Continental Theological Seminary (CTS), Europe’s regional seminary located in a historic chateau near Brussels, Belgium, is a premier Assemblies of God institution of higher learning. In its rich 60-year history, CTS has trained thousands of students who have gone on to lead national and international ministries throughout Europe. With a dedicated faculty sharing decades of ministry experience, the vibrant academic culture at CTS should come as no surprise. But just as exciting as the training happening inside the academy is the depth of ministry happening outside the classroom, led by Assemblies of God missionaries.
For the past ten years Bob and Karen Welch have served at CTS and pioneered a Bible study outside the seminary that reaches out to people seeking more in life. The Bible study has grown in both numbers and diversity and now has active members from many different countries and walks of life, even from outside the European Union. The Welches’ background in church planting has shaped how they teach their students to become dynamic and creative Christian ministers—something they model in their own ministry. This has opened the door for connections on many levels of European society.
Brussels itself is a dynamic cultural melting pot with the second-highest percentage of residents born abroad in the world. Comprised of 19 diverse municipalities, it largely is considered the center of European culture and is the principal seat of the European Union. Brussels also has seen a large number of Arab refugees arrive, which has caught the attention of another CTS professor, Sam Brelo.
Sam and Naomi Brelo have dedicated their 30-plus-year ministry to living and working among Arabs, and this has continued since they began serving at CTS in 2013. They have held many evangelistic crusades for Arab refugees, mainly from Iraq and Syria, and have been actively planting churches and discipling followers of Christ. The Brelos have used their ministry as another conduit for CTS students to get involved in cross-cultural ministry.
Students connecting academic training with practical ministry is not only exciting for AGWM personnel who teach at CTS but also part of how they see their ministry continuing to grow. “Seeing CTS students catch the vision is paramount,” explained Welch, “and involving CTS students brings a powerful evangelistic tool into the central Brussels area.”
CTS plays an important role in training the next generation of Assemblies of God leaders in Europe. With our missionaries leading the way in ministry beyond the boundaries of the campus, these future pastors and leaders will have broad experiences to help them effectively lead others as the Spirit leads them.