Manila, Philippines: On April 20-21, leaders from across the Philippines and Micronesia met at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS) for the Strategic Field Education Meeting. This important meeting laid the ground work for ministry preparation for the next decade.

Attendees included school leaders from APNTS, Philippine Nazarene College (PNC), and Visayan Nazarene Bible College (VNBC), as well as District Superintendents (DS), and extension education coordinators from each of the eleven Philippine districts and Micronesia. The sessions were led by Dr. David Ackerman, Field Education Coordinator, and Rev. David Phillips, Field Strategy Coordinator of South East Asia. Rev. Phillips represented the Regional Course of Study Advisory Committee (RCOSAC) and presented the new regional Course of Study (COS) to the group. This new course emphasizes “outcomes based and transformational education,” with the goal of having ministers who are ready to serve in the local church upon graduation. The focus is on what Nazarene ministers should “Be, Know, and Do.”

The group strategized how to enhance the extension program (called PHILTEEN, Philippine Theological Education by Extension for Nazarenes). With the rapid church growth across the field, there is a shortage of pastors. God is calling people into full-time ministry. Part of the strategy includes training lay people for ministry, many of whom serve as pastors. In some cases, travel is difficult or expensive for students to get theological training, such as with the islands of the Micronesia district which has recently started the Course of Study online through the Philippine/Micronesia Field Office. The group came up with ideas to help overcome many of the challenges.

The opportunity to share together brought encouragement to all participants. The group members will be studying and contextualizing the new regional Course of Study this coming year in order to implement it across the Field in the coming years.

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-Submitted by: Dr. David Ackerman