These past few months have brought a lot of uncertainty and change. It is hard to wrap our heads and hearts around the devastating effects of COVID-19. It is inevitable that people do more soul-searching – wondering about the meaning and purpose of life. This is why it is so vital that in the midst of all the challenges the message of God’s hope, love and joy in Jesus be shared and shown. And this is why it is so crucial that Bible colleges be able to sustain themselves through this time.
It would be most unfortunate if seminaries were forced to cease operations at the very time when trained Christian leaders are the single greatest asset the global church has for confronting this crisis. As we communicated in our last Newsletter, we have developed a four phase Shoulder to Shoulder strategy for standing with partner Bible colleges. The initial goal is simply to help keep faculty teaching and students learning. We want to avoid faculty having to seek alternative employment in order to provide for their families (with the possible result that some may not return), and we want to keep students engaged in their studies.
The first phase of our Shoulder to Shoulder strategy is to assist seminaries to increase student online capacity through upgrades to IT, cameras, online books and journals. Innovative online theological education will not only help Bible colleges survive but actually enable them to thrive! For colleges that are well equipped to educate online are positioned to reach a much larger audience, thereby multiplying their impact.
So far, in partner with Overseas Council Australia, we have made commitments to two schools. At St. Paul’s University, located in Limuru, Kenya (just outside of Nairobi), we have committed $8,500 to purchase a server to support online learning platforms for their affiliate colleges. Similarly, at Uganda Christian University in Mukono, Uganda we have agreed to purchase laptops for $3,825 to facilitate remote learning with their affiliate colleges. We continue to work closely with other partner institutions to discern what their needs and capacities are in this time.
This student in Vietnam built a shelter high up on a hill to receive a signal and participate in online education.
We invite you to consider helping these Bible colleges both stay in the Lord’s ‘business’ and become even more effective in the training of leaders for Christ’s church, for the healing of the nations. For more info, or to learn about the other schools we are tracking with, please contact us at email@example.com.
A team from reSource Leadership International and Overseas Council Australia visited St. Paul’s University in May 2017. Peter DenHaan is on the far left and Stuart Brooking (Overseas Council Australia) in the middle.