Share This Episode
Viewpoint on Mormonism Bill McKeever  Logo

Salt Lake School of Theology Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 29, 2021 9:56 pm

Salt Lake School of Theology Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 662 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

March 29, 2021 9:56 pm

Pastor Matt Emadi explains a new school that will begin this fall in Salt Lake City, providing an educational opportunity for Christians to get formal theological training. The website is found at

Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Matt Slick Live!
Matt Slick
Alex McFarland Show
Alex McFarland

Viewpoint on Mormonism, the program that examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from a biblical perspective. Viewpoint on Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism Research Ministry. Since 1979, Mormonism Research Ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now your host for today's Viewpoint on Mormonism. So glad you could be with us for this edition of Viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism Research Ministry, and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague at MRM, but we also are pleased to have with us Pastor Matt Amati. He is the pastor of Crossroads Church in Sandy, Utah, and I was explaining yesterday, if you're not familiar with Utah's geographic, Sandy is about 20 minutes south of downtown Salt Lake City. So welcome back to the show, Matt, glad to have you. I think you have a lot to offer our listeners for what we're going to talk about today, but I do want to mention this because in yesterday's show you had talked about people wanting to minister and they go to a seminary outside of the state of Utah because they basically have to because there no longer is a seminary proper here in the state, so they go outside to go to school.

You did this as well. You went to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is Dr. Al Mohler's seminary, he's the president there, but you came back and you were talking about how a lot of people, they leave to go to school and they don't come back. And of course here in the state of Utah, we need as many good solid Bible churches as we can get. I always love it when I see churches being planted here.

Sadly, being here as long as I have, some of them don't catch on. For some reason, the pastors do not realize the unique challenges that the state of Utah offers. And as you mentioned yesterday, this is not the Bible belt. You can't just start a church on any corner and expect it's going to grow overnight.

It's a very slow process. But you went out of state, as we mentioned, you went to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky, but you came back. Why did you come back? And others don't seem to do that sometimes.

Yeah. Why did I come back? I grew up here. I went to school at Southern Seminary and I wanted to come back. So there was part of me that just knew the need here in Utah, the need for healthy gospel preaching churches.

And that desire was in me. At the same time, I thought, unless I'm a church planter, it's probably not going to happen because there's not many churches out here. And, you know, a church would need to be looking for a pastor.

It's hard to just kind of get in without some kind of connections. So it was really God's providence that Crossroads Church was looking for a pastor. They didn't know me from Adam. I applied, I think the fact that I was from Utah, intrigued of the search committee. And over time they called me as their pastor, but my heart was to come back and to labor alongside others who have been out here much longer to see a healthy church established and grow and thrive. Well, let me ask you this question. You say that the search committee felt it was positive that you had a background living here in Utah. Has that been a big advantage for you?

I think so. I mean, to some degree, you know, I was already familiar with the culture, you know, just obviously grew up out here, went to the public schools. All my friends were Mormon. I grew up in a church of 40 people. You know, in fact, when I, when I was living in California, I was there for a bit and I went to my pastor and said, I'm going to go to seminary. The first thing he said to me was the ministry is not glamorous. And in my mind, I thought, well, why is he saying that?

Because all I knew was meeting in this, you know, junior high schools and other buildings with 40 people where we had to set up the chairs. And I always thought, why would anyone want to be a pastor? But that was my whole kind of awareness of, of the ministry.

And then when I went to seminary and I saw high profile preachers and pastors coming in, I was like, Oh, this is why the ministry can be perceived as glamorous. It's an interesting statement that you make. And, uh, because it's almost kind of like in marriage counseling, you want to almost try to convince them. Are you sure you want to do this? You know, rather than strongly push them into that, get them to really think about this because it is a huge decision.

Absolutely. Especially here, you know, it's like, it's not glamorous. It's going to be a struggle.

It's going to be slow. You're going to be in a challenging situations, but I was here. This was home.

I think that was hell. I wasn't uprooting my life and going to somewhere totally foreign and praise God for the guys who are doing that and sticking it out. And I'm so thankful for them in some ways.

It made it easier for me to come back. Yeah. That slow growth that you mentioned is a very real thing. That's why a lot of pastors who come here to Utah as church planners, they, they come with outside support. There's no way they're going to be able to get that full-time support that's necessary to do a proper job at pastoring.

So they get it from outside and it's sometimes it can take several years before they can wean themselves away from that. So that is something to seriously consider if you're looking to have a church plan here. But we have some great news regarding what you plan on doing, you and others, I should say, plan on doing here in the state of Utah when it comes to theological education. But we want to preface that by saying it's not just for people who live in the state of Utah.

There's online courses for what you plan to do. So let's talk about that. Give us a little bit of a rundown, maybe recap some of the things that you said yesterday.

You're going to be a part of this Salt Lake School of Theology. Correct. Which is certainly something that is needed here, because as we mentioned, there is no such thing here right now. We don't have anything like that. So tell us a little bit about what you plan on doing, even if you have to repeat some of the things from yesterday, because I'm sure we have new listeners today.

