Alumni Serving Domestically & Internationally

Andrew Case ('10) - Oaxaca, Mexico

Andrew Case and his wife, Bethany, live in Mexico as Bible translation consultants. Andrew served for several years with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Equatorial Guinea. We asked him a few questions about his ministry and if he had any advice for current students:

When and how do you feel you were called to this particular ministry?

There were several key factors that God used. First, John Piper’s biographical sermon on Martin Luther made me realize I needed to study the original languages, which led me to seminary. Second, reading the journals of Jim Elliot in Shadow of the Almighty made me want to use the Spanish that I had from growing up in Mexico to serve God overseas in Bible translation. Finally, I realized how crucial Bible translation was to the Great Commission. You can’t really plant healthy churches that will persevere if you don’t give them a Bible they understand.

How did studying at Southern prepare you for this ministry role?
Studying at Southern taught me how much I didn’t know, which is one of the most important things for anyone in ministry. Southern also equipped me with a solid foundation in theology for facing trials. Over the years I’ve seen how many missionaries quit because of shallow theological foundations and inadequate views of the sovereignty of God. I also took every single class that Dr. Gentry offered, even if I had to audit it, which prepared me well to work in translation.

What advice would you give current students who may be unsure of what exactly they want to do post-seminary?
Don’t stress out about it. God usually waits till the last moment to provide or guide, just like at the Red Sea. He didn’t tell them months in advance that they’d walk through the sea on dry land. So wait on Him, pursue your joy in Him, and He will direct your paths exactly when you need it. And think about what’s most strategic for the Kingdom, not what you see everyone doing that’s comfortable. Find something that no one else is doing, and if it matches your gifting, go for it.

You can find out more about Andrew and Bethany’s ministry here.

Joshua Hutchens, Ph.D (’18) - Malawi

Joshua Hutchens, Ph.D., is an alumnus of Boyce College and Southern Seminary serving in Malawi as the founder and president of Gospel Life, an organization that partners with 160 Baptist churches in Malawi and Mozambique to glorify God by growing disciples who make disciples and serve their partner churches by training current and future pastors, assisting churches in evangelism and church planting, and serving their communities through mobile medical clinics.

When and how do you feel you were called to this particular ministry?

When I was 14-years-old, God called me to preach the gospel at an M-Fuge camp in Mobile, Alabama. Obedience to God’s call led me at different times to serve a two-year term as a missionary in Moldova and to pastor two churches in Kentucky for six years. While pastoring in Kentucky, I went to Malawi for the first time on a short-term mission trip to teach pastors, and almost immediately my wife and I sensed that God wanted us to dedicate our lives to this ministry. After a few more trips and seeking answers from the Lord on how we could follow him here, especially with an autistic child, we found God making a clear path for us to serve him in Malawi.

How did studying at Southern prepare you for this ministry role?

During my time at Southern, I focused my energies on learning the biblical languages. There are a lot of topics you can learn later in life through books or conferences, but the only place that you will really learn the biblical languages well is on campus. When I teach pastors in Malawi, I rarely tell them what the Greek or Hebrew is doing because they only have access to their Chichewa translations, but knowing the original languages allows me to teach with greater precision, clarity, and faithfulness.

What advice would you give current students who may be unsure of what exactly they want to do post-seminary?

The Lord is your Shepherd. If you humbly and prayerfully seek his guidance, he will take you where he wants you to go. But he never takes you on the  direct and easy path. God prefers the winding and difficult way so that we will keep our eyes on him instead of the destination. Trust him, and all will be well.

You can find out more about Gospel Life and Joshua’s ministry here.

Fletcher Lang, MDiv ('12) - Boston, MA

Fletcher Lang, M.Div (‘12), is an alumnus of Southern Seminary and is currently pursuing a D.Min with an anticipated graduation date in May 2021. He is the pastor of City on a Hill Church in Somerville, MA. His church is one of four churches in Boston a part of the City on a Hill micro-network that works together to reach Bostonians with the Gospel. He also is the Executive Director of the Boston Center for Biblical Counseling. 

When and how do you feel you were called to this particular ministry?

After studying at Southern, my wife and I took a trip to Boston and prayed for a ministry opportunity. Since I didn’t feel ready to plant a church at that point (and I have no marketable non-ministry skills) we knew that God would have to provide a ministry job in Boston first if he was eventually going to use us to plant a church in Boston. On this trip to Boston God confirmed his calling to Boston by offering us two ministry jobs to choose from! One of those was serving at City on a Hill in Brookline, MA as the Executive Pastor. After serving there for six years, the Lord called us to take over a church plant in Somerville.

What advice would you give current students who may be unsure of what exactly they want to do post-seminary?

I would encourage current students to be faithful with whatever opportunities that the Lord gives you right where you’re at. If you’re faithful with where you are, you’ll never feel the need to push for more opportunities. Get involved in a church, and serve wherever they need help. If you’re faithful, the Lord will either give you more opportunities or he will help you feel satisfied with what he’s given you!

You can learn more about City on a Hill Church and Fletcher’s ministry here.

Scott Zeller, DMin ('15) - Dubai, UAE

Scott Zeller graduated from SBTS in 2015 with a DMin in Applied Theology. He is the executive pastor of Redeemer Church of Dubai, a church of around a thousand members from many nationalities from all over the world. Redeemer Church focuses on sending and church planting, seeking to equip brothers and sisters from this region to multiply gospel witnesses in and around Dubai. 

When and how do you feel you were called to this particular ministry? 

