DTS Magazine Summer 2019

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Summer 2019 | Vol. 5, No. 2


Identity Who am I?






Alive to Forward FROM: DR. MARK L. BAILEY


o put it in a simple metaphor, before we came to Christ, the Bible teaches that all of our life was a life of driving in reverse. The doctrine of depravity doesn’t teach that every time we drive the car of our life we go as fast as we can or hit as much as we can.

Depravity means that we have never driven forward into a territory where we could understand God or please Him. In fact, we were incapable in and of ourselves to even move in His direction. In our old life of reverse, we ran over people and into things. We wounded loved ones and strangers, and we even hurt ourselves. The damage varied, but the truth remained the same: Every day was a backward trip from where God would have liked us to go. But then something dramatic happened. For reasons only explained by God and His grace, we responded to the truth of the gospel. By faith we invited Jesus to enter into our lives. As He started permeating our lives, several important events took place. He provided a series of experiences we’d never had before and reminded us of the forgiveness He gives. He paid the debt for the damages we had caused, and He made it possible to disengage the gear of habitually driving in reverse. For the first time in our lives, He enabled the transmission of our lives to shift into drive and start the car forward. However, if we’re honest, it is an ongoing struggle and a maturing ability to reckon with this truth of our identification with Christ. In a moment of temptation, stress, or reaction, we will by default want to shift into reverse again. After all, we’ve reacted that way before, and in the carnal moments of the Christian life, it’s easy to forget. In Romans 6:1 Paul addresses the real temptation we have which is to continue living in reverse knowing Christ paid for all the damages we inflicted. He contradicts this rationalization by writing—to paraphrase verse 2—“How should we, who are dead to reverse, continue driving in that old direction?”


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When we invited Jesus into our lives, we identified by faith with all that He did to take care of our life of reverse. In verses 3–5, Paul assures us that because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, not only is there a new ability to drive on a whole new road, but one day in the future, we’ll also get a brand new “car”! Through His death and resurrection, Jesus not only promises believers freedom from sin and death but guarantees us new bodies furnished for all eternity. After coming to Christ, we can now see through the windshield into a clearer view of the life God intends for us to live. Through the study of His Word, we can understand what God’s will is and why His direction is better. In Christ we have the ability and strength to trust in His leadership, rest in His power, and go forward. The principle that underlies the entire process is the principle of identifying with Jesus in death—death to sin and a life dedicated to God (Rom 6:7). We can consider ourselves dead to reverse and alive to forward. We can live in freedom knowing our identity is in Christ. And we now have His encouraging motivation and the new profound power He provides.

But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in —1 Cor 6:17 spirit.

DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY Our mission is to glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.


DTS Magazine® Summer 2019 Vol. 5, No. 2 ISSN 1092–7492 ©2019 Dallas Theological Seminary. All rights reserved. Published three times a year by Dallas Theological Seminary 3909 Swiss Avenue Dallas, Texas 75204

Mark L. Bailey, President Edward Herrelko, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Raquel P. Wroten, Editor





David Malphurs, Matt Snyder, Amelia Palmer, Layout and Design

Dr. Célestin Musekura (STM, 1998; PhD, 2007) explores the Christian identity of forgiveness and how it is key to entering a new way of living for all believers.

Debbie J. Stevenson, Production Manager Ryan Holmes, Elijah Misigaro, Don Regier, Christine Zhang, Photographers Kathy Dyer, Melanie Munnell, Margaret Tolliver, Copy Editing Amelia Palmer, Ad Designer Aeriel Eichenberger, Greg Hatteberg, Alumni Connection SUBSCRIBE Subscriptions are free of charge to addresses in the United States. Go to voice.dts.edu/magazine or call 800-DTS-WORD and ask for the DTS Magazine subscription office. EMAIL Contact admissions@dts.edu for information about DTS’s graduate degree programs.





Contact rwroten@dts.edu to submit articles, request reprints, or make comments. DONATIONS For information on how you can support the ministry of DTS, call 214-887-5060. ONLINE/SUBMISSIONS Visit voice.dts.edu/magazine to view the editorial policies or DTS Magazine online. Send email address changes to ckirchdorfer@dts.edu or mail to DTS Magazine 3909 Swiss Ave. Dallas, Texas 75204

As a teen, Raquel Wroten (MAMC, 2012) faced competing messages about her circumstances and how that would impact her future. In this article, Raquel shares the moment that helped her believe and defend God’s message of love, grace, and her identity in Christ.

God designed men and women to share the role of cultivating creation together, but He created each with a unique purpose. Current ThM student Steve Selke writes about the struggle of infertility and how it has impacted him and his wife, Kim, spiritually, both individually and as a couple.

Does our understanding of who we are in Christ influence the way we minister to unbelievers? R. Larry Moyer (ThM, 1973) explains what the Bible says about us as God’s children and how that determines our approach to evangelism.

Unless noted otherwise, Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.




A Holistic Transformation


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remember vividly how I felt in that classroom at the Agriculture University. Pastor Okoch’s hatred was palpable, and I began to wonder what I had said to compel this man to stand up and share all these dark secrets. My African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM) colleagues, Nelson and Jessica, looked at me in amazement, and I wondered if I should ask the pastor to end his testimony or allow him to continue. A silence that I rarely experience with African pastors and lay leaders filled the room. A transformation, one that could only have been orchestrated by God, took place. By this time, Pastor Okoch trembled and tears flowed from his eyes. He used his tie to wipe tears from his cheeks. A number of participants wept with him; it was obvious that they had joined Pastor Okoch on his journey toward a renewed and healed heart. In that room I saw a fellowship of the wounded, but I also sensed that God was doing something new for this community—a community of believers from different tribes who had been enemies for a long time. Hebrews 12:14–15 states, “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” God, in His grace, had given Pastor Okoch a new vision and a new heart. This man had realized for the first time in twenty-seven years that he could be set free, his heart and mind renewed. As he continued to narrate his story, Pastor Okoch looked around the room and began calling the names of other pastors who were present, asking them to forgive him because he had hated them. He confessed that he was one of those who had worked to dismantle the Gulu Pastors Fellowship because he did not want to associate with pastors and church leaders from other tribes and other regions of Uganda. Pastor Okoch repented of his hatred to everyone, including the government of Uganda. He promised that on the following Sunday (two days later) he would ask his congregation to forgive him for being a bitter, hateful, and vengeful pastor. He asked for prayers that God, who had renewed his heart, would continue to renew his mind so he might bear the fruit of peace and love to all people. After Pastor Okoch spoke, a few men and women stood up to offer forgiveness to our repentant brother and apologize for the sins of their own kinsmen during the ethnic violence that divided Uganda. Still many more identified with not only his woundedness but also his anger. Pastor Okoch’s honesty helped them—and me—to see how desperately we need to put on Christ. Thankfully, God’s forgiveness is a salve for our wounds and heals us in ways that we cannot imagine. Like a good doctor, God often interrupts us when we least want treatment, reaching through our tears and resistance to disturb old wounds. Whether we know it or not, this is the

beginning of a holistic transformation. When God wants to clothe us with the virtues of holiness, He begins by touching our broken hearts.


Paul reminds the Colossians that because of their new identity in Christ, their thoughts must be renewed and refocused. Instead of focusing on earthly things, they must set their minds on heavenly matters by replacing carnal thinking with a renewed knowledge of Christ through whom people of every tribe, race, and socioeconomic status are forgiven and reconciled (Col 3:10–11). For Paul, a renewed mind gives actions their meaning. He instructs believers in Rome, Ephesus, and Colossae to have their minds renewed so that they may know and understand God’s will for their daily lives and Christian witness (Rom 12:2; Eph 4:23; Col 1:9; 3:2). It is not enough for God to touch and heal our hearts, because our minds nurse grudges and relive the pain and injuries caused to us. Our minds poison us with reasons why a person, tribe, race, or some sin, offense, or hurt should never be forgiven. In our minds, we condemn others without giving them the chance to clarify or defend themselves, acknowledge

“Anger, resentment, and unforgiveness corrode the mind. When our relationships have been injured by people who are close to us, our minds quickly forget the good.”



their guilt, or repent. Almost everything we put into action has been planned and executed in our minds. This is why the renewal of our mind is critical for altering our actions. Transformation begins with a renewed mind, and Paul advises the Roman believers that a renewed mind is the antidote for worldliness. “Do not be conformed to this world,” he tells them, “but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:2, esv). Anger, resentment, and unforgiveness corrode the mind. When our relationships have been injured by people who are close to us, our minds quickly forget the good and beautiful days we have had with them and fixate only on the wrong they have done. Soon we begin to plan how we might avoid them or even how to get even. Our minds give us reasons and justification for our own evil plans while blinding us to the role we have played in a broken relationship. Our minds ease us into blaming, judging, and even seeking revenge. Christians play along with this vicious cycle by responding to injuries, conflicts, and violence with a conscious forgetfulness of the desire of God for us to be kind to one another and forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven us (Eph 4:32).


A good illustration of this kind of transformation and forgiveness is the story of Clementine. When I first met her on one of my visits to Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she washed my hands and served me a meal. Clementine had told an ALARM staff member that she wanted to serve and care for the man of God who had founded the organization that had brought her “to the right mind.” I did not know Clementine’s story until the following day when my colleagues told me how ALARM’s teaching on biblical forgiveness was impacting Congolese families and communities that were suffering in eastern Congo. Years before, Clementine’s heart had been hardened by a family betrayal. She was born out of wedlock to a young teenager and was raised by her grandmother. Because of the shame, guilt, and stigma associated with teen pregnancies and children born from such taboo relationships, Clementine had been “protected” from this information by family deceptions. She eventually learned the truth, however, in a painful episode one day before her wedding that left a big scar on her heart and sealed her mind in hatred and resentment of both her real grandmother (whom she knew as her “mother”) and her biological mother (whom she knew as her “sister”). According to tradition, on the day before Clementine’s wedding, gifts were given to the family of the bride. One special gift was designated for the bride’s mother, and, to Clementine’s amazement and shame, the person she knew as a sister went forward to receive it. It was at that moment that Clementine learned the truth that her “mother” was, in fact, her grandmother, and the “sister” with whom she had shared


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“As hearts are healed and minds are restored through forgiveness, the result is new attitudes and behaviors that build up communities.”

laughter, tears, and life secrets was actually her mother. From that moment until almost thirteen years later, Clementine did not speak to her family. She hated them and, in her mind, she considered them dead. As the years passed, Clementine could not think of anything except the wrong done to her. She later testified that she could never think of anything good, anything beautiful, or anything worthwhile about her “mother-grandmother,” her “sistermother,” or other members of her family. She even took no joy in her own husband and children, because her mind could not allow her heart to feel love for them. Clementine’s mind was renewed, however, when she understood the cost of her own forgiveness from God and God’s command to forgive others in the same way. She was ministered to by one of my colleagues, Marie-Jeanne, and ten other influential Congolese women who had attended my training on biblical forgiveness and reconciliation in Kigali. Upon their return to Goma, they had organized their own conference, which Clementine had attended. Clementine learned about God’s forgiveness at the conference, along with Marie-Jeanne’s personal testimony of how she forgave the stepmother who had tied her hands together and doused them in kerosene, ready to set them on fire as punishment for her alleged theft of a slice of bread. Clementine realized that she also could free her mind of toxic thoughts by letting go of her resentment against her family. She felt God’s conviction that unless her mind was renewed and her heart delivered, she would continue to hurt her husband and ten children. Clementine then gathered the courage to ask the women at the conference to pray for her broken heart and renewal of mind. From that moment on, Clementine began a journey toward restoration, finding those who had hurt her in order to forgive them and love them again.


