Alexander Zell, Ph.D.
Director and Assistant Professor,
Online Christian Ministries Programs
Bachelor of Science, Toccoa Falls College
Master of Divinity, Alliance Theological Seminary
Doctor of Philosophy in Intercultural Studies, Trinity International University
Awards and Fellowships:
2006-2007 PHD/ICS Program Scholar, Trinity International University
Social and Cultural Foundations of Ministry, Theology of Evangelism and Missions, Luke-Acts: The Mission of Christ and the Church
How Your Program Is Unique Here:
Most of our students and faculty are bi-vocational. They are scholars and practitioners. They are professionals in ministry. Most of our professors are living Christ’s call on their lives in local churches. They are not ivory tower theologians detached from real life problems that pastors and ministers are encountering every day. They are not answering questions from twenty or thirty years ago. They have fresh perspectives. They are current.
From A Career Standpoint, What Students Will Be Prepared To Do With A Degree From Your Program:
Our graduates should be prepared to serve as lead pastors, associate pastors, youth ministers, family pastors, missionaries and key lay leaders. Some will serve in non-profit organizations or some other para-church organization. Wherever they serve, they will be prepared to reach people for Christ as well as have a broader vision of God’s mission for community transformation.
I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior when I was seven years old. I stayed afterwards at a Good News Club and prayed with the wife of the man who led my dad to the Lord. I immediately told my two best friends about Jesus. God called me to serve Him as a missionary when I was 12 during a missions conference but I didn’t get to Brazil until 20 years later. God guides my life every step of the way but I am on a “need-to-know” basis. He shows me the next step that I must take by faith. My adventures on mission with God have led me all over the globe and I have landed in small town, Minnesota, near where my parents grew up.
Favorite Bible Verse and Why:
Galatians 2:20. My old self was crucified with Christ but the best part is that the resurrected Christ lives in me! He gets the credit for all the good that comes out of my life. I live for Him and through Him. He loves me and other people through me.
Most of my ministry has been bi-vocational so I understand our students’ situations. I served 13 years as a C&MA pastor and 12 years as a C&MA international worker in Brazil. I was teaching as well for most of that time. I have been on mission with God since He graciously saved me and called me to serve. The Lord has given me the honor of leading many people into relationship with Him and helping them grow in their faith to become mature leaders and disciple-makers themselves.
What You Enjoy Most About Teaching at Crown:
I enjoy teaching people who are currently active in the ministry because they know what they need to know. In other schools, many students do not have hands-on ministry experience so everything is theory to them. They don’t know what they need to learn. They are not as motivated as people who deal with daily problems in ministry. This is a refreshing aspect to the community of online students at Crown.
How You Define “Academic Excellence”:
Academic excellence means learning disciplines through a Christian worldview perspective. It also means learning how to integrate theory and practice. Students need to answer the why questions so that they can develop the applications for ministry. We don’t want to merely fill students’ heads with knowledge but we want to teach them how to apply what they have absorbed in a variety of settings.
What You Would Say to Parents of Prospective Students About Having Their Son/Daughter at Crown:
Crown sets up opportunities for your son or daughter to grow spiritually, intellectually and socially. It lays a solid foundation. As young adults learn how to think biblically, they will be able to make spiritual decisions that will impact every area of their lives. They will know how to interact with people in business as well as improve their environment with acts of kindness which flow from God’s love in their hearts.