Lebanon (MNN) — There’s still time to sign up for the July edition of the Middle East Conversation 2020 webinar put on by Arab Baptist Theological Seminary! It takes place this Thursday, July 16, and you can sign up here.
Rather than holding its annual Middle East Consultation, ABTS is hosting a series of monthly webinars about matters that relate to Christians in the Middle East. Read more here.
This month, the topic will be theological education during the pandemic. Loulwa El Maalouf says people who sign up can expect to hear Middle Eastern voices on these topics. “We’re talking about how theological education is affected during this crisis. Of course, in the Arab world, there is a need for theological education and leadership formation for the Arab church. So we’re having to ask about how we can respond in a way that [leads] to enduring change.”
As reported here, one way ABTS is adjusting to the pandemic is changing its residency program. The seminary will be able to provide education to more students under the new program, but the students will stay on campus only a short time each semester.
El Maalouf says Christians can pray for ABTS as they continue to navigate what theological education will look like in a world after COVID-19. “We need to make sure that we are hearing God’s voice as he guides us. These changes are not easy. They’re not straightforward. This has the potential to affect the theological education in all the regions of the Middle East and North Africa.”
Keep in mind, ABTS will be putting on another webinar in August and will continue monthly with MEC2020 until the end of the year. Next month, ABTS will talk about the changes to local churches during COVID-19 from a Middle Eastern perspective. What does it mean to worship as the body of Christ, but without a building?
You can also still watch the June webinar on YouTube. It addressed the topic of how the pandemic will change us. El Maalouf says Christians can simply wait for the crisis to end, or we can embrace the transformation that this time can bring. “Think of what a caterpillar is [like], how they emerge as a butterfly. We can emerge from this crisis or this pandemic as a butterfly. If we are thinking in a transformative way. We have to be intentional about it.”
The header image shows a view of Lebanon during winter. (Photo courtesy of ABTS on Facebook)