As hearts are healed and minds are restored through forgiveness, the result is new attitudes and behaviors that build up communities. When Paul exhorts believers to be compassionate, humble, patient, kind, tolerant, and forgiving in Colossians 3:12, he reminds them that this way of life will set them apart from others around them. Because members of the church come from different ethnic, social, and cultural groups, the possibility of tension always exists. While Clementine and some members of her family had been church members before her encounter with the practice of forgiveness, disappointment and shame had caused their physical and emotional separation. Like many nominal Christians today in many churches, they sang of the grace of God but were never touched and transformed by it. They knew something was not right in their relationships, but they did not know how to address the

problem, and their pastors were not able to help them. They lived as enemies even though they professed to belong to the source of reconciliation. They sang about God’s forgiveness of sins, but they failed to grant the same forgiveness to each other. Both their attitudes and their actions were impaired by their history. By the time I met Clementine, she had already found her mother, grandmother, and other relatives and forgiven them. On the day of her graduation from our Pastoral Leadership Training Institute, Clementine’s husband told me that God, through ALARM’s teaching of forgiveness, had given him a new wife with a new heart and a new mind. Their marriage of fifteen years has had peace and tranquility since Clementine experienced the power of forgiveness. Like Clementine, a new mind led Pastor Okoch to new actions. After his speech at the conference, he promised to go back to his church to ask for the forgiveness of his congregation and also promised that he would work with other church leaders to revive the Gulu Pastors Fellowship. A few weeks later, we learned that more than eighteen pastors from six different denominations in the war-torn city of Gulu had joined the fellowship; they were meeting in each other’s homes, sharing food, and planning an evangelistic crusade together. They began to teach and preach forgiveness and reconciliation. However, forgiveness and reconciliation must also take place beyond the church, between former tribal enemies. ALARM brings widows together from warring tribes and teaches these women mutual understanding and that their futures are bound together. By working together in a business, they learn to trust each other, to support each other, and to depend on each other. These women are discipled together, and they pray together for their children and their businesses. They are hoping together, and they are building a new community that is committed to raising up their children in the spirit of forgiveness, nonviolence, and mutual acceptance.

Selection reprinted from “An Identity of Forgiveness in Colossians” by Célestin Musekura from The Self Examined: Christian Perspectives on Human Identity. Copyright © 2018 by Jenny McGill. Used by permission of Abilene Christian University Press. acupressbooks.com.

CÉLESTIN MUSEKURA (STM, 1998; PhD, 2007) serves as president and CEO of African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM), a ministry he founded in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. ALARM equips church leaders, pastors, and Christian professionals to address the issues of nominal Christianity, ethnic violence, and tribalism in East and Central Africa, and helps train them for leadership, peacebuilding, conflict resolution, reconciliation, and forgiveness.





God’s Grace


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he pastor’s message on this particular Sunday morning had opened a floodgate of emotions my fourteen-year-old self had so carefully kept at bay. “He loves you—exactly the way you are!” I could hardly keep it together, so I made my escape. Please stop crying. As I sprinted down the aisle, I caught the eye of two elegant women whispering. I smiled the best I could and kept walking until I reached the doors to the foyer. “You have purpose,” my pastor kept preaching. “God has plans for you.” I need to get to the bathroom. Now! I pushed the door to the ladies room and barely made it into the last stall where I proceeded to weep. The pastor’s words, “You are His workmanship . . .” now loudly whispered God’s message through the intercom system. “Did you notice her? Her family is just a disaster.” “What can she do with her kind of background?” “No legacy. No nothing—just misery. What a mess.”

of her hands. Her pretty pink sweater sparkled in the light. As soon as they saw me, both women stood frozen, with their blue eyes wide open, watching my every move. Do you even see me? I proceeded to walk to the sink until I stood between them. I lathered my hands with soap thoroughly, turned on the water, and rinsed. My hands felt cold. My eyes, swollen from tears, could barely focus. In that instance, however, I felt a sense of peace knowing I had just taken my first step in learning how to walk on water. Turning to my right, I reached over the shoulder of the woman with the paper towel to grab one for myself. I smiled. Lipstick lady had not moved. Paper-towel woman now stood in front of me. “You’re wrong,” my voice echoed loudly in the bathroom. And like Peter in the Book of Acts, I bravely shared the most important message of my life.

Those words came out of the two women whom I had seen. They hardly knew me. I stood there in the stall of the bathroom wiping the black mascara lines off my face, listening to every word that now drowned out my pastor’s voice.

I proclaimed what I had come to understand just ten minutes before making my way to the bathroom: “God loves me exactly the way I am!”

“Looking back,

“Did you see her dress? How embarrassing.” “I think I heard her mother has eight children. I suppose she’s a . . . .” “Oh, you think so? One can only hope none of our sons marry such a piece of trash.” “Those Mexicans . . . .”

I realized even at fourteen years old that my circumstances

My future, I explained, did not belong to them or their judgments. I had committed my life to Christ, and even though people saw me the way they did and believed what they thought they understood, God said not so!

God commanded it the moment He chose to create me. He designed it when He made plans for me. And He said my life I believed God had “My mother is a prayer-warrior!” I yelled had meaning when He breathed life into a purpose for all of it.” deep inside me. “What do you know?! ” me. Never mind my history, background, or the sins of my parents. I explained that They kept talking—saying horrible things God had a purpose for me—a plan they will about me. The words that came out of their mouths that Sunday never understand. And it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone, morning would haunt me for decades. not even me.

didn’t matter because

As I stood there waiting for them to leave, I made a drastic decision. Up to that moment, I had silently listened to each of the women’s judgments. I no longer had tears. Instead, I had a fiery sensation come over me. I want to think it was holy anger stirring something deep within my soul. I don’t know, but I no longer felt. Slowly I slid the lever of the bathroom stall door. As I walked out, I noticed one of the women standing in front of the sink, lipstick in hand placed up to her lips. Her dyed blonde hair did not move. It haloed around her face as she leaned over the counter to slather the top right portion of her upper lip with bright orange. The other lady had a paper towel crumpled in both

Yes, of course, the odds of “making it”—whatever that means— were against me. A child of divorced parents? Check. Raised by an overwhelmed single parent who mothered eight children? Check. Lived in deep poverty? Check. Home in the projects? Check. And while most kids my age would go on extravagant vacations, I traveled from Dallas to far destinations like California and Minnesota to labor as a migrant worker. Check! Check! Check! But God chose me! Despite it all, He predestined me knowing everything about me. And Christ died for me because He loves me.




What other person has done that—laid down his life for an imperfect, poor in spirit, sinful, deceitful person? Yes, my situation according to a worldly standard was hopeless. But I decided to look beyond the now—at another reference point to draw strength from the Good News. How am I a disaster? Looking back, I realized—even at fourteen years old—that my circumstances didn’t matter because I believed God had a purpose for all of it. And unbeknownst to me (or even the women in the bathroom), God would use experiences like these awful ones to push me to see myself the way He sees me. Strangely, that moment with those women clarified something for me. Position, the amount of wealth, and titles mean nothing to God. All of it, in the end, gets flushed down the toilet.

despite what they heard or saw, trusted the work of God in me. Where would I be without these people? I’ve come to understand that how I see God—what I ascribe Him to be, in my wrestling, through His Word—will determine my identity, and it impacts how I live my life and how I love others. Not long after the “bathroom” incident, I wrote in my journal, personalizing something I had read from Charles Spurgeon: The more unworthy I feel myself to be, the more evidence I have that nothing but unspeakable love could have led the Lord Jesus to save a soul like mine. The more disapproval I get or feel, the clearer is the display of God’s abounding love in choosing me, creating me, calling me, befriending me, and making me an heir of heaven.

A holy God created me. Where He leads, I follow. God is love, Culture, on the other hand, pursues ambition with a passion. and I love because He first loved me. He is powerful; therefore Humanity tries to find its purpose in all I’m weak. God is everywhere so I know I can’t kinds of things as it seeks significance. hide anything from God—He sees it all. He “I don’t believe it is People fixate their gaze on appearance. cannot lie; His promises hold true. My faith The right car. The right brand or label. in God’s character and faithfulness to me has loving to identify others Proper education. Pride struts in with indeed revolutionized my life in ways I could by their circumstances, its bright colors shaming all that stand have never imagined. in its way. It’s got to look pretty. It has to sins, or past. It’s And it is in these revolutionary moments that have the right pedigree. It has to match the message of grace rings loudly. No whispers the standard. important to separate here, just a clear message of hope that will I wish I could say the church is different. behaviors, weaknesses, always open up the floodgates of emotion. Again, reflecting on Charles Spurgeon: Unfortunately, I’ve had too many and personal issues conversations with other believers who Now, if such love exists between God and from identity.” still refuse to see me beyond my history. me, let me live in the influence and sweetness While I’ve had my share of harassment of it and use the privilege of my position. I and assaults, nothing comes close to the destruction others have should not approach my Lord as though a stranger or as tried to make in my life with their harsh words, presuppositions, though He were unwilling to hear me or see me—for I am and expectations. Both my brothers and sisters in Christ in one greatly loved by my loving Father. “He who did not spare way or another have shamed me into dark places. You’re not his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not like us girls. You’re too light and too educated to be a Hispanic. also, with him, graciously give us all things?” Gosh, I really like you, but my parents will never approve. You’re Run boldly, believer, for despite the harsh words of others too pretty to be this smart. We needed to diversify our department, and the doubts of my own heart, I know I am greatly loved. so congratulations, you have the job! Discrimination, prejudice, Meditate on the exceeding greatness and faithfulness of His misogyny, and slander exist in both genders. And it’s not how divine love, and then write it all down. Don’t forget—ever— God wants us to treat each other. the unmistakable grace of God. I don’t believe it is loving to identify others by their circumstances, sins, or past. It’s important to separate behaviors, Greatly loved—that’s who I am! And I don’t have to do anything. weaknesses, inclinations, and personal issues from identity. I don’t have to keep it together or try to escape it. Indeed, God Christ has commanded His followers to love one another. loves me exactly the way I am, and that’s enough. His grace is “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every sufficient for all. supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each RAQUEL P. WROTEN (MAMC, 2012) serves as part does its work” (Eph 4:16). In other words, love others to editor of DTS Magazine. A proud native Texan, grow and build. she and her husband, Rick (ThM, 1994), live in Love. It is what has helped me heal from the harsh words of others. Godly people have surprised me in the most loving ways. With kind words, encouragement, or making time for me, I’m thankful for the outpouring and investment of others who,


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McKinney, Texas. Raquel advocates for people to love God through the faithful study of His Word. She is passionate about writing and loves to listen to others tell their stories of redemption and God’s grace and mercy.

Our Worth and Value

Set Secure by JOYE BAKER (MACE, 1999; DMCE, 2005)

“Who am I?” we often ask. Are we defined by work or task? As we proceed through each new day, Are we defined by what we say? The world declares that this is true, That identity is in what we do; That we become the roles we play And find our value in this way. But God has quite a different plan. He knows the very heart of man. Our roles and tasks may come and go; The Truth is what we need to know. The haunting question, “Who am I?” Is answered in the Savior’s cry. “It is finished,” He proclaims; The souls of man, His love reclaims. And now to each to whom believes, The gift of worth the heart receives. Identity secure and strong; In Christ alone we now belong. Yes, we are men and women too, Unique, distinct through and through, And shaped by God’s own sovereign hand Through years gone by that He has planned. Each person, place, event, and thing Is woven in the life we bring. A testimony of His grace, Reflected in each shining face. We are the children of the King; Identity in Him we sing. Our worth and value set secure; Forevermore we will endure. Our anchor is in Christ alone. We rest in His dear, sweet shalom. We need not question who we are. Our hope is in God’s Morning Star.




y b ba

BUMPED: Groaning with Creation

God ripped me off. I knew it, and He knew it—or I thought we did.

quasi-existence from which only marriage could save me. So I crumpled to my knees and whispered a dangerous prayer: “Father, I don’t want to walk through life single. But I trust You enough to give me what I need if You call me to.”

I wanted the companionship of marriage, and waiting for “the one” stretched me. By my late twenties, I felt ripped off—as if the best part of my life had passed and taken with it any chance to “rejoice in the wife of [my] youth” (Prov 5:18). I knew my desire emanated from God’s design (Gen 2:18–25). But I also knew that some people stay single—by chance and by choice. Time marched forward. And God stretched me.

