Theological education is an exciting and challenging enterprise in these times, and the Thailand Baptist Theological Seminary (TBTS) is doing our part in providing the best training and preparation possible for church leaders. Founded in 1952, TBTS remains committed to high academic standards based on a solid biblical foundation. This strong theological underpinning is essential as the church lives out its witness in the context of a predominantly Buddhist nation (95% of the population). Evangelical Christians represent only about 0.5% of the population. Having a confident faith, clear message and strong witness is necessary for the church in Thailand to fulfill its mission.
TBTS is excited by the steady growth in our student body over recent years, but we are also challenged by the diverse circumstances and needs of our students. This diversity reflects the changing landscape of our contemporary society. Students may be either boarding or commuting, full-time or part-time, or day or night students, depending on their availability and educational goals. TBTS endeavors to make theological education accessible to as many as possible. Courses are offered at both the bachelor's and master's levels and through our affiliation with the Asia Baptist Graduate Theological Seminary we are also able to facilitate doctoral studies for more advanced students.
Laymen are playing an increasing vital and appropriate leadership role in local churches. TBTS has responded to this healthy trend with the addition of its Lay Leadership Training track. Students are able to come to the seminary twice a year for a week at a time for the intensive study of twelve basic disciplines of church leadership. Each session has had capacity enrollment.
Students are involved throughout their education in hand-on ministry through practical internships with local congregations. This preparation for ministry continues even into their term breaks as TBTS sends teams of students throughout Thailand to engage in direct evangelism, revivals, youth camps, and many other ministries that help them sharpen their skills. Particularly exciting have been the mission teams of recent years that have traveled during their term breaks to take the Good News to neighboring countries in Indochina.
One of our greatest challenges is to reconcile this unprecedented expansion of training opportunities with the reality of a changing financial base. Outside funds such as that provided by the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention made up a significant portion of our funding in early years. Now, however, TBTS is increasingly responsible for finding the needed resources for our growing ministry. As with seminaries world-wide, tuition income alone will never come near to being adequate. Thai churches have been very helpful but even their gifts are yet insufficient to support the financial needs of the seminary.
Would you have a desire to help underwrite the vital work of theological education? If so, please pray about this and ask God to guide you in making a response. Your contributions will be appreciated and applied with fiscal accountability. Contributions may be sent in several ways: