By: David Rathel
I am pleased to update my Southeastern Seminary family on my current ministry status. I have great affection for SEBTS, and I count the years that I spent there as some of my most formative. I appreciate the seminary’s commitment to biblical authority, the Great Commission and denominational unity. I am also grateful that the quality education that I received at SEBTS allowed me to continue my studies at a British university.
I am presently completing a PhD at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. My supervisor is the Rev. Dr. Stephen Holmes. I am researching soteriological developments in Particular Baptist life from the eighteenth century; specifically, I am exploring the theological commitments of Andrew Fuller and John Gill. I have an interest in the pastor-theologian model, and I believe that Fuller and Gill were two brilliant- though admittedly flawed- pastor-theologians. I hope my work will contribute to the study of Baptist history, contemporary debates over soteriology and discussions about how pastors can best involve themselves in theological discussions.
Since arriving in Scotland, my wife and I have tried to involve ourselves in Christian ministry. April, whom I met at SEBTS, has worked as a schools worker with Scripture Union. Her job has allowed her to provide a Christian witness in the public school system here. I have served as an interim pastor for a Scottish congregation and have provided pulpit supply for churches across Scotland. I also teach American theology students online for The Baptist College of Florida. Both April and myself try to assist to the ministry of our local congregation, Saint Andrews Baptist Church.
As you can imagine, our family has been very busy. Since moving here, we have had a daughter, Sophia. We have also tried to make time to explore the beautiful Scottish landscape in the midst of my doctoral degree. We love Scotland and her people, and we thoroughly enjoy life in the historic town of St. Andrews.
I have one year left on my Ph.D. work. After I complete my studies, our family will seek to discern what God has for us next. I am content to serve as a pastor again in a local congregation. I am also content to teach at a Christian university or seminary. Both April and I hope that the experiences we have had at SEBTS and St. Andrews will allow us to minister effectively in the future.