Western Theological Seminary welcomes Dr. Tite Tiénou as a visiting scholar for the fall semester. Dr. Tiénou occupies the Tite Tiénou Chair of Global Theology and World Christianity and is Research Professor of Theology of Mission at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. After serving as the Dean of TEDS for 13 years, he now holds the title of Dean Emeritus. He would like the Western community to know that he is “an ordinary person on a long journey.” He is now embarking on his 51st year of being a minister of the gospel and has lived in the United States for about four decades. One of Dr. Tiénou’s highest values is upholding the dignity of all people, especially those who are ordinarily cast down. In particular, he believes strongly in the empowerment of women. 

Dr. Tiénou abides by the idea that “theology is a process, not a product.” He explained that theology is not closed but in constant flux and growth. He defines theology in the following way: “What are the questions that require answering for Christian living?” In other words, when we’re studying theology, we’re really asking questions such as, What does our theology mean in practice? What does our theology mean to us today? How does our theology affect our lives? These are the kind of questions Dr. Tiénou seeks to invite his students to ask of Scripture. 

During his time at Western this autumn, Dr. Tiénou plans to work on a variety of projects. He is specifically interested in topics such as hybridity and diaspora as they relate to mission. He will engage in research, writing, and a variety of speaking engagements surrounding these topics. 

“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Tiénou to the WTS learning community,” noted WTS President, Felix Theonugraha. “He is a theologian, scholar, and pastor of the highest order. He brings a wealth of experience and wisdom to our learning community while also demonstrating a lifetime commitment to theological education. Most recently, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Theological Schools, an award given to a person of exceptional vision, leadership, and influence who advances the causes of theological education. His contribution to WTS during his time here will be a blessing to our community.”

While staying in Holland for the Fall, Dr. Tiénou and his wife Marie are looking forward to exploring the local history with his family as well as enjoying the local produce, especially the apples and peaches. He will be at Western from September to November. Dr. Tiénou will be giving a public lecture, “Christian Theology in an Age of World Christianity: An Unfinished Agenda” on Monday, November 1 at 3:15 pm. This lecture is open to the community.

August 30 marked the first day of a new semester at Western. Students, faculty and staff gathered in the seminary atrium to process to the chapel together for the first time in over a year. Joy shone on all faces, everyone singing to “the God of Shalom” as guitarists and tamborinists joined in the march. Students shouldered backpacks and professors donned colorful regalia, marking the beginning of a new season of study and growth, formed by rhythms of worship and fellowship. Third-year student Jackson Nickolay described that worship and community are integral to the life of WTS, and so the return to “worshiping in the chapel felt like a lost puzzle piece had slipped back into place.”

President Felix Theonugraha welcomed in the school year with a Convocation Address from the book of Matthew, drawing specifically on Jesus’s echo of The Shema in chapter 22: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” President Theonugraha posed the question, “what does it mean to love God with all of your mind?” Students were encouraged to delight in the gift of learning about God this year, but not to miss knowing God in the midst. “Let us resolve to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind.”

At noon, 50 or so people gathered around a new sculpture titled “Glory,” which was installed outside of Western’s main entryway on 13th Street this August. “Glory” was created by Bruce Niemi of Kenosha, Wisconsin and is his 56th sculpture installment in the United States. At the event, Niemi described that his piece represents the trinity of Christian faith. Four interwoven sevens mark the relationship between God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and a person of faith. Professors, students and staff will pass by “Glory” each morning on their way to work and classes. Perhaps this “passing-by” will become a liturgy of sorts in the lives of those attending WTS, a daily reminder of their truest identity in God.

At a Town Hall meeting with faculty and staff earlier in August, Jill English, the Director of Admissions, shared a reflection on the unique stories of this year’s incoming student body. Among the In-Residence and Distance-learning incoming class, WTS welcomes students such as “Young Life staff and church partners, a former intelligence analyst for the Air Force, two Hip-hop artist-pastors from Southern California, and a second career minister of music who is bi-vocationally employed as a security guard with Chicago Public Schools.” Since August 1866, as Jill reflects, God has continued to gather people from all nations and backgrounds to be a part of the WTS community. In fact, this year, WTS students are coming from all over the United States, as well as from the Netherlands, Canada, Uganda, Australia, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Taiwan, and Columbia.

