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An Incredible Calling to the Ministry of Training

Our Interim Principal and CEO, Rev Dr VJ Samkutty (Sam), has a personal calling to mission and ministry training.

For three decades he has combined his vocation of teaching biblical studies in theological colleges and seminaries with pastoring churches and preaching in conferences. He is a third-generation Pentecostal Christian and an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God church.

Sam, a family man with two grown-up sons, has taught at All Nations Christian College for twenty years and is also the interim pastor at a local church, but this is the first time that he has shared his life story with our readers.

Sam’s journey from Kerala in South India to All Nations Christian College has been quite incredible. It seems that miracles and divine guidance have dominated his life. Though doctors declared his parents barren, they were blessed with a son after fasting and praying for ten years. They named him Sam, after Samuel in the Old Testament, and dedicated him to the Lord's service. His name, Samkutty, means ‘Little Sam’.

After accepting Jesus as his saviour at the age of fifteen, Sam was baptised at seventeen. During this period, he received a prophecy that he would train and equip many people from all nations for mission and ministry. After he gained a first-class BSc degree in physics, he sensed God calling him to the ministry of training.

In 1986, Sam’s relentless hunger for studying the Bible led him to take a BD (Bachelor of Divinity) degree at the Union Biblical Seminary in Pune, India. He was taught by Dr Chris Wright: here, God went ahead of him, because Dr Wright would become Sam’s landlord at All Nations Christian College years later.

Unquenchable curiosity then led Sam to the United Theological College in Bangalore, where he completed his Master of Theology in the New Testament, while also engaging in pastoral ministry.

While still in India, Sam taught at Faith Theological Seminary, Kerala, the Southern Asia Bible College, Bangalore, and the Gospel for Asia Biblical Seminary, Kerala.

In 1995, God opened a way for Sam to come to Oxford to pursue a PhD in the New Testament. During this time, a prophecy that Sam had received as a young man came to fruition when he briefly returned to Kerala and met the woman who soon became his wife.

The prophecy had come in a dream during Sam’s early teaching ministry in India. In the dream he was travelling down a village road, with paddy fields stretching out on both sides, to see a woman’s parents. During his visit to Kerala, three days after meeting a young woman called Kochumol, he found himself travelling down the road he had seen in his dreams – to meet his future wife’s parents.

He met Kochumol on a Sunday, they became engaged six days later, and were married the following week. The couple have now been married for twenty seven years.

After their marriage in India, Kochumol joined Sam in Oxford, where he was studying for his PhD. He saw in a dream that Kochumol would become pregnant, but that she would lose their child in the seventh month of pregnancy. Sam kept this to himself, but it came to pass. They lost the child. The couple were devastated and returned to India, pledging never to return to the UK. As a result, Sam had to take a long break from working on his doctorate – but God had other plans for him. In India, he continued his ministry of teaching in a seminary.

Please do not underestimate Sam’s commitment; returning to his homeland was a difficult move because education is highly regarded in Indian culture. It was nothing short of a miracle that God opened another door for Sam to return to the UK. The University of Sheffield offered Sam a scholarship to complete his PhD. Luckily, Kochumol and their toddler son Jerry were able to join him there.

After completing his doctorate in 2003, Sam planned to return with his young family to India. Instead, Sam was appointed to teach New Testament and Greek at All Nations Christian College. Here God blessed Sam and Kochumol with a second son, who they named Christopher. Sam thought he would serve the College for two years before moving on, but the College indicated to him that he would not be going anywhere. Twenty years later, he’s still with us!

And that, dear friends, is Sam’s incredible, miraculous road to joining us at All Nations.

In addition to his teaching role, he is also the Undergraduate Programme Leader and the Vice-Principal (Academic). This is the second time he has willingly stepped into the role of Interim Principal and CEO – he previously served in this capacity in 2015–16.

To this day, Sam remains passionate about teaching and preaching God’s word and helping others to grow, both personally and spiritually.

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