SAT-7 brings seminary training to the home

By December 1, 2010

Middle East (MNN) — A new Bible curriculum will launch this January, made available through satellite television–followed by the internet–to believers across the Middle East and North Africa.

SAT-7, a Christian satellite television service to the Middle East and North Africa, currently broadcasts Christian television programs to 22 countries. Many people have come to Christ as a result of their services, while others have been encouraged and bolstered in their faith. SAT-7 broadcasts into some areas in which being a Christian puts a person in the minority and can oftentimes be dangerous.

Christians throughout the Middle East and North Africa are unlikely, then, to have access to Bible education or seminary training. Studying Christian living, the Bible, and church leadership at a higher level are often difficult or even out of the question.

With these realities in mind, three years ago SAT-7 began asking this question: "What could we provide over the air or over the internet to help [Arab believers] grow in the Lord and strengthen the Middle East church? They don't have resources out the door and down the block like most of us have."

The answer came with two key partnerships. It seemed that SAT-7, Overseas Council, and the Middle East Association of Theological Education all had a passion to provide upper-level theological teaching for Christians in the Middle East. Plans for curriculum began to formulate.

"From the three of us–one's a broadcaster, one works with seminaries worldwide in terms of leadership, and one is a group of seminary professors–we thought we had what we needed to put together a curriculum that would really help disciple and grow those new believers that we now have coming to us for support and help in the Middle East," says SAT-7 USA President Rex Rogers.

The three ministries will soon find out if they've hit the mark. Scheduled to launch in January, TEACH (Theological Educations for Arab Christians at Home) will air 43 different courses in 10 modules to total 430 programs teaching anything from Bible 101 to Church Leadership.

"The TEACH part is an on-air set of Bible instruction programs that SAT-7 will begin airing in January," explains Rogers. "Then LEARN will follow sequentially–that's an online and internet-based kind of program."

LEARN (Leadership Education And Resource Network) will be available online after TEACH has been broadcasting for several months. TEACH and LEARN are both taught by North African and Middle Eastern seminary professors who have proven to be excellent examples of leaders and followers of Christ.

The curriculum will surely be an encouragement and aid to believers across the 22 countries to which SAT-7 broadcasts. More than that, they may also serve as outreach tools. For one thing, the fruit of the programs will hopefully result in the spread of the Gospel as TEACH and LEARN students take their knowledge with them into everyday life. In addition, as people browse the channels of their television and stop on SAT-7's programming, they will inevitably hear about Jesus Christ as this curriculum airs. Pray that they would be transformed by the message.

"I think it has enormous potential to reach the 500 million Arabic-speaking people of the Middle East," says Rogers.

The programs are recorded and ready to air; now funds and prayers are needed to ensure a late-January launch date. Funding is needed for air time, which is unfortunately not cheap. Pray that all funds would come in to get this new curriculum in the hands of those who need it. Pray also that people would understand the programs, and that they would reach every person God has intended: new believer, veteran believer, seeker or Christian antagonist. Pray that Christ would be glorified through these new programs.

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