The first day of classes wrapped up with a seminary-wide meal out on the lawn, an event organized by the seminary’s beloved Cherri Westhouse. The Holland sunshine made for a warm evening, while beneath a large tent, a bountiful buffet was spread for all attendees. A large bounce house was brought in for the children and an obstacle course was set up for the adults. Kurtis Cunningham, a current Friendship Fellow, announced the race with gusto while professors, students and staff went head-to-head through the course, urged on by the cheers, claps and shouts of their fellow WTS friends. Emily Hanrahan, a first-year student, described the atmosphere of the dinner as “something akin to a big, family reunion. Love, laughter, and hospitality were in abundance for everyone involved! It was such a warm welcome to the seminary.”

At the close of Monday’s Convocation chapel, faculty, students and staff spoke in unison a Litany of Praise by Rose DeKoster, adapted from Every Moment Holy by Doug McKelvey. The litany ended with words that will continue to be the heart cry of the WTS community for this year: “God bless the labors of this new season. We offer them to you as an act of worship. Amen.”

September 9, 2021 at 7:00 PM in Mulder Chapel

The work of RCA Global Mission in partnership with Western Theological Seminary is long and wide. Its historic and global reach has roots that are entrenched in our communities and our stories. Even as these roots produce rich fruit, we invite you to partake of this bounty.

Please join us on Thursday, September 9, 2021, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Western Theological Seminary’s Mulder Chapel for a time of sharing stories of God’s goodness and what God has been doing globally and locally because of you and people like you. A more formal presentation will be followed by an extended, informal meet and greet time. On behalf of the Global Mission team and RCA missionaries, we hope you will join us.

*Masks will be required at this event, regardless of vaccination status*

September 20-21, 2021

Is the “Good Samaritan” Good? Listening to the Parable’s Later Witnesses

The “Good Samaritan” is one of the most popular parables in Christian history and has significant relevance for every age.

As recorded in Luke 10, Jesus imagines an “enemy” as the central hero of the story. Sometimes we can only hear the truth when a storyteller overdramatizes the point.

Of particular interest is the hermeneutical nature of Jesus’ initial response. To the lawyer’s opening query, Jesus replies, “How do you read?” We will hear how others— Augustine, Howard Thurman, Harriet Jacobs, the Solentiname Community of Nicaragua—interpreted the parable in order to hear it afresh for our age.

Indeed, the way one reads the Bible defines and determines the way one thinks about life. Hermeneutics and ethics are inseparable. Jesus reveals how he reads Torah when he places a person most unlike his listeners at the center of the story and asks his immediate audience—and generations to follow—to “go and do likewise.”

Please RSVP here for the following FREE events:

MONDAY, September 20:
9:55am in Mulder Chapel: WTS Chapel service (Public Welcome)

1:30pm LECTURE in Maas Hall: “Augustine and Howard Thurman”(Public Welcome)

7:00pm LECTURE in Mulder Chapel: “Harriet Jacobs and the Solentiname Community of Nicaragua” (Public Welcome)

TUESDAY, September 21:
8:30am in the Garden Level (downstairs from the atrium): Breakfast Conversation – “Preaching the Parables.” This breakfast is for people interested in reading, interpreting, teaching, and preaching the parables to come and interact with the speaker about this dynamic, delightful, and difficult task! (local pastors & ministry leaders welcome)

12:00pm LUNCH in Maas Hall (room 159): Community Conversation w/ students, staff and faculty

Dr. Emerson Powery is Professor of Biblical Studies & (former) Coordinator of Ethnic and Area Studies at Messiah College.

He is an alum of Princeton Theological Seminary (1992) and—under the guidance of Dr. D. Moody Smith—Duke University (1999).  

He is the author of Jesus Reads Scripture: The Function of Jesus’ Use of Scripture in the Synoptic Gospels (Brill, 2002), “Philemon” for The New Interpreter’s One-Volume Commentary (Abingdon, 2010), and co-author of The Genesis of Liberation: Biblical Interpretation in the Antebellum Narratives of the Enslaved (2016), which wrestles with the function of the Bible in the 19th-century African American ‘slave narrative’ tradition. Peter Paris describes The Genesis of Liberation as “a long sought-after treasure.” Mark Noll claims that the book “is now the gold standard for one of the most important developments in American religion.” With interest in how Scripture functions—in ancient and present-day underrepresented communities—he was one of the editors of True to Our Native Land: An African American NT Commentary (Fortress/Augsburg, 2007).  

