IRBS Seminary, ARBCA, and Tom Chantry

This page documents that IRBS is now independent, that the Trustees and Regents pages are missing from IRBS’s website, that there isn’t a complete list of their Staff or Faculty (missing Dean of Students), how some of the men that were listed as Trustees and/or Faculty were involved with ARBCA & Tom Chantry, and the previous relationship between IRBS & ARBCA.

IRBS Seminary’s Website

#1 IRBS’s Home Page

IRBS’s Home Page (here https://irbsseminary.org/) now states that IRBS is independent. 

Independent

On October 1, 2019, the Trustees of IRBS Theological Seminary unanimously approved amended by-laws affirming the independence of the Seminary.”

Why didn’t IRBS Seminary make a statement regarding their reasons for having left ARBCA?

Why did IRBS Seminary leave ARBCA yet remain at an ARBCA church…a church whose elder, Pastor Larry Vincent, was involved with ARBCA and Tom Chantry?

Why did IRBS Seminary leave ARBCA yet remain at an ARBCA church that is so much a part of ARBCA that they are hosting ARBCA’s 2020 General Assembly? Here: https://www.arbca.com/arbca2020gaeventbritecom or here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200615201946/https://www.arbca.com/arbca2020gaeventbritecom More information here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-arbca-general-assembly-tickets-111550009080 or here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200630164145/https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-arbca-general-assembly-tickets-111550009080

Why is one of IRBS Seminary’s Adjunct Faculty (Jason Montgomery, Adjunct Professor of Church History) speaking at ARBCA’s 2020 GA (Here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-arbca-general-assembly-tickets-87629503203 or here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200210164824/https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2020-arbca-general-assembly-tickets-87629503203) and a member of the 2019/2020 ARBCA AC? [Spring 2019 ARBCA Update]

Why does IRBS Seminary offer discounted tuition for TAARBC…a local association that contains contains churches whose elders (Pastor Bob Curley, Pastor David Dykstra, and Pastor Larry Vincent) were involved with ARBCA & Tom Chantry and contains churches whose elders are members of ARBCA’s 2019/2020 AC (Pastor Matt Vincent – Vice Chairman, Pastor Jason Montgomery, Pastor David Shiflet, and Pastor Bob Curley)? [FBC Resignation page 4, paragraph 3 for Bob Curley; Spring 2019 ARBCA Update for the rest]

Why does IRBS Seminary offer discounted tuition for TAARBC…a local association in which 7 of their 10 churches belong to ARBCA? Here: https://taarbc.org/ or here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200630173507/https://taarbc.org/ (the page must be viewed on the provided links so you can scroll through the member churches)

“Practical Preparation

Theology must be put to practice in the church. For this reason IRBSTS stresses internship with local churches to provide guided growth and experience in pastoral duties.”

Will IRBS Seminary students be interning at any of the TAARBC churches in ARBCA, and/or pastored by men who were involved with ARBCA & Tom Chantry, and/or pastored by men on the 2019/2020 ARBCA AC?

Men at IRBS Seminary that are still in ARBCA churches (https://www.arbca.com/churches):

James Renihan (President) possibly attends or is a member of Heritage Baptist Church in Mansfield, TX, but there is no bio for him on the IRBS Seminary Website. Why is there no bio for him? Christ Reformed Baptist Church still lists James as one of their pastors on their website (http://christrbc.com/our-pastors.htm or https://web.archive.org/web/20200406223343/http://christrbc.com/our-pastors.htm) despite his having left CA for TX in summer 2018 and Jason Walter’s picture having been updated in late 2018.  Why has James not been removed?  Is it possible that James could still be a pastor at CRBC Vista?  If so, how could this be so and for what purpose? *Note: Christ Reformed Baptist Church’s website has been down since at least July 26, 2020 (https://web.archive.org/web/20200726171216/http://christrbc.com/ ; https://web.archive.org/web/20200825153141/http://christrbc.com/ ; https://web.archive.org/web/20200817233148/http://christrbc.com/our-pastors.htm).

