by Bob Gerow
Indonesia's expansive land area and over 200 million residents make it the largest country in Southeast Asia, and the world's fourth most populous nation. Almost 90% of Indonesians embrace Islam, making Indonesia the largest Muslim country in the world.
AMG ministry in Indonesia began in the mid-1970s with direct evangelism and church planting. The Lord blessed the work tremendously, with many Indonesians accepting Christ as their personal Savior and being baptized into evangelical churches.
Finding itself overwhelmed with many opportunities but too few workers, AMG founded a Bible school and seminary in the city of Solo on the island of Java. Accredited in 1992, the "High Theological School" is a ministry of Berita Hidup (Message of Life), an Indonesian branch of AMG International, and one of only two theological schools in Central and East Java accredited by the government of Indonesia to teach Bible in the public schools.
Berita Hidup Bible School and Seminary is training young people to be theologically competent, and strong in evangelism, church planting, and in practical theology. The school's hundreds of graduates now serve as pastors and leaders of over 400 Indonesian Christian Bible Churches. Some of the graduates are engaged in pioneering work and others are teaching the Bible in public or government schools.
Over 200 students live in dormitories on the spacious campus in Solo. In any given school year, forty or so students spend one year off-campus in a required "practicum" before graduation. Practicum assignments include ministries in evangelism, church planting, and general church work.
The student body includes both men and women. Degree tracks are offered leading to a Batchelor's degree in either Theology or Christian Education, or a Master's degree in Theology.
In addition to 17 full-time and 12 part-time qualified teaching staff members, AMG is now seeking to recruit Ph.D.-level professors to teach in the Bible school and seminary. Professors with this advanced education and skill will bring several important benefits to the program:
1) It will deepen the quality of the instruction and the strength of the programs.
2) It will meet a requirement necessary to retain accreditation with the government of Indonesia.
3) Retaining accreditation will make it possible for graduates to be hired by the government to teach Bible in the public schools.
God has provided the first full-time instructor with a Ph.D. for this school year, and our goal is to have four by the end of 2009. Until the Lord provides full-time instructors, the program is being enhanced by the presence of another Ph.D. holder who is serving on an interim basis as a visitor from the U.S.
AMG invites qualified individuals to consider the possibility of helping in the interim. If you have a Ph.D., and have experience teaching at a Bible school or seminary, and if you sense the Lord's leading to consider serving in this situation, contact AMG at 1-800-251-7206. Ask to speak with someone in the missions department when you call. Short-term options are to teach for a semester, or a year, or possibly longer.
Pray that the Lord will raise up faithful teachers of His Word to continue this vital ministry!
Bob Gerow is development administrator for AMG International.