Adrian Despres

Adrian Despres

Master of Divinity, 1992, Columbia International University

Vice President of Kingdom Building Ministries

Columbia, S.C.

I didn’t know what God had in store for me when I first visited Columbia International University. I was pursuing a Master of Divinity degree, and had significant scholarships to do so at other universities. But as my wife and I walked around campus, we knew something about it was different. From our observation of several classes, we could tell that God’s Word was taught with reverence. His Spirit was present and active in the classroom. Though we didn’t have much money at the time, we knew I needed to study at CIU. 

I’m grateful for God’s provision in allowing me to continue my education at CIU because God used the professors’ knowledge of the Bible to change and influence me spiritually. I gained a deeper understanding of the Bible in my classes and a sharpened sense of God’s call on my life. During my first semester at CIU, my mentor, CIU President Emeritus Robertson McQuilkin, grabbed my arm and told me that I should be an evangelist. Surprised at first, I was hesitant, but the next morning I heard the Lord say the same thing louder and clearer. Twenty years later I am still preaching. 

The classes I took at CIU were invaluable to my ministry training. I learned how to correctly study and interpret the Bible, as well as how to communicate it with both passion and integrity. God has used the passion He has given me to make an impact for His kingdom in 18 countries and 48 states as I’ve had the privilege of sharing the saving message of Jesus with hundreds of thousands of people. I also served as a guest chaplain to the University of South Carolina Gamecocks football team. I had the thrill of seeing the lives of young football players changed by Christ. 

The effects of my CIU education are still evident. My passion for God and His Word continue to grow, as I strive to maintain a solid grounding in the accurate, bold teaching of biblical truth.