Men at IRBS Seminary that were involved with ARBCA and Tom Chantry:

  • Jeff Massey (Coordinator of the Doctoral Study Center): On the Membership Committee and AC in 2015/2016, on the Ad Hoc Committee that wrote the ARBCA Reports in 2018, and was the 2019 AC Chairman until his church left ARBCA.

Men at IRBS Seminary that were involved with ARBCA and Tom Chantry but we can’t tell if they are still part of IRBS:

  • Steve Martin (took the Oath of Office as Core Faculty on 9/11/2018 and spoke as Dean of Students of IRBS Seminary on 12/15/2019 but not listed on IRBS’s website)
  • Don Lindblad (listed as a Trustee until the Trustee page disappeared in Summer 2018)
  • Jason Walter (listed as a Trustee until the Trustee page disappeared in Summer 2018, listed as the Secretary of the AC in the Spring 2019 ARBCA Update)
  • Fred Pugh (listed as a Trustee until the Trustee page disappeared in Summer 2018

Why does IRBS Seminary not list their Dean of Students, Board of Trustees, or Board of Regents anywhere on their website?  Why is the public not being allowed to see if the above men remain part of IRBS Seminary?

On 7/6/2018 James Renihan spoke on behalf of IRBS Seminary at Stanmore Baptist Church in Australia.

“Every one of our faculty members must be a man of practical godliness with pursuing holiness.  Not just sliding along and not just an academic, but he needs to be a man who in a church is demonstrating to others holiness of life.  So that every, every week when a student sits in a classroom, he’s able to look up to that man and esteem him.  Not just because he knows a lot about the, the Major Prophets, but because his life backs up and supports what he says.  Pray for us.  Pray for our leadership.  Pray that we will be holy men who walk in the way.”

Here is the video clip of the quote:

Here is the full video file (quote begins at about 40:28):

Do all the men of IRBS Seminary meet these requirements…Faculty (including Dean of Students), Administration, Trustees, Regents, Staff, etc.?  How can we know if they aren’t all listed on IRBS Seminary’s website?  What is the reason for no longer listing all of them?

Is IRBS no longer under the authority of any association?

How were they able to break the IRBS Project Charter that was signed by Earl M. Blackburn, James M. Renihan, Fred Pugh, and Brandon F. Smith?

This page can be viewed here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200131212947/https://irbsseminary.org/

#2 IRBS Website: ABOUT/Board of Trustees

In Summer 2019 the Board of Trustees page disappeared from IRBS’s website. It remains missing.  The last capture of the Trustees page is here (https://web.archive.org/web/20181014220711/https://irbsseminary.org/Trustees/). The most current capture showing the page is still missing is here (https://web.archive.org/web/20200817154940/https://irbsseminary.org/trustees/).

Why did IRBS remove it, and why don’t they list their Board of Trustees anywhere else on their website?

Here are pages for the following Trustees that show how they were involved with ARBCA and Tom Chantry:

Fred Pugh Pastor of Grace Covenant Church in Olmstead Township, OH; ARBCA Coordinator until 11/2019.

Don Lindblad Pastor of Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in Kirkland, WA.

Rob Cosby Pastor of Tucson Reformed Baptist Church in Tucson, AZ.

Jason Walter Pastor of Christ Reformed Baptist Church, CA, Secretary of the 2019 Administrative Council.

IRBS Board of Trustees

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

This is page 6 of the IRBS Theological Seminary Inauguration & Convocation Program.  The full program can be downloaded directly here https://irbsseminary.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/program.pdf  It can be downloaded from the bottom of this page https://web.archive.org/web/20190129074447/http://irbsseminary.org/inauguration-convocation-2018/  You may also download it from WordPress at these links:

In December 2017 at the IRBS Update, James Renihan introduced Don Lindblad as a longtime IRBS Trustee.  The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1Z3adc1D98&t=1487s

“Pastor Don Lindblad from Trinity Reformed Baptist Church in Kirkland, Washington who is one of the original Trustees of IRBS all the way when we began back in 1998 and has been with us a long time.”

