Dave Deuel: Training Ministry Leaders

Dave Deuel: Training Ministry Leaders

Dave Deuel, a 1978 graduate of BBC from Broadalbin, NY, serves as an adviser, mentor, and leader in designing programs at seminaries, Bible colleges and other types of ministry training centers. His primary goal is to develop church leaders and plant and strengthen local churches. David Deuel

Dave and his wife, Nancy, whom he met at BBC, have four children, Rebekah, Joanna, Michael, and Joshua. They are involved in a myriad of ministries, including The Master's Academy International, Joni and Friends' ministry for the disabled, and the Evangelical Theological Society.

Since his time at BBC, he has studied at Grace Theological Seminary, the Annenberg Institute of the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, and the University of Liverpool, UK. He holds four graduate degrees as a result.

I came to BBC planning to stay only for one year. I had been a barber and wanted to improve in my skills in teaching Sunday school and counseling at camp. I entered BBC in the Christian Education program for its focus on kids, but my plans quickly changed. Dr. Wayne Knife, then chair of Biblical Studies, challenged me to start schools such as seminaries and Bible colleges. Under his influence, I transferred into the Pre-Seminary program and decided to stay for all four years.

My philosophy instructor at BBC, Dr. Ho Sik Kim, invited me to go to Manhattan and help him plant a Korean church at the First Baptist Church of New York City. Once that was established, Dr. Richard Burke, a speech teacher at BBC, asked me to serve as assistant pastor at that same church where he recently had become the senior pastor. Since then, I have been involved in four other church plants.

It is difficult for me to measure the impact of these BBC profs on my life. They took a personal interest and put me to work in local church ministries. Dr. Burke drew me out of my shell to start preaching. Dr. Knife gave me the confidence that I could do graduate-level academic work and start seminaries and Bible colleges. Dr. Kim introduced me to ethnic church-planting ministry. In short, BBC supported my interests, allowed me to gain experience, even to make mistakes, and provided me a platform to involve other students in ministry. They sowed seeds.

Toward the end of my academic preparation, I taught at Cornell University for four years. When the university offered me an assistant deanship and several different faculty positions, it was tempting to accept the offer and stay at Cornell. I reasoned I could just forget about starting schools and churches and focus on helping my students at the university, some of whom were interested in becoming seminary professors. But deep down inside, I knew I was called to assist others to start schools and plant churches and I would never be content at the university, although the university had given me many opportunities to develop programs and grow in my understanding of organizational design, such as designing an English program for Nobel Prize winners from other countries.

From Cornell, I went to The Master's Seminary to learn more about how to design and develop schools and to get experience. TMS was just starting at the time. John MacArthur and the faculty agreed to let me design new programs and make plenty of mistakes. They were true to their word. I started at TMS in 1986 as Old Testament professor and developed programs at TMS and The Master's College, including the doctoral studies program. I also took part in a Chinese church plant in the San Fernando Valley, CA.

After ten years at TMS, I moved to Brandon, FL, to become part of another church plant and a school plant by working under the supervision of a group of committed church leaders. This turned out to be a very formative period of my life. I had the opportunity to apply what I had learned about starting schools and planting churches.

Today, I serve as Academic Director of The Master's Academy International, a ministry that starts and develops Bible colleges and seminaries to train pastors in countries where theological training is not available. This is a network of 14 Bible colleges and seminaries started by TMS alumni. The primary goal is training national pastors to do church planting and strengthening. I taught the majority of the students who originally went out to start the Bible colleges and seminaries in other countries. I also had the privilege of serving as a pastor to many of them, so I even got to know their wives and children. My role initially was to design the academic structure of the ministry. For this reason, I have been invited to assist other similar organizations by providing consultancy. I currently serve on seven other boards for this very reason. I also work with Joni and Friends.

The ministry of Joni and Friends is to evangelize, disciple, and train people with disabilities to do ministry, as well as to develop disability awareness in churches and Christian communities. I got involved because it dovetailed with my ministries and I have worked with JAF in various roles for over 20 years. Currently, I help establish relationships between JAF and seminaries and Bible colleges around the world. I also write curriculum with a JAF ministry called the Christian Institute for Disability, a Los Angeles-based school in which I teach on occasion and help develop ministry design, as well as serve on a journal editorial board. I have also served on committees and boards pertaining to disability, one a governor's board for the State of California. God has also given me opportunity to work on projects with Shepherds College in Racine, WI.

I serve as chairman of the Old Testament and Ancient Near Eastern Program Unit for the Evangelical Theological Society. ETS is a scholarly research society made up of teachers, pastors, and doctoral students involved in biblical evangelical scholarship. Each of its various program units has its own distinct focus. Our unit studies ancient texts and other archaeological remains of the ancient Near East and their interplay with the Old Testament. This area of study is what I primarily research and write about, although I also write about disability and pastoral-related matters, such as the significance of reading and explaining the meaning of Scripture.

My various ministry efforts may seem unrelated. But there is one theme that unites all of them together: It is my life's ambition and greatest joy to help young people get started in ministry roles, especially developing new ministries of their own that meet critical needs of Christ's Church. Like those BBC professors whom God used to impact my life, in all my ministry efforts I try to be an encourager. I serve them so they can serve God better. By God's grace, I help them develop their ministry gifts and find opportunities suited to their giftedness and passion. In so doing, I believe I am doing what my BBC professors first did for me. I believe they call this "completing the circle."

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Posted on: 12/14/2011 10:42:34 AM

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