Paul York: Assistant professor of Intercultural Studies
October 8, 2013
Paul York grew up in a missionary family in Nigeria and later served as a Bible college professor in Ethiopia. He has led short-term church planting teams to Africa and has done teaching, preaching, and team leading in Europe, Central America and Asia. He and his wife, Lisa, also were U.S. missionaries with Chi Alpha.
York graduated from Northwest University of the Assemblies of God in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy. He later earned an M.A. in Missiology at AGTS. York began leading the Missions Department at Central Bible College in 2004. York’s book, A Biblical Theology of Missions, was published in 2008. He is currently studying in Africa for his Ph.D. in missiology.
The Yorks have been married for 21 years, and they have a son and a daughter who are both in high school. In his free time, York enjoys reading a variety of literature, seeing new places, doing travel photography, cooking ethnic food and following Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks football.
How did growing up as missionary kid influence your outlook on life and the world?
Growing up as an MK gave me a view of life that comes from a third perspective: neither fully American nor fully African. It has helped me to see the connection of life, work, spirituality, missions and calling. Seeing the Gospel work powerfully in multiple cultural contexts convinced me of its truth and led to my calling to preach, teach and work for the evangelization of the last- and least-reached peoples on earth.
What is the best part about working with college students in the Intercultural Studies Department?
It is exciting to be caught up together with students in something bigger than any of us: participation in the mission of God. I love mentoring students and doing ministry together with them. It’s a thrill to open up a missiological idea from the Bible for students who can then use that idea in their life situations.
What makes the new School of Theology and Church Ministries stand out when compared to other universities?
The faculty roster has a lot of depth. The courses of study extend all the way from undergraduate to Ph.D. degrees. The STCM libraries are huge compared to most other seminaries. Most of all, a practical Pentecostal orientation is emerging in the new school. For instance, the Ph.D. program states that their goal is to prepare scholar-practitioners for impact in both academic circles and daily ministry in society.
What brought you to CBC as a professor?
God moved us in 2000 from a full-time missionary assignment in Ethiopia to a hybrid missions/teaching role in Texas. I led the Chi Alpha campus ministry at UT Arlington while teaching theology and discipleship at another Christian university. Then an unexpected invitation came in 2003 to teach missions at CBC. Six weeks later classes started. It was something God set up.
What advice do you have for prospective students, especially ones interested in International Studies?
I would advise a prospective student to pursue a variety of interests and to be open-minded toward the things God may call you to do. Get involved in acts of service and in sharing the Gospel. Let the Holy Spirit help you to minister in your home culture and across cultural barriers, near and far. Join EU groups like World Changers Missions Fellowship. Take classes like Spirit-Empowered Ministry, Introduction to Islam and Intercultural Communication. These topics fit into everyone’s Christian vocation.