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Dr. Matt Bennett with pyramids in the background

Cedarville Stories Podcast: Making Disciples for Hard Places

by Clem Boyd, Communication Content Manager

Dr. Matt BennettDr. Matt Bennett, Assistant Professor of Missions and Theology, remembers as a kid a missionary who visited his family’s church every couple of years. She took Bibles into places without the Scriptures. “Lord, I love what You’re doing to make Your name known in hard places, but don’t make me do that,” he would pray after those services.

But, in the Lord’s wisdom and grace, he called Matt to serve in hard places too. His wife, Emily, who he met in college, also had a call from God to go into hard places with the Gospel. Jesus’ calling on their lives together was confirmed during a missions conference in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2011 that they finally were on the ground serving.  

It took time, but Matt and Emily found their footing in a new community with new neighbors. It was easy having conversations with his new Muslim friends about spiritual matters. He found them kind and engaging.

But after almost six years, the Lord started preparing the Bennetts for the next move. They knocked on ministry doors to keep them on the mission field, but it was an opportunity at Cedarville that the Lord finally opened. And so, Matt and Emily moved to the cornfields of Ohio to train disciples who would make disciples of the nations. Matt joined the faculty in 2017.

“Our students have come here because they have a vision for coming to a school shaped by the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,” Matt shared. “A lot of the students who come into my office are not Bible majors. They are studying a vocation — engineering or nursing or business — that will prepare them to go into the hard places to bring the Gospel. I love that missions is a part of the heartbeat of Cedarville.”

To listen to the podcast, click on the play button below:

To listen to more Cedarville Stories podcasts, click on the link below:

Cedarville Stories story link

More to the Story

Matt’s recent book, 40 Questions About Islam, came out this spring. Each of the 40 questions explains some dimension of Islamic theology and offers ideas about how to have faith discussions.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies - Missiology program, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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