When you think of someone earning a doctorate at a seminary, what comes to mind? A pastor maybe? Or a missionary?
Tom does have experience in the mission field, but largely uses his SES degree at work—as a business development manager in the heavy truck industry. His role covers two-thirds of the U.S.
“It’s yielded many opportunities to talk to people about Christ,” he said.
Tom lives in Dallas, Texas. He has started prayer groups through his job and even led a couple of people to Christ.
Throughout the workday, he comes in contact with so many people who aren’t Christians, or claim to be but use it as more of a label. Many don’t understand who God really is.
“My time at SES equipped me to start having those conversations and engage with them,” he said.
Tom has been a Christian for many years, but the people he interacts with want to know what’s behind that faith. Is the Bible trustworthy? How do you know Jesus exists?
“You can go through life believing that Jesus is the Savior. You read the Bible … and you can have a genuine, fully fleshed out, fully spiritually orbed faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior. … But sometimes people’s questions go deeper than that.”
Like a child determined to understand, plenty of adults are also asking, “But why?”
It was at SES that Tom learned to think through these questions intellectually and give his faith some legs to stand on.
“That’s what SES taught me to think about, was how to take my faith and apply it to real life,” he said. “It took the faith that I have in one hand, and it took the evidence and the reasons that I have to hold that faith, and allowed them to meld together.”
Tom thinks back to his early days at the seminary.
“All of a sudden, I’m sitting there saying, ‘Now I see why I should believe.’” He already had faith, but “SES started putting bricks and mortar under that faith, holding it up.”
Outside of his job, Tom helps train pastors in places like Eastern Europe and South America. He taught Dr. Norm Geisler’s 12 points of Christianity in sub-Saharan Africa.
“When you talk to them about why you should believe what you believe, you can really see it click,” he said.
In all his travels, he’s found that “many people don’t have a proper picture of who God is.” It’s not so much the questions people have, but what their questions point to—and often, they have the wrong idea about God as it relates to His goodness, justice and power.
“As believers, one of the ripest areas of conversation we have is to talk to the culture about the nature of God,” Tom said.
He’s quick to recommend SES, but not for just anyone. It’s not a place to soak up information and that’s it.
“If you want to go to seminary and engage intellectually about reasons for our faith … if you want to wrestle with questions, if you want to have back and forth and a safe place to take your questions, SES is for you.”
“It Was at SES That I Learned to Think”
If you’re like Tom, ready to examine your faith intellectually and give reasons for your hope in Christ, consider SES: Browse Our Degrees