Happy New Year from Scholar Leaders!

Dear Friends,

As we begin 2024, we give thanks for the many ways God has provided for our ministry over the last 40 years, and we look forward with hope as the Lord leads us in new directions.

As new creations in Christ, we long to see Christ’s redemption manifest in our world. This longing deepens as we continue to observe sin’s stark impact across the globe. Yet, we remember that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn. 1:5 NIV).
This New Year, we invite you to pray with us as we continue to cultivate theological leaders from around the world for lifetimes of impact in the Church and on societies. 
Theological leaders in the Majority World face many different challenges. In some contexts, Christians are a minority facing opposition or even persecution. In other places, war looms over the gospel message of hope, joy, and abundant life. Even where the Church has multiplied rapidly, its impact on corruption, tribalism, and poverty may remain small.

Linzay Rinquest with leaders of Good News Theological Seminary in Ghana for VSI strategic planning (Nov. 2023)

In the gospels, Jesus likens the Kingdom to a bit of yeast that, though small, leavens the entire batch of dough (Matt. 13:33). Sometimes our work with gifted women and men can seem small, but we also see God steadily transforming his people and their societies through our shared ministry. 

Please join us in prayer as:

  • We continue to support 55 scholars from 25 nations as they pursue PhDs, conduct research to bring God’s word to bear on issues facing the Church and their contexts, and prepare to equip the next generation of Christian leaders. Pray for the discernment and unity of our Leader Studies selection committee as they award next year’s doctoral scholarships. Each year, we receive over 100 applications.
Evelyn Reynolds with members of the Women’s Peer Leader Forum (Aug. 2023)
  • Our second cohort of the Women’s Peer Leader Forum prepares to meet this summer.  Top leaders will exchange encouragement, counsel, and prayer concerning their leadership roles as women shaping theological education in their regions. Through our new partnership with Duke, we are also supporting four exceptional women for ThM degrees that will prepare them to apply to outstanding doctoral programs. 
  • We will formally launch the Network of Centers of Christian-Muslim Relations (NCCMR), led by Dr. Wageeh Mikhail. Thanks to a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust, the NCCMR will connect centers guiding the Church in 14 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.
  • We continue to develop training materials for board members serving Majority World seminaries, in response to needs identified through our Vital Sustainability Initiative. The curriculum will attend to contextual realities that differ from those in the West, where most board training materials originate.
Evan Hunter with leaders of Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary (Nov. 2023)
  • Taras Dyatlik leads our ministry to seminary leaders in Ukraine. As we approach 700 days since Russia’s full-scale invasion, many Ukrainian Christian leaders are feeling the burden of long-term anxiety during nightly air raids, grief for lost friends and relatives, and uncertainty over the future, especially as Russian attacks on civilian targets intensified over Christmas. Pray for the peace and hope of Christ to light the darkness. 

As the year unfolds, we will have much more to share, including a new website, new initiatives, and new team members. Thank you for praying with us for God’s work through Scholar Leaders.
With gratitude,

Evan Hunter,
Vice President of Integration,
for the Scholar Leaders Team

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