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Posts Tagged ‘celebration’

This past weekend my old alma mater and former place of work, MF Norwegian School of Theology (Det teologiske Menighetsfakultet) celebrated its 100th anniversary. I did not have time to attend the celebrations back in Norway, although I really wish that I could have.

MF is the largest theological school/faculty of theology in Norway. Today most of the priests are trained at the school and currently all the bishops in the Church of Norway has a background from MF. The school is also the second largest theological faculty in Northern Europe with around 900-1000 students, only surpassed by the theological faculty at the University of Helsinki in Finland (with around 1800 students).

The school was established in 1907-08 against the classical liberal theology, that at the end of the 19th century gained influence at the faculty of theology at the University of Oslo. Professors at the university, people from lay organisations and the Church of Norway all joined together to establish a faculty that would both honour the sound and solid scholarly interest of the faculty and the deep commitment to the faith of the church (of the Lutheran tendency). Today many lament the fact that MF also includes more diversity and a richer understanding of Christian truth, while others, me included, judge it as better equipped to face the challanges of the future: to train priests, ministers, pastors, catechists, deacons, teachers etc. for the future of God’s Church. Because the Gospel of Christ is for all generations.

A 100 years is not much when comparing to the old universities of Europe. But MF is very much in that tradition. It may very well be a nova creatura, but its spirit is as old as the Church itself.

At the beginning and end of every academic semester the faculty og students sing together Grundtvig’s hymn God’s Word is Our Heritage (tune: Ein Feste Burg):

God’s Word is our great heritage
And shall be ours forever;
To spread its light from age to age
Shall be our chief endeavor.
Through life it guides our way,
In death it is our stay.
Lord, grant while worlds endure,
We keep its teachings pure
Throughout all generations.

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