Bill Shrader (AGTS ‘)
Current occupation: Assemblies of God World Missionary to Peru, Director of ChildHope, an education and compassion organization in Latin America
What brought you to AGTS?
I worked as a Chi Alpha missionary for many years, and that was how I got introduced to the Assemblies of God. I wanted to earn my doctoral degree, having graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree and the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, with my master’s degree. I heard about Evangel often in the Chi Alpha network, and that was how I eventually learned about the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. I really desired to connect with peers in ministry through the AG fellowship, and as I prayed about where to pursue my doctoral degree, the Holy Spirit spoke very plainly to me that AGTS was the place where I should receive my training.
What did you find most beneficial about your time at AGTS?
I grew up in an environment in which people often said that Pentecostals were not scholars, and my time at AGTS threw that notion right out the window. As I studied at AGTS, I had the opportunity to meet missionaries, pastors, district superintendents, and leaders who were so academically gifted. I met real scholars. I found myself in a place where I could enrich my mind and my spirit at the same time. I learned from world-class professors whose courses were transformative. For instance, my Biblical Theology class was one that still today impacts my way of thinking and my worldview.
In what ways are you taking what you learned at AGTS and applying it in your current place of ministry?
I currently serve as an AG missionary to Peru, where I direct a ministry called ChildHope, formerly known as Latin America Childcare. ChildHope is transforming the lives of children in need through education and works of compassion, including a clean water initiative and a feeding program. In addition, my wife and I also direct Chi Alpha in Peru. We are making disciples of college students in the country. I also teach for an AG seminary in Peru, and it’s such a joy to be a part of offering higher education and pastoral development in Latin America. This is an area of the world in which very few people have access to advanced training, so I am able to take what I learned at AGTS and instill it into the lives of fellow ministers. My education from AGTS has been an incredibly effective tool, and I’m very grateful for it. It has made me a much more effective missionary.
Would you recommend AGTS to others looking to further their ministry efforts?
I highly recommend AGTS as a place to secure advanced ministry training because the academic quality is so strong. Programs are led by Pentecostals with extensive education and who are filled with the Holy Spirit. The community and network that you develop while at AGTS is one that continues long after graduation, and you will develop friendships that will last a lifetime.