Six visiting scholars from various Bible seminaries in China, out of which four of them were supported by the United Bible Societies, were attached to Singapore’s Trinity Theological College (TTC) for three weeks in July 2011.
The idea of sending Bible scholars and teachers from China Bible seminaries for a three-week study attachment to more senior and experienced lecturers at TTC was mooted in December 2010 when leaders from TTC were invited to visit their counterpart from the China Christian Council/Three-Self Patriotic Movement (CCC/TSPM) in Shanghai.
At the December meeting, both parties agreed to work more closely together to raise the academic standards of scholars and teachers from seminaries and Bible schools in China. UBS was invited as a partner and supporter of this program.
The 4 Chinese Bible Scholars
“I am very happy and thankful for the generous support from donors of the United Bible Societies,” says Rev. Liu Dongxian, 43, from Helongjiang Province. “This is a rare and precious opportunity for us to be here to study and it will definitely help us in our service to the Lord.”
Formerly a medical student, Liu who is currently teaching in Beijing’s Yanjing Theological Seminary, says she is grateful to an elderly lady in her village who gave her a pamphlet detailing the concept of Creation and debunking the evolution theory. She then became a firm believer of the Christian faith after reading the pamphlet.
Rev. Li Lingen,Vice-Dean of Hebei Bible School remarks, “Over the many years, I have been too bogged down by daily administration and teaching at Hebei Bible School. I felt so recharged after these three weeks at TTC. Words can’t express the rewards I reaped. Thank you so much!”
Rev. Cai Jianwei, 43, Dean of Academic Affairs in Guangdong Theological Seminary agrees with Rev Li, “I am so glad I have achieved what I had hoped to learn. I learnt from Rev Dr Lim Teck Peng how he prepared his students’ study materials many weeks prior to the course. This diligent attitude is something that I need to emulate and am very thankful to Rev Lim for showing me.”
The fourth Bible seminary lecturer is Wang Huizhong pastor from the “Big Flowery Miao” ethnic group and grandnephew of the late Rev Wang Zhiming who was executed during the Cultural Revolution.
Lord We Are Blessed To Be Here
Wang Huizhong, Miao pastor and Bible lecturer at Yunnan Theological Seminary, told us that previously his reading of reference materials was limited to the resources available in China. “Through these weeks of interaction with the TTC teachers, I am given lots of research materials which I will be bringing back to work on. I am also blessed to understudy Mr Chan Yew Ming who gave me greater insights into the teaching of Psalms, the book I would be teaching next semester.”
“Just like the Apostle Peter of long ago who said: ‘Lord we are indeed blessed to be here!’ I feel the same way when I was at TTC –- the beautiful campus, amazing library and excellent faculty members,” marvels Rev Cai Jianwei.
All the scholars agreed that by coming here on an exchange program, they were able to gain new insights into Bible teaching. They also shared that they were able to refine their skills in developing curriculum, structuring a course as well as setting readings and examinations.
“I am grateful to TTC for taking care of every aspect of our learning. TTC is really God’s base for training up church leaders in Asia. I also want to thank God for UBS’s support in our training,” says Rev Li.
When asked if this stint has further deepened their understanding of UBS and its partnership with the Church in China, Rev Cai replies, “Yes, I got to know more about UBS’ ministries and its great contribution to China’s Bible needs. After this trip, I hope that our Provincial CC will have more opportunities to work with UBS in the near future.”
Written by Pamela Choo
Chinese testimonies translated by Chiong Min Lee