Here is the video clip of the quote:

Here is the full video file (quote begins at about 11:12):

#3 IRBS Website: ABOUT/Board of Regents

In Summer 2019 the Board of Regents page disappeared from IRBS’s website. It remains missing.  It can be found here (https://web.archive.org/web/20181014220704/http://irbsseminary.org/regents/).

Why did IRBS remove it, and why don’t they list their Board of Regents anywhere else on their website?

IRBS Board of Regents

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

This is page 6 of the IRBS Theological Seminary Inauguration & Convocation Program.  The full program can be downloaded directly here https://irbsseminary.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/program.pdf  It can be downloaded from the bottom of this page https://web.archive.org/web/20190129074447/http://irbsseminary.org/inauguration-convocation-2018/  You may also download it from WordPress at these links:

#4 IRBS Website: Faculty (formerly #4 IRBS Website: ACADEMICS/Course Information/Catalog)

On 1/15/2020 IRBS added this page to their website.  It can be found here: https://irbsseminary.org/faculty/ or here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200128224704/https://irbsseminary.org/faculty/

Why is there no Dean of Students listed on this or any other page?

On 12/15/2019 Dean of Students Steve Martin spoke on behalf of IRBS Seminary at Reformed Baptist Church of Kansas City.  That presentation can be found here: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=121819328261327 or here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200113204208/https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=121819328261327

“As Dean of Students…What do I do as the Dean of Students?  I don’t teach so much as I shepherd the souls of the students who are enrolled.”

Here is the audio clip of this quote:

“My wife and I purposely bought a house that’s too big so we can host people.  We have three spare bedrooms and two spare baths.  And, we’ve had pastors, elders, deacons, parents of students, students and their wives come stay with us as they’re checking out the school, or taking classes, or whatever.  And, uh, if you can get your body down to Mansfield, then we’ll put you up for free, and then you can take the class.

Here is the audio clip of this quote:

Here is the full audio file (quote 1 begins at about 26:34; quote 2 begins at about 35:25):

On 09/11/2018 at the IRBS Theological Seminary Convocation and Inauguration, Steve Martin took his Oath to Office and was welcomed as a member of the Core Faculty of IRBS Theological Seminary.  The video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAUBypieC34

“I would now ask the Core Faculty of the Seminary to please come forward. [Steve Martin, Richard Barcellos, Fred Malone, and Stefan Lindblad went forward to take their Oath to Office.]…Then gentlemen, on behalf of the IRBS Trustees of IRBS Theological Seminary, we welcome you as the Core Faculty of this Seminary.”

Here is the video clip of the quote:

Here is the full video file (quote begins at about 10:00):

On 7/6/2018 James Renihan spoke on behalf of IRBS Seminary at Stanmore Baptist Church in Australia.

“But we have, we’ve been able to bring together a really excellent Faculty.  We have what’s called a Core Faculty.  It’s made up of Dr. Richard Barcellos, Dr. Fred Malone, um, Stefan Lindblad who is almost done with his Ph.D., um, Steve Martin who is our Dean of Students, and myself.  We’ll be the Core Faculty.”

Here is the video clip of the quote:

Here is the full video file (quote begins at about 36:13):

Is Steve Martin still the Dean of Students?  If so, why is he not listed as such or with the Core Faculty on IRBS Seminary’s Website?

