School Of Theology 2013 commenced earlier this month with an opening address by deputy senior pastor Tan Ye Peng and lessons on the Solomon’s Song of Songs by senior pastor Kong Hee.
It was a vacation to Singapore that led Anatoly Ivanov to enroll in this year’s School of Theology. “I came to Singapore last year; at that time I visited CHC and met people who told me about SOT. The reason I signed up is because I want to build a church in my home country that will impact people for Christ, and I believe CHC is a powerful source to learn from.
“The lessons have been very interesting and practical. I know that this year will be a turning point for me to be equipped and empowered to advance the Kingdom of God,” says the 31-year-old Ivanov from Kazakhstan, who quit his job as a business development manager for Toyota Tsusho Corp. in order to pursue the seven-month course.
Ivanov is one of the 388 students enrolled at City Harvest’s School Of Theology this year. His classmates hail from 17 countries, including neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia as well as the US, South Africa, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand and Zimbabwe.
School Of Theology 2013 kicked off on Mar. 4 with deputy senior pastor of CHC, Tan Ye Peng preaching a sermon on how to practice love and compassion, drawing from the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10. Since then, the students have been immersed in teachings on the fundamentals of the Christian faith, setting a foundation for lessons on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Cultural Mandate and Home Cell Group Leadership in the months to follow.
The past week also saw the conclusion of a five-day series on the book of Song of Songs, taught by senior pastor Kong Hee. In contrast to the straight-forward narrative arcs in the Old Testament or the Gospels, Solomon’s Song of Songs is, to some, a more challenging read due to its rich literary style.
While Jewish scholars interpreted the book as an allegorical description of God’s love for Israel, Kong’s teachings approached the book as a love relationship between the believer and the Lord, explaining how a believer is brought from a position of intense need to a place of complete fulfillment.
“One of the verses that spoke to me was 1:4, ‘Draw me away! We will run after you.’ It encourages and reminds me that when believers are more Christ-like, people will see Jesus through us, and be drawn to Him,” says SOT student Daniel Yong Kar Ho, 25.