Where Written Words Can’t Go | Ted (ThM, 2021) & Tina Crump

Alumni Spotlight

In 2012, Ted Crump (ThM, 2021) faced a decision. Should he continue with his military career or pursue a life in ministry? After feeling what he believes was a prompting from the Holy Spirit during a sermon about the woman with the alabaster jar of perfume, Ted hung up his military uniform to set his sights on serving the Lord in vocational ministry.

Within months, Ted had moved to Southern Africa, where he began serving as a missionary at Pasture Valley Children’s Home in Nhlangano, Eswatini. Pasture Valley is a place of refuge for children who had been orphaned or neglected because of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Jarred by culture shock, he quickly realized how ill-equipped and unprepared he was for the work he’d just adopted.

“Up to that point, I’d never pursued an experience in life without first preparing for it. Yet, when it came to ministry, I remember thinking, ‘The Lord doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called!’ While this is certainly true, I think I threw caution to the wind by thinking that somehow God would miraculously give me the knowledge and experience I needed to thrive on the mission field. Instead, I immediately realized that I needed to take the call I’d received more seriously. I needed more training. I needed more equipping. I needed to be taught and mentored by men and women with more knowledge and experience than myself.” After prayerfully considering when the right opportunity might present itself, Ted moved his family to Dallas in 2017 to receive the biblical and theological education he knew was lacking.

When asked about his decision to attend DTS rather than other seminaries, Ted said, “The faculty, academic rigor, and emphasis that DTS placed on the whole counsel of God are what made the decision easy for me. I wanted as much help as I could get, and DTS offered that to me at the highest level with the lowest cost.”

Today, Ted leverages his experiences in Africa with the education and training he received at DTS by working as the Director of Development for Spoken Worldwide. This Dallas-based organization works exclusively to reach the two-thirds of the world’s population that either cannot or does not read.

“While there’s been great progress in the world of missions over the years,” Ted said, “A huge number of people around the world have yet to hear the name of Jesus simply because they don’t read. Spoken Worldwide exists to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with oral learners through a practice called orality, which relies exclusively on spoken rather than written methods to communicate Gospel truth in ways that these groups can understand and respond to.”  

Established in 2005 to better understand how ministers might use technology in cross-cultural ministry, Spoken has now grown to fourteen field-focused and six supporting US-based staff, along with forty-three indigenous field personnel who are working in forty-six countries across 155 languages in three different initiatives: (1) Pastoral Development, (2) Orality Coaching, and (3) Oral Bible Translation.

“Every day when I think about the ways that Spoken is sharing Jesus with the unreached, I get so excited about how God is working through our organization!” Ted says. “With five DTS alumni spread across Spoken’s staff and Board of Directors, it goes without saying that DTS has shaped our ministry through the faithfulness of those on campus who’ve made Teaching Truth and Loving Well their life’s purpose. Because of DTS, Spoken is better prepared to take God’s truth where written words can’t go.”