In the wider academy, Powery has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biblical Literature (2005-2013) and the Common English Bible (2009-2011). He was co-chair (with Bernadette Brooten) for the “Slavery, Resistance, and Freedom” section within the Society of Biblical Literature (2014-2019). He was the 2006–2007 (regional) President of the Society of Biblical Literature (SE Region). Presently, he serves on the editorial board of Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology, Connections: A Lectionary Commentary for Preaching and Worship and the steering committee for “The Bible in the United States” consultation of SBL. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Lancaster Theological Seminary.

As an adjunct professor at Western for several years, Dr. David A. Escobar Arcay is the only person who has taught in both our Spanish and English programs, consistently receiving excellent course evaluations. Dr. Escobar Arcay has accepted the offer to join WTS full-time as Associate Professor of Theology and to direct our Hispanic Ministry Program.

Dr. Escobar Arcay has considerable experience in a range of educational settings as a schoolteacher, principal, and most recently as a professor of education at Nova Southeastern University (Orlando & Miami, FL) serving the Caribbean and Central and South America for the last decade. He has also lectured widely for diverse theological seminaries and churches in the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America most recently teaching for Western’s Brazil DMin cohort on Transformative Learning while directing the Florida-based DMin cohort, “The Latino Pastor Theologian.” His first Ph.D. is in educational leadership at Boston College and his second Ph.D. focuses on trinitarian theology at the University of Aberdeen. We look forward to welcoming him to campus for the fall semester.

Learn more on his Faculty page here (English) or here (Español).

“We can be bigger than this. These fences don’t define us.”

– Carlos, HWPEP student

Two years ago, Hope College and Western Theological Seminary (WTS) began a pilot program to offer a Christian liberal arts education to long-term incarcerated men at Muskegon Correctional Facility in Muskegon, MI. We are pleased to announce that the initial success of The Hope-Western Prison Education Program (HWPEP) has led the college to pursue taking steps to accreditation. Essentially, the prison will become an extension campus of the college, and men housed there will be able to earn a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Faith, Leadership, and Service with standards as rigorous as those expected of Holland-based Hope College students.

Following the model established by the pilot program, the classes will be taught by professors from Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, and Hope and Western students will have the opportunity to be teaching assistants. Since its start in 2019, seven professors from Hope and Western have taught a total of six classes to 20 incarcerated students who have enrolled in the program. Ten seminary and college students have served as assistants.

A cohort of 20 students will be added each year until the program is fully operational at four cohorts (80 students). The students will be recruited from among the 31,000 male prisoners in the 26-prison system operated by the Michigan Department of Corrections. Prospective students will need letters of recommendation from their warden, chaplain, or prison school principal. They will apply to the college, write an essay, and possibly be interviewed by video. If accepted, they will be moved to the Muskegon Correctional Facility. For a lot of these men, this will be the first real community they have had since being incarcerated.

The seeds for HWPEP were sown by a student in Calvin University’s Calvin Prison Initiative (CPI) at Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, MI. He was a pen pal with Dr. Jared Ortiz, a professor at Hope College, and came up with the rather unusual idea that he and his fellow students at Handlon should host a conference on restorative justice at Hope College. That conference, “Hope for Restoration: Radical Hospitality and Prison Reform,” took place on March 4, 2017, and the CPI students participated virtually from Handlon.

Dr. David Stubbs and Dr. Richard Ray

Dr. David Stubbs and Dr. Richard Ray

Inspired by the conference, about 20 Hope and Western professors got together to discuss whether something like the CPI program could serve as a model for Hope and Western. WTS Professor of Ethics and Theology David Stubbs was particularly struck by the idea, and after several talks with the people at Calvin and visits to the Handlon prison, he became convinced he should devote himself to this important project. Soon Professor of Kinesiology Richard Ray of Hope College was on board, too, and the CPI leadership graciously took them under their wings. They visited Angola Prison in Louisiana, where they learned that prior to its B.A. program, there were 4000 violent incidents a year. That fell to 400. Even more striking, after Calvin University instituted its program at Handlon Correctional Facility, over 1000 annual violent incidents decreased to eight. Calvin student cohorts changed the culture. This ignited the imaginations of professors Stubbs and Ray.

