by Dr. A. Ryan, leader, Entrust Asia contextualized training team
Many pastors in Asia serve without adequate theological education. Seminaries and Bible colleges exist but are not able to reach everyone.
Entrust has been helping several schools in Asia discover strategies for reaching Christian leaders who still need training, and for writing courses relevant to the average pastor’s needs in villages and rural areas. More schools in this country are embracing the call to educational reform which moves away from focusing on mere head knowledge toward seeking real transformation in students’ lives and ministries, which is a hallmark of our ministry training.
Dr. Timothy, leader of a large seminary’s extension program, was one of the early adopters of our program. During COVID, many schools, suddenly unable to carry on in-person training and aware of his reputation, began asking him for help in revamping their courses for online and extension training.
Online courses designed for leaders serving full-time cannot be as lengthy as courses designed for full-time residential students. Whereas in the past, teachers tried to cram as many topics as they could into an extension course, they now have to be selective. This forces faculty to focus on the most essential and often most relevant topics to their students. Shorter courses are easier for distance education students to handle, and the limited number of topics helps them to spend more time learning those topics rather than seeking to remember much more material just to pass a test.
God is changing the training landscape here, in part, thanks to COVID!
Names have been changed for security reasons.