The Baptist Convention of New England is adding an English as a Second Language ministry support team. Leaders Maddy Miller and Pam Seremet will help local churches start viable ESL ministries by conducting trainings and providing resources.
Miller and Seremet describe ESL as a unique opportunity. Teaching English to non-native English speakers, allows the church to meet a practical need while loving and building relationships with internationals and immigrants.
Together, Miller and Seremet have over 40 years of experience in learning and teaching ESL.
Miller first began working in ESL when, after completing her Spanish teaching certificate, she was hired by an immigrant family to teach their three children English in 1987. She later became certified as an ESL teacher in New Hampshire.
Miller loves blending language study with spiritual conversations. In fact, she and Seremet first began working together while teaching ESL to international students from Southern New Hampshire University.
“Many became Christians, and then returned to their homes with Christ in their hearts,” Miller said. “We are not just teaching English but training missionaries.”
Seremet became involved with ESL ministry in 1998 and continued to grow more passionate about teaching English when her family began to host international students for Thanksgiving in 2004. In 2013 Seremet went back to school to get an advanced degree with an ESOL concentration.
Most recently, Miller and Seremet attended a national training event in 2018 where they were certified as trainers in ESL ministry.
Miller and Seremet believe that upcoming training events can help more New England churches create sustainable ministries to the nations in their communities. They are confident that anyone with “a heart to serve” can learn to teach ESL.
“Our hope for the future of this ministry is that many churches will take advantage of the training and support that we offer in order to reach the hearts and minds of their neighbors, many of whom have come from other countries,” Miller said. “We are both passionate about the opportunity at hand to build the kingdom of God in our backyards, so to speak.”
Their first New England event is an ESL training workshop scheduled for Aug. 23 -24 at the BCNE office in Northborough, MA. Anyone who attends all sessions can be certified as an ESL church leader and ministry instructor.
Learn more and register here.
Kimber Huff is the communications coordinator at the Baptist Convention of New England.