“We saw the unbelievable things happening to the men at Handlon, many of whom had spent decades behind bars,” Ray shares. “They were clearly not the people they used to be. The work Calvin folks were doing with these men was really changing them.”

“Many of them did something bad when they were 17 years old, but now they’re 40, 50 years old,” explains Stubbs. “Having a vocation, something they can give back to their families and communities, is incredibly humanizing.”

Dr. Pam Bush listens to a student reflect on the class discussion.

Dr. Pam Bush (left) listens to a student reflect on the class discussion.

The two professors and a steering committee spent 18 months preparing for the pilot program launch, earning the support of the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC), the warden at Muskegon Correctional Facility, and the support of then presidents Timothy Brown (WTS) and Dennis Voskuil (Hope).

Dr. Stubbs taught the first class, “What are People For?” to a cohort of 20 students in the Spring of 2019. This was followed by “Differing Meanings of Freedom” by Dr. Jim Allis (Hope), “Communicating with Courage and Compassion” by Dr. Pam Bush (WTS), “What is the Good Life?” by Dr. Steven Bouma-Prediger (Hope), and “Friendship and Community” by Drs. Dennis Feaster and Curtis Gruenler (Hope).

The men in the program were thrilled to be gaining an education and very quickly began teaching bunkmates and family members what they were learning. Not only were HWPEP students becoming transformed, they began stopping fights in the yard using non-violent communication techniques they learned in class.

“A chance to be a college student is a reminder that God is not finished with me.”

As one student aptly put it, “Most of my life has been a journey in trying to find something greater than myself. Getting a college education would give me the tools necessary to complete my journey—to be a better man, to be a bigger person than I once was, to contribute to the world around me in a positive way, and to be what God intended me to be—his true and faithful servant.”

Recent WTS graduate Gene Ryan ’21 served as a teaching assistant, reading through students’ weekly papers and offering feedback. “I remain blessed by the connections made with the students, having seen the work they put into their writing and heard their wisdom weekly in the classroom,” he says. “Walls and bars cannot contain the work of the mind. These students showed me that, and it is a lesson I will not soon forget”.

A student reads his paper to fellow classmates and teaching assistants Anne Elzinga and Amber Morris.

A student reads his paper to fellow classmates and teaching assistants Anne Elzinga and Amber Morris.

In 2020, coronavirus lockdowns temporarily halted HWPEP as visitors were not allowed into the prison facilities. Sadly, the Muskegon Correctional Facility suffered an illness rate of over 80%, and nine inmates lost their lives to the virus. Eventually, “Friendship and Community” was able to be completed as a correspondence course, and another course entitled “Exploring Faith, Leadership, and Service” was offered and also was completed by correspondence.

Moving forward with HWPEP will involve many critical steps, including Higher Learning Commission approval of MCF as a satellite campus of Hope College, the recruitment of faculty, and the recruitment of a robust pool of generous donors who recognize the redemptive potential of education to transform those locked away from society.

“Why a prison education program? It is part of the Christian mission of our schools,” says co-director David Stubbs. “At the heart of a liberal arts education is equipping people with a vision of what human life is all about, who they are, and who they can be. These men are changed by that vision as well. Please pray for us. HWPEP a wonderful thing to be a part of and a privilege as well.”

A generous donor has committed to match gifts to WTS in support of the HWPEP program up to $100,000 each year for four years. This gift holds the promise of serving as a transformational catalyst and is the most significant in HWPEP’s history. To donate to the program, visit westernsem.edu/hope-western-prison-education-give

for more information, visit: hope.edu/hwpep

To provide a Christian liberal arts education to incarcerated men with the goal of renewing minds, forming persons, and helping transform the prison, the college, the seminary, and the larger community into places where “justice and peace embrace” (Psalm 85:10).

The Hope-Western Prison Education Program provides a Christian liberal arts education to incarcerated men with long-term sentences at Muskegon Correctional Facility. As a covenant partnership between Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, the program strives to form thoughtful and wise citizens dedicated to improving their communities—whether inside or outside of prison.

On Thursday, June 17, President Joe Biden established Juneteenth as a federal holiday. The measure received broad bi-partisan support, including the unanimous consent of the U.S. Senate and overwhelming support of the House of Representatives. 

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, receives its name from June 19, 1865, when the Union army arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that all enslaved African-Americans in the state were free in accordance with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Texas was the last state in the Confederacy to receive the news that the Civil War was over, and that slavery had been abolished. 

