Crosslands offers a Master of Arts in Christian Ministry through a partnership with Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the BibleMesh Institute

Crosslands is excited to announce a partnership with Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) and the BibleMesh Institute (BMI). This cooperative effort provides Crosslands’ students the opportunity to earn an accredited Master of Arts degree.

Created by a combination of Acts 29’s extensive church-planting experience and Oak Hill Theological College’s training expertise, Crosslands is a Flexicademy™, a new type of organisation that delivers flexible learning and rigorous training.

It offers excellent in-context theological training and resources for churches and church leaders in the UK, Europe and 10:40 window: Entry courses for new Christians, Foundation courses for motivated congregation members, and Seminary courses for potential and current leaders or planters

Now, supported by trusted theological educational experts BMI and Great Commission Seminary SEBTS, students successfully completing the Crosslands Seminary course will gain an MA in Christian Ministry (mentored) from SEBTS.

“We’ve delighted in the collaboration between Acts 29 and Oak Hill to create Crosslands” said Steve Timmis (Acts 29 CEO and Chair of the Crosslands Board).  “To now have the opportunity and privilege to work with such well-regarded partners as SEBTS and BMI in order to serve our students is a truly exciting development”.

Dan Strange (Acting Principal of Oak Hill and Crosslands Board member) agrees “Crosslands has proved a real success in delivering high-quality theological training in the contexts where our students live, work and minister.  Being able to recognise their studies with the MA qualification from SEBTS is a great step-forwards.”

Professor Danny Akin (President of SEBTS) adds “We’re excited about Crosslands’ vision to provide theological education across Europe and the 10/40 window to those that, for various reasons, are unable to train through more traditional ways.”

“We are also delighted by this new opportunity to help equip church leaders and planters in gospel-hungry locations. Crosslands offers those serving in the neediest places the opportunity to get the sort of training most suitable for their work.” added Dr. Michael McClenahan (Executive Director, BibleMesh).

Applications are now open for the four-year accredited Ministry course, which will start in September 2018 alongside an unaccredited three-year equivalent.

Visit and for more details

Follow Crosslands on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest news.


Editor’s Notes:

Crosslands™ is registered as a UK charity, number 1167211 with hubs in the English Midlands, Dublin, Paris and Venice.

Media enquiries should be directed to the Project Director, Chris Rimmer, at or on +44 (0)1144 372237.

Crosslands offers an accredited part-time Ministry course over three or four years for aspiring church planters, assistant leaders, apprentices and even those already in ministry. Currently there are 56 students on the course, with bilingual options for non-English speakers.

Its Foundation courses for motivated congregation members, small group leaders, interns and elders are available through its partner BibleMesh in English and have been translated and contextualised into French, Spanish, Italian, Czech, Romanian, Turkish and Russian to serve the 500+ students currently being trained across Europe.

Entry courses for new Christians are being produced this year.

Acts 29 is a diverse, global family of church-planting churches, characterised by theological clarity, cultural engagement and missional innovation.

Oak Hill Theological College is a long-established UK provider of full-time and part-time residential accredited evangelical theological training for Anglican and Independent churches, mission, and youth and children’s work.

Southeastern Baptist Theological College is a theological seminary of the Southern Baptist Convention, and has equipped men and women to serve the church to fulfil the Great Commission for more than 65 years.

BibleMesh works with churches, ministries, and institutions to provide affordable global trusted theological education. Accredited degree pathways and certificate tracks are available through the BibleMesh Institute. BibleMesh incorporates advanced technology to enhance student assessment, memory and learning.

Media enquiries should be directed to Douglas Baker at or +1 405.443.1157.

Pioneers and BibleMesh Introduce Online Theological Training for Missionary Candidates, Marking New Ways to Prepare for Service

HAMILTON, BERMUDA Jan. 31, 2018  — Today, BibleMesh and Pioneers-USA launched a new online theological resource providing theological training for incoming missionary candidates. The BibleMesh Institute (BMI) will serve as the preferred online option for theological training with whom new team members can complete a six-course certificate designed by Pioneers.