The following year, I saw Kim’s Disney-princess eyes for the first time, and the earth shifted. Eighteen months later, we honeymooned in tropical north Queensland. God made me wait, but He didn’t rip me off. He had just given me time to relinquish my idol.

I remember the moment the dam broke. It caught me by surprise. I thought she liked me? I cried—hard. As my emotional well heaved itself dry, the clouds parted, and a ray of truth beamed into the brokenness. My heart had coiled itself around the lie that marriage would bring life. Singleness seemed a

I always wanted children. No one told me to—no one had to. The desire just came. Steve caught me by surprise, though. At nineteen, I never thought our new youth minister would look twice at a girl nearly a decade younger. When he asked what I thought about us dating, barely twenty, I demurred with



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contrived casualness: “H-m-m-m, I’m not opposed to it.” Steve proposed six months later, and we married two months after my twenty-first birthday.

When only groaning would do, the Spirit interceded (Rom 8:26), but every now and then, He let me do it for her. I never knew a more sacred trust.

We wanted time to ourselves before kids, so I took contraceptives. I investigated the different “pills” to ensure we prevented conception, rather than aborting it. We pulled the goalie after two years, never having considered not fielding one.

Eighteen months into infertility, Kim said something I’ll never forget: “I thank God for this—it’s growing me closer to Him and teaching me to depend on Him.”


We both wanted children. I think we assumed Amazon would hand-deliver them on request. So, two years in, we closed our eyes, held hands, and placed an order. But, somehow, our requisition got lost. It turns out prayer doesn’t work like rubbing an antique Arabian lamp. “Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord” (Ps 127:3, cev). We knew that, but no one challenged us to leave the timetable up to Him. I waited long enough for “the wife of my youth.” Parenting could also wait. So we planned our course. But God established different steps (Prov 16:9).


When you pull the goalie, sooner or later, someone scores. Except sometimes no one does. Players and fans alike go home empty-handed. I tried not to get excited each month when I checked the scoreboard, but it proved impossible. The timer screeched. The strip shrieked. And my heart spiraled. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. We tried to conceive for a year before consulting a doctor. I had turned twenty-three, so we had plenty of time. He tested the basics. Nothing showed up so we saw a specialist. I had needles and instruments jabbed into me for weeks. Lab rats get a little wheel to run out their frustrations; I had to cry mine away. Steve has average swimmers and my ovaries played coy, but the specialist said the stars could still align. I took Clomid to regulate my fickle cycle, but in Australia, professional standards limit its use to twelve months. A year later—still no baby.


We talked early about not idolizing kids. I learned my lesson waiting for Kim. Somehow, I knew she had enrolled in the same course. God commissions husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25). We talked. We cried. We even laughed. Sometimes, I just held Kim. We also prayed, asking for kids and for grace to keep walking—with or without tiny feet alongside us. Sometimes she prayed. Sometimes I prayed for both of us.


My heart struggles to own those words. I want to “be transformed by the renewing of [my] mind,” not conformed to this world (Rom 12:2). That means my heart must follow my beliefs—not determine them. I have to remind myself that God, not His gifts, brings life ( John 17:3). My heart slips away at times though—“deceitful above all things” ( Jer 17:9). Occasionally, it hijacks me, and I have to talk it down with biblical truth. I married a good negotiator— that helps. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov 13:12). Mine grew sicker every month. It took us a while to identify the sickness as grief. Every month brought the prospect of a baby, the conception of new hope. And every month, when baby didn’t come, hope miscarried—sometimes stillborn. I got trapped on a macabre roller coaster, wrenched between unquenchable hope and undiagnosed grief.

Paul speaks of singleness as a gift, the

same kind of gift as infertility—one few ask for but many receive. The gift lies in the opportunity. When we lose someone precious, it has a certain finality to it. We can grieve. We can let go. How do we grieve someone precious who exists only in our hearts? And how do we let go of the baby we might have next month? The losses existed—even if the baby did not. Each month smuggled a little more grief into our lives, sabotaging them with subtle espionage. Every time we discussed the future, my tension and grief seeped into the room. Steve skipped seamlessly between possible future worlds, and I froze like a deer in his starship headlights—trapped nine months behind him in every one of them. How can we plan for the future when we lack the key ingredient?


I stayed busy living. Kim got stuck waiting. I would ask Kim what she thought of this idea or that plan, and she would hesitate. Sometimes I knew why. Sometimes I didn’t. What if we get pregnant?




For me, having kids fit whatever future we chose. For Kim, having kids was the future. I wanted kids too, but her eyes indicted me for not hurting like she did. It felt like entrapment. Identifying Kim’s grief changed the game for us. I had grown to resent it. She had grown to resent the absence of mine. Naming it instantly dissolved that tension. We talked. We asked each other for forgiveness. We gave each other freedom—to grieve or not. People avoid grief rather than acknowledge it. It feels easier. Somehow, unmasking Kim’s grief exposed mine. As we discussed Kim’s sense of loss and grief, mine shuffled out from behind it. What would our future look like without kids? Would we never cuddle our own babies? Never teach them to read? To ride a bike? To love Jesus? Spurned realities invaded my heart. Now when I hold Kim, sometimes I cry too.


In the movies, the guy always gets the girl. In the Bible, the girl always gets the baby. Sarah got Isaac (Gen 18:12; 21:1–3); Rebekah got twins (Gen 25:21, 24); Rachel got two boys (Gen 30:22–23; 35:24); Manoah’s wife got Samson ( Judg 13:3, 24); Hannah got Samuel (1 Sam 2); and Elizabeth got John the Baptist (Luke 1:24, 57, 62). God graciously “opened wombs” six times over two millennia—but always with divine purpose. He preserved the line of the promised seed of Abraham (through Sarah, Rebekah, and Rachel), provided deliverance and godly leadership for Israel (through Manoah’s wife and Hannah), and prepared the way for Messiah Himself (through Elizabeth).

God always works with divine purpose. He “gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children” (Ps 113:9, esv)—just not always. Children are a gift and a blessing from God (Ps 127:3–5)—not a guarantee or a birthright. God designed me to want kids. It hurt that Steve didn’t feel my grief. As we talked, a realization dawned. God designed men and women uniquely to be fruitful and multiply His imagebearers throughout the earth together (Gen 1:28; 2:18–25). He designed women to bear children—not men—and He built into that design a desire to fulfill it, a unique desire Steve could never have.


“What about work?” Kim proffered. The penny dropped, and clinked around as its significance settled over us. Lingering resentment resolved into shared understanding. God charged Adam with keeping the garden orchard in Eden (Gen 2:15), and Eve with helping him as his companion (Gen 2:18, 20). Same purpose, different roles—the man and woman uniquely designed for each. When we rebelled, God frustrated our roles—bringing great pain and difficulty to our pursuit of them as a perennial reminder that life is found in Him alone. Men and women share the role of cultivating creation together, but God designed men specifically for this role in a way He did not design women—hence, He addresses the curse on the

God designed men and women uniquely to

be fruitful and multiply His image-bearers throughout the earth together (Gen 1:28; 2:18–25). He designed women to bear children—not men—and He built into that design a desire to fulfill it, a unique desire Steve could never have.


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ground to Adam (Gen 3:17–19). Similarly, women and men share responsibility for raising children, but God designed women uniquely for this role in a way He did not design men— so, God addressed pain in childbearing to Eve (Gen 3:16). I didn’t suffer the regular losses plaguing Kim. Now I knew why. God designed me differently—and not just biologically. Childbearing lies central to Kim’s design in a way it will never be to mine. The vast majority of couples facing infertility echo this. When Kim suggested work as a parallel in men, it made immediate sense—both from experience and from Genesis 3. What infertility brings as deep frustration to a woman’s design, the incapacity to work brings to a man’s.


Paul speaks of singleness as a gift, the same kind of gift as infertility—one few ask for but many receive. The gift lies in the opportunity.

The call of our creation design remains unchanged. Where Adam failed, Jesus prevailed (1 Cor 15:21–22). He “is the image of the invisible God” (Col 1:15, emphasis added)—“the exact imprint of his nature” (Heb 1:3, esv, emphasis added). And since the Spirit baptizes believers into Christ, we share His identity as God’s perfect image-bearer (Rom 6:3)—energized by the Spirit to live out of that identity now, and sealed by Him to consummate it for eternity (1 Cor 15:49; 1 John 3:2). Jesus’s Great Commission—to go and make disciples (Matt 28:19)—recapitulates our creation commission to “be fruitful and multiply”—to multiply God’s image-bearers by making disciples of the one true image-bearer. We hope to do that with our own little image-bearers. But if not, we’ll use the gift of infertility to make disciples of others. We may not reproduce, but we choose to increase anyway.

T he call of our creation design

remains unchanged. Where Adam failed, Jesus prevailed.


Today, we wait. And as we groan with creation as in the pains of childbirth, awaiting the new heavens and earth (Rom 8:22), we also groan for a little birthing pain all to ourselves. The second we hope for, the first we hope in. God is no person’s debtor (Rom 11:35)—least of all ours. He gave us unspeakable riches in Jesus (Eph 1:3) and, kids or no kids, He is our greatest treasure. God doesn’t rip off anyone.

Current ThM student STEVE SELKE and his wife, Kim, grew up five minutes from the beach in Adelaide, South Australia. As a qualified lawyer, Steve briefly served as an investigator with the Australian government before moving into church and education ministry roles. After seminary he hopes to preach the gospel, teach the Bible, and train leaders for the church.




CAMPUS NEWS Dr. Elliott Johnson Retires after 47 Years

Elliott graduated in 1959 with a BS in engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. After graduation, Elliott asked his pastor what he should do to further his biblical education. His pastor suggested Moody Bible Institute.

After forty-seven years of faithful service to DTS, Dr. Elliott Johnson (ThM, 1964; ThD, 1968) retires in June 2019. His decades of service have been marked by a gracious spirit, an encouraging heart, and a commitment to Scripture. Elliott flourished from the biblical discipleship and teaching of mentors. His love for God and passion for God’s Word compels him to mentor and disciple others, including his family, students, and Christian leaders at DTS and all over the world.

After a year of “asking more in-depth questions than the average student,” his professors at Moody—some graduates of Dallas Seminary—encouraged Elliott to check out DTS. Leaving his new fiancée, Inge, in Evanston to finish her degree, Elliott traveled to Dallas in 1960. They married the next summer in the little Chicago church that had contributed so much to their spiritual growth. Then Elliott and Inge moved to Dallas and settled into DTS’s married student housing. Charles and Cynthia Swindoll lived a few floors below them. Inge worked as a nurse at Baylor Hospital

down the street. “Expenses were so basic in those days,” Elliott recalled. “Inge earned enough in three days to support us for the entire month.” In 1968, the Johnsons left for Manila. During the next four years, Elliott trained Christian workers at the Asian Theological Seminary (ATS). Inge bore two of the family’s six children there. When the family returned to Dallas in 1972 on furlough, they had planned to go back to Manila a year later for Elliott to serve as the president of ATS. Instead, he accepted Dr. Walvoord’s offer to teach. In retirement, Elliott plans to write and revise books on hermeneutics to add clarity for issues that millennials face. He will also continue to teach several community groups at Pantego Bible, the church he and Inge have served since 1965. To read more on Dr. Johnson’s life and ministry, go to voice.dts.edu/magazine.

Dr. David Lowery Retires after 42 Years After forty-two years of teaching and faithful ministry to DTS, Dr. David Lowery retires in June 2019. He has carried his family’s legacy over decades of service, determined to endure whatever might befall him, and has advocated for family, a commitment to Scripture, perseverance, patience, and mercy to his students.

cornered him at a family gathering to convince him to continue the family tradition. David came to DTS in 1971, and he married his college sweetheart, Deborah, during his third year in seminary. They spent their first year as a married couple getting acclimated to living together in Dallas. She worked as a school teacher in the Dallas Independent School District, and with her income, she supported her family while David tackled his seminary studies.