Since 1866, Juneteenth has been celebrated in one form or another, especially within the African-American community. The State of Texas made it an official state holiday in 1980, and until now, 47 states and the District of Columbia recognized June 19 as a holiday or as a day of observation.

Establishing Juneteenth as a Federal holiday is an important moment in our country’s history as we continue to grapple with the racism and racial tension that have been a part of our country’s history since its inception, and to press on toward the grand aspiration that all people are created equal.

The Western Theological Seminary Statement on Racial and Ethnic Diversity states, “Scripture is clear that all people are created in the image of God without distinction of race or ethnicity and that the blessings of God are for all peoples and nations.” As Christians, “We are united to Christ by the Spirit through faith, such that none may boast over another; and yet our one-ness in Christ also includes our distinct racial and ethnic identities, which was God’s intentional design and will continue to be affirmed and celebrated into the eschaton.”

In this spirit, we celebrate and affirm the establishment of Juneteenth as a Federal holiday. Beginning in the 2021-2022 academic year, Western Theological Seminary will observe June 19 as a federal holiday. May this day be a day of remembrance but also a day of aspiration as we continue to live into our identity as agents of reconciliation who are committed to the biblical practices of peacemaking and reconciliation. May we do so wholeheartedly, so that even in the here and now, we may more closely live into what God has ordained from the very beginning and what we will share in the life to come. 


-President Felix Theonugraha



Western Theological Seminary has signed an agreement with the Church Leadership Center (CLC) to provide a pathway for CLC alumni to continue on toward a Master’s degree.

WTS is offering CLC alumni the opportunity to transfer 15 graduate-level credits that can be applied toward a Master of Arts in Christian Studies or Master of Divinity program. Students can also apply 9 credits towards a Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Ministry if they choose.

Click on the PDF below for more information about this exciting opportunity, or contact us at admissions@westernsem.edu to find out more!

*Note* The transcripting fee will be WAIVED for 2021-22 applicants! Talk to us today about options!

Top photo: Highbridge Community Church, Bronx, NY – Pastor Cora Taitt

In 2020, Lilly Endowment Inc. awarded the seminary a one million dollar grant to fund Churches in Mission, a five-year project that aims to learn with and from congregations as they discern God’s movement in their neighborhoods.

In April, Churches in Mission kicked off a 15-month journey with a virtual training event. From a variety of contexts, traditions, and neighborhoods, seven congregations invited five team members to engage the process and attend the event. Their work begins with an ethnography-inspired listening and discovery process in their neighborhoods. Their goal is to more deeply hear, love, and care for their neighbors. They may also discover new local partnerships and ministry opportunities along the way.

At the April event, teams identified the boundaries of their neighborhoods; they received areas of exploration including transportation, school access, and local business; they practiced listening skills and conducted interviews. Each congregational team beautifully began the work of slowing down and seeing their neighborhood with new eyes.

The congregations participating in the Churches in Mission cohort are fostering curiosity around what it means to understand and appreciate the land from which they benefit. One congregation is seeing their neighborhood shift with the construction of 10,000 new apartments on their street. Another congregation recognizes that their neighborhood is becoming less accessible to lower income families. One church is curious about missed relational opportunities as their building houses two distinct worshipping communities comprised of members from different economic groups.

Faithfully engaging local mission will unfold uniquely in each of these contexts. These teams are on a journey to listen deeply, be abundantly grateful, and joyfully minister in the unique neighborhoods in which they dwell.

If you would like to hear more about the Churches in Mission project or access resources, please reach out to Shari Oosting or Hannah Stevens.

Photo: Bushels of bread for a sermon illustration at Christ Memorial Church, 1980s

By Rev. Dr. Jon Brown
Lead Pastor, Pillar Church, Holland, MI

Tim & Nancy, 2008

This year’s Distinguished Alumnus Timothy Brown ‘76 first served as the pastor of Fellowship Reformed Church in Hudsonville, MI, then First Reformed of South Holland, IL, and also Christ Memorial Church in Holland, MI, beforebecoming the Henry Bast Professor of Preaching at Western Theological Seminary and retiring as president of that same institution. He served on many boards, including the boards of Hope College and Words of Hope. But only to list the jobs he had or the roles he played would diminish his influence on so many of our lives.