“Pioneers is keenly aware of the need to equip workers well for the challenging task of church planting among unreached people groups,” stated Ken M., Vice-President of Pre-Field Ministries for Pioneers-USA. “Accordingly all of our missionaries must have trusted theological training that will serve as an unshakeable foundation for ministry in the often-difficult contexts to which they are called.”

“We are honored by this new opportunity to come alongside these emerging missionary candidates – who come from all walks of life – and provide for them access to trusted theological education that will equip them for service around the world,” said Dr. Benjamin Quinn, Director of the BibleMesh Institute.


About Pioneers
For more than 35 years, Pioneers’ passion has been to see God glorified among those who are physically and spiritually isolated from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Today, 2.9 billion people live among languages and cultures with no church. In response, Pioneers sends church-planting teams to serve among these 7,000-plus people groups. Today we have 3,248 international members serving on 324 teams in 104 countries among 202 unreached people groups. Additionally, Pioneers partners with more than 2,000 churches to send these missionaries to least-reached peoples.

About BibleMesh
BibleMesh works with churches, ministries, and institutions to provide affordable global trusted theological education. Accredited degree pathways and certificate tracks are available through the BibleMesh Institute. BibleMesh incorporates advanced technology to enhance student assessment, memory and learning.

Media Contacts:

Douglas Baker

SOURCE – BibleMesh

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What Do We Know about Jesus’ Childhood?

With Christmas just behind us, it’s the time of year some believers may move forward from the accounts of Jesus’ birth and wonder about His childhood. Perhaps to the disappointment of the curious, Luke is the only Gospel writer who addresses Jesus’ childhood, and his material on the topic is minimal (i.e., Luke 2:40-52). Yet what Luke conveys is both theologically significant and encouraging for children seeking to follow the Lord.

After an account of 12-year-old Jesus’ remaining in Jerusalem alone for three days to Mary and Joseph’s chagrin, we are told: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). A key word in this verse is the Greek verb prokopto (“increased”), which references moving “forward into an improved state” or progressing,[i] as when Paul said he had been “advancing (a form of prokopto) in Judaism” before he experienced salvation (Galatians 1:14), and when he said certain false teachers would “not get very far (prokopto)” in their attempts to lead believers astray (2 Timothy 3:9). So how did the boy Jesus progress?

In wisdom. At times, Scripture references wisdom as a divine attribute indicating one of God’s awesome, unchanging perfections. In other passages, wisdom references the ability to understand something and apply that understanding to daily functioning. The latter seems to be Luke’s meaning here. The boy Jesus, for instance, dialoged in the Temple with teachers of the Old Testament and amazed them with his wisdom in discussing the Old Testament (Luke 2:46-47). Presumably, he did not exhibit such skill in theological dialog as an infant, but progressed in it over time. In that and other areas, Jesus’ childhood involved moving forward in life skills.

In stature. The Greek word translated “stature” in Luke 2:52 ESV (elikia) also can mean “age.” In fact, the New Revised Standard Version renders it as “age,” as do the translations of William Tyndale and John Wycliffe among others. Either way, this is another area in which Jesus progressed during childhood: the years of His earthly existence increased as did His physical size. Perhaps Luke used an ambiguous word to indicate both realities.

In favor with God and man. “Favor” is the well-known Greek word karis, which means grace, care, or help. Here, it seems to indicate that as Jesus’ age increased, so did the number of instances in which God and fellow humans helped, blessed, and cared for Him.

Obviously, these three areas of growth or progress refer to Jesus’ human nature and not His divine nature. After all, God does not increase in wisdom; He does not get bigger or older; and He does not receive increasing favor from Himself. At the same time, Jesus is not two persons—one human and one divine—trapped in a single individual such that only a fraction of Him grew and developed. He is one unified person with two natures. Therefore, the one Lord Jesus got older and bigger, progressed in His skill at functioning in the world, and experienced more and more instances of favor from God and men.

Among other applications, this mind-boggling reality can encourage children and those who care for them. The high priest who “sympathize[s] with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15) exercises that ministry for children who follow Him as much as adults. The One who sits enthroned on high is the same person who navigated the challenges of being a toddler, child, and teen—and he remembers those challenges.

