How we make a difference

Our Story

Telos (τέλος) is the Greek noun for completion, maturity, or fulfillment. It holds the idea of a task, even a person, being accomplished. That’s what we are about. We serve the church in the fulfillment of the task Jesus has left us:

“Therefore, as you are going, make disciples of all peoples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all that I have commanded.” (Matt 28:19-20)

Ever since C. Peter Wagner declared church planting as the greatest strategy for the spread of the gospel around the world (1990), church planters have taken up the banner of what is no doubt one of the most obvious results of making disciples in the book of Acts. Indeed, Tim Keller writes, “The continual planting of new congregations is the most crucial strategy for the growth of the body of Christ” (2012). Pick up any church planting text these days and you’ll hear similar remarks. In fact, Ed Stezter and Daniel Im go so as far as to say, “We are most like Christ when we join him in the mission of reaching the unchurched by planting new churches” (2011, p. 26). Both domestically and internationally, the need and opportunity to make disciples who gather in community has never been greater. 

Domestically
Internationally
In 2018, Pinetop Foundation predicted the need for 8,000-12,000 new church plants annually.
Lifeway Research estimated a net loss of 1,500 church in 2019.
There is a current need to equip more than 9,500 church planters each year.
World Evangelical Alliance estimates more than 50,000 new baptisms each day.
Assuming an average church size of 50, there is a daily need for 1,000 theologically educated pastors.
Plus, there are 3 billion people among 7,000 people groups who have little or no access to the gospel.

Our Reach

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Global Partners

Our Passion

GO PLANT CHURCHES WHERE THERE ARE NONE

We focus primarily on reaching UUPGs and UPGs where we equip national church planters to make disciples, develop New Testament leaders, and establish healthy reproducing churches. Secondarily, we focus on equipping the church in the West to multiply disciples through overlapping gospel movements.

Evangelism and Discipleship Training

Our evangelism training is designed to help you think biblically about the gospel, what it is and what it is not. And our discipleship training is focused on skills to help disciples understand who they are as followers of Christ.

Church Planter Training

Get equipped for church planting at your own pace with respected experts in the fields of theology and missiology. They have been where you are and they know what is needed for a successful church plant

Master of Arts – Church Planting

If you are passionate about the spread of the gospel through church planting, here is the place to begin. Through this Master of Arts degree focused on church planting, you’ll gain the competencies you need to successfully catalyze new churches.

Master of Arts – Missiology of Movements

A degree designed for those seeking the academic and ministry expertise for work as church planters, movement catalysts and strategy coordinators, missionaries, cross-cultural consultants, as well as cultural researchers. 


GO CARE FOR THE MARGINALIZED

We focus on creative approaches to addressing issues of injustice in our neighborhoods and nations. We work to equip the body of Christ to identify and integrate trauma-informed, asset-based responses which are congruent with our faith and praxis.

Social Injustice, Volume 1

The ten chapters will challenge Christians to consider their role in stepping into social justice issues from a distinctly evangelical position. The topic is of considerable importance to the ongoing mission of God in the world. With increasing numbers of millennials and Gen Zs focused on their contribution to global change, Social Injustice provides a solid theological foundation for engaging some of the most important social issues of our day.

Social Injustice, Volume 2

Addressing topics of discipleship, politics, race, mental health, and community development, practitioners and scholars from North America, Africa, and the Middle East come together in a single volume to share insights that can guide the evangelical church to effectively engage the injustices of the world.

God’s Mandate for Justice

This eight-week study looks at God’s mandate to work for justice and mercy, with a focus on what Jesus says about this topic in the book of Luke. It addresses two main questions. First, what is justice? And, secondly, what is our obligation?

Becoming Conversant with Critical Social Theories

You’ll learn about critical social theories and the various ways in which Christians have understood them. We focus special attention on critical race theory and how its application as a tool has produced both positive and negative effects.


GO DEFEND THE FAITH

We focus on the intersection of faith and culture in unique solutions approaches to engaging current issues from a biblically informed worldview. Through competency based theological education, we equip the body of Christ to imaginatively penetrate their community with good news.

Seminary@YourChurch

A cohort-based learning experience offered in multiple delivery systems set in your church community. Participants enrolling in the program will benefit from our professors coming to the church, live web-streamed classes, and online asynchronous learning allowing them the advantage of completing a graduate certificate that can lead to a Master of Arts degree or MDiv equivalence.

Master of Arts

Increasing numbers of lay people are considering or already involved in career paths that lead them into areas of intentional cultural engagement including public policy, education, journalism, sociology, law, business, urban ministries, church missions, and working with advocacy groups. The Master of Arts is a 48 credit hour program that provides the foundations and flexibility to meet these lay people’s needs. Nontraditional students are often seeking postgraduate training that will meet both specific credentialing needs and/or allow targeted areas for critical analysis. The degree equips students to trace the contours of contemporary culture, interpret its movements and messages, and engage its challenges from a biblically informed worldview. Approximately 2,000 hours.

