3rd Mill provides seminary quality education to the world which generally lacks it at no cost to the recipient. It is awesome!
Third Millennium Ministries is a much needed ministry in the world today. By giving indigenous pastors the training they need - they are changing the face of missions by leaps and bounds and accomplishing great things for the kingdom. I thank God for what they are doing and pray it will increase!
I have seen people around the world use the material of Third Millennium to give them education and training. There has been no place and no material to do that, until Third Mil came along.
I heartily endorse their ministry.
I've met Richard Pratt back in the early 90' in Prague. He seemed to me to be an excellent theology professor back then already, especially compared to the liberal teachers I knew. He helped me to study in the Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson Mississippi, where I managed to complete my M.A. In the U.S.A. I learned
that Richard Pratt was an extraordinary teacher even within the American context. One of the best in the field, really.
Now the Third Mill Ministries that he started, a global virtual seminary, is an unusual thing for many reasons. Not only it's free for international students like me (which is very reasonable price) but also:
(1) The content is excellent. With Richard Pratt as the President, the Third Mill guarantees very high level of the knowledge. From the videos we can learn what is really important, without having to read those (unavailable anyway) tons of books ourselves; and moreover, without further need to filter out what is and what is not relevant for today's situation both in the church and in the world. They've done that for us. It cannot be overstated how much time we can save by picking up the fruit of someone else's heavy labor.
(2) The form of videos is a great, up-to-date tool to communicate, especially for lectures like these. If you don't understand or could not write down the verses, references, or a Hebrew/Greek word fast enough, you can always stop, rewind it back, and re-play it again or read it from the still screen; open a book (the Bible in your language) and look something up in the middle of the professor's sentence. Something unimaginable in the classroom setting.
(3) The speakers use nice, understandable English. What a relief! Just imagine an international student, equipped with some level of a school English (whose English teachers may have never had a chance to talk with a real native speaker, or a British at best), overloaded with new theories and concepts, and struggling with
the Southern accent of some professors, which seems like another new language (where the word PEOPLE, for example, is being pronounced to resemble PAPER more that anything else). One is lost even when he or she knows the words the teacher says, but which cannot be recognized because of the dialect.
Moreover, some teachers speak way too fast, which, again, makes an international lost even more.
Add to that the rule that the Jackson campus issued, that the Americans using a laptop (a new and rare thing back then) must not give their notes to the international students. Gee, it would be so helpful! So many words we are not sure how to spell, sometimes even the professor's handwriting on the board is hard to read,
sometimes one is not sure whether the word in an unknown English word or a strange name of some Egyptian god... To go over your notes and having a chance to fix your errors (and fill the gaps) using the notes of somebody who know their English better than you, would be of invaluable help. But soon after the teachers noticed my classmates doing it, we could not do it anymore. One can only wonder
why. So that the internationals don't grow lazy? As if attending a graduate school in a language that is not your first were not difficult enough by itself. It seemed to us that they were making the things as difficult as possible for us.
With the Third Mill stuff, you can forget about the troubles of such kind. If your school English is sufficient enough to understand, you don't miss anything anymore.
(4) The way Richard and his team select the content of the lectures, is wonderful: They are careful to not offend anybody from the wide range of various confessions and denominations. So what you can learn here, is probably easily acceptable for you, no matter what your particular confession is. And if you happen to disagree on something, you are invited to do so. Most likely it will be a small issue, not worthy of splitting the church over it.
(5) In addition to the lectures themselves, you can also watch the Discussion forums on some of the topics. These talks cover wider range of issues that the lectures. Sometimes you'll find answers to your questions, sometimes you even discover questions you haven't thought about. (One could wish to have the discussions also downloadable, in order not to be limited by the internet
connection, but with today's computer power it is not really a big deal. I watch even the downloaded lectures on my PC anyway. The Christians in the countries with limited access to the internet? They will have to be glad for the DVD's as they are now, I would guess.)