[i] A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed., rev. and ed. Frederick William Danker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), s.v. “prokopto.” All other definitions of Greek terms in this article also are taken from this work.

How Should We Cope with Burdens at Christmastime?

If the nativity scenes in your house are like the ones in mine, there’s no hint that the characters experienced difficulty or pain surrounding the birth of Jesus. Shepherds, wise men, Mary, and Joseph all admire the Christ child in the warm glow of a cozy stable, smiles on their faces. Of course, Christmas did bring warmth and joy to these characters. But have you also considered the difficulty and strain they experienced surrounding Christ’s birth? Thinking about their circumstances reminds us that for God’s people, great burden and great blessing often coincide.

Take Mary. The angel Gabriel appeared to her in Nazareth announcing that she was “favored” by God (Luke 1:28). But her circumstances probably didn’t make her feel favored. When she became pregnant by a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit, friends and family surely cast dispersion on her, believing her baby was the result of sexual immorality and not a miracle. That’s what Joseph, her godly husband-to-be, thought until an angel told him differently (Matthew 1:19). For Mary, God’s favor led to stigma and having her plans for family life turned upside down.1

The situation was similar for Joseph. He planned to take Mary as his wife then build a family. God’s miraculous intervention was so jarring that his first thought was to divorce Mary before the angel explained. After Jesus was born, Joseph continued to experience hardship and interruption. When King Herod sought to kill Jesus, Joseph had to uproot his family and relocate to Egypt until Herod’s death.

The wise men weren’t exempt from burden either. In addition to the long journey required to find Jesus (they likely came from Babylonia, Persia, or even the Far East), protecting Him meant defying a king who wasn’t afraid to murder his enemies (Matthew 2:1-18).

What about the shepherds? When angels appeared to them in the fields surrounding Bethlehem, they were “filled with fear” (Luke 2:9). Then they had to leave their source of livelihood in the middle of the night to go worship Jesus (Luke 2:8-20), presumably an unsettling prospect for conscientious keepers of sheep.

Of course, the characters in the Christmas story experienced joy and blessing upon seeing Jesus. In that sense, warm nativity scenes are completely accurate. Scripture gives us no hint that they grumbled about the difficulties surrounding their trip to Bethlehem. Still, each of them had to endure burdens in order to trust God and honor His Son.

BusyChristmasThis should comfort believers who find themselves burdened at Christmastime. After all, the holiday season, despite its joys, is a time when people feel lonely, depressed, overwhelmed by consumerism, and weighted down in myriad other ways. When facing such struggles, we should consider the example of Mary, Joseph, the wise men, and the shepherds. They too were burdened. But amid their burdens, they experienced the greatest blessing they would ever know by taking time to focus on Jesus.

German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer did the same when he found himself spending Christmas in prison for defying the Nazi regime during World War II. In a letter to his fiancée, he explained why he expected “an exceptionally good Christmas.”

“I used to be very fond of thinking up and buying presents,” he wrote, “but now that we have nothing to give, the gift God gave us in the birth of Christ will seem all the more glorious . . . The poorer our quarters, the more clearly we perceive that our hearts should be Christ’s home on earth.” This Christmas know that you’re not alone in your trials. But amid them, take time to appreciate the greatest blessing imaginable: friendship with Jesus and assurance of His eternal love.


1 Content of this paragraph and the inspiration for this entire post are drawn from a sermon preached by Hershael York at Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, Kentucky, December 15, 2013.
2 This article was originally posted on the BibleMesh Blog on December 23, 2013.

Philippines: BibleMesh Spurs Reformation 500th Celebration

A satellite campus of a Filipino megachurch says BibleMesh was a key part of the impetus for its celebration of the Protestant Reformation’s 500th anniversary.

In January, the Manila-area Eastwood satellite of Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) – a Philippines-based nondenominational church with 30,000 attendees at its main campus and 60 satellites worldwide – began taking some 20 young adult leaders through a series of BibleMesh online courses that covered biblical and systematic theology, church history, and apologetics.

Providentially, the students’ excitement for the Reformation’s theological heritage peaked as the 500th anniversary approached of the day Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses to a church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

The students “started getting excited, really excited” about the Reformers’ teaching on salvation, said Josh Gurango, the group’s facilitator and a youth and singles leader at CCF Eastwood. “Their eyes were just opened, and they said, ‘We’ve got to find a way where we can share this with people.'”

