Cambodian Methodist Bible School
offers course in Khmer
By LENITA TIONG
PHNOM PENH - The Cambodian Methodist
Bible School, established in Phnom Penh in May 2000, was originally
built by and for the Korean Methodist Church (KMC), which had
begun its work in Cambodia in the early 1990s.
It trains pastors and church workers for the Methodist Church in Cambodia. It offers a three-year Diploma of Theology course in Khmer.
In 1997 a consultation was held and representatives from the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) of the United Methodist Church in the United States and the Methodist Missions Society of The Methodist Church in Singapore agreed that the Methodist missions work in Cambodia should be coordinated.
In February 2002, the World Federation of Chinese Methodist Church (WFCMC), which is a body made up of the Chinese Annual Conferences of the Methodist Churches in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, joined in this partnership as a full member.
The Cambodia Christian Methodist Association (CCMA) was then registered as a legal entity in Cambodia to represent these four partner churches, and it serves as an umbrella organisation for more than 160 Methodist churches.
In January 2003, four bishops from these partner churches jointly signed a declaration for the formation of one Methodist Mission in Cambodia.
Students come from the different provinces throughout Cambodia and during the school year, they are housed in the school and are assigned to weekend ministries at the Methodist churches in Phnom Penh and the surrounding areas. The academic year begins in October and has two semesters of 18 weeks each.
The school now has five full-time faculty and six part-time lecturers who are Methodist missionaries serving in Cambodia. These lecturers are from Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and the United States. When the need arises and resources are available, visiting lecturers come and teach intensive courses.
The first batch of students graduated in 2003 and there are now 50 alumni serving in Methodist churches in different parts of the country.
Jeremiah 33:12 sums up what the school is doing: "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'In this place, desolate and without men or animals - in all its towns there will again be pastures for shepherds to rest their flocks'." -Pelita Methodist.
The Rev Lenita Tiong is a missionary pastor with the Methodist
Mission in Cambodia.