The RTS New York City story began with an exploratory meeting, requested by Tim Keller, in June 2009, at the PCA General Assembly in Orlando, FL. The meeting included Tim Keller, that time Sr. Pastor of Redeemer NYC and representatives of RTS, including Ricin's Cannada and Steve Wallace, at that time the Chancellor/CEO of RTS and COO of RTS. Tim discussed the vision of Redeemer to plant multiple churches in NYC and the need of a seminary to partner with Redeemer City to City to prepare the needed pipeline of future leaders with the necessary theological and practical preparation for the urban environment of New York City. Tim's vision included his desire to be involved with the instruction and training of such a program. In the months following, Chancellor Cannada sought for and received approval from the Board of RTS to pursue an extension campus in New York City in partnership with Redeemer City to City.
For leadership, Dr. Mark Reynolds was to head up the partnership on the Redeemer City to City side, and the Rev. Steve Wallace was tasked on the RTS side. Mark and Steve drafted Memorandums of Understanding between the organizations and explored various models for delivering a seminary degree and practical ministry training in NYC. RTS was responsible for obtaining all necessary approvals with accreditors and state agencies. Mark and Steve's co-laboring efforts began in 2011 and have continued with the start-up of the program spring of 2015 and until now with the first RTS NYC graduation and kick-off of the CMY fall of 2017.
Brief timeline for RTS New York City and the City Ministry Year
September 17, 2014: The NY state Borard of Regents granted authority for RTS to offer the Mast of Arts (Biblical Studies) in NYC (less than half residentially). Over the next few months, accreditation approvals were also granted from SACS and ATS.
Last Spiting 2015: RTS NYC Admissions opened and applications were received.
September 10, 2015: The Inaugural Convocation of RTS NYC, admitting a first cohort of 15 students.
September 8, 2016: The Second Convocation, admitting a second cohort of 26 students.
September 7, 2017: The Third Convocation and Kick-off of the City Ministry Year, admitting a third cohort of 27 students into RTS NYC and 14 students into the CMY.
September 8, 2017: The First Commencement of RTS NYC with 10 MABS graduates from the first cohort.