Alumni Serving Around the World
Published by Calvin Seminary
For over 145 years, the primary mission of Calvin Seminary has been to equip pastors and leaders for the flourishing of the church.
Year of graduation: 2003
What is your current place of work/leadership? U.S. Navy, Command Chaplain of USS Ashland (LSD-48)
How does your work serve the mission of the Church? Chaplaincy is a specialized ministry of healing and reconciliation. It is an extension of God’s activity and mission in the world coming alongside those who are hurting, in crisis, uprooted or dislocated. In my work as this ship’s chaplain, I experience life every day with my “congregation”. We work, live, eat, and sleep in a community on the ship. They call me “Chaps” and this highly relational ministry has allowed me to be their trusted pastor and shepherd. I lead worship services, offer Bible studies, provide confidential pastoral care, and advise my senior leadership on matters of religion, ethics and command morale. I also have opportunities to lead community service projects giving sailors opportunities to serve as well as meeting with and encouraging local community leaders around the world. My calling church cares for me as they would any missionary and an important mission field. Many Sailors and Marines are young and seeking to discern who they are and how they fit into the world. Most have some kind of religious past that is still there but not much of a priority in their lives. This makes for a tremendous “ministry of presence” whereby conversations can help them (re)connect with God and strengthen their faith foundation.
In what way(s) were you formed by your time of study at Calvin Seminary? Calvin Seminary gave me a solid theological foundation and Reformed worldview. To see the world and how God is actively at work in it in every sphere of life has been perhaps the most important thing I have taken into my life and ministry. The academic rigor was all the more appreciated after I graduated and entered into ordained ministry. The relationships that were built at CTS have continued to be important as well – to include fellow students, faculty, and staff.
AMOS WINARTO OEI
Years at Calvin Seminary: 2007-2012
Year of graduation: 2012
What is your current place of work/leadership? President Aletheia Theological Seminary Lawang, East Java, Indonesia. Chairman of the Department of Dogma and Teaching of the Synod of the Church of Christ the Lord in Indonesia.
In what way(s) were you formed by your time of study at Calvin Seminary? I was formed spiritually, mentally and academically by my time of study at Calvin Seminary. Particularly, I learned to have a heart offered to God sincerely and promptly as a response to his call into ministry.
How does your work serve the mission of the Church? My work serves the mission of the Church by preparing seminarians to become transformative God’s servants for churches in Indonesia and abroad.
Years at Calvin Seminary: 2002–2009
Year of graduation: 2009
What is your current place of work/leadership? I currently work as College Minister at First Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Columbia, South Carolina.
In what way(s) were you formed by your time of study at Calvin Seminary? As I reflect back on my time at Calvin Seminary, I see the following three areas as the most formative and influential: methodology learned from Prof. Muller, Berhkof-Bavinck systematics, and an Aristotelian philosophical framework/natural law ethics.
How does your work serve the mission of the Church? Our church is located just a few blocks away from the University of South Carolina, and some of my tasks (in addition to regular ministerial duties) are to lead college Sunday school and take care of the students who attend our congregation. I also continue to publish and translate theological literature into the Polish language for a non-profit organization called Tolle Lege Institute, which was established while I was still at Calvin Seminary.
Quote: I grew up in Warsaw, Poland, as a Protestant Christian in a majority Roman Catholic country. By “minority”, I mean that there are more Protestants in Saudi Arabia than in Poland – less than 1% of the population in Poland is Protestant. I pursued my doctoral studies at CTS in historical theology under Dr. Richard Muller with the intention of returning to Warsaw, and finally did so with my family in 2015. I’m continually amazed at how essential my CTS training was for the work I now do every day, both in my ministry of Word and sacrament in the Warsaw church plant of the Evangelical-Reformed Church of Lithuania, and educationally through Tolle Lege Institute, the NGO I founded in 2007 (while still a student at CTS), which now operates a study center and publishing house in Warsaw. When it comes to religion and piety, life in Poland today somewhat resembles life in Europe before the Reformation. The thorough knowledge of primary sources and sound methodology I gained at CTS is useful to me in every sermon I preach, every publishing project Tolle Lege undertakes, and every conversation I have. Crucially, Poland lacks Protestant clergy who are both committed to the historic Reformed confessions and able to interact on an academic level with the highly trained Roman Catholic intelligentsia, and I believe God in His providence used CTS to prepare me for this challenging and important task. I couldn’t do it without my American wife, Brooke (formerly Levitske), who graduated from Calvin.
WON TAEK LIM
Years at Calvin Seminary: Th.M. program, January 1993 – May 1994. Ph.D. program, September 1994 -2000.
Year of graduation: 2000
What is your current place of work/leadership? Teaching Historical Theology & Church History at Baekseok University, Seoul, Korea.
How does your work serve the mission of the Church? Since 2001 I have taught the students at Baekseok University. At first I taught Church History to undergraduates for some years. These days I teach graduate students. Most of them are M.Div. students, and some of them are Ph.D. and Th.M. students. I try to equip my students for serving the church as sincere pastors.
In what way(s) were you formed by your time of study at Calvin Seminary? I came to know that the Reformed theologian can have a very comprehensive mind that embraces the Gospel and our society together. I learned from my teachers at Calvin both academic punctuality and spiritual generosity. Calvin Seminary nourished me with Jesus’ love that I also try to impart to my students at present and in the future.
Years at Calvin Seminary: 1996-1999
What is your current place of work/leadership? President of Kobe Reformed
Year of graduation: 2011 Theological Seminary, as well as a pastor of a local congregation
In what way(s) were you formed by your time of study at Calvin Seminary? As a Ph.D. student, I have been trained and taught in what a scholar is supposed to be, what “academic” means, and how a scholarly work is to be done. As a seminary student, my eyes were widely opened to the diversity and reality of the Christian world through the fellowship with North-American and especially overseas students. As a Christian, I was deeply grateful to have experienced the Reformed church life, in many ways, in Grand Rapids.
Years at Calvin Seminary: 2003 – 2011
What is your current place of work/leadership? Principal of Kampala Evangelical School of Theology, KEST
Year of graduation: 2012
In what way(s) were you formed by your time of study at Calvin Seminary? Calvin Seminary introduced me to Reformed theology in perhaps the best and most rigorous way possible. As a member of a Reformed church that meets on campus—Woodlawn CRC—I experienced Reformed Theology as a lived tradition first hand. As a doctoral student at the Seminary I scoured the heights and plumbed the depths of Reformed theological thought, and drank from the wells of its spirituality. I found its twin emphasis, on creation and providence on the one hand and the gospel on the other, an apt theological framework for wrestling with the issues and conundrums in my own African context, namely in the encounter between Christian faith and, what someone has called, the “perennial spiritualities” of my African religious tradition, past and present.
How does your work serve the mission of the Church? KEST equips men and women for works of ministry and service in Church and society through formal and non-formal programs.
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