Blog Interview – Dr. Dave Johnson – Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Philippines

1) Please introduce yourself and your role at Asia Pacific Theological Seminary

Asia Pacific Theological Seminary logoMy name is Dave Johnson and I am a member of the faculty at the Asia Pacific Theological Seminary (APTS) in Baguio City, Philippines. My speciality is overseeing the school’s publishing ministry, both books and our Journal, the Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies.

2) Tell us a little about Asia Pacific Theological Seminary

APTS was founded in 1964 for the purposes of training Asian church leaders to minister effectively in their own contexts. Since most Bible schools were only offering a diploma level education at the time, we began by offering a bachelor’s degree and in time, starting offering masters programs. As the Bible schools were able to upgrade their programs to the four year level, we gradually phased out our bachelor’s degrees and added more masters programs and, eventually, post graduate studies were added. Today, we offer masters degree in various ministerial disciplines and have post graduate programs at the MTh, DMin and PhD levels. We currently have a total of 135 resident and non-resident students representing 28 nations.

3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?

Dave and Debbie JohnsonSince most students come from outside the Philippines, they study full time.

4) How do APTS students fund their studies?

We have some scholarship programs. Otherwise, the students must find their own sponsors or financial resources.

5) Does APTS take students from overseas?

Yes. See above.

6) What type of ministry is APTS intended to prepare students for?

Pastors, missionaries and Bible School educators

7) When students leave APTS what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into.

They mainly pastor, teach in a Bible school (or both) or serve as missionaries. Many have gone on to high leadership positions within their denomination or fellowship.

8) What is distinctive about what APTS offers compared with other colleges in and overseas?

We are international, missional and Pentecostal. With one possible exception, we are the only seminary in the Philippines that focuses on all three and one of the few in the entire Asia Pacific Region that do so.

9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.

We have an excellent library of over 60,000 resources as well as an archive for church historians. We have an excellent pastoral setting that is conducive to study and reflection.

10) Does APTS offer a distance or on-line learning option.

We offer a few courses online. We also have extension campuses in Samoa, Fiji, Bangkok and one restricted access nation.


Asia Pacific Theological Seminary publishes the Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies, which is available for free download on their website.

For more interview with Bible College Faculty from around the globe go here.

Blog Interview: Helen Thorne – London City Mission’s Pioneer Programme

My wife brought my attention to a post of the Affinity website about the training of ministers. She noted that there was a very helpful comment by Helen Thorne or London City Mission and suggested that I contact Helen to interview her for my blog series. Helen has kindly agreed to take part.

1) Please introduce yourself and your role at London City Mission

Helen ThorneMy name is Helen Thorne and I’m the Director of Training and Mentoring at London City Mission.

2) Tell us a little about London City Mission

London City Mission was founded in 1835 with the specific remit of taking the Good News of Jesus to the people of London, especially the poor. The Industrial Revolution created slums where many people lived in physical and spiritual poverty, London City Mission was established to bring them true and lasting hope. Today, our missionaries continue to work among the “least-reached” communities of our capital city – serving alongside local churches to share Jesus with those living on deprived estates, those from other cultures / faiths, those living or working on the streets and those caught up in gang or prison-life.

It’s an exciting ministry but not an easy one so we are committed to offering high-quality training to our staff and to local churches who share a passion for the lost. For newer Christians, we offer a 2-year, one day a week “Foundation Course” covering the basic biblical theology and practical evangelism needed for urban ministry. For more mature Christians, we offer our 2-year, one day a week “Urban Mission Course” which looks at biblical, historical, doctrinal and practical aspects of city mission in more depth. We work in partnership with Moorlands College and The Message Trust to offer a short course in “Christian Community Development and Evangelism” and are the London Hub for Union School of Theology’s Graduate Diploma in Theology. Each year we run a 5-day summer school in urban mission, a series of Practical Evangelism Training days and a range of Muslim Engagement Training courses too.

Our flagship course is our Pioneer Programme. Open to younger Christians from deprived backgrounds who may have few educational qualifications, we offer a 2-year, 3-day a week programme which enables people to access training while staying rooted in their local church. The programme includes lectures, mentoring, practical experience alongside one of our missionaries and a chance to spearhead a pioneering gospel-centred project in their local area.

3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?

London City Mission Training

All our courses are part-time which means people can stay serving in their local church and work around their studies.

4) How do London City Mission students fund their studies?

We keep our courses low-cost – and there are reduced rates for the retired, unemployed and those working in self-supporting ministry roles so most people can pay fees from their earnings. The Pioneer Programme is unique in that we pay people to train with us! Places are limited to about 10 a year but we love to serve local churches in this way.

5) Does London City Mission take students from overseas?

Usually our students are already living within commuting distance of London. International students who are interested in courses – particularly the summer school – should contact the training department for more details.

