Christian Service


Robert and Roberta Adair '10

Robert and Roberta Adair"Robert and I (Roberta) Adair graduated in December 2010 from the Intercultural Studies program. We appreciated learning from our professors and other classmates' experiences and wisdom. The case studies we worked on in Contextualization, Cross-cultural Communication, and Folk Religions were good practice for helping us think through various situations we come across in Japan. We appreciate the practical tools we learned as well as big picture ideas related to developing our philosophy of mission and ministry. We are currently working alongside a Japanese church in post-disaster Japan. We are serving with Asian Access and are just starting our second year here as a couple. We are involved in English, children, and youth ministry, helping with events at temporary housing facilities for people who lost their homes in the 3.11 disaster, and language study.

Josh and Alicia Crowe ‘07

Josh and Alicia Crowe“My wife, Alicia and I graduated in May 2007 from the Intercultural Studies (INTR) and Missions program. The department impacted us both in ways that we are still discovering. Our time in Japan has been marked by one challenge after another, yet our foundation has remained strong and steady. INTR prepared us to look to Christ as the constant in this life of ever-changing situations. Our marriage has been stronger, our missional focus clearer, and our passion more resolved than ever. Studying in the INTR department will always be a remembered as a pivotal moment in our lives. Each and every professor devoted more than we could have ever expected. We are currently finished our first term in Tokyo, Japan. We spent four years in the northern island of Hokkaido. We will be returning to the States for a year of support raising then we will return to Tokyo. We have been involved in the exciting youth culture of Japan. God is moving among this generation and we are blessed to be part of what He is doing.” 

Victor Cheng ‘04

Victor ChengVictor graduated in 2004 from the Interdisciplinary Studies (1/2 Missions, 1/2 Theology) program.

“The contextualization and intercultural communications classes were vital in equipping me for adapting to life cross-culturally and for training others in missions. I'm currently a missionary with OMF International in East Asia." 

Tom Chilton '08

Tom ChiltonTom graduated in May 2008 from the Wheaton Graduate School with a M.A. in Missions/Intercultural Studies.

“This program exposed me to a broad range of strategies in missions today and opened my eyes to the significance of cross-cultural issues. The Wheaton College Graduate School helped me to increase in servanthood and expand my leadership potential within my ministry context. Currently, I am the Director of International Training for Awana International. I have responsibility for leadership development and the equipping of our multinational staff around the globe.”

Ryan Dawson ‘10

Ryan DawsonRyan graduated from the Wheaton Graduate School with a M.A. in Evangelism and Leadership in 2010. In regards to the program,

“It was life changing! My experience at Wheaton helped me grow as a follower of Christ and better prepared me to lead in our postmodern and post Christian context in Canada, as we hold out the Word of truth through the ministry of the local church. Lead Pastor at Sequoia Community Church>> in Ottawa, Canada."

Girma Gebremedhin ‘11

Girma GebremedhinGirma graduated in 2011 from the Evangelism and Leadership program. “The program impacted me in many ways. It opened my mind to think in many directions, increased my passion for Christ, and gave me the ability to teach others. I currently lead the church based ministries section of campus crusade for Christ Ethiopia (Great Commission Ministry as it is locally known). I am also a volunteer country representative of AWANA ministry. I am helping AWANA to start up in Ethiopia. In addition, I teach part time at Ethiopian Evangelical Theological College.”

Luke Greer '08

Luke GreerLuke graduated from the Wheaton Graduate School with a M.A. in Intercultural Studies.

"Wheaton's graduate program in Intercultural Studies helped to provide me with a framework for living and serving internationally. The program's firm theological grounding and its focus on supplying practical tools for Gospel contextualization have been indispensable for our Latin American church multiplication work. I am currently serving with New Mission Systems, Intl. as a church planter on multinational (Mexican, Panamanian, Honduran, Cuban, and American) team in the Mexico City Valley."

James Hanes '09

James Hanes"I finished my studies in Intercultural Studies (Missions) in December, 2009, but I walked in graduation in May, 2010. Currently, I am a missionary in Senegal, West Africa, working as partners with Mission Inter Senegal. I was impacted by the concept of 'converging stories', how our lives are all on a path where God woos us into knowing, loving, and believing in Him. Our paths cross many other lives and they too are on paths where God is wooing them. How this impacted me is in the way it relates to our calling to make disciples of all nations.

