Any School of Theology student in the past 21 years will know Cindy Ng, SOT’s head of administration. What you may not know is that Cindy graduated from its first cohort. She is married to Bobby Chaw, the Principal of SOT, and has dedicated her whole life to serving the Bible School.
When I was in Bible school, Christology was my favorite subject. There is a chapter that explores if the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a hoax. My lecturer was Pastor Kong and he ran through 14 pieces of evidence that proved Jesus really died on the Cross and He really did resurrect.
That was in 1994. I can still picture that room at the church’s Mackenzie Road office where the lesson was held. When Pastor went through one piece of evidence after another, I was so moved I had tears in my eyes. By the time Pastor gave the altar call, every student was crying buckets because we were so touched by the measure of God’s love and the price Jesus paid. During the altar call, I was so touched by the love of God that I told God I want to serve Him full time for the rest of my life.
That was the first year of Bible school. City Harvest Bible School Training Center started with 29 students and I was one of them. That year, I also took a step of faith and joined the Nazarite program, meaning that I worked for the church as a full-time pastoral staff member without receiving a salary for a year.
Four years later, I joined the CHBTC department and I have served in the Bible school for the last 21 years. Now known as the School of Theology, our Bible school has been training students from all over the world for 25 years.
SOT is a unique Bible school. Not only do we provide theological learning, the school environment also creates many opportunities for our students to encounter God exercise practical ministry. Since Day 1, the impartation of the Word—heart knowledge more than head knowledge; praying strong in the Spirit; building a strong spiritual atmosphere of praise and worship—has never ceased to be our goal. Apart from all these, the students also learn hands-on how to conduct a cell group through the mock cell group training and preaching tests. We also offer ministry practicum, so our students can be attached to a church ministry and learn on the job.
Over the years, we have seen different people come to SOT for different reasons. Most come because they want to dig deeper into God’s Word; some come because they are burnt out from ministry and need a fresh touch from God; others because they simply want to encounter God. Over the course of seven months, SOT provides the students with the platform to be immersed in the presence of God daily from Monday to Friday. They are literally soaked in His presence daily!
Just as how I encountered God during my Bible School days, I’ve seen many of the students spiritually revived. Many found their purpose in SOT and went back to their home church to continue serving God full-time.
Every year, our graduating students would say how much they will miss being in the presence of God daily. As such, we are constantly finding ways to bring the presence of God to our alumni. Thus far, we have conducted short-term Bible school sessions in Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan, and we hold alumni gatherings in the Philippines, Hong Kong and Japan. As Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) promises, “for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” These sessions are a spiritual reunion that encourages our graduates to serve God even more!
Three years ago, we reintroduced Christology to the curriculum and invited our alumni to return for a refresher. Many were very happy as they get to re-live the SOT life for two weeks and be refreshed in the Lord’s presence again.
My greatest reward in serving SOT all these years is really seeing lives changed. Year after year, as I witness students being touched by God and having their lives transformed, I am so grateful to God that I responded to the altar call and commit myself to serve Him full time. I have only one life to live and I want to live it for Jesus!