One of the most challenging, and yet rewarding tasks in my role as Head of Foundation at Moore, has been raising financial support for overseas students. While theological education is expensive enough for Australian students, there are well known avenues for support and funding for them. But for many overseas students this just isn’t the case. In the last two years we have been receiving a growing number of applications to study at Moore from around the world. These applications and enquiries are for scholarship support from students wanting to study varied courses, including the Diploma in Biblical Theology (online), the Advanced Diploma, B.Th., BD, M.Th. and PhD.
The applications are often from people already in ministry full or part-time including teaching the Bible in churches linked to GAFCON. They are well involved in their churches, have been identified as mature in the faith with varied gifts. They are often leading Bible studies, working as itinerant evangelists, and teaching the Bible in schools and universities. In some cases, they are leading churches with very limited training. A number have completed a Preliminary Theological Certificate (PTC) course available through the ministry of the Centre for Global Mission (CGM). But they have a thirst to study God’s word in greater depth, and to develop skills and grow in a love and knowledge of God, to prepare them for lifelong ministry.
We receive applications from two key groups. First, men and women who have been identified in their churches with leadership qualities, maturity in the faith, and with potential for full-time ministry. They may have had some limited training at a college in their home country, but desire greater Bible knowledge. This group has the desire to study at Moore to deepen their biblical knowledge and be equipped to establish and lead new ministries in their home countries.
A second group of applicants have already come to Australia to study in one of our universities, and due to the evangelism and teaching of campus ministries have grown in their faith and biblical knowledge, or in some cases come to faith. An increasing number of these men and women want to stay in Australia to study at Moore before returning to their home countries to enter into full-time ministry.
Sadly, while we have some financial support, there isn’t enough to meet the demand we are witnessing for both groups. We’ve been blessed by a number of key donors offering support to both of the above groups. But we need additional supporters to help us train and equip them to return home to build university ministries, lead school chaplaincy programs, teach at bible colleges in their home countries and teach and lead ministries in their home churches. Recently, we’ve had brothers and sisters in the South Pacific, approaching us to study at Moore. We also have ongoing needs across Asia, Africa and Europe.
One example is Tawanda Masango, who is now back in Zimbabwe serving God. In God’s grace Tawanda came to Moore, and due to the generosity and prayers of many, completed his studies. He returned in 2019 to establish a campus student ministry and help lead a new church in Zimbabwe. But he had a bigger vision than just a single campus. “We began praying for gospel ecosystems to grow university ministry, a church, and a good theological college…I thought this might be answered over generations. But the Lord surprised us. In one year, we saw other gospel minded people returning to Zimbabwe. In 2019 we started ministry at the second biggest university in the country. This year, a gospel centred church was planted just off campus, and an evangelical theological college is being revitalised. What we thought would take a decade, the Lord is already doing with significant strides in one year!”
Would you consider supporting international students like Tawanda who desire to be trained and equipped to take the gospel back to their home countries? You can give to the ‘Global Ministry Scholarship Fund’ that is linked to university-based ministry. Alternatively, you could give to the ‘International Student Fund’ that is supporting men and women from all nations to be trained to share God’s word in their home churches, evangelistic ministry or teaching ministries of varied kinds. Please pray with us for God’s provision for these men and women who have a desire to share God’s word and the good news of Jesus with others.
If you have a prayer request, or if you have any questions, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone my direct line at +61 (0)2 9577 9900 (please leave a message if I’m not available to pick up the phone).