The UK-based Baptist school, Spurgeon’s College, has installed Rick Warren, the founding pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the best-selling book Purpose-Driven Life, as its first-ever honorary chancellor.
The school, which has trained over 5,000 men and women for Christian ministry, was founded in 1856 as the “Pastor’s College” by renowned Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“I am delighted to have officially joined Spurgeon’s College as its first Chancellor at this important time in its development and mission,” Warren said in a statement, according to a press release sent to Christian Headlines.
“I have a deep personal family connection over four generations to Charles Spurgeon and the ministry of the College he founded, and he is responsible for my family moving to America,” he continued. “Further, my understanding of the meaning of ordination and conviction from Scripture on ministry leadership are identical to Charles Spurgeon’s published views. I am grateful to God and the College for this opportunity to give back to this community.”
At one point, Warren’s great-great-grandfather studied at Spurgeon’s College and was later commissioned to plant churches in America by Spurgeon himself.
“On behalf of the Governing Body, staff, students, college alumni and the many friends, supporters and stakeholders of the College, I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Chancellor Rick Warren as part of the Spurgeon’s College family,” Spurgeon’s College Vice-Chancellor the Rev. Prof Philip McCormack said.
Warren’s appointment as chancellor follows the school’s Full Degree Awarding Powers initiative in 2022, which allows the college to create new degrees in other disciplines in the future. The school will also welcome more students through its online learning community, which can be accessed across the globe. Warren will also be providing guest lectures and encouraging Christians to support the College’s mission and cause.
“In his long and distinguished ministry, both in the US and around the world, Pastor Warren has spoken of his link with the great Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon,” said Spurgeon’s College Deputy Vice Chancellor Rev. Helen Stokley. “His incredible work and experience to-date will be vital as the College continues to expand its civic engagement across London and supporting faith organizations throughout the UK.”
“The name of Spurgeon stands for a number of key values that the Church needs to recover today,” Warren added. “It represents strong Bible-based doctrine; passionate preaching; extensive church planting; winsome evangelism; a commitment to the ministry of every believer; and caring for the poor, the orphaned and the marginalized. I’d summarize Charles Spurgeon’s life and ministry with this slogan: “He made a Great Commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission that produced a great church and a great college,’” Warren concluded.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.