Tom Schmidt (ThM, 04)

Alumni Spotlight

I serve as the training director for Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Panama City, Panama. My goal is to train and equip students with a renewed mind and a transformed life. I focus on the need to shape and form a Great Commandment heart in order to live out a Great Commission life. I teach truth by presenting the Bible straight from the Word of God and not speculating or inserting my own opinion. I impart to them some of the “things I learned” while at Dallas seminary from men who impacted my life forever with their instruction. I believe that teaching truth is important, however, I also equip the students to study the Word for themselves. We have incorporated a week that focuses specifically on Bible Study Methods using the observation, interpretation, and application process of inductive Bible study.

The students come from a wide cross section of nations and church backgrounds. They can be “messy.” We value an atmosphere of “international and interdenominational” growth. The age of the students, the church backgrounds they come from, and their own cultural tendencies create quite the vortex of emotional and cultural clashes. We love the students through constant discipleship in all areas of life. The challenges and celebrations we see as they begin to apply biblical truths to their relationships are worth the struggles. As the students learn to value strong biblical relationships, teamwork, and the gifts and talents of those around them, they change their thoughts, speech, and actions.

A few of my favorite times at Dallas Seminary included chapel, not only for the speakers we had on the faculty at that time but also Chaplain Bill, his trumpet and some amazing times of a capella worship and hearing all the parts in that amazing little chapel.

Mealtime was also a favorite memory. Sitting around the table with other students talking about life, what we were learning and the challenges of ministry that loomed in the future. I enjoy some of those friendships to this day.

Of course fond memories must include a mention of the library. Turpin became a place of refuge and relaxation as well as study and meditation. Sometimes when I am in Dallas, I drop by just to sit and read for a while.

I am so thankful for the education and training I received during my studies at DTS. The big take away for me was a confirmation of the beliefs and convictions I had already started to develop. I heard it said that “the goal of expository preaching is changed lives.” I will always remember that the reason I do what I do is to impart the timeless truth from 1 Tim 1:5, “the goal of our instruction being love coming from a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith.” Ministry is not about having flashy style, an enormous vocabulary, or a cool video presentation.  In fact, I believe ministry is not something we do; rather, it is an overflow of who we are. When there is no separation of sacred and secular, ministry ceases to be an activity and is simply life