A new semester begins for students in the School of Theology, Class of 2010.
|CN PHOTO: Michael Chan|
Nearly 700 local and international students gathered at City Harvest Church’s Jurong West church auditorium. The class of 2010 sees the largest ever intake of students for the School of Theology 2010.
SOT, a full-time Bible college founded in 1994 by Rev. Dr. Kong Hee, is now in its 16th cycle, with a total record attendance of 691 students, which include 200 international delegates.
The first morning of SOT was off to a powerful start with a vibrant session of praise and worship, led by worship leader, Teo Poh Heng. Encouraging students to pray strongly in their spirit, pastor Aries Zulkarnain took the stage with a message. Sharing from Acts, he challenged the student body to step out of their comfort zones and learn to work with people from different cultures and backgrounds.
Bobby Chaw, Deputy Principal and Dean of Students, then shared the vision and mission of SOT. Aiming to equip people with knowledge from the Word and practicum skills such as the art of preaching, deliverance and soul-winning, SOT exists to send individuals out as servant leaders, to bring about transformation in their cell groups and churches, campuses, work places and countries. Chaw also hopes that students come to know God not only in their heads, but experience Him in a real and tangible manner.
Inspiring faith in students’ hearts, testimonies of notable affiliates and graduates were presented in a video clip. Founder and senior pastor of Heart Of God Church at Paya Lebar, Tan Seow How graduated from SOT in 1996, and started his church with just 29 people. Today, Heart Of God has a dynamic and faith-filled youth congregation, and attendance has hit an all-time high of 1,645 members.
The influence of SOT, however, is not contained within Singapore. SOT graduates across the region are doing great things for the Kingdom: In Taiwan, 2003 graduates Wayne and Angel Chang of Hsin Tien Covenant Church are presently overseeing a congregation of 857 people. Pastor of New Life Fellowship Association in India, Vijay Nadar, who graduated from SOT in 1997, sent his staff and leadership to SOT in 2006 and 2007; as a result of this training, his congregation grew from 350 to 2,185 within two years.
Linda Lin and Li Xue Yi, who were in the 2006 SOT cohort, have brought revival to their city in Northeast Asia, growing their church to almost 400 people from just 40.
“Regardless of your current position, bring your experiences with you; and you will bring revival to that sector,” Chaw told the class.
|CN PHOTO: Gay Sen Min|
To foster stronger friendships and build team spirit, the student body formed 30 teams to play a short game, entitled “Jurong West-ology”. Teams were required to complete two tasks; the first of which is to source for foods starting with the first letter of each member’s name. For example, if a member’s name is Jack, foods associated with the letter J would have to be purchased. The second task was to take snapshots of various locations with different combinations of team members as the photo subject. On top of that, each team had to come up with a cheer. Team 8 emerged champion.
A couple from Hong Kong, Joseph and Faith Ho, both 30, had this to say: “We were extremely impressed with the orientation program, and were especially touched by Pastor Aries’ sharing. We need to be more open and accepting of people from different races, cultures and backgrounds. The School of Theology allows us to do just that!”