The School Of Theology takes pride in raising effective Kingdom-builders and is now ready to launch them forth into the world to make a difference in this generation and beyond.
|CN PHOTO: Michael Chan|
The School Of Theology is a six-month advanced certificate program that builds its curriculum on the main principles of the Great Commandment, the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate. SOT seeks to train and equip workers who will carry God’s Spirit and anointing to whichever sphere of influence they are in.
Since its inception in 1994 till last year, 4,323 graduates have been groomed and commissioned by SOT “to go into all the world” to fulfill God’s calling and plan. The institution’s high caliber training courses are built on sound biblical doctrine and include practical know-how that match up to international standards for quality education. Students are exposed to and taught on effective ministry in the local church, evangelism, world missions, deliverance and healing. Throughout the course, there is a strong emphasis on grounding oneself in the Word of God, building a strong prayer life and spiritual sensitivity in moving with the Holy Spirit.
In addition to the curriculum for the academic year, chapel services are conducted several times a month where international church leaders are invited to share about their journey in the ministry. Most of these sessions focus on leadership roles and strengthening of the local church.
INVESTING FOR ETERNITY
At the 16th student intake ending on Aug. 28 and 29, 641 students will graduate from the program. A third of the student population is made up of international students from 14 countries while over 400 are Singaporeans and local residents—some members of City Harvest Church and others from various local churches in Singapore.
Says Bobby Chaw, SOT’s dean of students and a pastor of CHC, “Christian education is an important aspect of a believer’s life, where one receives a correct biblical view of self, God and the world we live in.” Believing that Christians should live their lives with destiny and purpose, he adds, “We discover our purpose through the Scriptures; and that will prepare us to live our lives with greater wisdom and purpose.” As such, Chaw exhorts that Bible school is for every believer.
QUEST FOR A GOD CULTURE
News about the world-shaking SOT has spread far and wide, even to nations outside of Asia, including South Africa, Europe, America and Australia.
Wanting to see for herself what people have been talking about, 22-year-old Rasedile Kgaugelo Vendah ventured out of Africa for the very first time and landed in this little city state of Singapore. “When you’re in your comfort zone, you don’t normally learn much. But when you’re out there, you get to learn from other people’s point of view. I wanted to see the world, know how people think on the other
side of the world, and see what God is doing there.”
She says, “It totally opened up my perspective and helped me to think big and expand my capacity.” Vendah also battled homesickness in her quest to experience more of the God-culture that unites the cultures of the world. “I’ve built meaningful relationships here which are priceless,” she remarked, referring to the many lifelong friendships forged in SOT.
NEVER TOO OLD OR YOUNG
“I want to give God the better part of me,” says 80-year-old Billy Lim. Uncle Billy, as he is fondly known to fellow SOT students, has been a faithful veteran member of CHC since 1991. To him, life goes on even after the death of his wife in 2005. Despite the loss of his better half, Lim gained renewed strength and boldness in the Lord which led him to take a leap of faith to enroll in Bible school.
Cheerful and sprightly, Lim attended classes faithfully, submitted assignments on time and never missed a single exam in school. At the Econ Medicare Centre where he currently resides, he grabs every opportunity to share the love of God to fellow senior citizens. To date, he has led six of them to salvation in the Lord. “I have had so much joy in the Holy Spirit. If not for Christ, I would not feel this blessed. So I want others to experience it too.”
Hopeful of the great future ahead of him, he shares, “There is more for me to see and experience in this life in Christ.”
Hikari Okabe from Japan, entered SOT at 16 while she was in the midst of her high school studies. The talented Okabe did not have to go through a second year of high school, having passed the exam for direct promotion into third year. Beyond the excitement of heading back home to her family and friends after graduation, she is looking forward to returning to her country and living out the Cultural Mandate.
Okabe shares, “Most Christian teenagers in Japan are confused about many things. In their minds, many things—such as secular music, TV programs—are evil and they are taught to stay away from them. I want to help them see that God is in the business of restoration in a broken down world. I’m glad I have learned about the Cultural Mandate in SOT.”
EQUIPPED FOR MINISTRY
Married couple Joseph Ho and Faith Yeung have been in full-time ministry for seven years serving as youth pastors at Praise Assembly in Hong Kong. They had heard about SOT through the ministry of CHC’s founder Kong Hee and a mission team from CHC who visited the church in 2004. Since then, the desire to go to SOT had been at the back of their minds. “We had many difficulties in the ministry and we are finding ways to grow [the church] despite that,” says Yeung.
“In SOT, the teachings are so practical and we are able to see the real-life application of what the school teaches through CHC’s ministry. It is not just knowledge in the mind but also experiencing it for ourselves,” Ho adds. The young couple was especially moved and awakened by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, understanding Him to be the driving force behind effective ministry.
Christopher Schnell from Germany, will never forget his encounters at SOT that launched him forth into a clearer direction and vision in life. A former volunteer at Reinhard Bonnke’s ministry, Christ For All Nations, Schnell sees himself continuing the work of Kingdom-building as he ventures into the marketplace in Singapore after SOT.
BEING PREPARED FOR THE MARKETPLACE
Traditionally, people equate going to Bible school to becoming a pastor or a full-time staff in church. However, year after year, testimonies of SOT graduates prove otherwise. Most of the students go back to the workforce and remain fervent volunteers in the church. A large number of the SOT students are youths awaiting their university placement, part-time workers, businessmen, housewives or retirees. Not everyone receives the call to full-time ministry.
Student Louisa Tay, 22, candidate and recipient of two subsidiary awards at this year’s Miss Singapore World beauty pageant, finally made the decision to get herself trained after five years in CHC. Having to balance between commitments in university, part-time modeling, tutorial work, pageant-related events, church ministry as a connect group leader and SOT choir member, she explains, “It was definitely challenging. SOT really stretched my capacity. But in the end I see myself becoming more confident and better prepared to rise up in the ministry and the marketplace.”
As for her SOT teammate Emily Tabugadir, a Filipino, her previous company, which is an established bank in Singapore, not only offered her a higher salary but also a more senior position as senior business analyst in IT after her graduation from SOT, proving that promotion comes from the Lord and that He will honor those who put Him first, above all else.