Master of Divinity

A non-residential degree designed to equip those who sense God’s leading into the challenging ministry of starting and sustaining new churches as well as revitalizing existing churches. The degree also equips you for the exciting role as a leader among equals in an APEST framework. The 72-credit hour degree focuses on biblical, theological, and missiological proficiencies to effectively make disciples, equip New Testament leaders, and restore and multiple healthy churches. Approximately 3,000 hours.

Doctor of Ministry

A specialized degree aimed to help you reflect critically about ministry and engage rigorously in theological and missiological dialogue in an advanced learning environment. This is a practical and professional degree program centered on the intersection of culture and theology. The program provides unique opportunity to do theology in your context. It will deepen your faith, challenge your paradigms, and help you develop personal, ministry, and intellectual habits so you will continue to flourish where God leads you. Approximately 1,500 hours.


Board of Directors

Our board of directors bring decades of ministry and missions experience to TELOS. They have planted churches where there are none, equip missionaries to go to unreached people groups, teach at seminaries all over the world, work with trauma victims in war-torn countries, and address issues of human trafficking, Their leadership ensures that TELOS. stays on its mission to develop and deploy imaginatively missional approaches to church planting, cultural engagement, and theological education.

Kathryn Richards Bhatia, MDiv, BCC

Kathryn Richards Bhatia, MDiv, BCC, has served since 2014 with She Is Safe, a non-profit ministry working with women and girls at extreme risk of abuse and slavery, particularly among war refugees and outcast people groups. A board-certified chaplain with a focus on trauma and resilience, she has developed a paradigm for healing called The Three Healing Friends: Laughter, Tears and Silence and recently co-edited Social Injustice, Volume 2: Evangelical Voices in Tumultuous Times. Born and raised in the Middle East, she’s a third-culture kid, a fourth-generation minister of the Gospel, and mother of five adult children. She is married to Dr. Amit Bhatia, with whom she shares a love of Indian food, international travel, and hiking in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Loré Kaylor Cooper

Loré graduated from Towson State University with a BA in International Relations, and joined the staff of Cru at the University of New Hampshire as preparation for ministry in Eastern Europe. After the Berlin Wall fell and Romania executed their communist leader on Christmas day in 1989, she joined a small church planting team to help build up a local body of new believers in Craiova, Romania. She married Michael after her first year there and stayed on for 9 years working on church plants in Slatina, Pitesti, and Bucuresti. Loré loved being a stay home mom and working part time as Michael continued his degrees and ministry efforts. She has spent the last 25 years working with children in various contexts such as substitute teaching, children’s ministry worker, tutor, and currently as a nanny for two families which has inspired her to focus her Master of Arts degree on the effects of trauma and neglect. 

Michael T. Cooper, PhD

Dr. Cooper earned a PhD in Intercultural Studies with a focus on religious movements and a minor in theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He currently serves as a missiologist for a missions agency where he focuses on missiological research and equipping missionaries for effective cultural engagement. He has thirty years of missions experience, including ten years as a pioneer church planter in Romania after the fall of communism and has equipped church planters and leaders in Africa, Europe, North America, South America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. He is a guest faculty at Torch Trinity Graduate University, adjunct faculty at Mission India Theological Seminary, Asia Graduate School of Theology Nepal, and Ebenezer Bible College in Katmandu, and affiliate faculty at Kairos University. He has written and contributed to more than 30 books and academic articles and has presented conference lectures at the London School of Economics, University of Bordeaux, Loyola University, Baylor University, and many others. His recent book, Ephesiology: A Study of the Ephesian Movement is a best seller at William Carey Publishing.

Andrew Johnson, MA

Andrew is a proud husband, father and pastor in the Bayou City, Houston, TX. Previously, he’s ministered in Chicago, Flagstaff and Tempe in a variety of church contexts. After graduating Phoenix Seminary, he, his wife and three kids moved to Houston join the growing ministry at Neartown Church, a church geared towards starting and supporting other strong local churches via church planting. When not at work, he’s an avid disc golfing, ultimate playing, Spider-Man following/collecting fellow. Go Pacers.

Stephen Leston, DBS

Dr. Stephen Leston is the President of To Every Tribe, a mission training and sending agency. Prior to this role, Stephen served as the pastor of Kishwaukee Bible Church in DeKalb Illinois. He has been involved in ministry for over 20 years. He loves preaching, teaching, and equipping the next generation of leaders how to do the same. In addition to being the Author of The Bible in World History, He is also the author of The Illustrated Guide to Bible Battles and has contributed to several volumes of the Layman’s Commentary Series. Steve’s heart is to see people understand how to read, understand and apply the Christian Bible to their lives.

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