Three generations of Lowery men and women have experienced the grace of God and the ministry of Dallas Theological Seminary. David Lowery was part of the second generation to study at DTS. His father, Fred (ThM, 1954), a pilot who served in World War II, moved to Dallas in 1950 to study at DTS when David was only ten months old.

After graduating from DTS, David and Deborah moved to Scotland for David’s doctoral work. They returned to Dallas to accept a faculty position at DTS.

Both David’s uncles, Robert (ThM, 1956) and Paul (ThM, 1956; ThD, 1979), also attended DTS. During David’s senior year at King’s College in New York, Paul

When David joined the New Testament department at DTS, he enjoyed leading students in discussions about the New Testament text. He served as an


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encouraging force for his students as they wrestled with the challenges of the interpretative method. Upon retirement, David expects to continue writing, and he plans to do some international teaching. In his free time, however, he and Deborah plan to travel to visit the great sites of beauty here in North America. To read more on Dr. Lowery’s life and ministry, go to voice.dts.edu/magazine.

Groundbreaking for the New Chafer Chapel and Student Life Center

On Friday, May 10, 2019, DTS broke ground for the new Chafer of $13.5 million, which provided for the renovation of the Chapel and Student Life Center. President Dr. Mark L. Bailey Walvoord Student Center Building as well as construction of said, “We look forward to having a larger space to conduct our this new Chafer Chapel and Student Life Building. weekly chapel services, host on-campus events, and have a place for our students to worship and fellowship.” “On this special occasion, we are grateful for all of our DTS friends who are here today,” Dr. Bailey said. “These friends The original Chafer Chapel cost $170,000 and was completed share the vision of DTS and have partnered with us in this and dedicated during Dr. John Walvoord’s inauguration project. They recognize the unique role that DTS plays in ceremony in February 1953. In 2013, after sixty-one years, graduate theological education. They believe in equipping Chafer Chapel closed for potential renovation. After further the next generation as godly servant-leaders and have consideration, the costs to modify the outdated auditorium stepped up to extend their level of support to make this and meet the ADA requirements made building a new facility dream of a new Chafer Chapel and Student Life Center the more prudent choice. come true.” DTS’s new Chapel and Student Life Center will include a 500-seat auditorium designed to meet the needs of a quality seminary chapel and accommodate the enrollment growth that the Seminary is currently experiencing. Additionally, the building will include offices and meeting space for the Seminary’s Student Life division, a large student gathering area with a café, as well as indoor and outdoor seating areas. Landscaped parking lot and an expanded great lawn will surround this new building, connecting it with the rest of the campus. At the groundbreaking, Dr. Bailey shared the remarkable way God had opened the door for the construction to begin and announced that DTS had achieved its fund-raising goal

The graduating class of 2018 donated $10,000 for an outdoor fireplace—ensuring future students the opportunity to have a cozy place to meet. This year’s graduating class elected to purchase a pulpit for the new chapel building. If feasible, wood from the old Chafer Chapel will be incorporated into the new pulpit as a tribute to the legacy of preachers and teachers who have spoken in Chafer Chapel. Contractors estimate that construction will take a year, which puts the first service held in the new Chafer Chapel in August of 2020. “The Lord has once again been faithful,” Dr. Bailey explained at groundbreaking. “His people have been generous, and we give God the glory.”










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Dr. Douglas Moo, Wessner Chair of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College, Illinois, was this year’s speaker at the W. H. Griffith Thomas Lectureship series. During chapel, Dr. Moo explored the topic of salvation in Paul’s epistles focusing primarily on divine mercy, grace, and Christ’s faithful obedience. He also spoke on the basic ways Paul portrays the believer’s salvation, the significance of sacrifice and substitution, and the magnitude of the atonement. Go to voice.dts.edu/chapel to view all of the chapel messages.


1 Retirement never felt so good! Dr. Thomas L. Constable (ThM, 1966; ThD, 1969) hugs his dear friend Dr. Elliott Johnson (ThM, 1964; ThD, 1968) during Dr. Johnson’s retirement celebration. Dr. Constable taught alongside his colleague and friend for forty-five years. 2 How low can he go? Current student Joshua Bitu Das concentrates as he gets down during the Spring Fling’s luau theme beach party at DTS. 3 Current students Aeriel Eichenberger and Charissa Dasalla strike a pose with their friend Abigail. She made her first DTS appearance during a Spiritual Life prayer chapel entitled, “Into the Caverns Deep.” Students heard from this year’s student leaders as they shared their stories with Abigail of what God is doing in and through their groups. The prayer chapel was in response to Dr. Bailey’s charge to pray for those who lead. 4 Willie Beauchamp (MABS, 2010) and Greg Hatteberg (ThM, 1992; DMin, 2014) at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem.


5 Congratulations to the more than 400 members of the 2019 DTS Graduating Class. Please continue to pray for them as they carry out the work God has prepared in advance for them. To God be the glory, great things He has done! 6 The WEC Wonders “wholly” lead an unforgettable time of worship during the World Evangelization Conference. Whether around the world, across the street, or on campus, missions is about being salt and light to all. 7 Who doesn’t want to be like Dr. Dan Wallace (ThM, 1979; PhD, 1995)? In a nod to his idiosyncratic style, Dr. Wallace’s honors Greek students all showed up wearing Hawaiian shirts to the Monty Python and the Holy Grail night he hosts every year at his house—a tradition he has carried on for at least two decades.




FACULTY SPOTLIGHT Meet the New Professors Meet Gerardo Alfaro. He is a native of El Salvador. His major theological interests are in the areas of christology, theological method, and contemporary and liberation theology. He also loves to write. Dr. Alfaro and his wife, Alma, have two grown daughters.

DR. GERARDO ALFARO Director of DTS en Español Professor of Theological Studies

Education: • Diploma in Biblical Studies, The Salvadoran Bible Institute, El Salvador, 1984 • Studies in Licenciatura (BA) in Social Studies, Universidad Francisco Marroquin Guatemala, 1984 • Licenciatura (Master’s) en Teología, The Central American Theological Seminary, Guatemala, 1990 • Master Sacred Theology, DTS, 1994 • PhD, Theological Studies, DTS, 2000 My favorite thing about DTS as a student: Some of my systematic theology professors were real pastors.

The best place to go when I’m stressed is: Home. Current mobile device: iPhone 8. Best study hack: If you want to learn it, preach it! How I like my coffee: Black—casi cielo (almost heaven)! Is there anything unusual about your writing or editing process? At times, I have discovered myself writing in English and in Spanish at the same time. Very often, I explain things by using the meaning of Spanish in English and the other way around! Who are the people who help you get things done, and how do you rely on them? My wife, daughters, grandchildren. They inspire me to press on just by being there!

Last movie I watched: Roma.

Meet Brian Bain. He spent the last sixteen years in international nonprofit work in South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Slovakia, and China. He works to empower national leaders to bring about various types of personal and community transformation. He is also passionate about investing and entrepreneurship.

DR. BRIAN BAIN Assistant Professor of World Missions and Intercultural Studies


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Education: • BBA, Accounting, Texas A&M, 2002 • MS, Finance, Texas A&M, 2002 • Th M, Cross-Cultural Studies and Old Testament, DTS, 2009 •D IS, Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary, 2015 What is the most important thing you do to develop yourself as a leader? I spend a lot of time with my favorite mentor who constantly reminds me that to be like Christ means to be humble. By God’s grace, I hope to lead with that kind of Christlikeness.

My favorite thing about DTS as a student: I enjoyed hanging out with friends and their kids on the DTS lawn. Favorite podcast right now? I’m currently listening to the Dallas Blockchain Podcast. How do you keep track of what you have to do? My Full Focus Planner. Some of my hobbies include: Adventuring with my kids and dreaming up new projects. Right now I’m currently reading: Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond Best studying hack: Repeating the phrase, “I’m here to learn, not make grades.” Besides your phone, what apps, gadgets, or tools can’t you live without? BOB jogging stroller, blue Pilot G2 gel pen and notepad, and a Canon 7D camera.

Meet Stephen Kim. He loves to study and teach God’s Word. His passion is to encourage his students to know and love the God of the Scriptures. Dr. Kim and his wife, Sophia, have two grown daughters. Education: • BS, California State University, 1989 • ThM, DTS, 1993 • PhD, DTS, 2001

DR. STEPHEN KIM Associate Professor of Bible Exposition

Favorite thing to eat: Korean, of course. Other than that, I also love Mexican food and a good cheeseburger. Best study hack: Outlining and summarizing my notes. What’s your favorite side project? I love Uber driving on weekends and meeting new people and talking about my faith.

Before DTS (as faculty/staff ), I was: Professor of Bible at Multnomah Biblical Seminary in Portland, Oregon, and I served as a pastor in Nashville, Tennessee.

My favorite song right now is: What a Beautiful Name by Hillsong

I wish I could: Travel the ten states I haven’t visited yet.

My favorite thing about DTS as a student: I liked attending chapels.

The Psalms I always read: Psalms 61 and 62.

Best thing to do to encourage others: Remind them of God’s covenantal love. How do you recharge or take a break? By playing competitive sports—golf or racquetball.

Meet Daniel Steffen. His research interests include Greek grammar, the Gospel of Matthew, second temple Jewish literature, and New Testament theology. Dr. Steffen has been married to Jane for thirty-seven years.

DR. DANIEL STEFFEN Professor of New Testament, Interdepartmental Professor DTS en Español

Education: • BA, Sociology/Psychology, Indiana University, 1978 • MSW, Social Work, University of Illinois, 1980 • ThM, New Testament, DTS, 1986 • Diploma Spanish Studies, Rio Grande Bible Institute, 1988 • PhD, New Testament, DTS, 2001

doors for effective ministry throughout Latin America. I wish I could: Continue for a few more decades in making an impact in the preparation of many more future Hispanic pastors, teachers, and leaders. Best thing to eat for breakfast: Two eggs over easy, wheat toast, and ham! What’s your workspace setup like? I have a basement office in my home—I live in Indiana— which is a long narrow library with a chess set, globe of the world, and my desk at one end.

What is the most important thing you do to develop yourself as a leader and a professor? I dedicate myself to strong academic preparation in my study of the New Testament and how to contextualize my teaching within the Latin American culture. I also focus on building close lifetime relationships with colleagues and students. These relationships open many

Who are the people who help you get things done, and how do you rely on them? We are blessed to have a team of godly coordinators and assistants who have a heart for serving in the Spanish program at DTS. Williams Trigueros is a good friend and colleague; and I am proud of the great work that he is doing.




FACULTY SPOTLIGHT Meet Luke Bryant. He is originally from Arlington, Texas. He has served as associate director of Admissions at DTS-Houston for the last three years. What attracted Luke to DTS was the Seminary’s commitment to walk through all sixty-six books of the Bible. He and his wife, Suzanne, got married in January 2011. Education: • BA, International Studies, Baylor, 2010 • ThM, Intercultural Ministries, DTS, 2018

LUKE BRYANT Director of Admissions and Administrative Faculty

My favorite thing about DTS as a student: Was the role the professors played. They taught with excellence in their respective fields, and they were also very relatable. I have fond memories of some professors even going to lunch with the students for additional discussion. I wish I could: Somehow have the super power of speed, in both running and reading. Best thing to do to encourage others: I believe the best way to encourage others is to speak

truth into people’s lives (e.g., affirming their identity in Christ). Last movie I watched: Avengers: Endgame (I loved the part when—just kidding, no spoilers!) What do you tell students who are thinking about attending DTS? Enjoy the journey. God is going to use your time in seminary in ways that you would have never anticipated, shaping your theology, your current and future ministries, and your own life. Best study hack: Look at the syllabus before the semester begins and crank through as much of the reading as possible ahead of time. This pro-tip is especially useful for one-week intensives. How I like my coffee: I typically drink my coffee black—no cream, no sugar. I also enjoy a nice flat white or (I confess) a pumpkin spice latte when it’s in season.