Yeah. So briefly, the Salt Lake School of Theology is under the umbrella of Gateway Seminary, which is one of the six theological institutions of the Southern Baptist Convention. So partnering with Gateway, we are going to provide both in-person and remote access courses that students can take to pursue a 36-hour Masters of Theological Essentials. If they want to go through the whole program, it's about a three-year program to get the Masters of Theological Essentials, and they'll be taking courses in Old Testament, New Testament, hermeneutics, ethics, church history, systematic theology, some practical courses, leadership courses, but they can get that full degree through the Salt Lake School of Theology. And what's the website if they want to learn more? www.slst, Salt Lake School of Theology,

There's all kinds of information there. The classes are beginning this fall, August of 2021. You can already apply. Again, when you're applying, it's all happening through Gateway. They're handling all the administrative components, but they will be a student of Salt Lake School of Theology. But because we're connected to Gateway, I should mention, let's say a student wanted to do a full Master of Divinity, the 90-hour program. They could transfer all these credits towards a larger degree. Maybe they want to complete the Masters of Theological Essentials faster than what we can offer the courses. Well, they can actually take courses through Gateway and complete the degree even quicker because they can take them online.

So there's lots of options for students. Well, you're connected with the Southern Baptist Convention, but you don't have to be a member of the Southern Baptist Church to apply for this. Yeah, this school is for anyone wanting to pursue theological education, they can apply. I went on your website and you had a section called Why We Exist, and this is what the website states. We exist to glorify God by training and equipping students spiritually, theologically, and missionally to lead and serve the body of Christ. Care to comment on that?

Yeah. The church is not a servant of the academy. The academy is a servant of the church. We exist to bring glory to God, and we want to do that by providing theological education. So we're not just wanting to crank out ivory tower academics. We want to talk about spiritual formation and the disciplines and help instilling that in the students.

But theologically, we want to be academically rigorous. This is master's level training. They're going to receive in-depth instruction.

It's going to require work and effort, and because of that, it will be a valuable education. This is definitely not just kind of a glorified Sunday school. But then also we want to see people trained to serve the church and to advance the mission, to plant churches, to serve in their local churches, to be pastors, to disciple others, whatever capacity that they're going to serve. The goal is to be reaching people with the gospel and discipling people in the truth.

Now of the five gentlemen who are working on this, you are one of them. None of you appear to be former Mormons. Do you think that is a weakness in the state of Utah? Because maybe some of the students who are former Mormons would think that you don't really understand what Mormonism is all about.

Yeah, I don't think it's a weakness at all. In fact, theological training focuses on the unchanging truth of God. Truth is unchanging, and people need to know the Bible to be able to deal with the counterfeits, right? So they need to be deep in their understanding and getting intensive courses in understanding theology and how doctrines have progressed throughout church history. But even though none of us are former Mormon, we still pastor here, right?

We still work here and live here. So we are engaging with Mormons. We understand Mormonism and we can bring those kind of contextual elements to the classroom to help people understand that kind of culture if they're going to be living and working here. And honestly, even people who come out of Mormonism, they don't necessarily need someone who was a former Mormon to disciple them. They need someone who's going to help them deconstruct the Mormon worldview that is in their minds and replace it with a robust biblical worldview, and who is going to be able to do that, but the one who is trained mightily in the Scriptures. And that's what we want to do. Matt, give us a rundown, a scorecard, if you will, of the five main players, including yourself.

Tell us a little bit about each one and tell us what each one is going to be teaching. Yeah, so myself, I should start with Lucas. I really should give more credit to Lucas. He's kind of the first among equals. He's really kind of driven this whole process.

I'm so thankful for him. He's one of the pastors at Gospel Grace Church. He did his studies in systematic theology and church history.

Lucas has a Ph.D. in theology. He's going to be teaching those systematic courses and those church history courses. Jared Jenkins, one of the pastors at Risen Life Church in Holliday, did his Ph.D. work in Old Testament. He's going to be teaching our Old Testament courses. Then myself, I pastor at Crossroads. I did my Ph.D. in biblical studies, so I'm more of a generalist, Old and New Testament. I actually wrote my dissertation on Psalm 110 in the Melchizedekian priesthood, which is very relevant for our own context.

So I'll be teaching New Testament and hermeneutics. And then Will Galkin and Brian Catherman both have doctorate of ministries. Both are church planters experienced in pastoral ministry, church planting, leadership, just phenomenal brothers.

I've learned so much from them. Brian's the pastor of Redeeming Life Church. Well, they actually merged with a church in Bountiful.

I believe they're still called Redeeming Life. And then Will Galkin, one of the pastors at Gospel Grace with Lucas, they'll be teaching some of the colloquiums and leadership and practical courses. You had mentioned Lucas Counterman. Tell us again, what was behind his desire to start this? Yeah, I think Lucas, like the other guys, we all share a burden, not only for this state and for making disciples, but for rigorous theological education. And he's the one who approached me and said, hey, let's start talking about this and thinking about this because he wants to see, especially as a guy who's planted a church in Salt Lake, more churches planted and more guys trained up right here in our own state who are ministering here, serving here, and are going to stay here and plant churches so that this school is not for any one church or is it the ministry of any one church? The goal is to serve the mission of Christ's kingdom that we all share.

You have 20 seconds. If somebody's thinking about coming, tell them what they need to do. Go to We have a bunch of information there. You can audit courses, you can enroll.

There's lots of options. Get on the website, send us emails. We'll be happy to answer questions. We've been talking with Pastor Matt Amadi, that's spelled E-M-A-D-I. He's pastor of Crossroads Church, discussing a great opportunity that's going to be taking place here in the months ahead.

And again, the website is if you have any interest whatsoever in looking more deeply into this project. So Matt, thank you for sharing what's going on here in Utah. Thank you. Thank you guys for having me. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding Mormonism Research Ministry, we encourage you to visit our website at, where you can request our free newsletter, Mormonism Researched. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint on Mormonism.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-10 02:07:14 / 2023-12-10 02:13:30 / 6

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime