(Pictured above: First Nigerian Cohort for M.A. in Biblical Translation with Daniel Kramer, Chair, and Stacy Shawiak, who graduated December 2021)
Congratulations to our first class of graduates for the M.A. in Biblical Translation. The following students graduated during the 2021-2022 school year and comprise the first students who have completed the degree program. Currently 18 more are enrolled.
Steve Cunningham, in his 70s, when most people are retiring, told his supporters he was going to earn his Master’s degree in Biblical Translation. Steve has had multiple lives of existence — in the army, in Navigators as a missionary, owning a home business, and in Bible translation with Wycliffe Associates. Now, by recreating himself, he is serving multiple partners in Nigeria, Uganda, and Tanzania; and he continues to build programs that further Bible translation and discipleship. During the time Steve worked on his master’s degree, he downsized his life to keep a streamlined focus on how to spend his next several years in ministry. He helped launch a program to teach nine seminaries in Nigeria how to duplicate the Master of Arts in Bible Translation degree that Barclay offers. From this effort, he has seen a Biblical Translation institute solidify, Bible translation projects launch, and various efforts of discipleship emerge. In Tanzania, he served the Africa Inland Church by teaching how to translate discipleship materials into K’Swahili. He is further assisting the Anglican Church of Tanzania and Amaziba Ministries in Uganda in how to further discipleship within their church networks. Soon, Steve will seek to support Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo by translating scripture and discipleship materials. While most people are planning how to enjoy years of retirement, Steve is seeking how to prepare for his decade of his 70s in serving more.
When you think about the future generations and wonder who will be the leaders of ministry, think about the name Gloria Marquez. In her mid-20s, Gloria earned her Masters of Arts in Biblical translation while she had a full time elementary school public teaching job, served in multiple church ministries, as well as performed the duties of a teaching assistant at Barclay in French for a group of Gabon students seeking their degrees in Biblical Translation. Gloria started seeking ministry opportunity through a personal calling from God to use her gifts and abilities. In her first opportunity abroad, she found herself ministering in French, Spanish, and English to deaf people who have never learned a sign language. Since that time in 2018, she has done the same in India and Ethiopia and truly is in demand beyond her hours in a day. She has participated in some of the most innovative experimentation in ministry to deaf illiterate and deafblind learners. She is researching some of the known language methodologies in mainstream teaching to find new and innovative ways to see how learners can have access to scripture. The most amazing aspect of all is, she’s just starting!
Stacy Shawiak gave up her education career for a missional career, but God knows how to use all of who we are when we give ourselves over to Him. Stacy is a model of talent given to God that has, in turn, become a blessing to the nations. Stacy has led a project for the deaf who do not know sign language, helping the deaf/blind to find a way to obtain access to God’s word quickly. This program has spanned 17 nations under her leadership, all while she engaged in obtaining her Master of Arts in Biblical Translation at Barclay. From this combined effort of ministry service and education, Stacy has further spread her program to nine seminaries in Nigeria and has been able to find acceptance in the ministry of education in Uganda. Faithful, humble, and excellent in what she does, Stacy has already used her degree to further God’s kingdom, and there is no sign of that ever slowing down.
Deanna Oxner is a gifted thinker and high achiever in all that she has done. Involved in politics, small business, and marketing while serving in Bible Translation are some of her markers of achievement ,all while still in her twenties. Deanna has been an outstanding student with near perfection in obtaining her Master of Arts in Biblical Translation. A student of multiple languages, she is also engaged in helping the deaf have access to scripture with her fluency in sign language. Deanna has a willing heart to go anywhere God leads her as she truly listens to Him, seeks His will, and follows in obedience. Her achievement of a degree will not give her “credentials,” it will give her a further arsenal from which to serve.
At a point of ministry transition internal to his organization, Mark Foster identified God recasting his existence. Mark enrolled in an opportunity to obtain his Master of Arts in Biblical Translation at Barclay College to further open doors for opportunities to serve and impact around the world. Having served in Bible translation for twenty years, this “recasting” of purpose has invigorated Mark to find partners, individuals, and educational systems to engage in the efforts of using local resources. Mark has witnessed multiple layers of Bible translation methodologies, approaches, programs, and systems and finds himself at the cusp of a new one — using seminaries to develop degrees that engage the local church to initiate translation. This approach has shown him the potential of the most sustainable, and yet most economical, way to build ongoing Bible translation impact. From a start in ministry through construction, to then developing partner relationships, Mark now finds himself in the middle of teaching in courses and teaching systems how to embrace this new era of translation.
Michale Johnson is truly a scholar and visionary–a rare combination at the level in which she performs. Integration of knowledge is a strength of Michale as she is exploring how to take her visionary passion and her multiple degrees and weave them together in ministry. Currently, she is working on a way to engage people groups for language preservation and revitalization while involving them in Biblical translation. Humble, caring, personally involved are the characteristics she possesses in her nature, but her skill set undoubtedly gives her opportunities that God blesses regularly. Michale is already actively involved in missional outreach for the above while assisting in the development in curriculum and content of the next wave of courses in Biblical translation for the undergraduate program at Barclay.
Learn more about the Barclay College School of Graduate Studies and the B.A. in Biblical Translation. Or email Dr. David M. Mabry, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies.