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Nathanael Somanathan MA ’19, #30under30

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Nathanael Somanathan MA ’19

Associate Pastor and Seminary Lecturer
Christian Revival Crusade & Colombo Theological Seminary
Wheaton M.A. in Theology (Historical Theology Emphasis)
Currently lives in Colombo, Sri Lanka

"Exposure to the various traditions at Wheaton College informed how I view both my local church and the church-at-large in Sri Lanka."

Although Colombo, Sri Lanka is nearly 9,000 miles from Wheaton, Illinois, Nathanael Somanathan MA ’19 is learning that some lessons translate across the miles.

In 2019, Somanathan, a Billy Graham Scholar who graduated with an M.A. in Theology, returned to his home country of Sri Lanka to work as an associate pastor at Christian Revival Crusade and as a lecturer at Colombo Theological Seminary.

“As a pastor and lecturer, the exposure and community of the various traditions at Wheaton College informed how I view both my local church and the church-at-large in Sri Lanka,” he says. “I’ve learned how to disagree with those who hold different positions to mine but still keep fellowship on our commonalities.”

Somanathan’s time at Wheaton College also gave him the academic credentials and tools to minister to the needs of his specific ministry context.

When he returned to Sri Lanka, Somanathan found that many churches were being influenced by teachings that didn’t conform with accepted or orthodox standards or beliefs on fasting, communion, immortality, and wealth and prosperity.

Somanathan was one of the scholars tapped to respond on behalf of the evangelical community in a booklet that was produced by CTS Publishing.

“In my response, I was able to draw much from my time at Wheaton studying the early church and the development of Christian thought amidst ecclesial turmoil and disunity,” he says. “This knowledge paired with a deep love for Christ guided me through this challenging opportunity.”

 

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