Thailand (MNN) — Cornerstone University has a new leader of their international ministry in Asia. In partnership with the Association of Baptists for World Evangelism, CU provides theological training through Asia Biblical Theological Seminary (ABTS) based in Chang Mae, Thailand.
President of Cornerstone University Dr. Joe Stowell says, "I was over there to install a new dean. And we're delighted to have a great leader, Jim Blumenstock, who's heading up the whole work of ABTS, Asia Biblical Theological Seminary."
This is an area of the world that's strategic for Cornerstone University. Stowell says, "The Asian rim is a place where the Spirit is alive today, and what an honor for Cornerstone University to be playing a part where God is at work."
Many people are coming to Christ in this part of the world. That means there are needs. According to Stowell, "One of the great needs is theological training for national pastors and national leaders because many of them are bi-vocational; they have no opportunity for theological training."
ABTS provides this needed training. Stowell describes how it works. "We reach almost 200 national leaders a year by putting wheels–or like airplane wings–on our training. We send professors to the Philippines, as well as Thailand and into Myanmar–or as the people there like to remind us, it's still 'Burma.' We're getting ready to open doors in India, and China is next."
Blumenstock says Deli doesn't have any accredited graduate seminary programs in Deli. He says the India program could explode because of the demand. "The team there has been looking for a seminary to send their people to. They had to send their people to the United States, Australia or Europe for this type of education. When they found out about ABTS they got really excited." Classes begin in November.
He says scholarships are important to their program. "It costs about $155 per credit hour to cover our expenses. Most of our students can only afford $30 a credit hour. So, we've developed a scholarship program that offsets the costs of what they pay and what it costs us."
Blumenstock is encouraging you to help these students not only get an education to help plant more churches, but also share what they've learned with their peers.
ABTS is a multiplication strategy of Cornerstone University. Stowell says, "We have our own Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and ABTS over in Chang Mae, Thailand. God calls us to steward that. How do we make 10 talents out of one talent? How do we break the bread and feed more? So it's a fulfillment of our calling to be global and take the transforming power of the Gospel 'to the ends of the earth."
To help support national church leaders in Asia, click here: http://abts.cornerstone.edu/donors/