Flavien Olivier Cedric Pardigon
Ph.D., Historical and Theological Studies (Apologetics)
Hometown: Marseille, France
Career Goal: develop theological education in Eastern Europe with MTW
Ph.D. student Flavien Pardigon is confident in his career path. He says God's forceful calling to seminary "did not leave me any choice!"
Born in Marseille, and raised in an area called "le plateau" in the center of France, Flavien came to know God's grace as a youth. "After my parents' divorce, my mom met a Christian man through whom she became a Christian and then married," he recalls. After that, his experience was "nothing exceptional," just "summer camps, a trip to England, the preaching of the Word in the local church. The Holy Spirit used the ordinary circumstances of my life."
When God led him to theological training, he attended the Facult� Libre de Th�ologie R�form�e in Aix-en-Provence, where he earned a Licence en Th�ologie (like an M.Div.) and a Ma�trise en Th�ologie (Th.M.). During that time, he also supported his wife, Inyange, now an M.A.R. student at Westminster, while she completed her Licence.
Realizing that teaching was in his future, a Ph.D. became the obvious next step, specifically in the field of apologetics. "I chose Westminster because I wanted to study [Dutch theologian Cornelius] Van Til more in depth," he says.
Among many helpful courses he's taken at Westminster, "the one that seems to have produced a real paradigm-shift in my theologizing is Dr. Gaffin's 'Theology of Hebrews.' I have greatly enjoyed and learned from Dr. Gaffin's and Dr. Poythress' classes--I must have taken or audited all of them!" He plans to graduate in May 2006.
Flavien currently serves as a ruling elder in a local PCA congregation, where he oversees the Christian Education Committee, teaches a Bible study, and participates on the Missions Committee. He is also on the board of a ministry to cult victims in Europe, works as a teaching assistant at Westminster, and is involved in developing a project in Eastern Europe with the PCA's Mission to the World (MTW).
Besides writing his Ph.D. dissertation, Flavien is now devoting most of his attention to the MTW project, known as Theological Education for Eastern Europe (TE3). TE3 (www.eertn.com) comes alongside local churches to support existing and emerging leadership by establishing or staffing seminaries, developing distance education programs, translating classics, and publishing books and articles in local languages. Flavien and Inyange are currently raising support to join the TE3 team in Sofia, Bulgaria, with their children Timoth�e and Nastasja. Hoping to be on the field by summer 2005, Flavien plans to teach European church leaders, while Inyange disciples spouses and engages in translation work.