the church  for the purpose of erecting a permanent  structure for the School. After many  years and much prayer and perseverance, the sod was turned  by the  M.P. for La Brea, The Honorable Mr. Hedgewidge Bereaux for the Southland School of Theology on Saturday July 27,1991 at a sod turning Ceremony and service. Although  incomplete, the building was put  to use in  January,1993. Finally , in July 1995,  Dr. Parris witnessed  his dream become a reality when the completed building was consecrated  by the then Bishop His Lordship the Rt. Rev. David  Cox and formally opened by the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago  the Honorable Mr. Patrick Manning after the ceremonial laying of the corner stone  by His Grace the Archbishop, the Rt. Rev. Ivan Lancaster.

The school witnessed an expansion in  2005 with the establishment of a Tobago Campus. Classes are being held at the Scraborough  Government Secondary  School .

Since its establishment [ 26 ] twenty-six years ago the Herman Parris S.B. Southland School of Theology  has had approx. four hundred[400]graduates.

 

GOALS

To define the Theology of the Spiritual Baptist Faith and thus establish the Faith as part of the Christian fraternity.

To equip the Spiritual Baptists with the necessary knowledge to understand and defend the Faith and develop a more meaningful relationship with its author, Jesus Christ.

To document for posterity what has been an oral tradition, and provide  a source of authentic , unbiased information of the Faith.

To unite the Faith in terms of doctrine and general administration by offering theological education to all Spiritual Baptists.

To  obtain recognized accreditation for programmes and affiliation to other theological institutions.

 

AIMS

To facilitate those Spiritual Baptists interested in learning about the Faith.

To offer a programme of training for persons engaged in ministry.

To equip a cadre of leaders with a deeper understanding of  the Spiritual Baptist Faith.

To affirm spiritual identity as the basis of growth.

To implement programmes of education on Christian living in a multi-cultural reality.

To foster the spirit of ecumenism through partnerships with others of a Christian calling.

 

GOVERNANCE

The Herman Parris  S.B.Southland School of Theology is governed by a Board of Management which is answerable to the Chapters Board the governing body of the Diocese ] and His Grace the Archbishop

The  Board of Management is elected from among the members of the Diocese  and is responsible for the operations of the school. It appoints members of staff, manages the school’s finances and approves the plans and programmes of the school.

The Principal is the chief administrator of the school. He /She is assisted by a Vice.Principal,Dean  and members of staff and reports to the Board of Management.

The school staff is drawn from the entire Baptist community.

The entire management and staff  is voluntary.

 

FUNDING

The Herman Parris S.B.Southland  School of Theology is funded primarily by school fees paid by students, fund raising activities undertaken  by the Board, Staff , Student Body  and sales receipts from the school cafeteria.

Financial assistance is also given by the parent body in times of necessity.

Donations  from individuals and corporate citizens are welcomed.

 

THE SCHOOL PROGRAMME

[a] Eligibility.
Every Spiritual Baptist aged seventeen[17] years and over is eligible to register and attend The Herman Parris S.B.Southland of Theology. There is no upper age limit nor educational barrier.

[b] Curriculum Structure  and Content.

The curriculum has a two-tiered structure. There are two levels - A basic two year course and an advanced two year  course, both leading to graduation and certification.

Both levels are fashioned to preparing students for improved Christian living. Jesus Christ and His teachings are central and pivotal to the programmes. The programme is based on the knowledge that the Spiritual Baptist Faith is an integral part of the general Christian Fraternity and the World wide Baptist community and framed on the concept of the “ministry of all believers”.

 

The basic course-

STUDY COURSE LEVEL 1 focuses on informed Christian living and covers:

BAPTIST HISTORY.1.--The history of Christianity to the development of the Baptists as a group; the growth and development of the Spiritual Baptists in Trinidad and Tobago.

BAPTIST TRADITION.1.--Biblical foundations for the traditions of the Faith , the theological underpinnings of the Faith vis a vis general Christian theology and comparison with other Christian groupings and other Religions.

BAPTIST DOCTRINE.1.- The articles of Faith of Baptists, a study of the Christian Creeds leading into guidelines for pastoring and counseling.

BIBLE.1.--An in-depth study of the books of the Bible: New and Old Testaments as well as the intertestamental and apocalyptic periods.

ADMINISTRATION.1.--A study of the Spiritual Baptist methods of administration of the Sacraments and Ordinances; administration of Church affairs and ethical considerations and Holy Spirit administration-Charismata.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS.1.-Basic requirements for effective communication; comparative study of Standard English and Trinidad Creole; Spirit filled preaching.

WORKSHOP.1.-Meditation exercises and discussion sessions after the mode of liberation theology.

 

The advanced programme STUDY LEVEL 11 focuses on  better Christian living and leadership and explores.

BAPTIST HISTORY.11- The Spiritual Baptist Faith in Trinidad and Tobago.

BAPTIST TRADITION.11.-Journeying on the Christian pathway.

BAPTIST DOCTRINE.11.-Modernday issues in Doctrine.

BIBLE.11.-Themes in the Bible and the Pauline Scriptures.

ADMINSTRATION.11.-All aspects of the art of ministry.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS.11.-The study and comparison of communication skills in teaching, lecturing and preaching; presentation  of a research paper on one aspect of the Faith.

WORKSHOP.11.-Sessions in meditation and counseling and discussion sessions after the mode of liberation theology.

 

CLASSES.

Classes are held every first and third Saturday of every month from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm. in Trinidad

 

 

SOUTHLAND IS AN EXPERIENCE: YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO EXPERIENCE IT

 

PUNCTUALITY AND REGULARITY ARE THE HALLMARKS OF THE GOOD STUDENT

 

ATTENDANCE REQUIRED - MINIMUM 75% - AWARD OF MARKS = 10%

 

MIDYEAR AND END OF YEAR WRITTEN [30%] AND ORALS [40%] EXAMS

 

COMPULSORY COURSE WORK: WRITTEN AND ORAL ASSIGNMENTS

 

MOTTO: BE THOU PERFECT.      GUIDE: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT