INDIA – Shai* decided to study theology through South Asia Nazarene Bible College after the church pastored by her husband, Baru*, planted a second church. Shai was assisting in leading the newly formed congregation and saw that theological study was already benefitting Baru in his pastoral role.
Shai worked hard to fit her studies and class attendance around her church ministry and caring for their family. At the same time Baru was balancing his tailoring business in the village with his work as a pastor. The flexibility of SANBC’s prgram made studying amid other commitments possible for Shai.
She graduated from the program in May 2017 and expects to be ordained at an upcoming district assembly. Baru graduated in 2015.
“I learned leadership qualities and how to preach,” she said, of the preparation she received through SANBC. Her favorite class was systematic theology. “It helped me to teach my congregation the right knowledge about God and His people. I learned Old Testament, and New Testament, and then I learned about the people of God and their faith, and how they walked with God.” Shai said this helped her to develop her own spiritual life.
“At SANBC, we are concentrating on knowing, being and doing,” said Simon Jothi, principal. “Strong biblical knowledge and doctrinal integrity develop character while they’re studying, and develop their competency in what they learn. They have to apply those in the context of the people.”
Baru also told Jothi that he observed Shai’s preaching and evangelism become more effective in the past four years.
Shai said that she is encouraging more women and men in the three congregations they have planted to undertake the Nazarene Course of Study.
“I have a vision to help lay people train in the local church so that as [the churches] continue to expand and grow, there will be lay people who can take care of the newer congregations.”
*Names changed for security