News and Updates
2015: Embracing the Opportunities God has prepared
The development of BTS in recent years is God’s miraculous act among the Baptist family in Singapore. BTS moved to the current site at Upper Serangoon Road in 2012 with a student population of 60. We thought then it would take at least ten years to grow to meet the needs of churches in a rapidly changing world. We have just crossed over from 2014 to 2015, and currently our student population is more than 90. To say that BTS has developed rapidly is one thing; it is important to see that the needs are rising and urgent too. It is right to say that God has grown BTS in these years; it is all the more important to see that God is asking us to embrace the opportunities He has prepared for us. I do not believe that God grows BTS for the sake of size. I am convinced that God grows BTS because He has missional tasks and dreams for BTS. Because of this belief, I begin this New Year’s message with an appeal to you to embrace the ministry opportunities God has prepared for us.
The 90 students registered in our programs are almost equally divided between the Chinese-speaking and English-speaking tracks. In recent years, the number of Singaporean students has increased significantly and it has become clear that BTS is serving the region without overlooking our home base. To say it differently but equally affirming, the churches in Singapore have come alongside BTS to tread the path of ministry.
With these opportunities prepared by God, BTS has been praying and striving to live up to the opportunities. In 2013 and 2014, BTS earned accreditations from Asia Theological Association (ATA) and The Association for Theological Education in South East Asia (ATESEA). While the two accreditation agencies affirmed the theological education BTS has been providing, both noted the areas which BTS should seek to improve—to increase the number of holdings in its library and the number of faculty members.
Toward the end of 2014, BTS finished a renovation project for the library. As a result, we manage to arrange the space so that the library will be able to hold several thousand more items in years to come. To meet the rising numbers of students and the need for course offerings, recruitment of faculty members cannot be compromised. BTS prayerfully continues to look for and invite lecturers who share our vision and commitment to the cause of mission in ministering to the needs in the region. Our responses to these needs require your prayer so that they can become your responses to the needs.
The above mentioned renovation project and the cost to recruit faculty member is a cause of the recent deficit. But the year of surplus (2013-2014) has been a reminder that God will carry us, and that His faithful people will accompany us in our journey of ministry.
To end this message, I am proud to announce that Rev. Dr. Swee Kee Sim has joined BTS as a part-time lecturer (English-speaking). Rev. Lim is a gifted and experienced leader whose leadership in BTS’ Board and the Convention are greatly admired. We are grateful that at this juncture God has sent Rev. Sim to serve with BTS in the front line. Welcome, Rev. Sim!
Rev. Dr. Swee Kee Sim “After 25 years of fulfilling pastoral work, I am looking forward to my next phase of ministry, that of teaching and training. It is with much excitement and anticipation, albeit the challenges as I embark onto this journey. The church of Christ has always been on my heart. The numerous issues facing the church are increasingly complex. The call of God, however, for His workers to incarnate His presence and character remains unchanged in the midst of pastoring and equipping His church to face these challenges in life and ministry. Teaching Spiritual Formation and Theological Reflection, which was my D. Min project, accords me such opportunity in the shaping of God’s workers in Christ and helping them to cultivate an eye to see God in the quotidian of the everyday life where faith is lived out. It is my prayer that the Church of God will grow stronger in the faith that overcomes the world and to faithfully live out the gospel that bears witness to our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Let us give thanks to God
Let us pray to God