My wife, Paula, our children (Amanda and Aaron) and I have lived and worked in Senegal since 1998. We first came here to evangelize and disciple people. I had thought at this time that we were here to bring the Gospel to people who had never heard it or had the opportunity to hear it. This thought actually denies Romans 1. In addition, I learned at Wheaton that each person has a story of how God has been calling them to Himself. When we allow people time to tell their story, we often can help them see where God is in it and it is then when we can continue to share the Gospel with them. This approach is different than simply 'going to the heathen and preaching the Gospel in the midst of darkness because we are uniquely there to save them'. Another place of impact is in the mentoring course I took with Rob [Gallagher]. I learned the place and importance of mentoring and even discovered a model of mentoring that I use today as I work alongside national church planters and evangelists. It is a model clearly illustrated in the relationship between Jethro and Moses in Exodus 18. 
[Paula and I] see in this passage several parallels to our ministry at MIS; each one a prayer request. What God accomplishes through us will be based upon a mutually edifying and trusting relationship that is defined by shared experiences, where we intentionally believe in and hope for the best in each other. Together, we celebrate the strengths and opportunities. Together, we work at the challenges and aid each other in our weaknesses. We are willing to give and receive advice without feeling threatened. We actively participate in a Jesus-centered community. As we believe and act upon the truth that God is calling us to humble service together, we will experience love in action as presented in Romans 12:3-13. As we each use our spiritual gifts for God’s mission in Senegal, we will experience and share God’s shalom."

Krista Horn ‘11

 Krista HornKrista graduated in Spring 2011 from the Intercultural Studies program.

“[The program] broadened my worldview and prepared me to better communicate cross-culturally, as well as read/understand Scripture through a broader cultural lens. I'm currently a stay-at-home mom while my husband finishes residency in Family Practice. When he's done with his program, we'll be moving to Africa to do medical missions.” 

Moses Lenthang ‘13

Moses Lenthang"My name is Moses Lenthang. I graduated in 2013 with a degree in Evangelism & Leadership. This program impacted me in many ways. First of all, God unpacked all my baggage and clarified my doubts. God instilled within me a new passion and joy that I always wanted. I realized that the purpose of my study is not knowledge, skills or a degree. God’s purpose was to make me whole. It was indeed a wonderful moment to discover my own self and who God is. The second thing that impacted me was from Dr. Rick Richardson. He made me understand what the gospel is and how should I present it in the ever-changing culture of our time. I learned that as a builder needs to know how to use hammer and a nail, Gospel workers needs to be equipped to present the gospel well through stories, movies, images, that it will stay in the heart and mind of the person. I also learned many great lessons through guest speakers and exposure to different churches such as New Life Community Church, Naperville community Church, Lawndale community church, Wheaton Bible church, and Willow Creek church, that paved a way for me to plant a church. Evidently, in January 2013, based on Matthew 22:37-39 in a team of five students including myself, we planted a church called, “Neighborhood Community Worship Service,” on Devon Ave in the Rogers Park Neighborhood of Chicago. The primary purpose is to reach out Hindus, Muslims, and those who are far from God by providing a place of worship. I am forever indebted to all my professors who have equipped me to engage in this multi-cultural Neighborhood Community evangelism in Devon Ave, Chicago. I pray God may use my family for Christ and His Kingdom."

Brad Milner ‘09

Brad MilnerBrad graduated from the Intercultural Studies and TESOL program in December of 2009.
According to Brad “The program helped me grow in my knowledge of teaching English so that I had theoretical and practical knowledge to use in the classroom in the future that I did not have when I taught English in Haiti with no training before attending Wheaton.
I am currently working with my dad in his HVAC/electric business for an income while volunteering with a small organization called Joy In Haiti as a fundraiser/project coordinator to raise funds to build homes in the Port-au-Prince area through a project called Project Cornerstone.”

William Pritchard '13

William graduated in the Summer, 2013 from the Intercultural and Missions program.

"The program impacted me spiritually and intellectually. The Intercultural and Missions program at Wheaton College had a great balance between spirituality and intellectual. The professors were amazingly relational and professional. Currently, I serve as a missionary for Partners International as the Regional Manager of the Hong Kong office." 

Lydia Romanin ‘09

“My name is Lydia Romanin. I graduated in 2009 with a degree in TESOL and Intercultural Studies. This program, along with being a teacher in China, worked perfectly for my needs at the time. I was able to put into practice the theories I learned at Wheaton in my own classroom. It was helpful to have some academic knowledge and understanding in addition to being on the field and learning from experience. I think Dr. Moreau's Intercultural Communication made a big impact on my understanding of cross cultural work.; I was able to relate more to the Chinese church and make more informed decisions in how I advised and counseled Christian Chinese students.

I am currently a stay-at-home mom and educator. My husband and I are in the process of applying to return to full-time ministry with China Outreach Ministry, an organization that works with Chinese scholars and students on American university campuses. We have held onto our love for doing intercultural work and will do better at it because of Wheaton's program!” 

