Singapore Bible College is celebrating its 70th birthday—the platinum jubilee!
It would not be inappropriate for a 70-year-old to receive a thorough body check-up for the sake of the person’s continued well-being. Moreover, this check-up would be timely and necessary after three years of the pandemic. The COVID-19 virus, though it cannot be seen with the naked eye, has left an obvious impact on the world. It has attacked our bodily and social systems, before striking at the very core of culture in any nation. SBC has not been spared from this impact. Many have been asking how the 70-year-old SBC is doing. Is SBC healthy enough to reach another jubilee?
In April 2022, a visiting examination team from Asia Theological Association gave the College a ‘360-degree’ check-up. The result was encouraging and affirmative: every member of the SBC family recognised it to be a close-knit community! They understood that this community is a cultural capital that has been passed on since the founding of this College, and which we are to pass on as an inheritance to the generations after us. We all know that a community has the potential to be powerful and influential. It is as a loving and worshipful community that the College excels in theological education, spiritual formation, character building, and ministry development. As a community that embraces the God who creates new things (Isa 43:19), and that must respond to the growing Christian population across Asia, we can face a new era in the post-pandemic world by broadening our horizons in five directions:
1. Provide students with on-site and online modes of learning to facilitate theological education for the growing Christian population in Asia
The College has been working on creating communal learning spaces, namely, through the installation of smart classrooms for hybrid teaching and the reconfiguration of the library layout, in order to increase the level of participation, interaction, and collaboration for all users. The challenge we face is to ensure that interpersonal interactions, character building, spiritual formation, and ministry shaping can take place for on-site and online, on-campus and off-campus, residential and non-residential students, as well as faculty.
2. Enhance teaching and learning effectiveness both on-site and online
We are training and equipping faculty and students to use digital tools and online platforms effectively and efficiently. The College has thus been pouring manpower and resources into the Centre for Teaching and Learning, which will define how theological education is delivered in the future. The challenge is to create curricula and practica to train students for different disciplines with various skill sets, as well as to provide field education in churches or organizations in Singapore and overseas. Our goal is a ‘border-free’, scalable, and flexible educational delivery platform that can respond quickly to the continuous geopolitical and environmental change contexts of a post-pandemic world.
3. Nurture servant-leaders for churches, parachurch organizations, and mission fields of tomorrow
We need to optimize the uniqueness of the theological education that our College can provide. SBC has been blessed with a community of learners who come from diverse nationalities, cultures, languages, ethnic groups, denominations, and independent churches from this region and beyond. Thus, we need to groom staff who can make use of various resources to achieve the goals of theological education. We must recruit faculty locally as well as from overseas to inculcate integrative and context-relevant theology with cross-cultural mind-sets and global views on missions.
4. Capitalize on the strategic central location of the College and maximize land and space usage
We are planning to redevelop some of the buildings of the campus. We want to avoid overbuilding and under-usage of the facilities, especially in view of digitally enhanced education and distance learning. We have been seeking advice from experts in education, architecture, and building, as well as users of the facilities and stakeholders of SBC to shape the master plan of the campus development.
5. Raise pastor-scholars who contribute to theological education for this region and beyond
Given the projected growth of Asia’s Christian population as one of the fastest in the world for the next two decades, it is important to provide our local and overseas faculty with strong support for their living and sufficient resources for research and teaching.
Dear friends of SBC, by trusting in the God who creates new things, will you journey with us in this new era with these new horizons?