Newly-Built Bible School of Shaanxi, A Good Sign of Progress in Northwest China

Shaanxi Bible School
Shaanxi Bible School
By Issarchar LiDecember 15th, 2015

Shaanxi province is in the heart of northwest inland China, it is located across Yellow River and Yangtze, which is the key position of connection between the east, midland, northwest, and southwest. Nowadays, there are about 500,000 Christians there, they have shared good news that the site selection work of the Shaanxi Bible School had finished and that it is in the Xixian new area------the seventh national district in our country. 

The Xixian new area is the new national level area that is the first to get official permission and established by the State Council on January 2014. It's theme is innovating the development mode of the city. It is located between Xi'an and Xian Yang city with wonderful scenery and environment and convenient traffic. On the 1st of December 2015, Shaanxi Bible School and Xixian New Area International Cultural Education Industrial Park co-hosted the signing ceremony of the "Shaanxi Bible School Project." 

Pastor Wang Jun,the president of Shaanxi CCCTSPM and the Office Director of the Bible College in Shaanxi, accepted the phone interview of CCD. He introduced that Shaanxi Bible School was built in 1988. It started in the Sanyuan County Church of Xianyang city (Sanyuan county being one of the birthplaces of Christianity in Shaanxi) and now there is a village named Gospel Countryside. Although the Bible School has only one teaching class then, it still  has a great effect on increasing pastoral stuff.

On May1998, a great progress occurred after moving to the new location. Three changes happened here. Firstly, there is now their own place. secondly, There are more full-time teachers, third is adding two classes for instruction. And from a three-year technical secondary school, it was upgraded to a four-year college, the scale has expanded from 50 persons to more than 100. Wang Jun said, "Shaanxi Bible College played an important role in the health development of churches through Shaanxi church history."

He also introduced the status quo of the college and it has cultivated 400 seminarists besides the 1,200 one-year students of volunteer pastor in training. There are 1,600 talents from here in total. They make a great difference in feed, management, and preaching around Shaanxi, many of them were ordained pastors, curates or elders.

Wang Jun translated that there are 3 reasons for building new college areas, firstly, the number of churches in Shaanxi were increasing from a hundred thousand to almost a half of million so far, therefore, it is necessary that increasing believers put forward the new demands to pastors and seminarists in college who cannot meet the need of the churches' development. With lack of pastoral stuff, some heretical and one-sided beliefs were left in the developing spaces in remote areas of the north and south of Shaanxi, which causes churches to be unhealthy. So he insisted: it is the need of the churches of Shaanxi that we need to cultivate more talents of theology, to preach the Gospel, to lead believers, and to manage the churches."

Secondly, the need of 4 other provinces of north-west China. Wang said that the Bible School will take responsibility for a mission----- boot in Shaanxi and combine northwest since it was created in 1988, especially since the move to Xiaan. So actually, the Bible college have acted as agents to cultivate students from 4 provinces in the northwest (Qinghai,Ningxia,Gansu,Xinjiang), even in Shanxi. He indicated that the college needs to reinforce  theological education and expand the enrollment scale. He also introduced that it had cultivated 80 students of four-years for above provinces. In addition, in the recent years, a small number of the volunteer workers were allowed to join in training. 

Thirdly, the college cannot expand the enrollment at present even with the the vast demands of talents because the campus is too small, there are only three classes that are full, and even no places for teaching. So we could only establish the new school area.

The old school is less than 9 mu(1mu=1/6 acre), the new one is 21.7mu, teaching building, apartment blocks and library in plan, total construction area is about 2,000 square meters. When it is finished, our classes will add up to 8 and enrollment could expand from 100 to 300.Pastor Wang considered thatnow that there are no formal libraries, only 3,200 books. They will build alibrary that accommodate ten thousand books as theological education cannot leave the books. Thus it is able to meet the demands of talents in our province and northwest churches. And we also have an idea of upgrading to the undergraduate school.

Wang thinks the new address is Xi Xian new area is full of Christian style and will blend in local culture which will boost the popularity, culture soft power, and enhance influence on society.

For the past few years, many of the seminary schools have started to build new campuses. including theYunnan seminary , the Fujian seminary, the Zhongnan seminary, etc. when it comes to this phenomenon, Wang said to us that seeing this phenomenon from two aspects. "One is that the church's talent and talent in society is the same. If the competition is talented person's competition in the society, the development of our church is also the development of talent. In view of this, the Bureau of Religion, United Front Work Department put emphasis on religious institutions. 

"On the other hand, CPPCC and all provincial CPPCC had put into much energy and money, construction of talent as the better development toward church, the most importance is healthy development because everything is empty without talent.

Pasto Wang concluded, from these two aspects, we must have a good prospect in Chinese religious education and our Christian theological education also have a good prospect. "It should be good news for the Chinese church." He added.

Finally, he said, the new campus of the Shaanxi Bible school is expected to start in the first half of 2016 and will be finished on the 30th anniversary of the school in 2018.The construction of the new campus still leaves a vacancy of fees, but we hope to offer prayers and love offerings! 

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