South Asia Nazarene Bible College hosts graduations, experiences growth
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Eurasia Region
South Asia Nazarene Bible College held graduations in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka from December through February. The college, which has 87 education centers, serves more than 1,500 students across 19 districts and in 17 major languages.

Bangladesh

Students from three Bangladesh districts graduated on December 11. Some of the 47 students who received a Diploma in Pastoral Ministry were ordained after the graduation ceremony.

"This time... there seems to be more people with grasp of doctrinal integrity and theological conviction and missional focus," SANBC President Simon Jothi said of the graduating class.

SANBC continues to develop in Bangladesh. In the capital city of Dakar, Simon Mondol serves as the country's full-time education coordinator. Bangladesh leaders hope to have 30 graduates each year.

The school is focusing on teacher empowerment and course revision that incorporates the local instructor’s input on contextualized missiological approaches, Jothi explained.

India

The India Field held three graduations on three of its districts.

The Western Maharashtra District held its first SANBC graduation on January 12, and five people graduated. On Bangalore's Karnataka District, nine people graduated — half of whom were first generation Christians. On the Tamil Nadu District, five graduated — including one lay person who simply believed he should learn the theology of the church in order to support the ministry more effectively.

Nepal

The Nepal graduation on January 23 saw 12 people receive a Diploma of Pastoral Ministry, 43 people a Certificate of Lay Ministry (having completed seven courses out of 25), and 17 people a Certificate of Lay Pastoral Ministry. The 17 people are expected to eventually earn their Diploma in Pastoral Ministry.

"That shows for the first time for me... there is steady progress in the quality of the church educating those in the district," Jothi said. "The district superintendent noted our students learned order and discipline through the course of study."

The students come from towns and villages in the east, central, and north parts of Nepal, where a teacher meets them. The students bring their own bedding, rice, meat, and vegetables, and share life and cook meals together throughout the class.

During the evenings, the students go out and witness in the community. This fulfills some of the 90 hours of practice they are required to complete in conjunction with their studies.

Forty percent of Nepal’s graduates are first-generation Christians.

Sri Lanka

On February 23, 20 students graduated with the Certificate of Lay Ministry and 13 earned their Certificate of Pastoral Ministry. The goal is for 12 people next year to receive the Diploma of Pastoral Ministry and be prepared for ordination. This would more than double the number of ordained people in Sri Lanka, all of whom are graduates from SANBC.

Education centers are increasing in Sri Lanka. Local churches and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries partner with SANBC by hosting the courses in their church buildings and child development centers. The district pays for the course material and travel for the students, while the local church members cook for the students and provide other needed services.

The future of SANBC

SANBC is in the process of receiving accreditation from the Asia Theological Association. Jothi said 95 percent of the work is finished and they are expecting to meet with an accreditation team soon.

"This is a very good year for SANBC," Jothi said. "I think SANBC has established a mission to help the districts and churches in the strategy of the church. So that’s why the partnership between the church and the school closely working is a powerful method in India and South Asia Field."
--Church of the Nazarene Eurasia Region
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