The Early Years of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (1963-1978)

Greg Strand – June 16, 2014 2 Comments

This past spring marked the 50th anniversary of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS), our EFCA school for training servants of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The focus of this celebration was on the gospel reflected in the biblical motto of TEDS, “entrusted with the gospel” (1 Thess. 2:4), and the theme of this anniversary, “50 Years of God’s Goodness and Faithfulness.”

As part of this celebration Scott Manetsch, Professor of Church History and the History of Christian at TEDS, wrote about the history of the “early years”:

Looking back fifty years later, the remarkable story of the birth of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and the strategic leadership of Kenneth Kantzer as dean during the school’s formative “early years” (1963-1978) is a testimony to Christian vision, tenacity, and generosity; but even more, it is a striking example of God’s faithfulness to his church.

This excellent essay is not only informational of our EFCA denomination and our school, it will lead you to give thanks and praise to the Lord for his “goodness and faithfulness” in both allowing this school to be established and also his ongoing preservation of it through the years. To God’s glory this school has been used to teach, equip, train and send out students committed to defend the gospel once for all entrusted to the saints (Jude 3) and to do so in and through the local church.

I encourage you to read The Early Years to be encouraged, to give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and faithfulness, to be grateful to the many who served the Lord and the gospel faithfully through the years, and to pray that TEDS will remain faithful to the gospel into the future.

Greg Strand


Affectionately called “Walking Bible” by his youngest daughter, Greg Strand has a ministry history that goes back to 1982. Since that time, he has served in local church ministry in a variety of ministry capacities: youth pastor, associate pastor of adult ministries and senior pastor. He is currently the EFCA's Executive Director of Theology and Credentialing. Greg reads voraciously and never stops learning — a passion reflected in the overflowing bookshelves that spill from his library to multiple offices. And he could tell you about each of those books! His hunger for learning pales in contrast to his great love for God and for teaching the Word of God.

2 responses to The Early Years of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (1963-1978)

  1. Greg, thank you very much for posting this early history of TEDS. My wife and I were there during the years 1974-78 and it was delightful to be reminded of those years. It was also interesting to learn that faculty meetings were so often so contentious. My wife was a faculty secretary and had no idea that was going on:).

    I really appreciate the wonderful portrayal of Dr. Kantzer. I can give additional personal testimony that he truly was a gracious Christian gentleman as well as fine scholar and wise leader. Dr. Woodbridge is right that he did make the right choice.

    It was also interesting to see the insights from Howard Matson. I interned under him and he performed our wedding ceremony. He was also my parents’ pastor and I remember him fondly. If you see him, give him my regards and pass on to him that I’d love to see him again. I know his health isn’t good, but I’ve lost contact with where he currently lives– not sure if it’s Lake Geneva, WI area or west suburbs of Chicago– but my wife and I would sure love to touch base again.

    Again, thanks for posting this.

    • I am encouraged to hear this was a blessing to you, John. Thank you for sharing this additional personal experience. If you contact me personally, maybe we can find connections to some about whom you ask.

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