The first time I stepped with doe-eyed wonder into the halls of Moore College was in January 2006. I was deeply appreciative of the many things that had fallen into place which allowed me to land physical feet at the DB Knox Annex. Many brothers and sisters in Christ had contributed a significant amount of funds, which enabled me to access a solid, reformed evangelical theological education. There have been others before me, brothers keen to serve the local church in Singapore, whose churches or supporters similarly had to raise huge amounts of money, so that they could get a first-rate training for this vital task of gospel proclamation through faithful Bible teaching. It was a worthwhile price to pay, because the foundation of a good and biblical theological education for these workers of the gospel is irreplaceable!
We rejoice greatly now, that just a decade later, while the value of a good theological education remains the same, the access to it for Singaporean ministry workers has massively increased with the opening of a reformed college here in Singapore. In 2017, Andrew Reid founded the Evangelical Theological College of Asia (ETCAsia). It was something that many of us have dreamt of and prayed for. A total of six likeminded partner churches came together to make it happen. A gargantuan task, with many hurdles to get over, such as getting governmental approval (in a country keen that various religions do not grow too fast), lecturers, students, and churches in Singapore on board. While many servant-hearted leaders worked hard to make it happen, it was ultimately a gift and a blessing that came by the Lord’s hand.
In the few years since ETCAsia came into being, we have already seen so much fruit. Many more ministry workers are able to attend college with lower fees and without having to uproot their families for a few years to a foreign land. This has enabled ministry workers to form connections with a cohort of partners who will serve in the region. Our own local church has already witnessed a few people go through the college and it has been incredibly encouraging to see the outworking of the gospel bear fruit after their training has been completed. It has also been exciting hearing of people from more diverse churches attending the college and getting an evangelical experience. Who knows how God might use that to slowly change the landscape of churches in Singapore, as they are built up and sent out to churches who sorely need a strong theological foundation?
Another wonderful benefit of ETCAsia is how it is serving the region. In the kindness of God, ETCAsia is a viable option in this region and has welcomed students from the Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Cambodia, amongst others. I was humbled and inspired recently hearing about a pastor from Myanmar who is planning to go back to his homeland after studying. He and his wife are heading back to a country steeped in instability and danger and they are planning to use their theological education to help start a discipleship training centre in Yangon. What a wonderful ripple effect from ETCAsia that is. And ETCAsia itself is a ripple effect of Moore College. Both the founding principal (Andrew Reid) and the current principal (Martin Foord) are Moore College alumni, as well as the pastors of the partner churches.
In equipping these men for a lifetime of faithful ministry, Moore College has been one of the providential instruments used by God, to benefit his church and mission in this region. And for that, we, your brothers and sisters over here, are deeply thankful!