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Dadje’s Dream

As a young child, Dadje Samuel was drawn to the small Sunday School that recently opened in his African village. A few years after accepting Christ, he approached his father to ask permission to be baptized. His father’s violent reaction forced Dadje to flee home and seek refuge with a relative.

In spite of enormous obstacles, Dadje persisted in his faith, and ultimately became a key leader and church planter in Chad.

By 2008, Dadje and Encompass Director of African Ministries Frank Puhl were exploring ways to build upon a rapidly growing, regional church planting movement. They’d been quite successful with the School of Evangelism, a Bible Institute-level training program for church planters. But their vision was bigger than the people groups in southern Chad. They wanted to prepare a new kind of church planter, one capable of explaining the Good News of Jesus and planting churches in contexts radically different from their own. That’s when the idea for a School of Missiology was born.

Dadje would never live to see this dream become a reality. He died in his attempt to take the Gospel across the Sahara Desert to Libya. But the concept had taken root in the hearts and minds of the leaders he left behind.

WATCH a recent telling of Dadje’s full story here.

In 2010, Frank Puhl and Grace Polaris Church Pastor Mike Yoder asked longtime Encompass Global Worker Larry DeArmey to meet and discuss the development of the School of Missiology. Larry had done extensive work in Africa and had many connections with African leaders. The three men met several times, and the school began taking shape.

Frank, Mike, and Larry believed it would be best to focus on Missiology rather than developing a traditional seminary program like the already-established school in Bangui. This new program would give African leaders the opportunity to further diversify their ministry training. Instead of being a year-round live-in seminary, it would be modular in order to accommodate the lifestyles of the students. It would also build on the exceptional growth of the lay-level schools of evangelism already established in Chad. They could utilize these schools of evangelism as a first step to identify potential candidates for the School of Missiology.

After laying the groundwork for the school, there was only one thing left to do. The School of Missiology needed a director. For the modular-style school to work, someone needed to lead and oversee the three module cycles during the year. The obvious choice was Larry.

In September 2011, Larry supervised the beginning of the first module of the School of Missiology, and in 2015, the school celebrated its first graduation. Currently, a second wave of students are in the middle of training. Larry says, “The newest class has eight people groups represented and a couple of different countries. The diversity of the second wave of students embodies the multicultural heart of the training and the goal of the school. The future of the program is exciting.”