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Pentecostal Theological Education: Asia Pacific Theological Seminary

Asia Pacific Theological Seminary

What does Spirit-filled education look like around the world? Dave Johnson, part of the faculty and leadership at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, introduces us to the school and the state of education in the Asia Pacific region of the world. Part of the Pentecostal Theological Education Around the World series from PneumaReview.com.

 

Introduction

Let me begin by introducing our school, the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (APTS) (www.apts.edu) and the Asia Pacific Region (www.agwm.org/asia-pacific.html) . For our purposes here, the Asia Pacific region includes all of the countries from Mongolia in the north to New Zealand in the south and the small island nations in the Pacific Ocean.

Located in Baguio City, Philippines, APTS is the Assemblies of God regional school for advanced theological education in the Asia Pacific Region with over 1,500 alumni, mostly Asians, who are serving in various capacities all over the region and the rest of the world. We currently have around 144 students from various church backgrounds who come from twenty-nine different countries and are served by a resident international faculty from the USA, New Zealand, China, Malaysia, S. Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

 

How readily available is theological education for Pentecostals in your region?

I cannot speak for other groups, but my own denomination, the Assemblies of God (AG), has around 101 Bible schools that serve students just over 30,000 AG churches and numerous students from other groups.[1] These figures do not include China, where the Assemblies of God does not exist as an ecclesiastical entity. One writer noted that China may have as many as 1,000 “underground” Bible schools that serve the house church movement, but this number can surely only be an educated guess since, to my knowledge, no actual statistics are available. However, since the church in China is overwhelmingly Pentecostal or Charismatic, it is safe to assume that most of these schools are also.[2]

 

What are some of the greatest obstacles to Spirit-filled theological education in your culture and location?

There is a lot of false teaching and misunderstanding regarding the person and work of the Holy Spirit. At APTS, we address this issue by teaching sound doctrine in our classrooms, chapels and our publications. Yet there is much work to be done.

Since we have students from so many countries and since English is the most popular second language across Asia, we require the students to be able to read and write English at a master’s degree level. This requires that we offer English classes to help the students to gain greater proficiency and this is quite a struggle for many of our students, although most ultimately succeed.

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2017

About the Author: Dave Johnson, M.Div., D.Miss. (Asia Graduate School of Theology, Philippines), is an Assemblies of God missionary to the Philippines. Dave and his wife Debbie have been involved in evangelism, church planting, and Bible school and mission leadership. Dave is the Managing Editor of Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, the director of APTS Press in Baguio City, Philippines and coordinator for the Asian Pentecostal Theological Seminary's Master of Theology Program. www.daveanddebbiejohnson.com http://apts.academia.edu/DaveJohnson Facebook Twitter

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