More than 130 people have professed faith in Christ as 84 Southern Baptist seminary students, who were taking a practicum course on evangelism, shared the gospel nearly 1,100 times during this past fall semester.
“Professors offer students weekly scheduled times through ‘Everyday Evangelism’ so they can join the professors to evangelize the greater Forth Worth community in its neighborhoods, parks, and local college campuses,” said interim provost Matt Queen of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s introduction to missiology and contemporary evangelism practicums.
Queen noted practicum students also “utilize the seminary’s relationship with NeedHim Global, in order to share the gospel over digital platforms. However, the vast majority of students’ evangelistic encounters occur by their own initiatives.”
On average each student enrolled in the practicums shared the gospel nearly 13 times during the semester. This is more than twice the number of gospel presentations per student enrolled in the practicums during the spring 2022 academic semester, he noted.
John D. Massey, a professor and dean of the seminary’s Roy J. Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, said the required practicums for the introduction to missiology and contemporary evangelism courses are designed to “inspire and equip students to become active witnesses for the Gospel of Christ.”
Professors play a crucial role in equipping students for evangelism in the classroom, but also while they are engaged in sharing the gospel, Massey said.
“Our professors of evangelism and missions have given their lives to share the Gospel of Christ with a lost world and to equipping others to the do the same,” he explained.
“They not only teach students the how and why of evangelism, but each one is actively sharing Christ on a weekly basis,” he noted. “We not only require practicums, but we go out with the students and demonstrate in real-world situations how to have a gospel conversation with the lost.”
Samuel Kampa, a master of divinity student from Hyderabad, India, where he has been involved in evangelism and missions for more than 20 years, was enrolled at SWBTS in the practicum for the contemporary evangelism class. Kampa, who shared the gospel with 43 people and saw three salvations during the semester, said witnessing in the United States was a “new experience” as he had to evangelize in English and the cultural differences between Asia and America were apparent.
‘Nothing to fear’
“At the start, I was so taken aback with the reception of people and their responses to at least hear what I was saying,” Kampa recalled.
“But God helped me to adapt and use different contexts in sharing the good news of Christ,” he noted. “I had to prayerfully look for opportunities and timing to initiate conversation quickly and introduce Christ using different situations and contexts.”
Kampa encouraged other seminary students to “look at this practicum as the greatest opportunity to be involved in the ministry of evangelism,” adding that they would have “teaching, training and bonding of the professors and friends” as they share the gospel.
Students who have “not evangelized ever,” would have “nothing to fear as all these above factors would help you start and continue your journey of evangelism,” he said.
Advancing the gospel
Massey explained while the local church is the center for the “Great Commission and advancing the Gospel of Christ is the heart of the Great Commission and the highest expression of the Great Commandment” the Fish School curriculum seeks to “train students in how practically to share the gospel and lead the churches they will serve to the do the same.”
Both practicums “practically equip students to know how to effectively and biblically share the Gospel of Christ with the lost in obedience to the Great Commission and to mobilize the church to do the same,” he said.
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