For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. [O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!]
Vocational Elder; Pastor for Leadership Development; Academic Dean, Bethlehem College and Seminary
Campus: All Campuses
- Administrative Assistant: Administrator for The Bethlehem Institute, Connie Kopischke (612-338-7653 x420)
Tom was born in Excelsior, Minnesota. He grew up Roman Catholic. When he was 16, he committed his life to Christ. After he graduated from Bethel College with a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies, he pursued further training at Bethel Seminary (St. Paul) and Fuller Seminary (Pasadena, California). He graduated from Fuller with an M.Div. In 1980–82 he worked part time with college students at Bethlehem, taught Greek at Bethel College, and finished his seminary studies at Bethel Seminary. In 1982, Tom was ordained and came on Bethlehem’s staff full time as Pastor for Students and Adult Education. In 1984, his position was changed to Pastor for Students and Missions.
In 1989, his position was changed once again to Pastor for Missions and Leadership Development. In 1990–91 Tom and his family served at the Cameroon Baptist Theological Seminary. After returning to Bethlehem, Tom resumed his position until 1996, when he was asked to devote some of his time to developing and serving in the position of Executive Pastor. In 1997, after Bethlehem called its first full-time Executive Pastor, Tom was given a study leave for work at the Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois, where he designed The Bethlehem Institute for Bible, Theology, and Missions. In 1998, Tom returned to Bethlehem and implemented the vision for TBI. Upon the arrival of Bethlehem’s first full-time Foreign Missions Pastor in Spring 2002, Tom’s pastoral heart and missions passion began being expressed as Pastor for Leadership Development and Dean of The Bethlehem Institute. In 2009, TBI became Bethlehem College and Seminary, where Tom is now serving as Academic Dean, while continuing his pastoral duties with the church.
Tom and his wife, Julie, are the happy parents of Hannah, Ruth, Katie, Nate, CJ, and Emma. He and Julie are now glad to be grandparents as well. The Stellers live in the Elliot Park Neighborhood, just a few-minutes walk from the church.