Middle East (MNN) – The Program for Theological Education by Extension (PTEE) is helping students in the Middle East receive a seminary education without having to leave their homes and commitments.
Growing through PTEE
Sallam grew up and lives in Jordan with his family as a recent graduate of PTEE, but he says he used to be an atheist.
Once he was saved, he became passionate about the Bible and ministry, and his pastor introduced him to the PTEE courses, which are made specifically for Arabic speakers like Sallam.
Sallam says they started with Romans, which was especially important to him.
“This really was a wonderful experience for me when I started Romans with PTEE. I understand what Christianity is. I understand Christ. I understand salvation… All of these things, [were] new to me. I never heard about it, and it was easy for someone like me who don’t know about the Bible.”
The first course was ten weeks long. After that, Sallam started other courses and eventually received his first certificate from PTEE. During this time, he was deeply moved and transformed by the message of Christ.
“I was surprised is that the Christian faith was like that. It was amazing for me how Christ came and died for us, carried our sins even though He is sinless… This kind of love was surprising for me.”
Serving Others through PTEE
Before Sallam enrolled in PTEE, he says he had been praying that God would show him how he could further his education while also juggling work, his ministry efforts, and taking care of his family.
PTEE opened doors so that he could not only continue his everyday life but also eventually earn his master’s degree and deepen his ministry impact immediately.
As Sallam worked as the youth pastor in his church, he was able to use the materials from PTEE and implement what he learned into the youth ministry and their activities.
“It really improve[d] my maturity with Christ and also, it reflects to the other people that I am serving them.”
Further, during the time Sallam studied with PTEE, he acted as a tutor to other PTEE students.
He clarifies that he was “not a teacher because our program, for our education is the book is the teacher – not the tutor. I am studying together with the students that I am tutoring them, but the only difference between me and them, I don’t take weekly quizzes and assignments also – only the final exam.”
Students, including Sallam, met once a week and they would discuss the lesson they worked on.
“I learn from the students. We learn from each other inside the discussion room and this weekly meeting.”
Sallam says the meetings and the lessons were interactive, which gave students the tools to act and made the learning more applicable to their everyday ministries.
“They will not forget because sometimes when you [are] just listening, you miss some stuff during the lecture, but if you practice it and make it research, or a play, or something like that, it will be stored in your brain and you can use it in your daily life,” Sallam says.
Looking to the Future
Today, Sallam has graduated with a master’s degree and encourages his friends to study theology with PTEE so they can further their education without leaving their country and obligations and fit it into their busy schedules.
PTEE is making education even more accessible to students like Sallam by introducing online teaching and education.
“This will become more easy to teach people that they cannot really come to or they don’t have churches in their countries or even in our country, they cannot come to the Church because of the community out there.”
The online education will make it possible for students to learn and receive their degree even from a mobile phone or device.
Also, pray for Sallam, other PTEE students, and for the online educational program.
Header photo courtesy of PTEE via Facebook.