My purpose for this brief article is to ask you to consider the valuable ministry which Miami International Seminary (MINTS) is doing and to consider to support the work that I hope to do for the seminary.
Many of you know about the work of Rev. Neal Hegeman. Rev. Hageman is an experienced missionary, and he has learned both from his experience and his studies in missiology what are some of the better ways to conduct education with church leaders overseas. In the past ten years the Lord has used him to establish Spanish study centers throughout Latin America. The number of students being taught by MINTS-supervised study centers has reached 2,000 students. The courses are Reformed in theology.
The workload has become so great that Rev. Eric Pennings, another URC minister, has taken some of the work over to lighten the burden for Rev. Hageman. Spanish studies are written for the Internet, and students who wish to study the material in a supervised way can join a MINTS study center.
Besides this expanding Spanish program, there are other MINTS teachers conducting studies in French and Turkish.
In the last twelve to eighteen months an increasing number of requests has come to MINTS from groups seeking studies in English.
These requests come from groups living in a great range of countries, including China, Belize, countries in Eastern Europe and Africa. There are at least twenty-one countries in all. I have been asked to supervise that English program.
My duties will include writing courses in English, giving supervision to the study groups, traveling to some of the study groups each year to make sure the work is being managed well, and assisting MINTS as it pursues accreditation at home and abroad.
When I was invited to consider working with MINTS, it seemed to me that this was the work I have been training for. After seminary I taught Bible and theology in Nigeria for two years. I loved the work of teaching church leaders cross culturally, and my interest in it has not diminished. But there were questions I was not able to answer. Since that time, as I studied in sermon preparation, I have learned how to answer many of the questions I was asked then. It seems to me that my work since seminary has trained me for this work.
Since MINTS has no denominational support for its mission program, my support will come from individuals and churches who contribute to my work. Gifts should be sent to my calling church, Pompton Plains Reformed Bible Church in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. They have established a committee that will supervise my income and supervise my work. Since most of the work is conducted through the Internet, I plan to continue to live in Cape Coral, Florida. When a portion the my funding has come in, I will begin to work for MINTS and my work for the Cape Coral congregation will diminish. We would like my work to become fully funded as soon as possible.
Thank you for considering the work of MINTS and the part I hope to play in its work.
Rev. Allen Vander Pol currently serves as the pastor of the Trinity United Reformed Church in Cape Coral, Florida. In addition to teaching Bible and theology in Nigeria, Rev. Vander Pol has also served in New Zealand.