Zach Slagel ‘07

Zach graduated from the Intercultural Studies and Community Development in December of 2007. For Zach the Intercultural Studies program at Wheaton was “A very formative year and a half to be surrounded with like-minded believers who were passionate to see God glorified among the nations of the world. Each of my professors brought much cross-cultural experience, perspective and wisdom from their years of service. It was a rich learning environment as professors and students dialoged and learned from each other. This was a time of growth and preparation for me before getting into long-term missions service in Cambodia.
My family and I are serving in Cambodia among a minority religious group. We are hoping to see home fellowships started where there are currently only a handful of believers. We are pursuing avenues such as community health, teaching English, counseling and business efforts, among other things, in order to see the Lord raise up faithful disciples of Jesus who will grow and multiply.”

Caleb and Natasha Smith ‘11

Caleb and Natasha graduated with a M.A. in Intercultural Studies (Caleb) and a M.A. in Intercultural Studies/TESOL (Natasha) in 2011.
"The Intercultural Studies department at Wheaton has been a tremendous blessing for my wife and me. The professors struck a great balance of theory and pragmatics, and we were able to immediately apply what we learned to situations while serving overseas. We found ourselves regularly referencing the books and notes from the courses for ourselves and as we mentored others. Even now, as we serve from the States, we continue to find many opportunities for application in our personal and professional ministries. As we interact with the larger missions community, we often find that books and resources from the M.A. classes are often seen as 'best practice' materials used by organizations. Once when I was a part of a webinar, I asked a question regarding a particular model and the speaker surprisingly asked me "Where did you learn about this model? I don't know of any schools where it's being taught!" The time that we spent in the Wheaton M.A. classes and interacting with the professors, staff, and other students was one of the best investments in our lives. The Holy Spirit used that period to deepened our love for Christ, our understanding of other cultures, and how to appropriately serve to advance God's Kingdom."

Eli Suddarth '12

Eli Suddarth"I graduated in December of 2012 from the Evangelism & Leadership program. The program, as well as the entire Intercultural Studies department, greatly impacted a number of areas in my life. Most noticeably, it lead to a job transition last Fall; a church in Peoria, IL phoned our program looking to hire a full-time Evangelism Director for their church staff. My name was given, I interviewed, and was hired in September of 2012. I have been serving as Evangelism Director since that time (just over 7 months), and I owe, not only the employment, but my ability to function in such a role to my time spent at Wheaton. The knowledge I gained and the wealth of faculty experience I was surrounded by has allowed me to serve and train other Christians in methods and reasons for Evangelism as a way of life."

Francis Sunderaraj ‘94

“I graduated in 1994 from the Intercultural Studies Program. It helped me to realize more about the necessity and importance of knowing the Receptor Culture in effectively communicating the Gospel. After retiring as the General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India in 1997 and the Evangelical Fellowship of Asia in 2001, I help the India Missions Association and the City Care Network, Hyderabad, India as an Advisor.” 

Erik Thoennes '95

Erik Thoennes

Erik graduated from the Evangelism program in May of 2005. According to Erik,"[The program] equipped me to preach Christ with greater clarity, boldness, and wisdom. The professor's lives were examples of evangelistic zeal and practice which served as helpful backdrops for the truth they taught. My ministry in the church and the academy has been greatly helped by my time at Wheaton." Erik is currently a Professor of Theology and the Department Chair of Undergraduate Theology at Biola University/Talbot School of Theology. He also serves as the Pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada California.

Ron Ward '09

Ron Ward“I graduated from Wheaton College in 2009 with a M.A. in Evangelism and Leadership.

I am currently serving as Senior Pastor for the University Bible Fellowship, Chicago chapter. I have been married to a special woman, Deborah, since 1985. The Lord has blessed us with six children. Our oldest daughter, Sarah, is a doctor serving an internship at U. Michigan Hospital in thoracic surgery. Our oldest son, David, is a music teacher in Chicago. Our second daughter, Rebekah, married a wonderful man of God, Glenn Yancy, upon graduation from Northwestern U. and is currently serving as a consultant in downtown Chicago. Our three youngest sons, John, Daniel and Joshua are living at home.

Chicago UBF, which I have served since 1983, has a root in the Korean revival and was established by missionaries from Korea. It is now a truly multi-cultural ministry with peoples from many nations. As an overseer of this ministry, I have found the education I received at Wheaton, especially the intercultural studies element, to be invaluable in increasing my understanding of people and ministry and in my ability to serve effectively. The strong emphasis on holding gospel faith firmly in a time of generational change has also been most important. I cannot recommend the program strongly enough. It is truly invaluable.”

Shelley Welch ‘05

Shelley WelchShelley graduated in December 2005 from the Intercultural Studies and Missions program.

“The professors were amazing and the community with fellow students was extremely rich. I was able to take my experience on the mission field and incorporate it with the book work of the graduate program to develop my skills and knowledge which I am currently using in my job today. I believe the program also helped me to deepen my walk with the Lord and mature me as the woman He desires me to be. I currently work with a children's ministry that trains and equips leaders to bring the hope of Jesus to at-risk children in countries around the world.” 

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