Academic Announcement In the midst of unprecedented change in higher education, DTS continues to seek to accomplish its mission “to glorify God by equipping godly servant-leaders for the proclamation of His Word and the building up of the body of Christ worldwide.” God has graciously blessed the Seminary with qualified people to accomplish this vision. Sometimes those individuals come by way of new hires. At other times, wisdom encourages the restructuring of the excellent faculty and staff we already have into new roles. In light of these realities, DTS would like to announce a few changes and additions to the academic area of the DTS family. Unless otherwise noted, all changes are effective July 1, 2019.


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For the last five years Josh Bleeker (ThM, 2004; DEdMin, 2017) has served as dean of DTS-DC. He will transition to his new role of director of Special Projects, DTSDC and will continue to serve as assistant professor of Educational Ministries and Leadership (EML).

The Office of Academic Affairs will undergo changes to better serve the teams in the academic division.

Rodney Orr (ThM, 1990) has served as department chair of World Missions and Intercultural Studies (WMIS) for the last six years. He will transition to his new role as dean of DTS-DC and continue to serve as associate professor of WMIS. Michael Ortiz (ThM, 2008) has served as director of DTS en Español for the last three years. He will transition to his new role as department chair of WMIS and continue to serve as associate professor of WMIS.

Jim Thames (ThM, 1985) will assume the role of academic dean and will continue to serve as dean of Academic Administration and associate professor of EML. Nate McKanna (ThM, 2015) will transition to his new role as associate dean of Academic Administration (effective September 1, 2019) and will continue to serve as administrative faculty.


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ALUMNI CONNECTION In Memory Warren E. Tamkin (1947) died on October 22, 2018. Warren served as a pastor in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches in Pennsylvania for over fifty-eight years. W. Wayne Gute (ThM, 1950) passed away on October 25, 2018. Wayne became a member of the Central American Mission, serving among the Mam Indians in Guatemala where he established classes to equip men for local church leadership. Wayne also launched a recording studio to record Mam language programming, Radio Buenas Nuevas (TGMI Good News Radio), and helped establish the Ezra Bible Institute, a theological school serving local churches in Central Washington. Paul R. Gillespie (ThM, 1954) died on March 17, 2019. Paul served with the Central American Mission before serving as a plant manager in the printing business. He also served as an educator and developed a graphic arts sciences program for Miami-Dade Junior College in Miami, Florida. Upon retiring, he and Grace moved to Gainesville, Florida, where he served nearly twenty years as a volunteer chaplain at Haven Hospice. Ralph E. Morrison (1955) passed away on February 16, 2019. After his retirement from IBM, he remained active in his church community teaching Sunday school for many years in Dallas, Texas. He served at Park Cities Baptist Church and as a charter member of Prestonwood Baptist Church. Ralph was known for his laid-back demeanor, his quick sense of humor, his love for his family, and his passion for golf. H. Dalton Myers (ThM, 1955) passed away on March 31, 2019. Dalton faithfully served the Lord as a pastor for nearly fifty years, most recently at Covenant Community Church in Redford, Michigan. Those who knew Dal will forever be marked by his faithful love of God and people. J. Gordon Freeland (ThM, 1957; DMin, 1984) passed away on January 29, 2019. Gordon faithfully pastored two churches in Canada for many


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years: Bethel Baptist in Montreal and Richview Baptist in Toronto. After retirement, he served as the interim pastor for many congregations in Canada. Gordon was a devoted husband and father, and a man of strong faith. Robert L. Smith (ThM, 1959) passed away on January 12, 2019. Bob pastored two churches and worked for several years for the State of Tennessee. He then went to work as a commercial artist with E. Z. Silkscreen Company for forty years. Bob was active in prison ministry for many years in Nashville and Franklin. More important, he always wanted to glorify his Lord and Savior and loved spending time with family and friends. Harold Willmington (1959) died on October 15, 2018. Harold pastored for sixteen years before teaching at Lynchburg Baptist College (now Liberty University) making him the longest serving member of Liberty’s faculty. He also founded Liberty Bible Institute (now Willmington School of the Bible) and created the Liberty Home Bible Institute, the first online diploma program Liberty University offered. He was also a noted author of Bible study materials including the Willmington’s Guide to the Bible. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and teacher. Gerald L. Lawson (1960) died on January 10, 2019. An accomplished, professional calligrapher and veteran of the US Air Force, Jerry’s working career always included Christian ministry, whether as a primary vocation or as a volunteer. For over sixty years, Jerry served as a full-time pastor, a youth worker, a Christian radio host, an intercessor and prayer ministry leader, a church elder, and trusted adviser to pastors and other ministry leaders. He was a member of Cross Walk Church in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Martin E. Rendahl (ThM, 1960) passed away on March 7, 2018. He had a long career teaching at Enterprise High School, where he stayed involved with his local church in Redding, California.

William H. Kennedy (ThM, 1961) passed away on March 26, 2019. Bill began his ministry as an associate pastor at Calvary Bible Church in Columbus, Ohio, and dean of students at Thames Valley Bible College in Ontario, Canada. He then served as dean of students at Appalachian Bible College in Bradley, West Virginia, and as a pastor of Prosperity Fundamental Baptist Church in Prosperity, West Virginia. Donald Reeder (ThM, 1962) passed away on November 11, 2018. Don spent ten years working as the director of the correspondence and evening schools and in the human resources department at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He later founded ServiceMaster and stayed active in church, serving as deacon and elder at Grace Bible Church in Elmhurst, Illinois, and New Covenant Bible Church in St. Charles, Illinois. Louis K. Schneider (ThM, 1962) passed away on October 22, 2018. Throughout his fifty years of ministry, Lou had a deep desire to see people come to Christ. He started as a youth pastor (Bethany Bible, Phoenix, Arizona) and continued serving as senior pastor (Northwest Bible, Dallas; Country Bible, Kaufman; also planted, Northwest Hills Baptist, Corvallis, and Conroe Bible, Conroe). After pastoring, Lou formed Encouragement and Discipleship International, traveling the world mentoring pastors and encouraging missionaries on the field. Renald E. Showers (ThM, 1962) died on April 4, 2019. Choosing to forgo a full-ride scholarship to Cornell University, Rennie attended Philadelphia Bible Institute, Wheaton College, DTS, and Grace Theological Seminary to prepare for lifelong ministry. He taught at Lancaster Bible College, Philadelphia College of Bible, Moody Bible Institute, Word of Life Bible Institute, and the Institute of Jewish Studies. He preached around the world and authored fifteen Christian books. William G. Horst (ThM, 1966) died on December 10, 2018. Bill served in the US Army and enjoyed a life of many

careers, including engineer, church planter, missionary to Venezuela, college teacher, and marketer with CONOCO. He often described himself as “a jack of all trades and master of none.” William served in many ministries at Wooddale Church and Grace Church of Eden Prairie in Minnesota. Gordon F. Schroeder (ThM, 1966; DMin, 1986) died on November 23, 2018. In Texas, Gordon pastored Gruver Bible Church, Paramount Community Church, and Carrollton Bible Church. He was an elder at Grace Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Arlington for many years. His life passion was to represent Jesus well by loving everyone in his path and sharing the gospel. David A. Glock (ThM, 1968) died on March 18, 2019. David served as assistant dean and dean of education at Emmaus Bible College where he led the college move from Oak Park, Illinois, to Dubuque, Iowa. In 2001, David invested his energies in the classroom. He authored Walking with Jesus: 90 Devotionals on the Life of Christ, edited Journey magazine, and led an extensive preaching and teaching ministry. George E. Meisinger (ThM, 1968) passed away on March 12, 2019. George pastored Woodland Hills Bible Church in Minnesota. He loved studying and preaching the Word and taking his family on road trips. In California, he served as the founding pastor of Grace Church and established Chafer Theological Seminary, which eventually moved to New Mexico. George taught classes at Hoffmantown Church for several years while serving as president of Chafer Seminary. Harlan White (ThM, 1970) died on January 2, 2019. Harlan pastored for forty-two years, serving at Grace Memorial Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia, for thirty-two years and was honored as pastor emeritus in 2013. He loved learning, teaching, and preaching God’s Word. Thomas Fitts (ThM, 1973) died on January 10, 2019. Tom served with Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) at

University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. After graduating from DTS, he served in vocational ministry, most recently with Four Streams Ministries based in Plano, Texas. He was a spiritual father and mentor to many.

Arkansas. He also performed with Fort Smith Little Theater. He was a part of several singing groups but most recently sang with the church choir at Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Gainesville, Texas.

Stephen W. Semones (1972–76) died on March 1, 2019. Stephen was a devoted husband, father, and follower of Christ who had a love for studying the Bible and teaching the Word to young people. He was a musician who put Scripture into songs that have been treasured by generations of church members and AWANA clubbers— many affectionately remember him as “the accordion man.”

Michael T. Ryan (MABS, 1984) died on November 2, 2018. Mike created the Dallas-based radio ministry Mike Ryan Live and, after spending twenty-three years in the business sector, founded Mike Ryan Ministries, dedicating the rest of his life to influencing hundreds of businessmen throughout Texas and California to passionately pursue Christ and advance the kingdom of God in the business world.

Joseph T. Rhodes (ThM, 1976) passed away on December 16, 2018. Joe pastored Calvary Church of Pacific Palisades, California, while earning his DMin from Talbot Theological Seminary in La Mirada, California. Joe counseled, encouraged, and taught countless people. He was an active member of Edgewood Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Georgia, volunteering in mission trips to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Bolivia, India, and numerous other places. Joe also served as a chaplain at Piedmont Columbus Regional Hospital. Stephen P. McPherson (ThM, 1980) passed away on March 11, 2019. Steve served for over thirty years in ministry as the student pastor at Fellowship Bible Church with Gene Getz; Westwood Church in Prince George, BC, Canada; and as the outreach pastor at Fellowship Bible Church North in Plano, Texas, where he transitioned to pastoral care. Steve encouraged and loved many as he reflected the love and grace of Christ to others. John D. Schroeder (MABS, 1980) passed away on December 22, 2018. Jon Harvey (1982–84) died on November 19, 2018. Jon served in the US Air Force, attaining the rank of sergeant as an avionic instrument system specialist. He worked at Aegis Therapy in the IT department in Frisco, Texas. Jon enjoyed singing and acting and was known for his role as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol performed at the King Opera House in Van Buren,

Warren Mattox (ThM, 1986) died on June 16, 2017. Warren taught at Moody Bible Institute and Cairn University before pastoring Community Baptist Church in East Cleveland, Ohio. Alan G. Cole (MABS, 1988) passed away on November 28, 2018. Alan worked as a lead engineering technician for Texas Instruments from 1977 to 1995 before pastoring churches in Texas, Arizona, Virginia, Michigan, and Russia. He received his doctorate from GordonConwell Theological Seminary and served as an adjunct instructor at Capital Seminary and Graduate School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Alan was also an independent strategic specialist for companies such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Brass Ring Strategy. Michael Justice (MABS, 1988; ThM, 1992) passed into the Lord’s presence on March 8, 2019. Mike was the third blind student ever to earn a ThM at DTS. Memorizing the textbooks for his classes, Mike was an exceptional student loved by his professors. In spite of his health issues, he never complained. He had a quick wit, a great sense of humor, and was an exceptional writer, loved by his editors whom he would take by the hand to encourage them. Dr. Dan Wallace wrote, “Mike was the poster child for [Micah 6:8]. And he wanted to make sure that everyone in his world knew that Jesus Christ died for sinners, and rose from the dead as a guarantee of God’s acceptance of all who put their trust in him. For Mike, that trust has finally become sight.”

