A Dream, realized

I (Joel Settecase) started blogging on apologetics in 2012. But that wasn’t my first foray into the sharing (evangelism) and the defense (apologetics) of the faith.

Back in high school I would engage my fellow students and wrestling teammates with the Gospel and why I believed the Bible’s message was true. I also sought out conversations online. I didn’t know the term “apologetics” in those days, but I was developing a love for it nonetheless.

That love grew as I taught Bible at Chicago Hope Academy, and it was during those days that I realized I needed to further my education. So I pursued an advanced degree and earned my M.A. in Philosophy of Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

When I became a pastor at Park Community Church in Chicago, my love for evangelism and apologetics grew. I also observed firsthand the need for training in these disciplines at the local church level. It became a dream of mine to start an institute within the local church that would provide an education in what the Bible teaches and how to communicate it. My wife Aliza shared that dream with me and supported me in pursuing it.

I envisioned an organization training believers who were never going to attend seminary, but who were loved their non-Christian neighbors, co-workers, friends and family members, and wanted to tell them about their hope in Jesus. As a pastor I started discussion groups for believers and non-believers to discuss Scripture and life’s big questions. I also brought my education experience to bear through the development of evangelism and apologetics classes for Park Church. I continued blogging and pushing to start the institute from within the church.

As it turned out, God had other plans. In 2018 he took me out of pastoral ministry and brought Aliza and me to Cru City (Church Movements). A vast, international organization, Cru provides the perfect context for the exact kind of ministry I had been longing to launch.

The Think Institute is therefore the culmination of years of interest, study, and preparation. We are backed by hundreds of ministry partners who support Aliza and me through prayer and finances via Cru.

Our mission is to equip believers with knowledge, engage them in conversation with non-believers, and encourage them to share and defend the Christian message.

Our vision is glorify Christ by bringing believers and nonbelievers together in conversation, so that everyone hears the Good News.A