Pioneer Programme class

6) What type of ministry is London City Mission intended to prepare students for?

All our courses are designed to equip people for mission within the least-reached communities of the city. Our students range from new Christians with no qualifications to pastors who want to supplement their degrees – it’s a wonderful mix of people who can sharpen each other well.

7) When students leave London what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into?

Our aim is to equip people to serve where they are. We are passionate about training our own staff and volunteers – we are passionate about training people who want to serve better within their local church. A few of our students go off to serve in other mission agencies too and it’s a privilege to have equipped them.

LCM Pioneers May 2017

8) What is distinctive about what London City Mission offers compared with other colleges in the UK and overseas?

Our focus on part-time courses that concentrate on reaching the least-reached communities in our urban setting, welcome people with no prior learning and leave people embedded in their local chur

ch is a pretty unique combination. We hope and pray that’s a great spur to the church’s call to “equip the saints for works of service”

9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.

We’re working on the establishment of an Urban Mission library  … but we’re not quite there yet!

10) Does London City Mission offer a distance or on-line learning option?

Check back in 2019!

To read more blog interviews click here

Blog Interview: Dr Peter Mead – Cor Deo

In the last of the current series I interview Dr Peter Mead one of the leaders of Cor Deo.

1) Please introduce yourself and your role at Cor Deo.

Dr Peter Mead (second from left) is the subject of this week's blog interview
Ron Frost, Peter Mead, David Searight
& Mike Chalmers

I am a mentor at Cor Deo, a deliberately small mentored training programme based in Chippenham, southern England.  I am also part of the leadership of a local church plant, and leader of the Bible Teacher’s Networks at the European Leadership Forum.

2) Tell us a little about Cor Deo.

Along with Dr Ron Frost, I started Cor Deo several years ago.  We saw a need for a more relationally enriched training approach that would allow participants to be part of a team that can study together, serve together and grow together.  We offer a six-month full-time training programme, one-week Intensive courses and are now in the process of launching a follow-up programme to help past participants go further in their studies and ministry.  Our training blends lots of biblical studies, history in the context of church history and applied theology in all aspects of pastoral ministry.  We have only six spaces available each year for the full-time programme, believing that we would rather pursue a multiplicational approach to training, where we hope to go deeper with a few participants, rather than simply trying to get bigger numbers in to the course.

3) Are the courses full time, part-time or a mixture of both?

The main six-month course is full-time.  The Intensives last just one week.  The new follow-up programme for past participants will be a modular study programme that is part-time and flexible.

4) How do Cor Deo students fund their studies?

We do not charge a fee for participation.  Instead we suggest a donation amount, thereby meaning that financial limitations do not restrict potential participants.  As far as living during the six months, some have lived off savings, others have been supported, others have been given an extended study leave from employment.  Six months is much more manageable than 2-4 years of full-time study!

5) Does Cor Deo take students from overseas?

We can if they are from the EU, but we are not in a position to help people get visas.  If someone can legitimately be in the UK for the necessary time, then we would gladly take them.

6) What type of ministry is Cor Deo intended to prepare students for?

We want to prepare people to go on to serve in their own church, either as pastoral staff, or as lay leaders within the church.  We want to prepare missionaries for further and greater service overseas.  We want to prepare people to go on to further academic theological studies so that they can thrive in that environment.  Our goal is to multiply ministry that shares God’s heart.

7) When students leave Cor Deo what kind of ministries / jobs do they go into?

We have seen past participants go on to all of these next steps: senior pastor, church elder, student ministry, church youth work, overseas missionary, student in further training, as well as people heading back into “secular” work with a missional mindset.

8) What is distinctive about what Cor Deo offers compared with other colleges in the UK and overseas?

Cor Deo offers a uniquely integrated programme of study.  All the mentors are present for every subject area. Participants get full life-on-life access to the mentors, with the option of travelling together for ministry, local ministry exposure, mentoring in their own context, etc.  The programme is focused on exposing participants to biblical study as well as a history of spiritual traditions that gives a framework for understanding contemporary Christian spirituality.  We do not have either a carrot or a stick – that is, there is no certificate at the end of the six month course, and there is no academic pressure to get there, instead there is a shared confidence that the God of the Bible is worth pursuing in fellowship with the team.  Cor Deo is a unique opportunity for personal, theological, spiritual and ministerial growth.

9) Please tell us about the library and other research facilities.

Cor Deo has a small, but focused collection of reference materials that is available to participants.

10) Does Cor Deo offer a distance or on-line learning option? If yes, please tell us more about it.

No, we believe in the importance of face-to-face interaction.  It is in community and in relationship that growth and learning best occur.  There are many good sources of information transfer available, but the opportunity to be part of a group like this is sadly too rare.

My thanks to Peter Mead for taking part in this series. If I get any more entries I will re-start the series in October.