The board, faculty, and staff of Covenant Seminary are pleased to announce that Dr. Vince L. Bantu will serve as director of the Seminary’s City Ministry Initiative (CMI). Dr. Bantu takes over this role from Dr. Greg Perry, who recently accepted a position with Third Millennium Ministries. Bantu will continue as visiting professor of missiology, a post he has held since 2016, teaching classes such as God’s World Mission, Intercultural City Ministry, People’s Religious Traditions, and City Ministry Practicum.
CMI provides students at Covenant Seminary with avenues of learning and service into the beauty and brokenness of intercultural St Louis. CMI’s annual conferences and community events, core classes, internship placements in city churches and non-profits, and mentoring practicums overseen by Seminary faculty and experienced urban ministry partners cultivate in Covenant students the practices of intercultural discipleship. In particular, the CMI Missional Discipleship track of the Master of Arts in Religion and Cultures (MARC) degree program (also available for the Master of Divinity), equips disciples of Jesus Christ to proclaim and interpret the gospel of the Kingdom in word and deed service to God and neighbor amid the various intersecting cultures of St. Louis city.
Dr. Jay Sklar, vice president of academics, dean of faculty, and professor of Old Testament, notes that “Dr. Bantu’s background and expertise make him especially well-suited to serve as CMI Director.”
A native of St. Louis, Dr. Bantu joined the Covenant Seminary faculty in 2016 as visiting professor of missiology. He is an MDiv graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education. He also holds a BA in theology from Wheaton College, a ThM in church history from Princeton Seminary, and an MA and PhD in Semitic and Egyptian languages from the Catholic University of America. His main areas of scholarly interest include theological contextualization, racial reconciliation, early Christianity in Africa and Asia, and theological education in under-resourced communities. In addition to his role with CMI, Dr. Bantu directs local networks such as the Inter-Minority Dialogue, Minority Scholars of Religion and Theology, and the African-American Interfaith Dialogue of St. Louis.
On his appointment, Dr. Bantu commented, “I am humbled and excited to serve Covenant Seminary and the St. Louis community in this way. I’m grateful for the solid foundation laid by my friend and mentor Greg Perry and I hope to serve in the same manner. It has been inspiring to see the tremendous things that God has been doing in recent years both in the city of St. Louis and the Covenant Seminary community. I am excited to join efforts to continue bringing them together.”
Dr. Mark Dalbey, president of Covenant Seminary, said, “We are delighted that Dr. Bantu will serve as director of a program that plays such a key part in our mission to equip God’s Kingdom servants. His stellar academic qualifications; his deep commitment to fostering better understanding across racial, ethnic, and cultural lines; his great personal knowledge of St. Louis; and his heart for developing strong relationships within the community make him the ideal person to head up CMI. For Vince, this is not just a job, it’s a passion—one that we hope will inspire and motivate a new generation of gospel leaders.”