Jordan (MNN) – Program for Theological Education by Extension (PTEE) provides vital education for Arab church leaders across the globe. Since PTEE is structured for remote learning, students never have to leave their communities to receive their degree. It also allows them to apply their new knowledge while leading their congregations.
However, generations of Christians are disappearing from Jordan. The reason—Jordan’s economy. Kris Kuhlman of PTEE says Jordan’s economy is stagnant, making it difficult for people to build lives. When an opportunity arises to leave and secure a better future for themselves and their children, most people take it.
Christians Committing to Jordan
But Kuhlman also notes how some younger pastors are committing to a life in Jordan despite economic challenges. This is not unique to Jordan; similar situations are taking place all across the Middle East and North Africa.
“There is an absolute necessity for a program like PTEE, who can bring the theological training, bring the leadership training and education to the Arabic speaking Christians, wherever they live…We can start training the next generation of indigenous leaders so that the Christians here…can be the ones who are leading their churches, and impacting their society, and being the light in this dark world,” Kuhlman explains.
Kuhlman says it is time to think differently about how we invest in missions. For example, there are great benefits in supporting the theological education and training of indigenous church leaders who already know the language and culture.
These same leaders are already a part of the local community and can better reach their people with Christ’s love and truth. Economically, the costs of supporting local churches outweigh the cost of training and sending a foreigner who could lose a visa and may not stay for more than two years in a country.
“PTEE is such a financially effective way of developing the leaders for the Arab church. Because they are the Arab speakers, they’re already part of the churches here. They’re part of the ministries, but they’re young. [Most are] unable to go to residential seminary,” Kuhlman notes.
Attending a residential seminary is highly impractical while these leaders work to support their families. However, PTEE’s ability to provide low cost but quality theological training is dependent on individual donors, churches, and Christian organizations.
Help Support Arab Church Leaders
A gift of $23 can support a PTEE student. This financial gift allows PTEE to avoid charging students the full costs associated with keeping PTEE afloat. Ultimately, students are charged an average of $10 per course for a registration fee. The registration charges are calculated based on the GDP of the country the student resides.
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To give to PTEE, click here.
“There’s kind of an unprecedented growth of new Christians…of people coming to Christ from the majority faith background. They need to be discipled,” Kuhlman says.
“PTEE is actually able to get into those areas in the majority world. Those students, a new convert of Christ is not able to just walk into a seminary. It just isn’t possible. But they can study through PTEE, become a leader among these new followers of Christ. It’s so vital that this theological education is affordable and accessible to them.”
Header photo courtesy of PTEE