(6) This all is done on a very high professional level. Not only the content but also the "dress" in which it is presented. From the technicians who do the audio and video recording and editing, to the artists who draw the illustrations, to somebody who puts everything together. It's all on the level of a documentary like that of National Geographic, for example (occasionally even closer to the truth:]).
(7) Recently I've heard that the lectures on Revelation are coming up. When the entire Bible is covered like that, what more could we ask for?
a Czech student, fortunate to live outside the U.S.A. and thus being allowed to benefit from the products of the Third Mill.
Third Millennium Ministries is filling a great need that has been with us for quite some time - the need to provide top level theological education and biblical grounding to those who have the most difficulty accessing and/or affording such things. Their commitment to providing theological education for the world FOR FREE is a genuine commitment and has helped countless tens of thousands receive training and instruction that they would never had access to otherwise. The selflessness and generosity of this ongoing effort is a model of Gospel-centered, kingdom minded ministry and deserves to be encouraged in every possible way.
Third Millenium is the best agency for helping others around the world in making their lives better. I have studied in the graduate school that Third Mill's founder formerly taught in and know him and his associates to be people of the greatest integrity. They could be making much more money in their field but instead give their lives to this organization.
I am a member of the clergy from a small church with a small budget in KY. Since I found out about Third Millennium Ministries I have used their very helpful and instructive teaching material for my personal growth and for our education program at the church. The beauty of their work is that they make it easy to understand for laypeople but interesting enough for professionals. I highly recommend Third Mil to anyone who desires to give to a great cause. I am impressed with their operation; they do wonderful, creative work on a limited budget. And the beauty of their mission is that they provide so much of their excellent teaching in the language of the people groups they serve.
As a pastor, I find that it is difficult to answer all the questions, especially the ones that people are afraid to ask. Church can be an intimidating place when you feel like you need to ask the "stupid questions". It is also a hard thing to find a resource that can be trusted to answer questions in a way that is thoughtful, meaningful and true. Thirdmill provides my congregation with a place to learn more about the truth of God and His kingdom in a risk free enviroment, strengthening their walks, and strengthening the Church.
I have benefited time and again from the written, audio, and video resources Third Millennium creates, sells, and gives away. The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible that they put together is the best of its kind in so many ways, and their online Q&A knowledge base is chock full of great answers to very hard questions. I support them because I know they have a vision for helping and educating those in the third world who can't afford the things we take for granted.
Fantastic material that I have used both personally and with leaders in three countries on three continents. An efficient, productive, prolific, visionary, and necessary organization. It is my conviction that there is no non-profit with a greater or more necessary vision than Third Millenium Ministries.
I've been impressed with how well Third Millenium goes about achieving their goal of providing a Biblical education to the world for free. They picked the 5 most widely spoken languages in which to translate their materials, and they're in the process of creating a very comprehensive curriculum that would cover what someone would get in seminary. Their video materials look like the History Channel, and are very, very engaging. It's easy to learn from them, whether you are learning about the Bible for the first time, or are enriching your current knowledge. I've just watched the Apostles' Creed lessons and I'm hooked. Want to watch so many more.
They're playing such an important role in helping Christians all over the world to grow in their faith. Most pastors outside the US have less than an hour of Biblical training, so it's much more difficult for them to try to lead others in a sound foundation of faith than it would be if they had a good knowledge of the Bible and Christian doctrine. Third Millienium's materials are quite ecumenical, so they provide all the viewpoints if there are legitimate differences of opinion amongst orthodox Christian schools of thought (i.e. baptism, spiritual gifts, etc.)
It's awesome to see missionaries take Third Millenium's materials to the countries they go to and leave resources so that pastors don't have to come to the US for seminary (at great monetary expense and to the detriment of their families who have to stay behind for several years, and their congregations who have no pastor for that amount of time).
This organization has a huge impact on the growth and health of the church worldwide, and they do it in such a solid, engaging way. Not to mention they use funds very wisely and are part of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.