From 7th to 9th January 2019, a delegation of six led by Graham Tomlin, Bishop of Kensington from Church of England and president of St Mellitus College visited the church in Jiangsu Province. Rev. He Jiemiao, chairman and president of Suzhou Christian Council & committee of Three-self Patriotic Movement (CC&TSPM) and other staff members warmly received the delegation.
During the visit, the delegation went to Dushu Lake Church and Jiangsu Theological Seminary in Suzhou. Rev. He Jiemiao extended the welcome towards the delegates and introduced basic situation of the Christianity in Suzhou. He especially mentioned the theological education training and pastoral care in the church in Suzhou. Sponsored by Suzhou CC&TSPM, Jiangsu Theological Seminary opened a branch campus in Suzhou in 2015, which offers three programs, namely, two-year full time undergraduate class, amateur theology junior college class and backbone lay worker junior college class. It aims at cultivating professional church staff and backbone lay workers for the church in the city.
Rev. He stressed that the theological education in the seminary is closely tied with the church and values the Bible and practical skills. It requires theological students to devote themselves in the church and guides them to focus on the challenges and requirements facing the church in the process of urbanization. Ensuring traditional theological curriculums teaching, the seminary emphasizes on cultivating practical skills and adopts 1V1 apprenticeship training.
Bishop Tomlin expressed the appreciation for Rev. He’s hospitality and appraised the ministry carried out orderly and healthily in the church in Suzhou, and the efforts and innovation in terms of theological education training in particular. He said that St Mellitus College shares some similarities in its objectives and teaching concepts with that of in the branch campus of Jiangsu Theological Seminary in Suzhou. Both sides then had an in-depth discussion over a few common problems and later expected more exchanges in the future.
Paul Woolley, deputy chief executive of British and Foreign Bible Society, Luo Jiachang, deputy director of United Bible Societies China Partnership and others participated in this visit.