Throughout its history, FAREL | Institut de théologie réformée has prioritized the task of bringing the full breadth of biblical revelation in engaging, compelling, and faithful expression to every aspect of life, and especially in bringing the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have not heard it.
We began under the name of Institut Farel in September 1978 with the movement of the Evangelical Reformed Alliance, a grouping of individuals from different churches, all in agreement with the theology and mission of the Reformation.
This movement had three goals:
- the publication of a reformed magazine or journal ;
- the establishment of a publishing house (“Éditions Parole”); and
- the establishment of a reformed theological institute.
In the summer of 1979, the Farel Institute was founded, with Pastor David Craig as its first president, a position he held until his death in October 2001. In 1980, Pastor Martin Geleynse joined Farel as Coordinator and lecturer, a role he fulfilled until 1986.
In January 1986, Pastor Jean-Guy Deblois, then president of the Alliance Reformée Evangélique, was appointed as a part-time administrator. During the 1980s, Farel trained several pastors and members of different churches, the vast majority of whom continue to serve in Quebec.
In the 1990’s, Farel bought its first building in Lévis, on the south shore of Quebec City.
In 1998, the Institut Farel moved to Montreal, while keeping a building and a point of service for the Quebec City area.
2002 to the present
Since 2002, several directors have served Farel:
Adrien Neele (2002 to 2004)
Daniel Timmer (2004 to 2009)
Christian Adjémian (2009 to 2010)
Jason Zuidema (2012 to 2013)
J.G. (Jean) Zoellner (2015 to 2020)
Jacques Boulet (2021 to present)
In addition to the pastors trained during this decade, it is also worth noting the signing of a service agreement, from 2008 to 2018, with the Institut de formation théologique de Montréal (IFTM). This agreement demonstrates our commitment to pursue Christian ecumenism based on the recognition of the plenary inspiration and normative authority of the Holy Scriptures.
The Farel Institute received some 3,000 volumes in French from the will of Roger Nicole, ThD, PhD. This collection, most of which dates from the 18th and 19th centuries, is an important source for understanding the development of Protestantism in Switzerland and France.
On October 11, 2018, FAREL signed a collaboration agreement with the Faculté de théologie évangélique in Montreal (FTE). FAREL now recommends that candidates for the pastorate and members of the Reformed churches who wish to pursue advanced theological studies do so as students of the FTE.
According to order 1059-2018 of August 7, 2018, the Government of Quebec recognizes Acadia University as a university-level educational institution for the purpose of offering a number of programs and degrees (BTh, MA, MDiv, ThM) in Montreal through the FTE.
Through this Christian relationship of mutual trust, grounded in biblical ecumenism and evangelical Protestant faith confessions, FAREL will continue to promote its distinctive tradition of Reformed theology, pastoral care, and mission, while sharing our resources with our brothers and sisters of evangelical Baptist faith.
This common evangelical confession (Reformed and Baptist) traces its roots to Jesus Christ and the mission of the apostolic church of the first century, whose beliefs and practices were renewed by the Reformation of the Church in the 16th century. FAREL is therefore committed to upholding the classical Trinitarian faith, to proclaiming and living the gospel courageously, to making known the doctrines enunciated by the major Reformed confessions of faith, and to submitting to the Holy Scriptures as the normative authority for faith and life.
FAREL seeks to deepen this identity of living orthodoxy through conferences, continuing education within local churches, and occasional theological conferences seeking to integrate Christian faith with civic life in all areas of society. We recognize that all of these goals rely on a vibrant and sustained prayer life.
This new relationship with the FTE was established to better share the resources of Protestant Christians in Quebec and to better ensure the sustainable quality of French-language theological, pastoral and missionary education in Quebec and other French-speaking areas.