Matthew is from Gboko Benue, Nigeria, where he lives with his wife, Grace, and their four children and one niece. While he was attending WSC, he completed an internship at Escondido United Reformed Church.
What led to your decision to pursue seminary studies?
There is much to do in terms of the gospel ministry in Nigeria. I really have a passion for the gospel of Christ, but I thought that I also needed more biblical studies to enable me to interpret Scripture better.
How did you come to know of WSC?
About four NKST (my church in Nigeria) pastors have studied here before. When I wanted to come over to the U.S. to study, I asked them which school would offer quality education, such that I needed in the area of biblical studies, and they recommended Westminster Seminary California. I am glad I made a good choice because I am now able to read and translate both Hebrew and Greek very well. I think I will be of great help to my church when I go back come June.
Please describe what your internship at Escondido United Reformed Church (URCNA) has involved?
Since I am already an ordained minister, I did not have to do all that a normal internship requires. However, I attended elders and deacons meetings to observe what goes on. I also served as an usher for a few months. With my URC connection I was allowed to preach at Kauai Reformation church. I got to know many people who are praying for me and for whom I am also praying. Most of all, my relationship with Escondido URC has been extended to my church NKST in new and helpful ways.
What do you plan to do after you graduate from WSC?
It is a very exciting moment in my life. You know I have been missing my dear wife and kids for the past two years. It is time to join them and enjoy the love of my wife and kids again. After that I will begin to think of work. I hope to teach at Reformed Theological Seminary Mkar, Nigeria. This seminary is run by my church NKST. I have also already applied for a Ph.D. program. If I am accepted I will start working on my doctorate by next year. I will also do a lot of preaching, assisting pastors who invite me to preach at their churches. I did much preaching last year when I was home for summer break. I also want to become a better interpreter of Scripture since I am capable of handling the original biblical languages now. This is something very significant I gained from my WSC education.
What have you appreciated most about your education at WSC?
Many things. We have professors who are dedicated to their work. They are humble and welcoming. Many of them, such as Dr. Estelle, Dr. Baugh, Joshua Van Ee and others, have really been a source of courage to me. When I was worried about my family they stood by me and encouraged me personally. I have enjoyed fellowship with students and staff so much that I cannot even express how much! I have a strong sense that they genuinely love me. They love seeing me and talking with me. I think I have enjoyed a unique sense of friendship here. It is a great gift for me to receive a master’s degree in biblical studies from WSC.