For nearly 20 years, Moody has been training students to do ministry with and through TESOL, “Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.” How is this a ministry, you might ask?
TESOL is a ministry of service. Refugees and immigrants to the U.S. need English to seek employment, send their children to school, and live their daily lives. It is also a ministry of witness. Both in North America and overseas, Christian English teachers build relationships in order to proclaim and live out the gospel in their classrooms and communities. Finally, it is a ministry that contributes to discipleship. Christians around the world use EBT (English for Bible and Theology)—with the assistance of fellow believers trained to teach English—to gain access to the plentiful biblical and theological resources available in English. Training and professionalism are essential for effective TESOL ministry. It is not the case that if you can speak English, you can teach English!
This vision is the heart of Moody’s TESOL programs. Our BA TESOL program is currently training more than 80 students both in and out of the classroom, as TESOL majors work with churches and organizations throughout the Chicago area to teach English as part of their weekly Practical Christian Ministry assignments. Their classes include international graduate students, Muslim refugees, and newly arrived Chinese immigrants. Last summer, undergraduate interns taught in Lithuania, Iraq, Korea, Colombia, China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan, and Honduras. Graduates can go anywhere in the world, including “creative access” countries, as Christian English teachers. Some stay in the U.S. and work with thousands of churches that are witnessing to their communities through teaching English.
This fall, Moody Theological Seminary launched a new MA TESOL program with three degree options—a Graduate Certificate in TESOL, the MA in TESOL, and an MDiv with a TESOL emphasis. All integrate professional and ministry skills in order to equip graduates for effective teaching and ministry. And for 13 years, an ESL Ministry Conference, co-sponsored by Moody, Wheaton College, and the Institute for Cross-Cultural Training, has trained hundreds of church volunteers for TESOL ministry throughout the Midwest and beyond. Thank you for praying that God—the Creator of language!—will continue to work through our TESOL alumni around the world.
Brad Baurain leads the TESOL programs at Moody. An alumnus of Moody, he has taught in China, Vietnam, the U.S., and Canada.