INTRODUCING BOAZ PRINCE
COIMBATORE, TAMIL NADU, INDIA
ALEX STEDDOM INTERNATIONAL STUDENT FUND
The mission of Bethlehem College & Seminary is simple:
Under the authority of God’s inerrant word, Bethlehem College & Seminary exists to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ by equipping men and women to treasure Christ above all things, to grow in wisdom and knowledge over a lifetime, and to glorify God in every sphere of life.
The Alex Steddom International Student Fund exists to serve that mission by enabling one international student per year to come to Bethlehem, receive an Education in Serious Joy, and then return to his home country ready to spread.
We’re thrilled to announce the 2022 recipient of the Alex Steddom Fund: Boaz Prince.
Boaz’s journey to Bethlehem is years in the making. Boaz became a committed Christian Hedonist through the sermons and writings of John Piper. He and his wife have been waiting and praying toward pursuing an education at Bethlehem for almost five years. He first applied to the school in 2017 before realizing that the U.S. government’s work restrictions would prevent him from supporting himself and his wife while he studied.
But Boaz didn’t give up on his dream of attending Bethlehem. He continued to pray and seek the Lord, asking that God would make a way. Neither did he sit on his hands while waiting for an answer to that prayer. Instead, he hustled while he waited. Boaz has been faithfully serving a congregation of believers in the city of Coimbatore in southern India. Thus, he comes to us with pastoral experience and with a deep desire to grow in his understanding of the Scriptures so that he can better serve his homeland. As he puts it, “a formal education in serious joy [will] help me grow personally—to train the habits of mind and heart—because, a person’s joy in Christ is directly proportional to his knowledge of Christ (Eph. 1:17-18).”
Boaz sees the immense needs in his country—the unreached Hindu and Muslim people groups, the pragmatic methods of evangelism among Christians that more often produce temporary converts rather than genuine believers, and the absence of expository preaching to build up the church. And under God’s sovereignty, he hopes to be a means of meeting those needs.
His hope (if the Lord wills) is to return to India “to start a seminary and train native pastors and evangelists for faithful gospel ministry.” What’s more, he has personally benefited from the wealth of theological resources that he has been able to read in English and desires to assist in translating these resources into the native languages of India so that local churches can be edified and built up.
Put simply, Boaz’s mission is the same as the school’s mission, with one significant addition which makes him a wonderful recipient of the Alex Steddom Fund:
I want to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ in India.
Clinging to Jesus with you,
Dr. Joe Rigney
FROM BOAZ PRINCE’S APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION (SHARED WITH PERMISSION)
I was born in a typical Indian Christian family. I had a Pentecostal upbringing. When I was 10, my father started pastoring a local congregation that gathered on the rooftop of our house. My dad didn’t have a seminary education (most of the pastors here in India don’t have one), but he loved the Lord and dedicated his life to full-time ministry. He taught the Bible to people in the best way he knew.
As with any pastor’s kid, I had to put on a good show in front of people, and I certainly did. But deep inside I was as bad a sinner as anyone could be. In my teen years, I was rebellious, and I ignored my parent’s advice on pretty much anything. I knew about Jesus, I knew what salvation was, I knew we were saved by grace through faith and not by works, but my heart was very far away from God. My life was characterized by outward religiosity, but I truly didn’t submit myself to the lordship of Christ. As days went by, I could feel that the weight of my sins was becoming too heavy for me to carry. But God, in his appointed time and in his graciousness, humbled me and brought me to a place where I had nothing else but Him to trust in.
When I was 17, I made a personal decision to accept Jesus as my savior and Lord, got baptized, and made a commitment to follow Him. As days went by, the burning desire that I had for God when I got baptized started to diminish and fade away. My walk with God was more like a seesaw with alternating periods of passion for Him and a state of lukewarmness. My superficial understanding of scripture didn’t help me at all in my growth in sanctification. I was in desperate need of help and asked God to rescue me. God has an amazing and unexpected way of reaching out to us when we are in desperate need of His help. Sometime around 2011, I came in touch with my distantly related aunt, Gladys Amancharla, through Facebook (She is now a member of BBC). In her, I saw a woman who had a genuine love for God and His word. The way she talked about God was so different from the way I had heard and seen him in scriptures. She introduced me to the teachings of Dr. Piper, and there started my journey in Reformed Theology. Through Dr. Piper’s teachings, my whole perception of God, humanity, suffering, my own depravity, and God’s grace, etc., started to change and so did my life. Thank God for the amazing blessing of technology. I slowly discovered more and more reformed theologians and pastors and started digging deeper into the word of God. God has opened my eyes to the truth in His word that I had failed to see my entire life, and this now has created in me a genuine desire to deeply study the word of God and discover the great riches within it.
Lately, however, God has also put a deep passion and burden in my heart for shepherding a congregation, church planting, and reaching the unreached people groups around the world where the name of Jesus has not been proclaimed and where Bibles do not exist in their respective native languages. My passion is fueled by Paul’s great ambition to preach the gospel where Christ has not yet been named (Romans 15:20-21). I want to be someone who is either directly involved in missions or someone who is inspiring a generation of people and sending them into frontline missions.
While these desires of mine are genuine, I believe in the absolute sovereignty of God over all things, including all my desires and future plans, and I trust in the Lord to bring this education to fruition in my life and ministry.
FROM THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE FILE
I am tremendously excited to see Boaz Prince studying at Bethlehem. Bethlehem College & Seminary has been on the heart of Boaz for over five years. He has consistently prayed and asked God for the chance to study here, and the Lord has answered those prayers. Though leaving India and the church he has pastored is hard, he is excited to prepare for future pastoral ministry at Bethlehem and return more ready to lead God’s people with biblical clarity and Christ-exalting affection.
Dean of Admissions