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NAMB gives first apologetics certificate, plans to certify 500 more


ALPHARETTA (BP) — Mark A. Rathel, associate professor of theology and philosophy at The Baptist College of Florida in Graceville, Fla., is the North American Mission Board’s first certified apologetics instructor (CAI).

NAMB intends to certify as many as 500 individuals whose charge will be to defend the truth and credibility of the Christian faith.

“Apologetics is not apologizing for the Christian faith, it is a positive defense of the faith,” said Mike Licona, NAMB’s director of apologetics. “Apologetics is an area that has been largely overlooked in Southern Baptist life and the CAI program is a tool to help turn that around.”

The certification program will involve apologetics training, intensive communications training, and extensive practical experience in apologetics ministries.

Rathel said he undertook the CAI certification as a means of fine-tuning his apologetics skills and because of his desire to do more apologetics speaking at churches and conferences in the Southern Baptist Convention. Rathel already held a master’s degree in apologetics from Biola University in LaMirada, Calif.