In October 2009, an evaluation team from the Asia Theological Association (ATA) spent three days at the MSTEE office with a view to accreditation of the Certificate in Christian Ministry program. In preparation for the visit, the MSTEE staff went through a detailed self-study process based on an ATA questionnaire. We looked at each aspect of the work of the MSTEE: program design and structure, tutor training, student assessment, record keeping, accounting, publicity – every aspect of the work. There were three people in the visiting team: Dr. Narendra John, Secretary of the Accreditation and Educational Development of the ATA, from India, Dr. Pieter Thieron, Principal of the Christian Leadership Training Institute in Darkhan, Mongolia and J. Purevdorj, Principal of the Union Bible Theological College in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. They brought a wealth of warmth and experience with them. They met with pastors of churches using the Certificate in Christian Ministry program, some tutors, students, graduates, and members of the MSTEE Board, as well as looking over the School’s records. They were very positive about the program, and the potential for extension education to provide a solid basis for ministry in church and society throughout Mongolia. The result was that they recommended the program for accreditation. Hallelujah!
In one sense, of course, ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ and the worth of any program is not to be measured by accreditation or lack of it. However, although the evaluation proces was somewhat daunting, we have found it very encouraging. The whole process has made us look closely at each part of the School’s work, and helped us to make significant improvements. In today’s Mongolia, potential user churches want to know that any program they might invest time in is recognized internationally. Our prayer is that this accreditation will lead to many more churches benefitting from sustained study and application of God’s Word. Please join us in praying that many thousands of effective ministers will graduate from this program in the future!
The final comment is from a graduate of the Certificate program:
‘…tutors need to understand that they are preparing many disciples, according to the Great Commission. It’s important that we understand that we are not just teaching lessons, we are preparing powerful disciples, powerful ministers by means of these training materials.’