Southern Evangelical Seminary Awarding Honorary Doctorate to John Freyler of Samaritan’s Purse

Southern Evangelical Seminary Awarding Honorary Doctorate to John Freyler of Samaritan’s Purse

As SP’s Chaplain, Freyler is Responsible for Spiritual Care and Encouragement of International Field Staff and Disaster Assistance Response Team

August 18, 2020

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES,, a leader in apologetics education, is conferring an honorary doctorate on John Freyler, who has served with Samaritan’s Purse (SP) in various roles for the past eighteen years.

Ten of Freyer’s 18 years at Samaritan’s Purse were spent serving in SPs Projects Department as a Regional Director and then Deputy Director of International Projects where he oversaw Samaritan’s Purse field offices in Africa and Latin America, and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and the 2011 Japan earthquake/tsunami disaster responses

During the last eight years he has served as a chaplain and is responsible for the spiritual care and encouragement of SP’s International Field Staff and Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) staff.  Freyler’s desire is for field staff/DART staff to develop an intimate walk with God as they serve Him in difficult areas and many times under difficult circumstances.

In 2015 received his Master of Arts Degree in Religion from Southern Evangelical Seminary.  Freyler says that his seminary experience has given him answers to some of the toughest questions people ask during times of crisis.

“Freyler’s father, John Sr., and mother, Bobbie Freyler, came to SES to volunteer for ‘a few weeks’ in 2002, and that stretched into over 18 years of commitment to the mission of SES,” said Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary. “All who know them will readily say that both John and Bobbie were pillars of the institution. Even after her husband’s death in 2009, Bobbie has continued serving the Lord at SES. Clearly, John is an acorn that did not fall far from his parents’ tree, but has grown into a mighty oak in his own right.”

Dr. Richard Land stated, “It is our honor to confer an Honorary Doctorate on John Freyler whose chaplaincy for one of the finest ministries in the world has demonstrated his godly character that is only the result of a deep understanding and foundation in Jesus Christ. One of the best apologetics for the Gospel of our Savior is transformed men and women whose lives are being used by our Lord to reach the lost on every continent. When Christians are able to give the reason for the eternal hope they have and describe to others their life-changing encounter with the Lord of the Universe, He brings redemption, reconciliation and restoration to those who hear, and believe. John Freyler is being used in mighty ways to reach a lost world.”

Some of Freyler’s most challenging deployments as a DART chaplain have been to the following countries:

  • the Philippines in 2013 in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan that devastated the Visayas group of islands
  • to Liberia in 2014 for the Ebola response during the time Dr. Kent Brantley and SIM missionary Nancy Writebol contacted the disease and needed to be evacuated
  • to Nepal in 2015 after the 7.6 earthquake and during the 7.3 aftershock. John was stranded in the mountains for several days.
  • to Ecuador in 2016 serving in SP’s field hospital after a 7.8 earthquake in Perdernales
  • to Iraq for a total of 2 months in 2017 at SP’s war zone field hospital just outside of Mosul during the liberation of Mosul
  • to Bangladesh in 2018 responding to the diphtheria outbreak to the marginalized Rohingya refuges from Myanmar
  • to the Bahamas after last year’s devastating hurricane Dorian
  • and this summer to the Navajo Nation in New Mexico, responding to their COVID19 outbreak.

Freyler says, “Emergency relief is the heartbeat of SP! I love to deploy on DARTs because, honestly, they are exciting, lifelong bonds of friendship are formed, but best of all, God is there and working! Henry Blackaby, once said, ‘find out where God is working and join him’. This is what we do. In every DART I have ever been on, I have seen God’s hand move. Often, God allows us to accomplish the impossible, the miraculous, for His glory and for the spiritual and physical wellbeing of so many. It’s a privilege to be a part of this team.”

Before joining Samaritan’s Purse, Freyler worked as an Engineering Manager for Nortel Networks in Miami, Florida.  He is a graduate of NC State University. John has been married to his wife Lina for 30 years and resides in Boone, NC.  Their four children live in various parts of the US.

Under Dr. Land’s leadership, Southern Evangelical Seminary continues to be known as an institution that equips evangelicals to articulate the compelling reasons for their belief in the historic Christian faith.

Read more about Southern Evangelical Seminary and SES President Dr. Richard Land, as well as his radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on nearly 800 stations nationwide, here.  Richard Land is a leading voice of Evangelicals in America. He serves as an executive editor of The Christian Post and President of Southern Evangelical Seminary, a leader in Christian apologetics education.

For more information on SES, visit its web site at or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information on the 2020 National Conference on Christian Apologetics which will be held as a six-day virtual event, Oct. 12-17, visit


To interview a Southern Evangelical Seminary representative, contact, Jeff Tolson, 610.584.1096, ext. 108, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.