Scholarship funds help keep China’s church healthy.

By March 7, 2006

China (MNN)–China’s dearth of trained pastors has given rise to cults. That, in turn, has created a situation where the government has begun trying to contain the growth of the house church movement.

Their crackdown on the unregistered churches has been the topic of much international discussion, but the trends also point to the issue of training and teaching.

That route doesn’t always work well for ministries, though. China Partner works with the registered churches and seminaries in China to provide leadership training to future church leaders and pastors.

CP is open and above-board regarding its activities in China and does nothing considered illegal by the Chinese government.

However, that doesn’t mean the issue remains unaddressed. China Partner Ministries’ Erik Burklin says a discussion with a prominent church leader revealed the severity of the issue.

Burklin says there are only 18 official seminaries in China. Without enough training facilities, the problem will only get worse. “There’s about one ordained pastor to every ten thousand believers. So, there’s a real leadership gap there and that’s where China Partner wants to help and serve the church in China, by providing additional training, theological study books to help accelerate this process.”

Burklin says they’re partnering with the Jiangxi Provincial Bible School. “We have set up a scholarship fund for poor students. This allows that particular school to invite and allow for students, in the countryside, who normally don’t have enough money to be able to get theological training at this Bible School to come and be prepared for ministry.”

This project provides student scholarships and stipends for alumni serving as pastors, and helps meet specific material needs of the school.

It costs $32 per month for one student to attend Jiangxi Bible School. China Partner wants to support 50 students with $16 per month which is half of their total need.

If you want to help, go to China Partner’s website.

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