On May 17, more than twenty students set off on Midwestern Seminary’s first-ever New England Study Tour led by Professor Owen Strachan and Provost Jason Duesing, as well as by Midwestern’s Director of Content Strategy, Jared Wilson. For seven fast-paced days, the team explored various sites of historical, cultural, and ecclesiological significance in the Northeast and in the New England states.

Beginning their trek near Philadelphia, students visited the Pennepack Baptist Church, the oldest surviving Baptist church in Pennsylvania and once the site of an historic sermon by popular revivalist preacher George Whitefield. Along the way, the group visited numerous influential educational institutions, including: Princeton in New Jersey, as well as Yale in Connecticut, Harvard in Massachusetts, Providence College in Rhode Island, Dartmouth in New Hampshire, The King’s College in New York City, Bowdoin in Maine, and Westminster Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania.

They also visited the resting places of some of the most significant figures in American and Christian history. At the grave of pastor Jonathan Edwards in Princeton Cemetery, Dr. Strachan lectured on the long shadow still cast by Edwards. The team also saw the graves of scholar B.B. Warfield, preacher George Whitefield, and U.S. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton at Trinity Church on Wall Street, where the team met up briefly for an impromptu lecture tour of some New York City sites led by seminary president Dr. Jason Allen, who was in the city on other seminary business. At the grave of famed Baptist missionary Adoniram Judson in Plymouth, Mass., Dr. Duesing taught on Judson’s life and influence.

Also in Plymouth, at the legendary Plymouth Rock, place of the pilgrims’ first landing, Dr. Duesing presented on the development of Puritan theology and Wilson taught on the Baptist emphasis on a “believers’ church.”

During a brief pass through Vermont, Wilson also gave a tour of and lecture on the history of Middletown Springs Community Church, the location of his pastorate before his move to Midwestern. The team also visited a church plant in Rutland, Vermont.

Other church planters, replanters, and area missiologists visited included Bland Mason of City on a Hill Church in Boston, where the team gathered for worship on the Sunday morning of their tour, and Nathan Pickowicz from New Hampshire, Kevin McKay in Providence, Wes Pastor from Vermont, and—again in Boston—Gordon Hugenberger of Park Street Church and Jaime Owens of The Tremont Temple, where all three leaders offered some final thoughts and encouragements.

The seminary team also took in some more historical and cultural sites during their study tour, including the Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial site in New York City. Dr. Duesing led a tour of The Freedom Trail in Boston, and the whole group ended their time in the Northeast taking in a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park.