So why did we leave the delights of the English university system in order to work in South America? The reason is that we felt that we could contribute to the flourishing of the Church in a particularly strategic way by teaching in the Global South. Missionaries and scholars have recognized for decades that the future of the Christian Church lies especially in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. These regions are experiencing striking church growth, and it’s thrilling to witness the works of God in the Majority World. But these continents, with all their talented pastors, missionaries, and evangelists, very often lack one key resource in the body of Christ: serious training opportunities for their leaders.
The challenge for places like Latin America is that there are too few seminaries; the seminaries that exist are understaffed. But we see this situation as an opportunity, an occasion for strategic work. If we can support and enrich theological education in Latin America, it could have a cascade effect for future Christian flourishing. Helping train more theologians and more pastors means that more churches can be planted, and that more evangelists and missionaries can be commissioned who will propagate the gospel in a manner characterized by truth, healthy balance, and a proper focus on glorifying God in Christ.
For this reason, we are part of the Theological Education Initiative of United World Mission. The Theological Education Initiative exists to help mobilize scholars with top-tier credentials from the North Atlantic to partner with strategic seminaries in the Majority World. Our vision is to see these schools flourish as vibrant, God-glorifying and Church-serving institutions which combine a rigor to rival the top evangelical schools of the North with an uncompromising commitment to the life of God’s people in the South.
With this vision, we were thrilled to have the singular opportunity to join the faculty of the Biblical Seminary of Colombia (BSC, or in Spanish, the Fundación Universitaria Seminario Bíblico de Colombia). Located in the beautiful city of Medellín in the jungle-covered Andes, BSC is one of the premier Protestant seminaries of Latin America. The school is rare among Latin American seminaries, for its student body is largely residential (rather than commuting) and the students commit to a rigorous four-year undergraduate degree aimed at preparing theologically sound and passionate pastors and church leaders. In addition to this bachelor’s program, BSC offers nationwide and city-wide extension programs, and fully accredited online degrees. They sponsor the Bellavista Prison Bible Institute and they also publish their own scholarly journal.
The faculty, which already has a number of highly-qualified scholars, is growing rapidly under stellar leadership. They are aggressively pursuing the development of an accredited Master’s degree in Theology (in partnership with Fuller Theological Seminary). We think that BSC is uniquely situated to impact not only Colombia but South America more broadly, and are excited to be part of a team of experienced and talented academics with a shared vision to see the Latin American Church thrive in truth, justice, and love of God.