Mission co-workers teach and preach around the world
by Jonathan Seitz | for Mission Crossroads
TAIWAN – Together, we are among the largest Presbyterian faculties in the world. Our teachers instruct and preach in English, Spanish and Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese and Arabic. Most teach aspiring pastors, but there’s also a robust commitment to congregational leadership formation and lay discipleship.
I’m talking about the roughly 40 PC(USA) mission workers who teach in seminaries, Bible colleges, universities and lay academies worldwide. They teach Bible, theology, history and ministry. They build theological libraries, lead churches and write textbooks. These mission workers include Karla Koll in Costa Rica, Michael Parker in Egypt and Dustin Ellington in Zambia.
Some are doing creative ministry. Tom Harvey is dean of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies in England, which trains teachers for churches and seminaries in the developing world. Thomas Goetz has taught English for 20 years at a Presbyterian university in Japan, while serving in churches and acting as a bridge between Presbyterians around the world.
My family has been in Taiwan for seven years. I teach at Taiwan Seminary in Taipei, and 89 percent of our graduates are still in parish ministry a decade after graduation. The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan asks new seminary graduates to draw straws to determine where they will begin their ministry, usually in rural Taiwan.