Thailand (MNN) — Multiplying trained Christian leaders is a major focus of Cornerstone University’s Asia Biblical Theological Seminary (ABTS). Today, ABTS is providing master’s degree-level training in six countries in modular form.
Dean of ABTS Jim Blumenstock says the seminary started in 1983, and in 1985 their program in the Philippines began. “We celebrated our 30-year anniversary with a great celebration in Baggio. We actually have four seminar locations in the Philippines, all the way up north in Baggio to the south into Cagayan de Oro. The Philippines is 40% of our student body–about 59 students right now.”
ABTS is training the trainers. Blumenstock says, “The neat thing about our students is they always have a few multiplying churches. So, when you visit a student ministry, they’re also telling you about the church 10 or 20 miles down the road–church plants they have started.”
Another cause for celebration at ABTS is their new work in Delhi, India. “We have a team of about 6 individuals–representing different ministries–who have spearheaded this ministry in Delhi. The very first class: we had about 30 students come, and we’re now at about 39 at the site…. Already after a year and a half, [it’s] our second-largest site for ABTS.”
There is great potential for growth in India, says Blumenstock. “There are many seminaries, but some of the degrees they’re offering are not the high-quality degrees. We’re already receiving requests from as far south as Chennai and into northeast India.”
ABTS is hoping to become an East-meets-West type of seminary, “offering U.S.-accredited degrees but having Asian faculty and administration as well. We’re looking at the possibility of hiring Asian faculty for our office, which is a great financial burden.”
Funding is needed for office personnel as well as for the seminary’s student scholarship fund. “Many of our students are paying $15 to $20 a credit-hour. It really costs us $155. So, to continue offering our education, we really need those expenses off-set.”
In addition to Thailand, Philippines, and India, ABTS also offers classes in Myanmar (Burma), Singapore, and Papua New Guinea.
Blumenstock is asking you to pray for ministry growth. “We’ve been exploring ministry opportunities in neighboring countries and have seen some great partnership opportunities.”
If you’d like to support ABTS, you can do so here.