While in college, I was discipled by a friend preparing to leave his job in marketing and move to Uganda to train pastors. That was a pivotal relationship that the Lord used to convince me that I also desired to serve among the nations supporting the work He was already about there to build his church. Subsequently, my wife and I lived and served in India before joining the work in Dubai.

What advice would you give current students who may be unsure of what exactly they want to do post-seminary?

Go to the nations! If you are unsure of what you want to do (or even if you are), consider the great and tremendous needs in North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the rest of greater Asia. The workers are indeed few and the need is great for disciple-makers who long to not only share the gospel, but to teach according to it and to gather believers and mobilize them for mission in Christ’s name.

You can learn more about Redeemer Church of Dubai and Scott’s ministry here.

Steven Kunkel, Boyce College ('18), Current SBTS Student - Osaka, Japan

Steven Kunkel graduated from Boyce College in 2018 with a major in Global Studies and a minor in Business. Growing up, his parents served as IMB missionaries in Uruguay and Paraguay. He is currently a Southern Seminary student serving with the IMB through the Macedonian Project in Osaka, Japan. In Japan, he works with Saturate Osaka, which is a ministry that regularly shares the Gospel with the Japanese and works to equip and encourage Japanese believers to share the Gospel with their peers. 

When and how do you feel you were called to this particular ministry?

Growing up in Uruguay, South America, I was a missionary kid in the International Mission Board field and I learned to appreciate cultures and different people of languages and ethnicities. I received my call in 2005 from God to become a missionary in Japan after seeing the influences of Anime and Manga (Japanese cartoon animations and comics) and the impact Japanese people have in their life without Christ. I didn’t know where to start, but as my parents motivated me to begin my language learnings, we were called to Paraguay one year later. From that point, I studied Japanese with a Japanese diaspora community in Paraguay, and sometimes in Brazil, and was trained by a Japanese pastor teaching me Japanese culture and the language with the Japanese diaspora in different rural Japanese towns like Pirapo and La Paz and Igazu from 2006-2011. From 2012-2014, I was a volunteer missionary in a Filipino church in Nagano, Japan. When I was there, I experienced the lostness of the Japanese people that God was giving me levels of preparations for me to serve in Japan that I learned from experience (similar to my Japanese diaspora experience in Latin America but this time within the country). When I returned to Paraguay, I had an invitation to study at Boyce College to finish my undergraduate degree from 2015-2018 before returning to Japan as an IMB gospel infusionist. Throughout the 13 years, I knew that I needed God to show me the steps before beginning my service in Japan.

What advice would you give current students who may be unsure of what exactly they want to do post-seminary?

When students graduate from college or seminary wherever they are, I would say to them that they should never give up learning and studying. If they are serving in the mission field as I currently am, they should learn as they move on as students career missionaries. Like I learned from Dr. Bosch’s words, if they were going to a new country, whether as people going for business on mission or serving as missionaries, they are to act like tourists with a learning heart. They are to engage in relationships with other non-Christians with a learners’ attitude, and just by learning, could they know with humility to share Jesus’ love to unbelievers.

How can we pray for you?

Prayers for wisdom and guidance for my next year in Japan as God shows me the steps to motivate Japanese believers through effective discipleship for them to share the gospel with unbelievers. Prayers for the Japan Baptist Convention to be a light in Japan as the leaders and church members continue cooperating with Southern Baptist missionaries throughout Japan. Prayers for me to take my Southern Seminary courses, beginning with Biblical Hermeneutics to the Bible and theological electives to learn as I grow. Prayers for Charlie and Teresa for wisdom and guidance to lead the Osaka team and more gospel and relationship bridges to be built with Japanese people, including the Japan Baptist Convention churches and other local baptistic churches, for the gospel to be faithfully spread. Prayers for me to be bold and faithful for ministry in Japan to become the “Land of the Risen Son” as the Southern Baptist missionary Edwin B. Dozier in Japan wrote in Japan’s New Day.

You can learn more about Steven’s ministry here.

Rachel Ware, M.Div. ('16) - Louisville, KY

Rachel Ware graduated from Southern Seminary in 2016 with an M.Div. in Christian Ministries. She serves as a Mobilizer for Reaching & Teaching, working to represent the organization externally, informs others of service opportunities around the world, and works with other mobilizers to cast vision for Biblical missions and the local church. She also works to develop women training centers in South Asia and MENA to train and equip women with the skills necessary to study the Bible and make disciples.

When and how do you feel you were called to this particular ministry? 

I wouldn’t describe my path of ministry as much of ‘calling,’ but rather walking step-by-step in what the Lord had for me. My role with Reaching & Teaching came about through a combination of my own love for discipleship and the nations, informed especially by a season of living in India and seeing the great need for healthy churches around the world. I returned to the States with a burden for the church and was thrilled to hear of Reaching & Teaching’s vision to make mature disciples, establish healthy churches, and train local leaders. 

What advice would you give current students who may be unsure of what exactly they want to do post-seminary?

I would encourage them to settle their roots deeply into their local church.  Serve whole-heartedly in unseen ways, and ask for wisdom from those ahead of you–about life in general, and what gifts they see in you from the Lord.  And as simple as it sounds, the Christian life hangs on this: Trust God.  He will guide you in his way and in his time.  

How can we pray for you?

Pray that God would make a way for travel to begin again soon so that we can continue developing women’s training centers around the world. Pray for the Lord to continue to raise up laborers for the harvest.  And ask God to grow me in humility and Christ-likeness.

You can learn more about Rachel and her ministry here.