Student profile / Master of Divinity
As an international student from India, Praveen was drawn to Mid-America and its classical Reformed education.
Hometown: Tamil Nadu, India
Family: Wife Sharon; Baby due March 1, 2022
Education: Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication; Master of Engineering in Communications Systems
Degree sought: Master of Divinity
Church affiliation: United Reformed Churches in North America
Praveen Phineas was born in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and raised in a Christian home. However, it was not until he was in the 11th grade at a retreat conducted by his school that he felt convicted of his sins and the work of the Holy Spirit in his life. He says, “I ran to Jesus Christ and immediately submitted myself to the Lordship of Christ. The Holy Spirit raised me from the dead.” The Holy Spirit gave him a deep conviction not only of sin, but ultimately that of the beauty of Christ.
“Lord willing, when I graduate in May 2022 it is my desire to seek a call in the URCNA in the US and serve God’s people here.”
The life of a Christian is not without its struggles, however, and Praveen found himself backsliding in the third year of his Bachelor of Engineering, being falsely lead into the prosperity gospel through a television network. But God in His sovereign grace was, in Praveen’s words, “merciful enough to call me back to His glorious Kingdom.”
Over the next four years, the Lord helped Praveen research different theological topics. His interests lay in the controversies surrounding different Bible translations, exposing the dangers of the prosperity gospel, Young Earth Creationism, the rise of Islam, and more. Furthermore, “God helped me to go to the biblical doctrine of Calvinism, which is deeper than TULIP, and understand the beauty of the gospel,” Praveen comments. In so doing, by God’s providence at the age of 25, Praveen embraced the Reformed faith.
Ever since he began learning the teachings of the Reformation, Praveen had a burning passion of sharing the gospel, especially on a one-on-one basis in his workplace. He desires to be “a faithful student of Scripture, rightly handling the sword of the Spirit.” It is his firm conviction that “the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only solution for all the problems that exist in this fallen world, and it is primarily through the preaching of God’s Word that the Triune God of the Scriptures brings dead sinners alive.”
In his time here at Mid-America, Praveen is thankful for the brilliance of the professors, and the strong passion for the reformed faith amongst the student body. Academically, spiritually, and communally, Praveen feels nurtured here. His plans after seminary? “Lord willing, when I graduate in May 2022 it is my desire to seek a call in the URCNA in the US and serve God’s people here. Long term we would go back to India and be missionaries there maybe after 7-10 years if the Lord opens the door for us.”