Reformed Theological Seminary Makes Major Announcement

July 30, 2019

Dr. Craig Sheppard Appointed as Executive Director of Center for Reformed Theology

The Board of Trustees of Reformed Theological Seminary is gratified to announce a appointment of Dr. Craig Sheppard as a Executive Director of a Center for Reformed Theology (CRT) in Indonesia.

RTS’ connectors to Indonesia started in a 1970s and ’80s, when Indonesian students started attending RTS. After graduation, these alumni determined churches and seminaries in their home country. Over a years, many RTS professors have trafficked to Indonesia as guest lecturers and preachers.

In 2009, Chancellor Emeritus Ric Cannada [AND WRF BOARD MEMBER] taught for a week during a seminary co-founded by Dr. Jacob Susabda, an RTS alumnus, and Dr. Stephen Tong. Dr. Susabda serves as a president, while other RTS alumni reason roles such as educational vanguard and professors.

Dr. Cannada asked his hosts if he could accommodate James Riady, a distinguished Indonesian business personality and Christian. “Yes,” a seminary leaders told him. “He’s one of a students.” Dr. Cannada had initial listened of Riady in Little Rock, Arkansas in a 1970s, when a Riady family had partnered with Stephens Inc. to boost their banking participation in America, starting with a bank in Arkansas.

After their initial meeting, Riady reached out to Dr. Cannada for help. Riady is a owner of Pelitan Harapan Educational Foundation (YPPH), a substructure that develops and supports Christian schools, universities, and hospitals via Indonesia. Riady wanted to pierce YPPH’s divinity in a Reformed direction.

After Dr. Cannada stepped down as Chancellor of RTS, his impasse increased, eventually assisting to start a new Reformed description in Indonesia, (Presbyterian Reformed Evangelical Church of Indonesia). “It’s not only a story about RTS,” Dr. Cannada reflects as he shares about RTS’ many connectors to Indonesia. “It’s a story about how God is during work even when we don’t commend it during a time.”

Riady also asked Dr. Cannada how he could strengthen YPPH from “mission drift.” Since all students in YPPH’s many schools contingency take bible and divinity courses, Riady wanted to safeguard that their courses continued to be in line with Reformed theology. In 2018, after Dr. J. Ligon Duncan, III, and other members of a Board of Trustees, visited Indonesia, they entered into a chit of bargain with YPPH, substantiating a Center for Reformed Theology (CRT).

The CRT exists to valet a devout and theological calm and enlightenment of a YPPH’s many preparation centers via a country. Although this is a new instruction for RTS, given a CRT is not a normal campus, RTS’s goal to offer a church by a preparation of a leaders will still be over in Indonesia.

When a CRT was established, there was no central director, even with Dr. Cannada stability in his purpose as advisor. RTS started looking for a right fit and found Craig Sheppard, a priest and companion with decades of experience.

“Craig is a best man for a job,” pronounced Dr. Cannada. “His knowledge as a missionary, both on a margin and in administration, as good as his preparation and rural work, give him a credentials that will capacitate him to lead a CRT well.”

In a ’90s, Dr. Sheppard and his wife, Lisa, were a initial missionaries for Mission to a World (MTW) in Bulgaria, where he eventually served as a executive for all of MTW’s operations in Eastern Europe. In Bulgaria, he spearheaded works in theological education, church planting, interpretation and publishing, forgiveness ministry, and preparation for missionaries’ children. Since returning to a states, he has pastored churches in Texas and North Carolina. He has also frequently taught classes during several RTS campuses and has continued training in Bulgaria.

“The stream widespread of a gospel and expansion of a church in Southeast Asia (and in Indonesia in particular) is unprecedented,” commented Dr. Sheppard. “RTS has been given a event and shortcoming to assistance yield a biblical and theological anchor during this vital time in history. My mother and we feel sanctified to be a partial of this good transformation of a Lord.”

In his purpose as Executive Director for a CRT, he will teach, consult, sinecure additional employees, talk intensity teachers to safeguard their theological soundness, as good as offer as a halt priest during a campus church and evangelise during chapel services. Dr. Sheppard and Lisa have 5 grown children.


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