“Aleph” is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It is also the name of the two-week immersion experience for new EAST students. EAST Aleph weeks are immediately prior to the start of first semester each July. Participation at EAST Aleph is required for all new students.
EAST Aleph is designed to assist entering program students adjust to seminary life and coursework. EAST Aleph allows each cohort of students to develop friendships in the context of learning EAST’s core values, worshipping together, ministering together, and taking a foundational workshop (IS401 Evangelism and Follow Up Seminar) plus a course together (LF500 Research and Writing for Christian Leadership).
Students who begin studies at EAST in the January semester should plan to attend EAST Aleph the following July. There will be a brief orientation for new students in January but it is not a substitute for participation in EAST Aleph. Part-time program students need to plan ahead and coordinate with their employer/ministry supervisor so they can attend all EAST Aleph sessions.
The EAST Student Handbook contains information not included in the Prospectus which is relevant for student life. It is distributed to all students at the beginning of the academic year.
EAST has an active Student Council (SC). The SC members are elected by the student body during the second semester for the next academic year. The SC represents students and their interests to the faculty and administration. In addition, SC helps to plan community life and building activities. Student Council By-laws are distributed to each student at the start of each academic year. Further information about SC, roles, and responsibilities is included in the Student Handbook.
Chapel is an important component of the EAST experience. It is a time when students grow in their spiritual life through worship, prayer, and service within a community of believers. All program students are expected to attend the weekly Chapel since it is also viewed as an integral part of the formational process at EAST.
Prayer is a discipline that EAST hopes to cultivate in each student. Each Chapel service generally includes a time of prayer. A prayer room located in the Joseph Wing is available for individual and small group prayer.
Twice a year, the EAST community spends an extended day in prayer. These days focus specially on the needs of different countries and ministries around the world.
FELLOWSHIP & RECREATION
To cultivate the family bond among the EAST family, fellowship lunches and other special fellowship functions involving faculty, staff, and students are organised periodically. Get-togethers may also be organized on an ad-hoc basis with lecturers by their respective classes.
The student-maintained Agape Room offers both students and their families a place to rest, relax, chat, and eat together. (More information about the Agape Room is found in the “Facilities & Location” section in this Prospectus.)
After a hard day of study, students may also unwind with a game of table tennis at EAST, a game of tennis at the nearby Farrer Park tennis courts, or a game of Captain’s Ball in the parking area. Inter-collegiate games are organised once a year with other seminaries in Singapore for friendly competition and to foster closer fellowship among the theological community.
A unique aspect of life at EAST is participation in a Mentoring Group (MG). All program students are assigned to a MG which meets regularly through the semester. MGs are led by faculty members. Not only is the leader a mentor for those in the group, but each member of the group also becomes a peer mentor for others in the group.
The MGs provide an environment for developing community, encouragement, prayer, fellowship, spiritual formation, integration, and character development. The desired outcome of the MG experience is life change, spiritual growth, mutual support, and accountability. In order to foster community and openness, a student generally remains with the same leader throughout his/her program. Each group may have a student leader who assists the MG leader with planning and communication to group members.
During the first semester of each year the Mentoring Group will go for a long weekend of ministry together (MG Ministry Weekend). During the second semester all MG members and leaders participate together in a school-wide retreat. The focus of the retreat is spiritual and character development.
Participation in both the MG Ministry Weekend and the EAST Retreat are part of the requirements for Mentoring Group credit as both are an integral part of the learning experience. Part-time students who have enrolled for MG need to plan ahead and coordinate with their employer/ministry supervisor in order to participate in the MG Ministry Weekend and Retreat.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH AND WITNESSING
EAST’s heritage derives from a ministry that is born out of the desire to obey Christ’s Great Commission. As such, students and Mentoring Groups are encouraged to organize and be involved in regular community outreaches, personal witnessing, and discipleship.
Recognizing that students’ wives who are mothers are not usually able to take program classes, EAST offers a Partners in Ministry (PIM) Certificate program. The PIM certificate program has been developed to provide quality training for wives/mothers. PIM classes and Mentoring Groups meet on Mondays. For further information about PIM, see the “Partners in Ministry” description in the Academic Programs section of this Prospectus.
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
EAST recognizes that God has an individualized curriculum for the growth and development of each student. However, because each student is part of the EAST community, the life of each individual impacts others. As Christian leaders, students are expected to exemplify Spirit-filled lives above reproach at all times. Conduct which is not appropriate for a Christian and conduct which negatively impacts the EAST community and/or the reputation of the school will result in disciplinary action as stated in the Student Handbook.