VALLEY FORGE, PA (4/24/23)—International Ministries (IM) is pleased to announce that Rev. Dr. Rodney Ragwan and Rev. Jennifer (Jeni) Pedzinski have moved into new ministry roles as of December 1, 2022. Having served since June of 2018 as Director of Mission Mobilization, Dr. Ragwan has now been endorsed to prepare for ministry as a Global Consultant for Theological Education. Rev. Pedzinski is succeeding Dr. Ragwan as Director of Mission Mobilization after serving from 2015 to 2022 as an IM global servant with the New Life Center Foundation in Thailand.
As Director of Mission Mobilization, Ragwan provided pastoral counsel and direction for persons seeking to discern God’s call to global mission service. His able leadership and innovation enabled IM to continue to recruit and prepare new global servants, even through the challenges posed by the COVID pandemic. This included collaborating with IM’s Short-Term Mission office to offer a virtual version of the “Hear the Call” discernment retreat and also developing the “Call to Mission” podcast.
From his own background as a Baptist leader in South Africa and his experience as a theological educator, he enhanced the cross-cultural dimension of IM’s orientation and training for new global servants. He has a deep love and passion for theological education and has already invested in students around the world as an adjunct professor at Palmer Seminary, the seminary of Eastern University. A native of Durban, South Africa, with a Licentiate in Theology (L.Th.) from the Baptist Theological College of Southern Africa, Ragwan completed his Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) at Palmer Theological Seminary and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Pretoria.
“Rodney offered our community a unique South African perspective, particularly around the biblical topics of reconciliation and justice. I appreciated the way he pastorally and gracefully journeyed alongside our pre-assignment global servants through their seasons of discernment with IM,” says Rev. Sharon Koh, IM’s Executive Director/CEO.
As a Global Consultant for Theological Education, Rodney will work with IM staff, global servants and international partners to promote contextually relevant theological education around the world. More information about Rodney’s journey toward assignment in this new ministry role and the opportunity to support his work may be found on his profile page on the IM website.
Rev. Jeni Pedzinski brings to her new ministry as Director of Mission Mobilization deep knowledge from her own journey to ministry as an IM global servant, which began with encouragement she received from an IM missionary to be open to God’s direction while attending an IM World Mission Conference at the age of 11!
For Jeni, the pathway to service as an IM global servant included earning an M.Div. and a master’s degree in International Development from Palmer Seminary and completing an apprenticeship with IM while a graduate student. Donors who have previously supported Jeni’s ministry can still do so through Leadership Mission Support (select Pedzinski, J.) as she brings to her new role the pastor’s heart and administrative skill needed to coach women and men in their discernment of God’s call and preparation for global servant ministry.
“Having had the opportunity to work with Jeni through her years of preparation for global ministry and then see her effective work as global servant in Thailand, I am very pleased that God has called Jeni to lead IM’s mobilization ministry in the years ahead. From a field of excellent candidates, Jeni emerged as one uniquely qualified to lead IM in preparing and sending a new wave of global servants into ministry,” notes Jim Bell, Associate Executive Director for Global Mission.
As Director of Mission Mobilization, Pedzinski will oversee IM’s continuing recruitment of long-term global servants, provide guidance for candidates in IM’s rigorous application and assessment process, and oversee endorsed global servants in their time of pre-assignment orientation and training as well as network-building and fundraising. Information about mobilization for long-term mission service may be found on the IM webpage here.
International Ministries, also known as the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, works cross-culturally to invite people to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to proclaim, through both word and deed, God’s reign of justice, peace and abundant life for all creation.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.