Taking the Church to the Streets

Every year during the second week of February, two ministries birthed out of Faith Church come together as 100s of students and alumni of Faith Bible Seminary join with 2,000 attendees at the annual Faith Biblical Counseling Training Conference (BCTC).

We knew you’d enjoy hearing from one of those students—Brian Walls—who is part of the 2019-2022 M.Div. cohort at FBS and is attending the Faith BCTC. 

FBS: “Brian, what first motivated you to consider applying for FBS’ M.Div. degree?”

Brian Walls (BW): “I wanted to be better equipped for ministry and have the training and education to equip and empower other Christian leaders. Faith Bible Seminar was a local school that I could attend remotely when needed. FBS being located in an urban community center proved to share a common vision to our ministry here. It is a conservative school that is biblically sound. It is affordable and fits my budget while providing a quality education and accredited degree.” 

FBS: “As our readers know, FBS’ M.Div. is quite unique—students are embedded in the church and engaged with the community, as they directly relate what they are learning in the classroom to church and community ministry. How is this model of “taking the gospel to the streets” impacting you in ministry preparation?”

BW: “FBS is helping me to prepare for our urban church plant and training me to better equip urban leaders in our LEAD Indy cohort. I plan to write non-fiction Christian literature on urban ministry subject matter and teach future Bible college and seminary students who desires to serve in urban ministry, and my education at FBS will help prepare me for that.” 

FBS: “Brian, you’re no ‘rookie’ when it comes to ministry. You’re the Founder and Executive Director of Tear Down the Walls Ministries. Give our readers a brief introduction to the history of TDWM.”

BW: “My wife and I began serving the homeless over 20 years ago by first helping a family member experiencing homelessness. We took him in and helped him to get his disabled veterans assistance and SSI and then found stable housing for him and helped him with budgeting, etc. Then, about 18 years ago I began praying throughout each day to be God’s hands and feet and asking Him to use me to build His kingdom. He led me under an overpass in Indianapolis where my family began making friends with the homeless living there. We started having Bible studies with our new friends regularly. We began sharing the extra that God had blessed us with and when others found out what we were doing they wanted to get involved. We never set out to start an organization; we just desired to be used by God and wanted to love and serve others.” 

FBS: “Also, please give our readers a brief introduction to the nature of TDWM. What’s your purpose? How do you fulfill that purpose?”

BW: “TDWM is a 501c3 non-profit charity that practices Christian Community Development in under-resourced neighborhoods. Our main focus in the Indianapolis area is on leadership development, at-risk urban youth, and homeless issues and services. We host the LEAD Indy program that provides training for urban ministry leaders equipping and empowering them with resources to be better leaders and to recognize themselves and others in their neighborhoods as community assets and teach them ways they can equip and empower others to collaborate with them to transform at risk communities. We use our homeless street outreach programs and homeless case management to identify homeless individuals who fit into our job training programs where those in the program receive transitional housing and are trained to help us transform abandoned lots into community gardens and urban farming space and help transform abandoned buildings into places for ministry and housing. They learn job skills, have something to put on a resumé, and can rent their room at the lowest possible cost after we help them find employment until they can afford other housing. We serve youth in the community through internships, service projects, VBS, after school programs, and youth and family block party events, as well as training youth ministry leaders in the LEAD Indy program.” 

FBS: “With the FBS M.Div. focus on equipping pastors for church and community-based ministry, it seems like there’s a great connection between your M.Div. training and your TDWM work. How is your M.Div. training furthering your equipping for community-based ministry?”

BW: “FBS definitely shares a similar vision with TDWM. The M.Div. is not only equipping me to be a better leader in our church plant and urban ministry programs, but also connecting us with other members of the Body of Christ currently serving in ministry.”

FBS: “How is your biblical counseling training—both through your M.Div. classes and through the Faith BCTC—further equipping you in your life and ministry?”

BW: “Biblical counseling is part of our everyday lives here at TDWM. It not only helps me personally to be a better disciple of Christ, father, and husband in my personal life, but helps me when mentoring and discipling those we serve. I believe biblical counseling is important in the lives of every Christian, but those of us serving in a full-time capacity and facing the challenges presented to us in this ever increasingly fallen world need it all the more.” 

FBS: “Final question: Why should others consider enrolling in FBS’ M.Div.?”

BW: “If you are seeking a ministry leadership position or if you are currently serving in ministry leadership, then FBS is a great resource for receiving training and a degree that will equip you to serve Christ and His people better. FBS is a biblically-based, conservative seminary, that is both accessible and affordable.” 

FBS: “Thank you so much, Brian, for your ministry for Christ in taking the gospel to the streets. For others who would like to learn more about Faith Bible Seminary’s M.Div. degree program, visit our site, or call us (765-448-1986), or email us at (seminary@faithlafayette.org).”

Bob KellemenBob Kellemen
Bob Kellemen, Th.M., Ph.D.: Dr. Kellemen is VP of Strategic Development and Academic Dean at Faith Bible Seminary in Lafayette, Indiana. Bob is also the Founder and CEO of RPM Ministries through which he speaks, writes, and consults on biblical counseling and Christian living. Dr. Kellemen served as the founding Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. For seventeen years, Bob was the founding Chairman of and Professor in the MA in Christian Counseling and Discipleship department at Capital Bible Seminary in Lanham, MD. Bob has pastored four churches and equipped biblical counselors in each church. Bob and his wife, Shirley, have been married for thirty-eight years; they have two adult children, Josh and Marie, one daughter-in-law, Andi, and three granddaughters. Dr. Kellemen is the author of eighteen books including Equipping Counselors for Your Church, Gospel-Centered Counseling, and Gospel Conversations.