Here is a link to Steve Martin’s page showing how he was involved with ARBCA and Tom Chantry: https://ephesians511.home.blog/steve-martin/

Here is a comparison of previous and current faculty followed by the page from the IRBS Theological Seminary Inauguration & Convocation Program that listed their Faculty.  Note: Steve Martin was listed as the Dean of Students under both Core Faculty (page 5) and Staff (page 6).  The full program can be downloaded directly here https://irbsseminary.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/program.pdf  It can be downloaded from the bottom of this page https://web.archive.org/web/20190129074447/http://irbsseminary.org/inauguration-convocation-2018/  You may also download it from WordPress at these links:

Professors in the Program but not on current Faculty page:

  • Dr. S.M Baugh
  • Dr. Terry Clarke
  • Dr. J.V. Fesko
  • Dr. David VanDrunen
  • Dr. Tom Ascol
  • Dr. Tom Hicks
  • Dr. Ishwaran Mudliar
  • Dr. Raymond Perron
  • Dr. Ken Puls

Note: Dr. Ishwaran Mudliar no longer teaches for the IRBS Seminary.  He did not have any history with the leaders until the time prior to the opening of the seminary and in its first year.  His last semester was in spring of 2019, and he has had no contact with anyone there since then. [verified comment on this page]

Professors not in the Program but on current Faculty page:

  • Dr. Jeffrey T. Riddle
  • Dr. Joshua Wilson
  • Timothy Decker (Lecturer)

#5 IRBS Website: ABOUT/Administration/Jeff Massey

Rev. Jeff Massey is the Coordinator of the Doctoral Study Center (https://irbsseminary.org/administration/jeff-massey/). Here is his page showing how he was involved with ARBCA and Tom Chantry:

Jeff Massey Pastor of Redeemer Reformed Baptist Church in San Bernardino, CA.

IRBS – Jeff Massey

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

IRBS Seminary’s Formation by and Former Connection to ARBCA

#6 IRBS’s Commitment Statement

This is IRBS’s Commitment Statement (https://irbsseminary.org/commitment-statement/). 

NOTE: IRBS has removed this page from their website (https://web.archive.org/web/20200208000048/https://irbsseminary.org/commitment-statement/). I’m leaving it here to show how IRBS Seminary was formed by ARBCA and how IRBS Seminary firmly believed that only an ARBCA governed school would maintain the proper balance of unity and diversity among their churches.

Why has that firm belief changed, and why has IRBS Seminary not made any statement regarding the reason for that change?

“First and foremost, the Seminary will exist to prepare men to serve as ministers in confessional ARBCA churches. Since the IRBS Board of Trustees also functions as the Ministerial Education Committee for ARBCA, it is essential that the school prioritize this relationship. ARBCA was founded on the principle that an association of churches is the best method for cooperation in many areas, including ministerial training. This is at the very heart of its convictions, directly expressed as a founding purpose. It is our firm belief that only an ARBCA governed school, reflecting the doctrine and practice of the Association as a whole, will maintain the proper balance of unity and diversity among our churches. Our primary recruitment pool is men who are members of ARBCA churches.” [8th paragraph]

Click here to download a pdf of this image.

#7 IRBS Seminary Project Charter

This is the IRBS Seminary Project Charter that was signed on April 26, 2017 at the ARBCA 2017 General Assembly by Earl M. Blackburn, James M. Renihan, Fred Pugh, and Brandon F. Smith.

It can be found here: https://irbsseminary.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Charter-Signed-Edit.jpg or here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200104002145/https://irbsseminary.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Charter-Signed-Edit.jpg

“After nineteen fruitful years of training men for the Christian ministry in cooperation with Westminster Seminary California, the Trustees of IRBS believe that it is time in God’s providence to present to the General Assembly of ARBCA a formal charter for the IRBS Seminary Project.” [Introduction] 

“In addition, ARBCA has numerous men who have the experience and qualifications to serve in and assist with the IRBS Seminary Project at various levels.” [Justification for the IRBS Seminary Project]

“The General Assembly of ARBCA votes to approve or to disapprove this project charter.  If approved by the vote of the General Assembly, the charter is signed by the officers designated below.  Once signed, this project charter authorizes the tasks described therein and funds the IRBS Seminary Project.  The General Assembly of ARBCA will serve as the sponsor for the IRBS Seminary Project and the Trustees of IRBS will supervise the project under the General Assembly’s oversight.  The Trustees of the IRBS will present a report on the progress of the IRBS Seminary Project at the General Assembly of ARBCA each year.[Approval of the Charter]

This is a picture of the IRBS Seminary Project Charter being signed.  It was taken from the Spring 2017 ARBCA Update [Page 4], which can be downloaded from ARBCA here: https://www.csmedia1.com/arbca.com/sp-2017-arbca-update-final.pdf or from WordPress here: https://ephesians511home.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/sp-2017-arbca-update-final.pdf

#8 Spring 2018 ARBCA Update

“The ARBCA General Assembly approved the standalone seminary project on April 26, 2017.” [Page 4, 8th paragraph]

“The action of the ARBCA General Assembly is highly significant. It means that IRBS Theological Seminary will be under the authority of a confessional association of churches. [Page 5, 9th paragraph]

“This is why tying our own seminary to our association’s oversight is vital to preserving its loyalty to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith.” [Page 5, 14th paragraph]

Click here to download this document from ARBCA’s website.

Click here to download this document from WordPress.

#9 IRBS About – reference to ARBCA previously on website

The following text was previously on IRBSTS’s Home Page. 

Associational Connection

We have a strong relationship with the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America and believe that an association of churches is the best method for cooperation in many areas, including ministerial training (this is at the heart of ARBCA’s convictions, directly expressed as a founding purpose).  This seminary reflects the doctrine and practice of this association as a whole, and we believe this will allow for the proper balance of unity and diversity among our churches.”

This is a screenshot of IRBSTS’s About Page with the text in question.  It can be found here: https://web.archive.org/web/20200104055058/https://irbsseminary.org/about-us/  Under “Our Principles” there are 3 sections of text that it switches between: “Associational Connection,” “Confessional Subscription,” and “Confessionally Grounded.”

#10 Audio and Video of Dr. James M. Renihan

This was recorded on 7/14/2018 and is titled Introducing IRBS Seminary.  In following quote, Dr. James M Renihan speaks about the connection between ARBCA and IRBS Seminary:

“And, this is the project of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America.  So it’s not individuals gathering together to begin a school but rather churches commissioning, or…commissioning’s not the right word, um…uh, authorizing men to come together to do this training on the behalf of those churches.  Um, there’s probably very few churches themselves in the world that have the capabilities to do what needs to be done to prepare men, where churches joining together are able to do that.  So that’s, that’s our whole justification for the fellowship here in New Zealand, for our association in the United States, and this is a task of our association of churches.  So that, for example, it was in 2017 at our General Assembly when the churches voted to move forward with this project, that finally we were able to say we’re going ahead.  We were waiting for that authorization from the churches to do that.  We didn’t do it on our own.

Here is the audio clip of the quote:

Here is the video clip of the quote:

Here is the full audio file (quote begins at about 44:26):

Here is the full video file (quote begins at about 44:24):

Here is the Sermon Audio page from which the audio and video files were downloaded: https://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=715182239224

#11 IRBS Website: DONATE/Case for Support

The web page can be found here (https://web.archive.org/web/20181014215434/http://irbsseminary.org/case/).

The Case for Support PDF can be downloaded from this link on that webpage (https://web.archive.org/web/20181014215434/http://irbsseminary.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2-online-case.pdf) or from WordPress (https://ephesians511home.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/2-online-case.pdf) .

