The Evangelical Exodus: Protestant Seminarians Become Catholic

A powerful new convert stories book is out from Ignatius Press, and you need to pick it up. Evangelical Exodus: Evangelical Seminarians and Their Paths to Rome recounts the stories of nine converts to Catholicism.

Evangelical Exodus Begins

But these converts aren’t just run-of-the-mill Joes like I was.

They were all:

  • Protestant seminarians
  • From the same seminary: Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES)
  • Who learned from a prominent Protestant scholar, Norman Geisler

And who all decided to become Catholic, not in spite of their Protestant schooling there, but in many ways because of it!

Evangelical Exodus bookMy good friend Doug Beaumont is the editor of the book and himself one of the converts. He and I first corresponded online many years ago. I knew right away that he was a deep thinker and a Protestant who was open to finding the fullness of the truth, wherever the search led.

After long years of reading, studying, and praying, he entered full communion with the Catholic Church. And so did many of his former peers at SES.

More Than a (Conversion) Feeling

These converts were all getting graduate degrees from SES. Many now have doctorates from well known institutions.

In Evangelical Exodus they each describe their own journey from Protestantism to Catholicism through study of the Church Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, philosophy and theology.

These men were committed Evangelical Protestants who believed in sola Scriptura, sola fide, an the Protestant canon of Scripture. They were not to be moved toward Catholicism by shallow arguments or evidence. Rather, as they demonstrate, they pierced into the depths of the reasons supporting the Faith and discovered that Christ’s Church was there waiting for them.

Doug Beaumont writes:

During my time at SES I had been told that we were learning to defend the “historic Christian faith.” But as I enlarged my studies, I began to realize that many of SES’ distinctive teachings could not be counted as historic in the implied sense.

Much of SES’ doctrinal statement (to which students and faculty were held) contained a mix of Reformation theology, Anabaptist doctrines, and even late nineteenth-century beliefs.

True or false, these did not seem legitimately to constitute the historic Christian faith.

Commendably, SES directed its students to study Aquinas and the Church Fathers. Most Protestant seminaries don’t dare do that, or do so in a tightly curated fashion.

But ironically such study had the opposite effect: the students came to see that their seminary wasn’t teaching what the Fathers taught!

For Better and For Worse

Becoming Catholic was not easy for these men. And since becoming Catholic some have had very challenging times. They had invested years of their lives into becoming Protestant teachers, pastors, and scholars, only to leave Protestantism.

I am so glad that they have told their stories in this volume. They lay out clearly, succinctly, and in a heart-felt manner the way that God led them to Catholicism. None expected it nor sought it.

Do yourself a favor and get Evangelical Exodus today.

6 thoughts on “The Evangelical Exodus: Protestant Seminarians Become Catholic”

  1. I believe that if there is any “exodus” of evangelicals to catholicism, it is by God’s design in order to breathe new life into the catholic church and turn it back to its original purpose: bringing the good news of Christ and salvation to the entire world.

    1. I agree and I hope at least some of these men find their way to the traditional Latin Mass, lest they grow discouraged in their new faith.

    2. Yes Mark, there definitely is an “exodus” of Evangelicals to the One, Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. I’m one of many, many converts. It has been beautiful to see the joy and humility of lifelong Catholics who are encouraged by these conversions and how these people appreciate the gifts I received from Protestant communities and now bring with me. Such as scriptural knowledge, lay participation and evangelical zeal.

      But so much more wonderful has been my surprise and joy to find so many living spiritual giants in the Catholic pews. Their humble childlike faith makes them so deeply, passionately in love with Jesus. “Union with Christ” is the only way I can describe it.

      Modern day Catholics don’t emphasize the simplicity of initial conversion through clearly procaiming the Gospel message as many Protestants do quite well. And that should change in a world with an ever growing number of unbelievers. But what Catholics have right is a biblically sound emphasis on sanctification through (and only through) our union with Jesus Christ. That is why there is such an emphasis on the Sacraments and sacramentals because through them (and our humble reception of them) Jesus gives us Himself, more and more each day.

    3. I agree and that is what is happening where I live and in fact that would describe my journey back to the Catholic church

  2. Why are Parrish’s closing in north if members are on rise, why do statistics say more people are disagreeing with church teachings on gays marriage birth control. Southern Parrish’s are only getting larger because of illegal aliens !

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