New laws were passed in Indonesia in 2005 stating that no school or seminary would be allowed to operate unless it received accreditation by the National Accreditation Body before August 2012. Failing to do so would make the school illegal, subject to heavy penalties, and forced to close.
Since this new regulation was put in place, Vision Indonesia 1:1:1 and Partners International have been working together to upgrade facilities, expand libraries, and upgrade the education level of the faculty at their network of seminaries, the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Indonesia (ETSI), throughout the country.
Partners International has partnered with Vision Indonesia 1:1:1 since its inception in the 1970s, and today ETSI is the broadest seminary network in the country.
One of the reasons for its tremendous success is that each student is required to plant a church before graduation. This challenging assignment helps to fulfill Vision Indonesia 1:1:1’s central mission which is to plant one church in every one village of Indonesia in one generation. It also gives students hands-on church-planting experience and results in incredible ministry impact each year. During the last academic year, 7,559 people accepted Christ and 143 new preaching points were established as a result of student and faculty outreach.
Meeting the Challenge
The new requirements put some of this important work at risk, as the financial investment needed to meet the standards has been a challenge for theological schools across the country. Vision Indonesia 1:1:1’s founder and President, Dr. Chris Marantika, reported this week, “This is a critical time for all seminaries and Bible schools in Indonesia. Their mere existence is at stake. We need to pray that each will get their accreditation status approved for the sake of the Body of Christ in the land.”
While some challenges remain, 160 students received their Master of Theology degrees this year, 34 of them faculty. This goes a significant way toward meeting the government’s requirements regarding the education level of instructors. About 20 doctoral graduates are ready to take their government examinations at the end of 2012, and 12 of the 16 main branch campuses of ETSI have received accreditation to date.
“Partners International has had a big part in supporting us to reach this point in our ministry,” said Dr. Marantika. “Partners has helped with prayers and financial assistance for 32 years, enabling us to produce over 4,000 graduates with various diplomas and degrees. The door is opening for us to have an impact in the lives of Indonesia’s educated society, as our alumni are hired as teachers of Christianity in public schools and other key roles. In spite of many difficulties, we are moving rapidly to impact this largest Islamic nation for Christ.”
More funds are needed to help Dr. Marantika and his team meet the accreditation goals.
|< Prev||Next >|