Keith E. Small (ThM, 1988) died on December 6, 2018. He earned his doctorate from the London School of Theology where he continued to explore early Koranic texts as an associate research fellow. He served as a tutor at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and spoke at the International Qur’anic Studies Association. Keith discovered there was no evidence that the sixth-century Koran was an original text. His findings were published in his book Textual Criticism and Qur’an Manuscripts, which has since become the standard text for the field. Dave L. Owen (ThM, 1992) passed away on Friday, March 29, 2019. Dave and Joyce taught and coached at Emmaus High School in Palau as missionaries with Liebenzell Mission USA. After graduation from DTS, Dave served as a teacher and dean of students at Pacific Islands Bible College (PIBC) and as the head pastor of Yigo Baptist Church in Guam. He eventually became the area field director for Liebenzell Mission Micronesia and later the president of PIBC where he brought the school through the accreditation process, transforming PIBC into Pacific Islands University. He later earned his doctorate from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Vincent J. Sabatino (CGS, 2007) died on January 24, 2019. Vin started Bible studies wherever he lived and walked in a manner worthy of his calling as he battled cancer. Kevin W. Dodge (ThM, 2012) passed away on April 1, 2019.

jokes, riddles, and stories categorized to bring out a good honest chuckle whenever needed. Mae, Raymond Hustin’s (ThM, 1955) wife of seventy-two years, passed away on August 2, 2018. Fred Nofer (ThM, 1957; ThD, 1960) continues to teach homeschoolers and lay people beginning Greek. He and his wife are looking for housing that would utilize both his wife’s piano teaching and his Greek and Bible studies with possibilities of a weekly Bible fellowship in central Nebraska.

1960s Through Biblical Ministries Worldwide, Jim Brown (ThM, 1961) invests in young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five to assist them in their journey.

Pictured above, Henry Breidenthal (ThM, 1962), Larry Dinkins (ThM, 1978), and Jim Thurber (ThM, 1975), and at Chiang Mai Theological Seminary during Jim’s three-week teaching tour of North and Northeast Thailand.

Robert A. Brignac (2013–16) died on November 17, 2018. Known for his kindness, smile, and generosity, Robert counted his thirty-eight hours of graduate study at DTS as an important achievement and believed that God is always good, expressing his love of God passionately through writing.

Updates: 1950s Dr. Jack Lord (ThM, 1954) recently published Let’s Laugh Together (Christian Faith Publishing), a laughout-loud collection of clean humor

Pictured above, Ron Blue ( ThM, 1965), Ray Gorrell (ThM, 1979; DMin, 1997), and Walt Baker (ThM, 1957) celebrate Walt’s ninetieth birthday in Erie, Colorado. Family members presented him with a book of memories.




ALUMNI CONNECTION The National Religious Broadcasters media network with Four:2 Media and Moody Church Media produced a documentary of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation entitled, A Call for Freedom. The program received five nominations and won three Emmy Awards. Erwin Lutzer (ThM, 1967) received an award in the Outstanding (Historical) Achievement category. The documentary also received emmys in Outstanding Crafts Achievement Off-Air: Editor (Program); and Outstanding Crafts Achievement Off-Air (Lighting). The documentary can be viewed on youtube.com. Howard Eyrich (1968) self-published The Art of Aging: Preparing and Caring a handbook designed to provide a biblical perspective on aging.

1970s Samuel Adamson (STM, 1970) recently retired from being chief of chaplains at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. GraceDrops.com, begun by John C. Fitts (ThM, 1971), collects inspirational stories that readers from around the world enjoy on a weekly basis. Fiftytwo of these stories are published in an e-book available on Amazon. John additionally spoke at a workshop called “Grace Drops: Team Reflections for Team Building” at the Association of Professional Chaplains’ annual national convention. John Hannah (ThM, 1971; ThD, 1974) recently published a commentary on the Johannine epistles, 1, 2, 3 John: Redemption’s Certainty (Christian Focus). He also published textbooks for students and for a lay audience in introductory church history courses. Invitation to Church History: World (Kregel Academic) walks readers through the story of God’s people from Christ to the contemporary church around the world. Tom Houston (ThM, 1971) retired at the end of 2018. He pastored churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Texas and was, for eleven years, executive vice president of Dallas Bible College. During the last twenty-eight years, he served as the pastor of Wylie Bible Church in


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Dan Estes (ThM, 1978) published Psalms 73–150: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary) (B & H, 2019).

Wylie, Texas, where he and his wife, Betty, reside. Since retirement from SIM in 2013, after forty years, Chuck Truxton (ThM, 1971) and his wife traveled to Nigeria thirteen times with SIM’s ROYALL service (Retiree On Yet Another Labor of Love). After thirty-one years as pastor of Summer Street Church, Nantucket, Massachusetts, Richard Leland (ThM, 1973) now serves as vice president for international ministries with Walk Thru the Bible Ministries. Don Hawkins (ThM, 1974) rejoices in the growth of The Worship Channel (theworshipchannel.org) internet radio station, which has now logged listeners in 173 countries. Kregel also recently released Don’s revised and expanded Master Discipleship Today. In October, Carey Childrey (ThM, 1976) will be in India for Paraclete’s 2019 Annual Missions Conference at Asian Christian Academy. Carey will provide the devotions and teach church planting, missions, and an evangelism course (CPME). The Evangelical Theological Seminary India CPME students will have access to e-book copies of their seminary textbooks, better equipping this corps of Christian workers next semester. In January 2019, Steve Cole (ThM, 1976) retired after serving for almost forty-two years in ministry. He served in California for over fifteen years before pastoring Flagstaff Christian Fellowship in Arizona. His sermon manuscripts and audio sermons are on Bible.org, SermonAudio.com, and Precept-Austin.org. His Philippians and James series are also available in Kindle and print-on-demand formats on Amazon. Steve hopes to do some pulpit supply and Bible conference ministry. Tony Evans (ThM, 1976; ThD, 1982) and Priscilla Shirer (MABS, 1998) joined over eighty speakers in March 2019 at Proclaim 19 in Anaheim, California. The NRB International Christian Media Convention is a jam-packed, four-day event that connects, equips, and edifies thousands of Christian communicators.

Pictured above, Bob Hicks (ThM, 1976; DMin, 1988) with a Ukranian chaplain and Orthodox priest who recently returned from the Ukranian war front in the Zaphrogozha Chapel, Stanislav, Ukraine. Steve Westfall (ThM, 1977) enjoys being a grandfather and retiree in Naperville, Illinois, while serving as an elder in an Evangelical Presbyterian Church congregation. His son David completed a PhD in New Testament at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and will begin teaching at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, in the fall. Dona Kay Aronowitz, wife of Steve Aronowitz (ThM, 1978), passed away on October 11, 2018. After thirteen years at home, Dona served as director of Holloway House Learning Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where she ministered to families for eight years. Upon moving back to Texas in 2001, Dona started a school called A to Z Learning Center where she taught for sixteen years and was known as Mrs. A to Z.

Pictured above, Larry Dinkins (ThM, 1978) and Henry Breidenthal (ThM, 1962) spoke to language students at OMF’s Language Center in Lopburi, Thailand. There, they met Jay Wells (ThM, 2011) who is studying the Thai language as a SIM missionary. Combined Larry and Henry have ninety-four years of service with OMF.

Jeffrey Jon Richards (ThM, 1978) serves on the China Academic Consortium (CAC) to promote good will and understanding between North American and Chinese cultures through educational services and cultural and academic exchange. Rodney Orr (ThM, 1990) and Alex Gonzales (STM, 2006; PhD, 2012) also teach with this organization. Jack Arrington (ThM, 1979) will retire this year after forty years of ministry. Jack pastored many churches in Texas and will end his full-time career at Fellowship Bible Church in Columbia, South Carolina. David Foster (ThM, 1979) sent his sermon entitled “Meditation on Mortality” to pastors in London, Ontario, who minister to over 40,000 Muslims. The sermon, based on Psalm 49, combines key insights from Ecclesiastes that will help ministers.

1980s Bill Boggess (ThM, 1980) will teach 1 Timothy to pastors in Bamako, Mali, and a Bible study methods course in Dakar, Senegal, this year. For both conferences, Bob will teach the larger group for three days and then teach a smaller group of leaders for two days so they can teach the courses themselves. In the fall, he will return to both countries to train them further. For Scott Cunningham (ThM, 1980; PhD, 1993), his ministry focus has been on developing the faculty for the Cuban seminaries. Six years ago, Overseas Council began coordinating a two-year, modular master’s degree taught in Cuba by faculty coming from outside of Cuba for several weeks at a time. Today, six evangelical Cuban seminaries have over seventy faculty trained with degrees in biblical studies, theological education, and family therapy. The fourth cohort begins later this year with another two dozen students. This program has changed the face of ministry training for the Cuban church.

Steve Smith (ThM, 1981), with the help of many churches and missions agencies, conceived a plan to pierce the spiritual darkness of the Toura people of Gouané, a remote village in western Ivory Coast. They shared the gospel with 500 elementary school children, built a missionary house, and evangelized door-to-door, covering the whole plan in prayer. At the end of the week, 380 children put their trust in Jesus, and eleven adults, including the assistant chief and his wife, made clear decisions to receive Christ.

Gerald ( Jerry) Smith (ThM, 1983) is retiring from twenty-nine years of ministry with Christ Fellowship in Franklin, Tennessee. Jerry and his wife, Diane, are relocating to Great Bend, Kansas, later this year.

Gary Allen (ThM, 1983) retired from pastoring the church he helped plant in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, Iowa, after thirty-five years of service. He is so grateful to the Lord for the way God used him to impact many in their personal walk with Christ and several who moved onto the mission field around the world.

Michael Easley (ThM, 1985; DMin, 2003) was recently featured on the Gospel Business Strategies podcast where he discussed why being faithful is more important than success, why community is so important, how the church at large is actually run like a business, and how prayer is a relationship, not a ritual.

Neil Damgaard (ThM, 1983; DMin, 2008) hiked the Camino de Santiago—a thousand-year-old pilgrimage trail from St. Jean de Port, France, to the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago, Spain—with his daughter Susanna. He then led a course with ten students from his church on reflection about hiking, doing a pilgrimage, and spiritual lessons learned among the Camino community in northern Spain. He has been pastor of the Dartmouth Bible Church in Massachusetts for thirtyfive years.

JETS campus now houses a sister institution, the Roy and Dora Whitman Academy. Imad Shehadeh (ThM, 1986; ThD, 1990) came to the realization that as the JETS campus was given as a gift to them, it was time for them to give also. They offered Whitman Academy ten years of free rent to join their campus. After three years of negotiations, prayer, and countless meetings between the boards of the two institutions, delegates signed the official contract on January 16, 2019. There was much joy and thanksgiving.

After twenty-seven years of serving overseas with a large international mission agency, Eldon Porter (ThM, 1983) is now addressing the challenge of facilitating a more intentional unity and collaboration by the global church around complex challenges such as reaching unreached people groups, the refugee challenge, and human trafficking. His research focuses on the unique role that networks play in providing the best platform for leadership and the best space for global engagement. He manages a database of networks globally and tracks about 600 of them with a primary focus on helping individuals and ministries connect with what God is doing.

Sybil Taylor, wife of Richard Taylor (CTH, 1984), passed away on January 12, 2019. Though confined to a wheelchair from the age of twelve, Sybil had a fiercely independent spirit, a determination that rivaled none, and a deep joy for the Lord that sustained her through life’s many storms.

Jim McCracken (ThM, 1987) selfpublished Accidental Life: Purposefully Stumbling into Meaningful Existence.

at Flemings Chapel Baptist Church in Lenoir, North Carolina.

1990s Waldie Neufeld (ThM, 1990; PhD, 2009) is completing twelve years as president at Peace River Bible Institute in Sexsmith, Alberta, Canada. During his twenty-nine year tenure at PRBI, Waldie worked as a professor of theology and disciple-making and was named academic dean, a position he held for 18 years. Waldie also completed his PhD in leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. He and his wife, Sharon, are open to further ministry opportunities as the Lord leads them. Christ Commission Fellowship (CCF) asked Vince (MABS, 1991) and Lori Burke to serve as international representatives. This involves visiting and training CCF churches in Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and other places where CCF churches have been planted. As Michael Gendron (MABS, 1992) and his team approach the thirtieth anniversary of God’s faithfulness to the Proclaiming the Gospel ministry, they will celebrate with a special cruise and Bible conference. The Bermuda and New England Cruise will depart from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, and will tour Boston’s Christian history. Mike will teach four seminars and lead the Sunday morning worship.