I think these words from 1 Corinthians 13 might be a window into something that is more true of my dad:  “And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.”

Tim with Jon Brown, Trygve Johnson, and Eugene Peterson, 2014

Faith. He grew up in the shadows of Roman Catholic churches in Battle Creek, MI, but faith was not a present reality in his home. His mom had been excommunicated from a conservative Reformed church, and so his dad wanted nothing to do with church. But Russ DeVette gave my dad a shot to play basketball at Hope College. He quickly joined the Frater fraternity intending to enjoy college life. He traveled down to Daytona Beach, FL for spring break, expecting to do whatever freshmen in college do on spring break but instead was met by the living Christ on the beach. He heard the words from a Campus Crusade for Christ ministry team, “Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, the old is gone, behold the new has come.” He was converted and will tell you he was called to ministry at the same time. (And all of God’s people said, “Amen.”). Though he would spend a lifetime pastoringand and leading faculty and staff, he loved training pastors most of all. Deep in his bones is a simple gospel that he wants everyone to hear and know and believe: “anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, the old is gone, behold the new has come.”

Chaplain Brown arrives on a Harley to lead an outdoor chapel service for Hope College Campus Ministries, September 2002

Hope. If there is a word that epitomizes my dad more than any other, it is hope. He thinks Michigan will win the national championship in football and basketball every year. He still thinks each of his three children are the best at whatever they’re doing. It’s not only a family thing, though, he actually thinks everyone he encounters is fascinating, brilliant, hard-working, and kind. Many of you witnessed his loquacious praise and thought maybe he was exaggerating, but he said the same thing to us about you. “She’s a phenomenal preacher,” he would say. “He is so smart,” he would mention. “They are so generous,” he would add at a dinner table conversation. He actually saw in each of us what the living God meant when it was declared, “Let us make humankind in our own image, according to our likeness.” He saw that in all of us, and told us what he saw, always hoping we’d live into it.

Love.  Mostly he loves Jesus, the Word made flesh who comes to us still in the Word written, the Bible. So he spent countless hours interiorizing Scripture. Some say, “he must have a photographic memory.” I can assure you that is not the case; he just loves Jesus so much that he immersed himself in Scripture to come to know Him more deeply. And he really wanted others to know the same Christ by internalizing the same Word. His love for Christ may be no more evident than now. In his retirement he spends his days as a substitute teacher in Holland’s Public Schools. I regularly ask him, “Hey man, shouldn’t you take it easy? Why don’t you relax a little?” He regularly responds with the call of missionary Lesslie Newbigin:  “to enter every sector of public life to claim it for Christ.”

Tim is flanked by his supportive friends and advisors, Dave Breen and Tom Boogaart, at his Doctor of Ministry presentation, 1992

“Now faith, hope and love abide, these three.” And none of those three without my mom. They believed God together when life in ministry was hard or when life with family was tough. They hoped in something more together when pressures were high and challenges were real. They loved each other through it all; they love each other still. And together they love so many so well. I’m probably biased—but that doesn’t make me wrong—“love” might be the defining word for how others experience them. The young woman wondering if she can preach, they loved into preaching. The tired pastor wondering if he could keep going, they loved into continuing. The three kids who wondered if they would ever measure up, they loved so much that measuring was not ever a part of the conversation.

So my father, Tim Brown, has received the 2021 distinguished alumnus award from Western Theological Seminary, but mostly that’s a way of saying, “We love you too.” Now faith, hope and love abide, these three, but the greatest of these is love.

The Brown Family, 2019

Timothy L. Brown

Preacher, Encourager, Follower of Jesus

b. 1951 Kalamazoo, MI

Married Nancy Johnson in 1971.

Children: Sarah (Matt LeFebre), Jon (Krysten),  and Rebecca (Vincent Hutt) + 10 grandchildren


B.A. Hope College, 1973

M.Div. Western Theological Seminary, 1976

D.Min. Western Theological Seminary, 1992

Service to the church:

1976-1981, Pastor, Fellowship, Hudsonville, MI

1981-1983, Co-pastor, First, South Holland, IL

1983-1995, Pastor, Christ Memorial, Holland, MI

1995-2020, Henry Bast Professor of Preaching, Western Theological Seminary

2001-2003, Hinga-Boersma Dean of the Chapel, Hope College (joint position w/ WTS)

2008-2019, President, WTS