“In April 2007 the ARBCA General Assembly took the historic step of approving the establishment of a full residential seminary to train men in the work of spreading the Gospel around the world.” [Page 3, left side of page]

“Since its inauguration in 1997, ARBCA has declared training to be one of its main missions; until now it has partnered with Westminster Seminary California to prepare pastors in Reformed Baptist traditions.” [Page 3, 2nd paragraph]

“The vital work of spreading the Gospel compels ARBCA to train men who will pastor sound Biblical churches.  The teachings of the 17th century English Particular Baptists are the traditions to which the seminary will adhere, seeking to train pastors to proclaim the Gospel in its purest form.” [Page 3, 3rd paragraph]

“‘It is an urgent time for America, not just for our group of people, to have a confessional seminary that is overseen by the Association.’ – Walt Chantry” [page 4, left side of page]

“ARBCA can claim the world’s foremost expert in confessional Reformed Baptist doctrine and history in the newly named President of IRBS Theological Seminary, Dr. James M. Renihan.” [Page 4, 1st paragraph]

“In response to God’s providences, ARBCA is committed to establishing a seminary designed to meet the unique requirements of preparing Reformed Baptist pastors, missionaries, church planters and theologians for the continued advancement of Gospel work among the nations.” [Page 4, 3rd paragraph]

The link for the Case for Support page is at the bottom of the Donations page: https://irbsseminary.org/donate/ . However, the page to which the link directs you (https://irbsseminary.org/case) is gone.

#12 Winter 2018 ARBCA Update

This and all ARBCA Quarterly Updates can be downloaded from ARBCA’s website (https://www.arbca.com/arbca-quarterly-updates).

“A line item in the ARBCA budget will grant money to IRBS, but actual oversight of the seminary finances will be done by AFairchild and IRBS trustees. ‘That doesn’t remove IRBS from ARBCA but it removes the administration from handling the money,’ Blackburn said.” [Page 16, 14th and 15th paragraphs]

Click here to download of this document from ARBCA’s website.

Click here to download of this document from WordPress.

#13 ARBCA Website: TRAINING

In November 2019 ARBCA removed information regarding IRBS Training from their website.  These are before and after screenshots.

Before: “TRAINING” is listed at the top of ARBCA’s website.  The TRAINING page contained links to IRBS Seminary, Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies, and IRBS Proposal Documents (Password Protected).

TRAINING: https://web.archive.org/web/20190407070949/http://www.arbca.com/theological-training

“The Institute will operate autonomously, but in conjunction with Westminster Theological Seminary in California (WTSC) and always subject to the authority of the Association.” [1st paragraph]

“Specifically, the Ministerial Education Committee’s responsibilities and duties are:” [1st paragraph]

  • “To serve as the Institute’s Board of Trustees, subject to Administrative Council (AC) approval.” [5th point]

Institute of Reformed Baptist Studies: https://web.archive.org/web/20190407050500/http://www.arbca.com/irbs

Screenshots of both pages:

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

After: The “TRAINING” page is missing. https://www.arbca.com/

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

#14 ARBCA Website: ABOUT/Staff

In November 2019 ARBCA removed information regarding IRBS Staff from their website.  These are before and after screenshots.

Before: the IRBS Professor Dr. James Renihan and the IRBS Administrative Assistant Mr. Gatlin Bredeson were listed and each had their own page.

Staff https://web.archive.org/web/20190407081351/http://www.arbca.com/staff

IRBS Professor Dr. James Renihan https://web.archive.org/web/20190406172256/http://www.arbca.com/irbs-professon

IRBS Administrative Assistant Mr. Gatlin Bredeson https://web.archive.org/web/20190407081412/http://www.arbca.com/irbs-administrative-assistant-to-the-dean

Screenshots of all three pages:

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

After: The ARBCA Administrative Assistant is the only staff listed.

https://www.arbca.com/staff

Click here to download a pdf of this image from WordPress.

2 thoughts on “IRBS Seminary, ARBCA, and Tom Chantry

  1. I do not teach for the IRBS Seminary any more. My last semester was the spring of 2019. I did not have a history with the leaders until the time prior to the opening of the seminary and in its first year. Since the spring of 2019, I have had no contact with anyone there.
    Sincerely, Ishwaran Mudliar

    Like

    1. Thank you for your comment. I have added a note with this information above where your name is listed.

      Note: I verified that this comment came from Dr. Mudliar prior to approving it and adding the note.

      Like

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