Keith Johnson (MACE, 1989) finished his seventh year at Strayer University’s Birmingham, Alabama, campus where he serves as campus dean and teaches humanities and communication. He also matriculated for the EdD program at Capella University after finishing his MBA from the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University in 2017.

After pastoring for twenty-five years, Richard Liverance (1992) now serves the Economic Mission of the State of Israel in the United States as the western regional marketing director for the Israel Ministry of Tourism. This is a twofold blessing as he works both to bless the State of Israel through increased tourism, and to see Christians blessed with a deeper faith and a greater understanding of the Bible by walking in the footsteps of Jesus in Israel.

David C. Payne (ThM, 1989) graduated from Piedmont International University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, with a PhD in systematic theology. He soon returned to the first pastorate where he served from 1989 to 1995

Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World (Moody Publishers) thoughtfully engages the issues surrounding marriage being debated today and lays the groundwork for crucial

conversations. The book features editors Curt Hamner (MABS, 1993) and John Trent (ThM, 1978) with contributors John Clark (ThM, 2002), Darrell Bock (ThM, 1979), Andrew Schmutzer (ThM, 1994), William Heth (ThM, 1982; ThD, 1986), John McGee (ThM, 2002), and Mark Young (ThM, 1981). Brian Baker (ThM, 1997) graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, with a DMin in applied apologetics. His doctoral thesis is entitled, “Integrating Principles and Practices of Apologetics with Biblical Counseling.” Peter Mitskevich (ThM, 1997) rejoices in the reopening of Moscow Theological Seminary after the government shut it down for a few months at the beginning of 2019. Although leadership coaching is not very acceptable to leaders in Albania, Jim Kessler (MABS, 1998) reports an increased hunger in local leaders to improve their coaching skills to strengthen discipleship and mentoring ministries. Cru’s ministry to reach the leaders of Albania is always looking for ways to improve the team’s effectiveness. John Mathews (MABS, 1998; MACE, 2003) completed a PhD in educational leadership from the University of North Texas in Denton. Darren Child (ThM, 1999) is the international church plant coordinator with Power to Change Canada (Cru), overseeing operations in Ethiopia, Liberia, and Thailand. The ministry also has operations in Benin, Togo, Tanzania, Syria, Sierra Leone, Mexico, Paraguay, and India with orphanages and water well drilling operations. During February’s Serve the City Aktionstag (Action Day), Melinda Means (MACE, 1999) led a project at the Berlin City Mission (Berliner Stadtmission). The City Mission runs a shelter for the homeless offering their guests a meal, a place to sleep and shower, and access to the clothing closet. Participants of the project ended the day with a tour of the facilities.




ALUMNI CONNECTION 2000s Octavio Esqueda (MACE, 2000) and Robert W. Pazmiño published Anointed Teaching: Partnership with the Holy Spirit (Publicaciones Kerigma, 2019) in English and Enseñando con unción: colaborando con el Espíritu Santo in Spanish. The book is a theological, pastoral, and educational exploration of Christian distinctives that provides a practical pneumatology for teaching today. Jonathan Alexander (ThM, 2001) is a US Navy chaplain currently assigned to the US Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC. He had the opportunity to join the US Coast Guard cutter Polar Star for Operation Deep Freeze 2019 in Antarctica for three months to support US bases there. Jason (ThM, 2001) and Mandy Post are sending their youth mission team from Galway City Church in Ireland to Poland to minister and teach English. After spending the last few years leading Hill Country Bible Church’s third multisite campus as campus pastor, Jason Smith (MACE, 2001) will now serve as executive pastor at The Grove Church in Liberty Hill, Texas. Jason and his family are excited to partner with this church in equipping and sending disciplemaking disciples to plant more churches throughout the Greater Austin area. Daniel Starcevich (ThM, 2001) contributed a chapter in What Is Dispensationalism? (Grace Abroad Ministries, 2019) by Paul Miles, and published Lord and Land: The Sovereignty of God and the Land of Israel (Tyndale Seminary Press, 2019). James C. Hwang (MABS, 2002, DMin, 2012) and his wife, Berling, have been serving with the Far East Broadcasting Company for five years. FEBC broadcasts are heard in 124 languages and in forty-nine countries around the world. Robert Powell (MABS, 2004) serves and worships at Hill Country Bible Church, Austin, Texas.


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The DTS alumni office added Stephen G. Brown (ThM, 2005) to the team this year as an alumni and career services coordinator. Stephen is also the senior pastor of Greater Bethlehem Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas. At their spring 2019 meeting, the Criswell College board of trustees elected Christopher Graham (ThM, 2005; PhD, 2014) as the vice president of academic affairs. Naima Lett (MAMC, 2005) established a professional women’s mentoring group in Beverly Hills, California, called “XII.” She is proud of these women as they have experienced much success this year. Each mentoree grew personally and holistically while becoming clear on who they are, what they are called to do, and how they are going to do it, developing lifelong bonds along the way. Linda Guest Vincensini (MACM, 2005) reports that Cup of Hope has completed the renovations for its youth center outreach in France called “Electrik Café Associatif” (“associatif” in French means nonprofit). The intent of the center is to provide a safe place to encourage young adults to have hope, gain skills and confidence, and be able to navigate life avoiding addiction and depression. Scott Kedersha (ThM, 2006) published Ready or Knot: 12 Conversations Every Couple Needs to Have before Marriage (Baker Books, 2019). Jinchang Chen (ThM, 2007) received his DMin from Fuller Theological Seminary in December 2018. His doctoral project is entitled, “The Interactive Decision Making Model Developed through Integrating Three Christian Spiritualities.” After eleven years as the student ministries pastor at Parkview Church in Iowa City, Iowa, Todd Cramer (MACE, 2007) is transitioning into the regional international coordinator for the midwest region with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He will connect FCA’s US region with their global region (Eurasia and fifteen countries in the former USSR) through informing on ways to pray, give, and serve.

Pictured above, Mike Kelly (ThM, 2008) with his daughter, Madison. Mike graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with a DMin in pastoral leadership. What Is Faith? (Redeeming Press, 2019), the fifteenth book by Jeremy Myers (ThM, 2008), helps Christians understand how faith works and how to know that they really do believe. The dedicated translation team with Kevin (MABS, MACM, 2008) and Gertrude Nicholas is thankful that another ten percent of the Notsi New Testament for the Notsi people in Papua New Guinea is ready for final consultant checking this year. The ICETE board of directors unanimously elected Michael A. Ortiz (ThM, 2008) as their director. This appointment reflects Dr. Ortiz’s passion for global ministry and theological education. Lamont Gray (CGS, 2009) continues his work at Lockheed Martin at sixtyseven years old. He is grateful for the education that he received at DTS back in the early nineties and although things did not turn out as he planned, they are as God planned. Discipleship pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Benton, Illinois, Michael Kramer (ThM, 2009), selfpublished Everyday Disciple Making and Everyday Disciple Making: Study Guide (2018). Michael examines all aspects of disciple making and offers a straightforward and simple plan to equip the church. Aaron Ott (ThM, 2009) is currently working on his PhD in anthropology and archaeology at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Florida.

Despite the growing pains as a ministry team in northern Italy, David Showalter (ThM, 2010) is thrilled with the growth God is bringing to their church. The international fellowship has been small, but they are encouraged by the mix of nationalities that attend. Kat Armstrong (MACE, 2011) recently published No More Holding Back: Emboldening Women to Move Past Barriers, See Their Worth, and Serve God Everywhere (W Publishing), a resource for women who feel conflicted about their calling. This past December, Kevin Dodge (ThM, 2011) and his wife, Jane, welcomed their fifth child, Darrah Dodge. In addition to his work with Bible.org, Kevin pastors at Grace Community Baptist Church in Palatka, Florida. Robby Gordon ( ThM, 2012) currently serves as Hill Country Bible Church’s Crystal Falls campus pastor, which launched September 2018 in Leander, Texas. Mark (ThM, 2013) and Kaitlin Warrington welcomed their daughter Hannah Elizabeth Claire into their family this year. Chris Webber (MACE, 2016) selfpublished The Battle for Redemption (2018), presenting a simple picture of how the Bible is relevant yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Brady Blair (MABS, MACE, 2017) is now serving as the associate director for the Baptist Student Ministry at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas, after working five years with the BSM at UT Dallas in Richardson, Texas. Jeffrey Bryan (DMin, 2018) serves bi-vocationally as a program analyst on the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, and also as the pastor of Morrow Baptist Church in Morrow, Ohio. As a senior project manager at Southwest Airlines, Charles George (CBTS, 2018) is thankful that he had

the opportunity to study at DTS. He plans to use what he learned in the secular workforce in a position of influence. William Miller (MACE, 2019) currently serves full-time as the distance education coordinator at DTS, where he helps manage many of the Seminary’s regional locations. Recently, he helped form a new young adult ministry, UR Life, which meets in “The Upper Room” at Redeemer Bible Church in Dallas, Texas. Will also serves as the young adults minister part-time.

New Ministries John Ottley (ThM, 1982), chaplain, Vermeer Manufacturing Corporation, Pella, Iowa Clay Porr (ThM, 1993), senior pastor, Woolwich-Wiscasset Baptist Church, Woolwich, Maine James Wartian ( ThM, 1994), operations director for Ministry Essentials, International, Wheaton, Illinois Daniel Busse (MACE, 2003), lead pastor, River Club Church, Fredericksburg, Virginia Jeff Horch (MABS, 2006), senior pastor, Village Church, Maple Plain, Minnesota

Andy Bedford (ThM, 2012), transit groups director, North Point Community Church, Alpharetta, Georgia Paul Thomas ( ThM, 2012), connections director, Forest Hill Church, Charlotte, North Carolina Tyler Taber (ThM, 2014), pastor, Covenant Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Statesville, North Carolina

Vikram Pimplekar (ThM, 2019), associate pastor, Countryside Bible Church, Southlake, Texas. Adam Watson (MACL, 2019), associate pastor, The Well Community Church, Austin, Texas


Beth Allen ( MACE, 2016), administrative coordinator, Young Life Middle East, Dallas, Texas Rachelle Cerda (MACM, 2016), book shop supervisor, Insight for Living, Frisco, Texas Nick Dano (ThM, 2017), youth pastor, Centerpoint Church, Mesquite, Texas Emily Kerr (MACE, 2017), children’s ministry associate, First Baptist Church, Madison, Alabama Robert Scarbro ( ThM, 2017), associate pastor of youth, Idyllwild Bible Church, Idyllwild, California Christopher Albin (ThM, 2018), senior pastor, Rossville Bible Fellowship, Rossville, Indiana

Ray Green (MACE, 2008), lead pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church, Lexington, Kentucky

Viktoria Hunyadi (MACE, 2018), director of children’s ministry, McLean Bible Church, Vienna, Virginia

Jeff Larson (MACM, 2009), senior pastor, Ozaukee Congregational Church, Grafton, Wisconsin

Kelly Kitch ( MACE, 2018), elementary minister, Cottonwood Creek Baptist Church, Allen, Texas

Sam Midgett (MABS, MACE, 2009), student pastor, First Baptist Concord, Knoxville, Tennessee

Colby Anderson (ThM, 2019), associate pastor, North Avenue Baptist Church, Lompoc, California

Arthur Alard (ThM, 2010), president, Alethea Bible College, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ryan Bear (ThM, 2019), associate discipleship pastor, Ustick Baptist Church, Boise, Idaho

Curtis Lindsey (ThM, 2010), teaching pastor, NorthWest Bible Church, Spring, Texas

Lauren Mastor (MABC, 2019), play therapist, Momentous Institute, Dallas, Texas

Steve Pruitt (ThM, 2011), senior pastor, Riverside Church, Fort Myers, Florida

Candace Myrick (MACE, 2019), s t u d e n t m i n i s t r y w o m e n’s coordinator, Grace Bible Church, Dallas, Texas

DTS alumni will always take the opportunity to meet with one another to eat, encourage, pray, and engage in community. The DTS Alumni Office recently hosted an alumni reunion in Washington DC. (left to right): Michael Coffey (ThM, 1986), Greg Hatteberg (ThM, 1992; DMin, 2014), Bob Thornton (MACL, 2015), Jim Bochert (CBTS, 2013; MBTS, 2016), Chong-Ae Shah (MACL, 2017), Landon Lacy (current ThM student), Alec Zacaroli (current ThM student), Marty Baker (ThM, 1985), Josh Harper (current student), Josh Bleeker (ThM, 2004; DEdMin, 2016).

