From a camp in Nova Scotia, from a college in Wisconsin’s Great North Woods, and from the mission fields of Africa, Asia, and Europe, Dr. Neal Cushman will bring his wealth of knowledge and experience to students at Maranatha this fall. Dr. Cushman is the latest addition to the Bible Department faculty, specializing in Greek, missions, and cross-cultural studies.
Learn more about Dr. Cushman
MA, Bible from Bob Jones University
PhD, New Testament from Baptist Bible College & Seminary
Ryan and Sarah Cushman, Vancouver
Tim and Nikki Chodan, Dunbar, WI
Peter and Abi Cushman, Detroit, MI
Saved at a summer camp at the age of 8 years old, Dr. Cushman attended The Wilds camp as a teenager. He said he was a nominal Christian as a teen, but then he worked at The Wilds for a summer.
“That’s where my ministry philosophy gelled,” he said.
In 1977, after his freshman year of college, he took a summer missions trip to Nova Scotia, Canada. After the trip, International Christian Mission of Nova Scotia asked him to develop a summer camp ministry on a piece of property that they had acquired years before. The camp, as it turned out, was a 100-year-old house situated on 80 acres in Nova Scotia, Canada. He asked a friend to help him, and together they fixed up the place the next summer.
“In those early days, we were doing things like opening a can of beans and eating them right out of the can,” Cushman said. “It was great!”
Together they ran ICM Youth Camp during the summers of their college years. Campers were children from area fishing villages. After Neal and his wife Pamela were married, they ran the camp each summer and eventually joined Maritime Ministries as full-time missionaries. In this capacity they helped establish a church in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and continued the camp ministry.
Then Dr. Cushman felt the Lord leading him in a different direction.
“Teaching is part of my DNA,” he said.
Kingston Bible College, a small college in Nova Scotia, needed help, so he began adjunct teaching there. Then one year while on furlough, he and Pam decided to visit his former youth pastor, Dr. Les Ollila, at Northland Baptist Bible College (now Northland International University). He and Pam ended up at Northland, where they served for 22 years.
While there, Dr. Cushman taught courses in Greek, Cross-cultural Studies, Missions, and Philosophy. He also took students on mission trips to Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Northern Africa. It was during these mission trips that he developed a burden for reaching the Muslim with the Gospel.
Neal was drawn to Maranatha after hearing the ministry vision of men like President Marty Marriott, Vice President for Academic Affairs John Brock, Seminary Dean Larry Oats, and Bible Department Chair Brian Trainer. He heard from them a vision of aggressively expanding missions training, and a burden for students who are not necessarily going into missionary work, to understand the part they play in the Great Commission.
Neal and Pam enjoy working together to prepare students to visit foreign mission fields, taking them there, and giving them hands-on training; or as he states in an abbreviated version of his philosophy of ministry, “Investing ourselves in the lives of people so they can be more Christ-like.”
Neal is excited to join the ministry team at Maranatha where he can wholeheartedly support the direction and mission of training leaders for the local church and the world to the praise of His glory. “I appreciate Dr. Cushman’s heart for missions and his passion for training future leaders for ministry,” Dr. Marriott said. “We believe Neal to be likeminded and fully supportive of Maranatha’s values, standards, and philosophy of ministry and look forward to ministering together.”