THE NETHERLANDS (WordNews.org) Dec. 28, 2012 — Drake Williams became a Christian when he was a lad in Sunday school.
School’s been an important part of his life ever since, from Sunday school to divinity school. Williams went back to school to receive his Master of Divinity and doctorate and now is the vice president of academic affairs and academic dean at Tyndale Theological Seminary in a city just west of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
We caught up with Williams recently to learn more about his mission:
Tell me about your ministry?
Tyndale is a masters level, evangelical seminary which prepares students to be pastors, Bible school teachers, missionaries, church planters, and for other ministries. Since Tyndale began in 1985, students have come to us from over 70 countries. Graduates have gone out to serve the Lord in an equal number of nations around the world. Our current student body is comprised of men and women from 23 countries.
The seminary offers two accredited masters degrees, the Master of Divinity and the Master of Evangelical Theology, as well as various Certificate programs. All of our programs are in the English language.
Our vision statement is: Tyndale Theological Seminary stands as a witness for Christ in multicultural Europe, equipping leaders to reach Europe and the world with the gospel.
What led you to start this ministry?
I did not start the ministry but did feel called to help educate Christian workers who do not have access to training. There are so many nations where the church is growing but leaders are not trained sufficiently.
The desire to help with such a ministry began when I was studying for the PhD degree at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland). There were students studying at the university to go to countries where there were few with advanced degrees in biblical studies.
During the time in Aberdeen, I traveled to Kazakhstan to teach students from Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kirghistan, and Tajikistan. These were leaders of developing churches, and they needed training in how to read the Scriptures. After a week teaching there, one lady from Tajikistan asked me in the best broken English that she could muster to stay.
In 2004, I taught at Tyndale Theological Seminary for a few weeks. I was impressed with the education that they were offering as well as the multicultural aspect of the school. I could tell that my teaching was well-received, and the school was eager for me to fill the New Testament post that was available. Our family joined the school in the fall of 2005 and has been present ever since. In 2007, I was asked to serve as the Academic Dean along with my teaching responsibilities.
Can you provide some details on how it is going since it was founded and what your goals are? Future plans?
The school has been developing steadily over the years. My experience is from 2005 onwards. We achieved accreditation in 2009, making us one of the few Evangelical seminaries in Europe offering education on the master level. All of our faculty have the doctorate degree or will have that degree shortly. We always receive more applicants than spaces available.
The student body size has doubled since 2005. We are also offering yearly seminars for community churches.
Over 80 percent of our students are returning to their home countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. By having the school in the Netherlands, it makes it much more likely that students will return to these continents and serve in the ministry.
Another sign of success is that our faculty is wanted in a variety of places throughout the world. In the past years, our faculty has taught in the following countries: Belgium, Germany, Finland, Austria, Croatia, Ukraine, Myanmar, Romania and Kazakhstan. Many of us also speak at mission conferences in the USA.
Tell us your testimony.
I came to Christ through the Sunday School ministry of Central Schwenkfelder Church in Worcester, Pennsylvania. I asked Jesus to be my Savior and Lord somewhere between the ages of 10-12 following a Sunday School class. During that class I realized that I was a sinful person, that Jesus had paid the price for that sin, and that I needed to accept Him as Savior and Lord to receive the gift of eternal life. I have not looked back on this decision with any regrets.
How can people help/participate in your ministry?
Our family is pleased to send a monthly email letter. People can join us in prayer. Please email me at email@example.com if you are interested in being put on that list.
If someone would like to get to know the international students with whom we work, they could pick up a copy of a devotional book that I wrote with student testimonies. That book can be ordered by clicking here.
How can someone donate?
We are seconded to Tyndale Theological Seminary through our mission agency, the European Christian mission.
Contributions should be made out to the “European Christian Mission” and sent to our mission address with “Drake and Andrea Williams” on the memo line.
The Mission agency address is:
European Christian Mission
PO Box 1006
Point Roberts, WA 98281
The website for the European Christian Mission is: http://www.ecmna.org/
The website for our children’s blog where they write of their mission experiences is: http://wethreemks.wordpress.com/
Tyndale, Theological Seminary a great place to study!
Tyndale Theological Seminary is an interdenominational, evangelical seminary which prepares students for ministries as pastors, teachers, missionaries, church planters, and denominational leaders. The seminary offers various courses of study, all in the English language.
Do you know someone On a Mission? Send us a recommendation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. But first, check out our Statement of Faith.