Pictured above, Clint Lyons (ThM, 2010), Ted Budd (ThM, 1998), and Parker Dail (ThM, 2012) at the US Capitol. Ted Budd serves a US Congressman for the 13th District of North Carolina. Clint and Parker work with The Root Cause, an NGO that assists leaders with their efforts to expand education about type 2 diabetes, promote more effective diabetes management, and improve quality of life for those suffering from diabetes. The Root Cause operates in India and Burundi, and is expanding to other regions. Visit rootcause.org for more information.

Pictured above, president of the Dallas Chapter of The Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Dr. Todd Baumann; recently appointed associate director of the CMDA Dallas Area, Dr. Lee Bridgeman (MABS, 2004); and previous associate director of the CMDA Dallas Area of the last twenty years, Dr. Stan Cobb (MABS, 2003).

Pictured above, Gary ( ThM, 1982) and Terri Camlin, Gerald (ThM, 1971; DMin, 1988) and Karen Ericson, and Duane (ThM, 1973) and Jane Olson at the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia last Thanksgiving. All three families served as missionaries at the Portuguese Bible Institute. The Ericsons and Olsons have both retired from ministry in Portugal, and the Camlins are still serving there.

Pictured above (left to right), Sundeep Malickal, Michael Pocock, Rick Calenberg ( ThM, 1972), Rodney Orr (ThM, 1990), Caleb Yee, Andrew Feng, Doug Burer, and Michael Ortiz (ThM, 2008) at the 2019 Evangelical Missiological Society Regional Meeting.





Ronnie C. (ThM, 1977), Ruth (MACE, 2019), and Jane Stevens

(grandfather) Louis A. (ThM, 1965; ThD, 1968), Jenna (ThM, 2019), (mother) Tamra (MABC, 2008), (father) Jeff Barbieri (ThM, 2008)

David (MAMC, 2019) and David A. (MBTS, 2016) Flood


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Ronald C. (ThM, 1983; PhD, 1986) and David (ThM, 2018) Rhodes

Tim (MACL, 2019), Robert Rowley (ThM, 1982; DMin 2005)

Robert G. Anderson Jr (ThM, 1989), Abby Perry (MBTS, 2019)

Janet Fulmer (MAMC, 2019) in loving memory of her mother, Lucy Mabery-Foster (ThM, 1989)

(sister) Rani B. (MABC, 2004) and Jayesh H. (ThM, 2014) Yangad, (mother) Shanta and (father) B. G. (MACM, 1989) Pimplekar, Esther and Vikram B. (ThM, 2019) Pimplekar





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fter a cancelled flight, an overwhelmed airline agent did her best to rebook a long line of inconvenienced passengers. One angry traveler pushed his way to the counter shouting, “I have to be on the next flight, and it has to be first class!” The agent—recognizing her need to remain fair to everyone—explained that she would do her best to help him but needed to assist some of the other passengers first. Unimpressed, he asked, “Do you have any idea who I am?” The agent smiled, grabbed the intercom, and announced, “May I have your attention please? We have a man here who does not know who he is. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to the gate.” Sadly, like the demanding traveler, many exasperated believers fail to understand their identity and it has taken its toll on their approach, attitude, and involvement in ministering to the lost. After all, every action we take in life is motivated by our understanding of who we are and how God created us. Our identity in Christ directly impacts us, especially around unbelievers. Let’s look at six things the Bible says about us as God’s children and how that influences the way we interact with non-Christians and our approach to evangelism.


We should learn to practice the slogan I saw on a T-shirt at a fairground one day that said, “I love everybody and you’re next!” Growing up in a rather legalistic community, I met many who communicated, “I love you if.” Based on my performance, their love proved conditional. God’s love, however, is unconditional. First John 4:10 tells us, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” God never considers our past, broken relationships and our future promises to love us. He just says, “I love you,” and proved it with a cross. As believers, do we truly live like this? Do we love others, especially unbelievers, in the same manner? If God loves us with an unconditional love, then we can love the vilest sinner the same way. If others prove selfish in their actions and attitudes, we can love them regardless because after all, when we are selfish toward God, His love toward us never changes. If God doesn’t wait for people to clean up their act before He loves, why should we make others change their ways before we love them?


We came to God through grace. Biblically defined, “grace” is favor given to those who deserve the opposite. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8). But that grace did not stop at our salvation—it continues to this day!

ard us never “[God’s] love tow oesn’t wait changes. If God d n up their act for anyone to clea hy should we before He loves, w nge their ways make others cha em?” before we love th

God piles grace upon grace ( John 1:16). Hebrews 4:16 even invites us to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” In the same way, we need to approach non-Christians both before and after they come to Christ. We should extend the same grace God extends to us. God makes miracles out of messes, but those messes are not cleaned up overnight. We have no right to deem others insincere or their salvation unreal because of habits they have not yet ceased or patterns they have not yet broken. If God extends grace to us when we dislike people within the church, fail to honor Him with our resources, and drive down the highway as if every inch of pavement belongs to us, should we not extend grace to those around us as well?


When we come to Christ, we are forgiven of all sins, and God will never bring up those sins to us again. Psalm 103:12 assures us of that when it says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” We need to wake up every morning thrilled by knowing that through our acceptance of what Christ did for us on a cross, we stand 100 percent righteous in the sight of the Almighty God. We are what the Bible calls “justified” (Rom 8:30). But that forgiveness covers present and future sins as well. That is why John exhorts believers, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Note the word “all.” No sins are excluded. Oftentimes, when we “mess up” in our witness around unbelievers, we beat ourselves up about it. Why? If those moments are not on God’s mind, why should they occupy our time? God wants us drowning in His forgiveness not wallowing in our sins and mistakes. Besides, God uses these “mistakes” to teach us and to make us better instruments for His glory.





wning in “God wants us dro t wallowing His forgiveness no istakes.” in our sins and m


Apart from Christ, we have no merits of our own to bring to God. Ephesians 1:6 calls that “accepted in the Beloved” (nkjv). The moment we placed our faith in Him to save us, we became what Peter calls, “God’s special possession.” Peter explains why. “That you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy” (1 Peter 2:9–10). God did not look at who we were; He looked at who we would become through Christ. God’s view of us should cause us to examine our hearts and minds whenever we look at unbelievers and declare, “They are never going to change.” But didn’t God change us? In the first letter to the Corinthians, Paul mentions the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who have sex with men, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers and then reminds them—and reminds all of us: “That is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (6:9–11). God focuses on what we would become through Christ, and He sets the example on how we should treat unbelievers.

Once we come to faith in Christ, 1 Peter 2:9 tells us we are now part of a “royal priesthood.” As Christ did for us, we now represent God to others. As priests, we can intercede with men before God. It is a divine privilege given to each of His children, serving Him in matters of eternal importance. Evangelism no longer includes something that a church does. It’s a divine calling, assigned by God for all believers. As representatives of Him, we can approach others on behalf of Christ, imploring them toward reconciliation with God (2 Cor 5:20). And then we can talk to God about those we have come in contact with, having their salvation first and foremost on our minds (1 Tim 2:1, 4). That lessens the pain of rejection—when others refuse to hear the Good News. We need to remember we represent Him, and it is His pleasure and approval we should seek, not other people’s.


As believers, we don’t belong here. We’re just “passing through,” because everything changed the moment we came to Christ. Philippians 3:20 explains, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” We have all eternity to spend in the home of the King—a home that is now our future destination. Should that motivate us to form relationships with nonChristians? What is of most importance for us? Possessions, titles, and success shouldn’t matter. They are all going to go up in smoke. It’s people that matter. Haddon Robinson once said, “Everyone you meet is going to live forever. The only difference is where. What are you doing to make the difference?” We can’t escape it. Understanding our identity in Christ impacts what we do. If there is one thing I have observed in traveling as an evangelist, it is that believers who overflow with who they are in Christ have an overwhelming desire to tell others. Let’s get a grip on our identity, and it will dig its grip into all of us. Once we do, we will never be the same—and neither will the lives of the lost we touch.

DR. LARRY MOYER (ThM, 1973) is founder and CEO of EvanTell, an evangelistic ministry headquartered in Dallas, Texas. With more than forty-five years of experience, he continues a fulltime traveling ministry, speaking at evangelistic outreaches and churches of all sizes to train and equip believers in evangelism. To read more about Dr. Moyer, visit evantell.org.


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The Most Magnificent Life DR. CHARLES R. SWINDOLL


everal times a year, Dr. Swindoll preaches in chapel, including Seminary Preview Day, to encourage prospective students. Here is an excerpt from one of his recent chapels.

Let me say to you who are looking over the school trying to make up your mind regarding where you should go for your graduate school education in Bible and theology—you have a big decision in front of you. Think carefully. Decide slowly. Pray fervently. If it happens to be DTS, plan to stay. Don’t come and go or simply get a taste of it and leave. Consider everything the Seminary has to offer. The full range of programs here at DTS have been put together by minds—greater than ours—who have served in ministry longer than most. Those scholars knew what they were doing when they put the courses together. It’s a well-arranged curriculum that will make sense later. It won’t happen at the beginning. I often refer to it as putting a puzzle together. The first two years, students put together the corners of the puzzle. It won’t be a clear picture, but by the third year, it comes together. Students will look back and will feel grateful for not acting on impulse and walking away when things got tough. It may get discouraging because there’s such an urgency to get out there and minister, but God is preparing students for a lifetime of ministry, and this will be the only time spent in the classroom poring over things at length and in great depth . . . so stay at it. Most great preachers will say that if they could have done anything over, they would have prepared better and longer. I have heard some say if they had only three years to minister, they’d spend two of those years getting ready. So think of the time in preparation as invaluable. I look back on my four years here at DTS, and I regularly give thanks. I continue to draw on what I learned. The habits I formed, the truths I picked up, the books, the authors I became acquainted with—and I filled my library with similar kinds of works—I’m so grateful for those formative years.

I often think that most who study at DTS are here because they can’t help it. It was the great preacher of the Victorian era in Great Britain, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who said, “Do not enter the ministry if you can help it.” If you can’t, you are entering into something as permanent as marriage, till death separates you. You are in it for the long haul . . . for life. A calling of God fuels the passion of the one going into ministry. He’s the One who lights our fire and fans the flame. There is no magic in these buildings, in the desks, in the library, or in the books. Seminary is extremely hard work. Students think more in-depth than ever in their lives. They endure rigorous testing. They don’t casually arrive or come on a lark—they pray about it. They seek advice, and because they can’t help it, they come. They are in it because they can’t stay away. They are compelled by the Spirit of God to be here! I can’t imagine being fulfilled doing anything else other than ministry. Could I be successful in doing something else? Maybe. Could I find fulfillment? Never. It’s the most fulfilling, the most rewarding of all callings. The most magnificent life a person can have is to be in the nucleus of God’s will, and for those who decide to study at DTS, that’s called preparing for a lifetime of ministry.

A calling of God fuels the passion of the one going into ministry.




DALLAS THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY 3909 Swiss Avenue Dallas, Texas 75204

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DMin and DEdMin Preview Day Wednesday, July 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.