Equipping Bible Teachers Well – Key To Raising Quality Leaders For China’s Churches

Organisers, speakers and participants of the NT Seminar 2015. Photo: Courtesy of Eunice Low

NANJING, China – On the morning of 27 January 2015, the New Testament (NT) Seminar organized by the China Christian Council/Three Self Patriotic Movement (CCC/TSPM) and sponsored by United Bible Societies (UBS) commenced at Nanjing Union Theological Seminary (NJUTS) with an official Opening Ceremony.

In his welcome speech, the President of CCC and President of NJUTS, Rev Gao Feng expressed appreciation for the support of UBS.  He affirmed the significance of the series of seminars in promoting the teaching skills and knowledge base of NT lecturers in China.

Lasting from 27 January to 7 February, this New Testament Seminar came in the wake of the well-received Old Testament (OT) Seminar, held in July 2013, which was attended by 22 OT lecturers. This time, 24 NT lecturers from 22 seminaries in various parts of China participated in the event.

The invited lecturers included UBS Global Council Member, Bishop John Chew who dealt with Biblical Theology; Trinity Theological College lecturers, Ms Eunice Low and Ms Yap Seok Chin who taught on The Gospels and The Use of Parables respectively; and former UBS Translation Consultant, Dr Peng Kuo Wei who lectured on research relating to Galatians.

At one of the sessions. (Photo: UBSCP/ Jock Foo)

Besides updating their understanding of NT biblical studies and the latest research advancements, participants also looked into curriculum planning and shared their teaching experiences.

Being on the NJUTS campus grounds gave participants from other seminaries the opportunity to use research facilities on site. They were impressed by the resources available in the Bible Resource Centre (BRC) and frequented it during their free time. A few lecturers even recommended titles they would like to be added to the current collection.

Ma Liyan, 33, a lecturer of seven years at Inner Mongolia Bible School said, “From the seminars, I have learnt to appreciate the link between the Old and New Testaments. With these new insights, I am now more conscious of the need to understand the biblical background and context of NT texts.”

Zhang Hua, 35, who had taught NT and Church History for nine years at Hunan Bible School felt his main takeaway was in understanding the issues surrounding more controversial topics in Biblical interpretation as well as becoming acquainted with the latest research findings.

Participants browsing in the Bible Resource Centre of NJUTS Library Photo: UBSCP/ Jock Foo

Cui Jinghuan, 34, an NT teacher from Heilongjiang Seminary shared, “Now I have a deeper and clearer understanding of NT themes. This knowledge will enhance my teaching method, choice of teaching topics and form the basis for professional reflection.”

In order to nurture future leaders of quality in China’s churches and Bible schools, lecturers in seminaries need to be well trained and equipped. United Bible Societies (UBS) is committed to sponsoring such annual Bible Seminars to achieve that end and continued funding would be important as well.


Story: Angela Teo
Edited: Cynthia Oh
Photo: UBS CP/Jock Foo
2015 © United Bible Societies China Partnership