Why We Teach and Shepherd


“She grew up on the mission field in ___.” “He is from ___, where his father pastors a church.” “Her family has been deeply involved at Bethlehem her whole life.” “He is the oldest child and has 7 adopted siblings.”

Every August, as the highlight of our two-day-long faculty meeting in preparation for the new school year, our admissions officers describe our incoming students, telling us bits of their stories and leading us in praying for them, one by one, face by face, story by story.

During that process, two things hit me emotionally. The first was the perspective of the parents, probably because my own son is one of the incoming freshmen. From the brief biographies, I imagined parents who are pouring out their lives in ministry, to their children, their churches, and the unreached, now entrusting their young women and men to us — trusting God with trembling — while they continue in ministry to others.

The second thing that hit me while listening to the students’ biographies is why we do this; why we teach and shepherd students, and why we raise funds so that they can come to Bethlehem. We do this because Jesus is worth it, and because these students are worth pouring our lives into.

My emotional reaction is, “Who is adequate for these things?” As a parent, I pray and thank God for our faculty, especially for the Christian Worldview team, led by Ryan Griffith, who train our freshmen and sophomores to think and feel Biblically about history, literature, and all of life. As a faculty member, I feel this acutely, and so we pray and trust God with trembling as we shepherd the flock that he has entrusted to us.

John C. Beckman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Old Testament

Prayer Requests:

1. Praise the Lord for his amazing goodness to us as we start another school year.

2. Please pray for our students and faculty as they adjust and settle into the routines of a new year.

3. Please also be in prayer for our finances. The Lord has been so good to us and we are grateful. However, the needs are always with us, and we are ever dependent upon the Lord.

4. Pray for the filling of our new Alex Steddom International Student Fund.