Shaanxi Bible School held a 5-day-long opening retreat for the coming semester, Sept. 5 to 9.
Guest speakers of the retreat are two pastors from Sanyuan county and Tongchuan city, Yang Changqing, the ex-senior pastor of Bainian Church and Wu Guilan, the pastor of Wangyi Church.
Pastor Wu Guilan shared the message of Peter’s recognition of Christ. Pastor Wu encourage the students to deeply seek truth of Christ, with responding His calling.
Pastor Yang Changqing encourage the seminary students to be committed to Christ, to pursuit maturity in Christ and follow Jesus.
Intro to Shaanxi Bible School
In response to the lack of ministers in China, along with approximately 20 other seminaries, Shaanxi Bible School was founded in 1988. The school began by offering a three-month training program. There are now two different types of programs that are offered at the Shaanxi Bible School. The first is a one-year program for lay leaders. Lay leaders ages range from 18 to 50 and approximately 45 students are enrolled each year. The curriculum includes: introduction to the old and new testament, the life of Jesus, pastoral ministry, hermeneutics, sermons, the spirituality of the Christian, pastoral counseling, church administration, church history, the theology of the bible, and general music and organ. Over 900 students have completed this training in the past 20 years. About 200 of these students have been ordained as elders.
The second type of program offered is a four-year, college-level seminary with students ranging in age from 18 to 35. In addition to courses offered for lay leaders, the curriculum includes: theology, English, Hebrew history, geography of the Bible, Christian ethics, philosophy, Chinese literature, modern theology, theological thought, introduction to Christian education, and ecumenical theology.
To date, seven classes have completed the four-year program, totaling 300 graduates. Currently, 81 students are enrolled in the four-year program and 47 in the one-year class. The Shaanxi Bible School draws students who have only a middle school education. Most come sponsored by their local churches and return after the four-year program to serve the local church. The school aspires to be a seminary, but is more equivalent to a high school or junior college.
There are nine full-time professors at Shaanxi Bible School, all of whom have graduated from Nanjing Union Theological Seminary. Three of the nine teachers have Masters Degrees and the other six have Bachelors Degrees. There also are more than eight instructors who come from local universities or are local pastors.
There is a big need for seminaries and Bible schools in China. By contributing to the Shaanxi Bible School, one is enabling them to train people to guide and help Christians in China develop their faith. Scholarships from Global Ministries gifts have helped students attend both the four-year program as well as the one-year program for lay leaders. Scholarship recipients are generally from very poor areas and from churches that cannot afford to send pastors to school.