Cleon Rogers (ThM 1980, ThD 1991)

Alumni Spotlight

I am a missionary for BEE World, teaching at three schools in Germany: Theological Seminary Rheinland, a Bible school that trains missionaries and evangelists; Bibel Seminar Bonn, founded by ethnic Germans who have immigrated back to Germany from the former Soviet Union (this school trains missionaries and evangelists as well as workers for the local church);  and Giessen School of Theology, formerly the German Theological Seminary, a school founded by my father, which offers accredited BA and MA degrees.  I serve with my wife Kathy at the International Baptist Church Giessen, an English speaking church in Germany, that offers a home to nonnative Germans as well as many Germans.  I am also involved in lay ministries, helping others to know the Bible and preach God`s word. The goal in all of this is to expose people to God’s word so that one is motivated to grow in relationship to both God and others.

Through these ministries, I have learned a key to teaching truth and loving well is the word “and.”  It is not possible to teach truth well without loving well and vice versa.  It is our responsibility to invest time and effort diligently in knowing God and living His Word.  This process produces changes that lead to loving the things that God loves; his church and those who do not know Him.  Both teaching and loving involve reckless abandonment of personal goals and pleasures to please the only One who really matters.  It occurs by personal commitment to learn, to teach, and to love. 

The first memorable contact I had with DTS is as a three year old playing on campus in the winter and standing by the DTS sign.  Another memory is “Crazy Otto,” Bob Schroeder, and his book sales giving me the chance to learn from teachers not on campus.  Other memories include both sitting in class wondering what the text means and how this should change my life as well as observing how sermons were delivered in chapel and how ideas were paired with words to create a convincing and convicting portrayal of divine truth. 

I was greatly impacted at DTS by my fellow students who encouraged and helped me along the way, and the faculty who spent time personally in helping to develop my skills. I think the greatest contribution is the fact that I had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant and grader.  This not only gave me the opportunity to lead exegetical discussions, but served as a vote of confidence that others thought I could really do what I thought God wanted me to do.  A number of alumni influenced my life significantly with verses that they taught and they lived. I will only mention three as examples of the many who contributed to my ministry today.  Cleon L. Rogers, Jr. (ThM 1959, ThM 1962), my father who taught and lived Philippians 1:21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain;” Howard Hendricks (ThM 1950) “For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel;“ and Stanley D. Toussaint (ThM 1955, ThD 1957), “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  Each of these taught truth and loved well and provided an example and motivation for me to do the same.