Southwestern introduces new Chinese master’s program
During the Chinese Fellowship Dinner, Sept. 28, Southwestern Seminary formally introduced its new Chinese Theological Studies program to pastors of Chinese churches throughout the US. The program provides access to online education entirely in the Mandarin language, equipping followers of Christ with the foundational tools of biblical and theological knowledge to better reach the people of China and the Chinese diaspora.
Introducing the program, Dean of the School of Theology D. Jeffrey Bingham said the concentrated program provides its students with the essential tools of Bible study and theological and doctrinal knowledge. “We launched the Master of Theological Studies in Mandarin because the Scripture compelled us to do so,” Bingham said. “What we have attempted to do with the Lord’s blessing, and with the giftedness of God’s people gathered here at Southwestern Seminary, is to introduce a program of education available completely online in Mandarin so that we can train ministers who are Mandarin-speaking with the foundational tools.”
Access to such an education opportunity, Bingham added, is foundational to the work of spreading the Gospel message. “Whether performed by a full-time minister or by a layperson, the roots of such ministry are grounded in an ability to interpret and to understand the Scriptures and to construct from Scriptures a reliable and true statement of Christian orthodoxy,” he said.
Courses are taught entirely by Southwestern faculty and translated by the Mandarin Translation Project staff, directed by Southwestern professor Hongyi Yang. The program is a 36-credit hour Master in Theological Studies offering three courses in systematic theology, three courses in Old Testament, three courses in New Testament, two courses in church history, and one course in Bible study methods. This semester, 30 students are enrolled in Systematic Theology 1.
“These [courses] will provide the citizens of the Kingdom who currently dwell on this earth and who speak and understand Mandarin to be able to master
the Scriptures and be able to pass on the faithful the true and trustworthy teachings of Scripture,” Bingham said.
The program is a result of the efforts of Southwestern faculty and staff and ministry partners, many of whom were in attendance for the dinner and thanked for their contributions both financially and practically. The dinner also featured numerous testimonies from students who are currently pursuing a Chinese Master of Theological Studies.
President Paige Patterson concluded the evening, thanking the numerous ministry partners for their shared vision of witnessing the lost in China be transformed by the Gospel. “We can take the Gospel in ways we never even thought about before,” Patterson said. “This is going to be an exciting next 10 years. Don’t miss it. Don’t miss what God is going to do in China.”