So Gurango worked with fellow leaders at CCF Eastwood – which averages 900 worship attendees – to organize an October 28 conference on Reformation doctrine that drew more than 150 participants from multiple churches.

BibleMesh cosponsored the event with CCF Eastwood, and all conference participants received free access to Era 1 of BibleMesh’s Biblical Story course. Speakers addressed the five Reformation solas, Latin statements that express the doctrines of Scripture’s sufficiency and justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone.

Not only did the conference educate believers about the Reformation, the experience also increased enthusiasm for BibleMesh at CCF Eastwood.

Those who completed the five-course sequence Gurango designed gained “confidence in reading and understanding Scripture,” he said. Most of the students lead small groups for youth or single adults and said their BibleMesh study “really helped them a lot when it came to ministering.”

Older CCF Eastwood leaders who did not participate in the initial BibleMesh cohort have signed up for a second run, Gurango said, now that they have observed the study’s benefits to the congregation. Some Reformation conference attendees also want to participate in the online study.

While various BibleMesh courses could be used in local church studies, the five courses Gurango selected were: The Bible in Missional Perspective (produced by the Porterbrook Network), Systematic Theology 1 & 2 (produced by the Bethlehem Institute), Church History in Missional Perspective (produced by Porterbrook), and Apologetics (produced by Porterbrook).

Other aspects of Gurango’s curriculum were courses CCF already had in place for its members as well as online discussions and tests he designed. Upon completion of the curriculum, students received a certificate from BibleMesh in partnership with CCF Eastwood. There was even a graduation ceremony.

“BibleMesh can easily work alongside a curriculum that is already in place at a church such as ours,” Gurango said. “It worked very well because it became very much supplementary.”

For more information about how you can use BibleMesh courses or build out an online discipleship learning track for your church, visit or email

Unapologetic Study Bible Set for Nov. 7 Release

MORRISTOWN, N.J.—The Unapologetic Study Bible—a resource that applies biblical truth to public square issues, from the church’s role in society to the status of socialism, the promise of adult stem cell research, evidences of intelligent design, the global-warming dispute, and justice in war and punishment —is available for pre-order and slated for release November 7.

Published by Thomas Nelson, the Unapologetic Study Bible features more than 220 articles drawn from Kairos Journal, an online resource to help believers restore the church’s prophetic voice amid cultural decay.

“Many say that the West is a ‘cut-flower civilization,’” publisher Emmanuel Kampouris writes in the study Bible’s foreword, “scarcely sustained by the Christian perspectives that once brought her life. The bloom is fading at a shocking rate; we are desperate for spiritual renewal, grounded in Christ and His Word . . . Our prayer is that the Holy Spirit will encourage Christians from all walks of life toward biblically directed thought, word, and deed though the articles included in this study Bible.”

Unapologetic Study Bible articles are organized into eight distinct content areas: church, corruption, economics, education, family, government, sanctity of life, and virtue. The articles also vary in format and comprise quotations from historical figures, in-depth commentary on Bible passages, historical vignettes, and scripturally-informed analysis of current trends.

Among the study Bible’s highlights, readers will learn:

– That French pastor André Trocmé led the village of Chambon to become a haven during World War II for Jews escaping Nazi persecution;

– That British lawmaker William Wilberforce drew inspiration from the biblical preaching of his pastor during the fight to abolish the slave trade;

– That Hebrew terms in Genesis 1 highlight the binary nature of God’s design for gender, in contrast to assertions of the contemporary transgender movement; and

– That the New Testament uses the same Greek word to reference both born and unborn children, suggesting they are equally deserving of protection.

Each Bible book in the Unapologetic Study Bible is preceded by an introduction overviewing its content and identifying key passages. Indices in the back of the study Bible allow readers to study all the articles on a particular topic or survey all the topics addressed within a particular Bible book.

Among contributors to the Unapologetic Study Bible are an international team of pastors and scholars, including the Kairos Journal editorial board.

For more information about Kairos Journal, visit; for Thomas Nelson, visit