EAST Transformative Partnerships in Indonesia

MOU signing ceremony to formalise Indonesian equipping partnerships with Bethsaida Evangelical School of Theology, Medan (top) and Ambassadors for Christ Singapore/Gereja Pantekosta di Indonesia (bottom).


East Asia School of Theology has formed various strategic partnerships with Christian organisations, churches, and other theological institutions over the last few years toward the seminary’s vision of equipping Christlike leaders for the Great Commission, for a transformed Asia and beyond. EAST has signed Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Bethsaida Evangelical School of Theology/Sekolah Tinggi Teologi Injili Bethsaida (BEST), Medan, Indonesia on 10 March 2019 and Ambassadors for Christ Singapore (AFCS) on 31 March 2022.

AFCS, GPdI and EAST – Equipping Bintan Pastors and Church Workers

Rev Dr Daniel Chua initiated a partnership with EAST as part of the AFCS EQUIP-21 initiative. Pastor Daniel has been an adjunct lecturer with EAST and we are thankful we could be part of his equipping ministry with AFCS. The tripartite partnership among AFCS-EAST-GPdI Bintan allows AFCS and EAST to train pastors and ministry workers of Gereja Pantekosta di Indonesia (GPdI) denomination in Bintan. Upon successful completion of eight modules of studies in the AFCS EQUIP-21 program, each participant will receive a Certificate of Ministry from EAST. Participants who received the certificate may choose to transfer certain credits earned should they successfully enrolled in a program of studies at EAST.

According to AFCS Touchpoints (April-June 2022), “GPdI is a denomination of 4,000 churches scattered throughout Indonesia. They have 30+ churches in Bintan. Our key partner, Rev Frenky Palit, is a member of Mt Carmel B-P Church in Singapore. His parents were the pioneers of GPdI churches in Riau Province, which includes Bintan, since the 1970s. With his father getting on in age, Frenky has returned to Bintan to assist in ministry there. He was excited to learn about EQUIP-21 and has gotten his leaders to sign up for this training.”

Below are two testimonies from the pastors who have attended the EQUIP-21 modules.

“It is really a great opportunity for me to attend this module, particularly learning how to dissect the Book of Isaiah. There are lots of new things and insights I’ve gained. For example, just in the first chapter, we were warned about the attitude of our heart during our worship of the Lord. Worship is not about religious rituals that we perform but is about the sincerity that flows from our heart. From the chapter-by-chapter explanations, there’s much understanding from God’s Word that has blessed me. They will serve as foundational resources for application in my ministry.” – Ps Frendy Bezaleel Timotius Hartia

“The content is very well geared towards pastors, with congregational needs in mind. The ‘How to Preach or Teach’ segment at the end of each chapter provides ideas and suggested outlines that are beneficial and relevant to pastors. The lectures also contain details such as historical timelines, Hebrew words and nuances, that can help us better explain the topic. The delivery is excellent and the teacher is able to build rapport with local pastors. He also shares relevant testimonies and experiences to enhance his topic. All these help the pastors to internalise the deeper meaning of Scripture as it is interpreted. Some of his interpretations are new to our pastors (e.g. Immanuel passage and MSHB), but they are well explained.” – Rev Frenky Palit

EAST is thankful to God for the opportunity to partner AFCS in equipping the pastors and ministry workers from over 30 GPdI churches in Bintan through EQUIP-21. Please pray for God’s transformative work through the church leaders and for potential expansion into other parts of the Riau province and other Indonesian locales.


BEST, AGSTA and EAST – Equipping Educators and Leaders in Transformative Learning

Pastor Hendra Bangun from the Wesley Methodist Church, Medan, Indonesia was appointed President of Bethsaida Evangelical School of Theology (BEST), Medan after he graduated from EAST (MA in Biblical Studies, 2017). The 2019 MOU that BEST signed with EAST was to mutually benefit both schools: 1) EAST to provide BEST with “accredited expertise to advance the quality of education for the students by the faculty and school leadership,” and 2) BEST to provide EAST with “an Indonesian location for developing EAST administration, faculty, and students in contextualised leadership settings.” There were exchanges of EAST faculty teaching at BEST and teams of EAST faculty and students ministering in Medan.

The academic development of BEST faculty needed to fulfil the Indonesian higher education re-accreditation requirements then became a high priority. Upon request, EAST collaborated with Asia Graduate School of Theology Alliance (AGSTA) to offer a Doctor of Education (EdD) program in Bahasa Indonesia to develop the BEST faculty members and the wider educational leaders in Indonesia. See AGSTA Attuned (June 2021) on the AGSTA-EAST Indonesian program.

The AGSTA-EAST MOU was effective from January 2021 to offer the EdD program in Bahasa Indonesia. AGSTA and EAST shared similar transformative educational values in holistic and integrated development of the affective (heart), cognitive (head), and behavioural (hands) domains. EAST specific contributions included the module on Transformational Leadership in Education and mentored learning with all students inducted into Mentoring Groups (MG) led by experienced educational and ministry leaders. The inaugural cohort in 2021 started with 17 mature students who are Christian educators and organisational leaders from across the Indonesian archipelago. They are now finishing the six-module coursework prior to doing their Practicum and Dissertation. An in-person MG retreat will be held in Medan as a formational exercise for all. After completing the third module on Transformational Leadership, some of the feedback from the cohort of students were as follow.

“Before the module, I expected every student to pay attention to me, to the study material, and to their assignments. During this module, I started to change: I began to see, pay attention to, understand, help, support, guide and coach them to become persons who can grow and be developed into servant leaders of character.” – Religious Teacher at a Christian High School in Surabaya.

“I distributed several books [from the EdD module] to the leaders of my school. Starting from January 2022 and at the start of our monthly meeting, we would discuss the book Lead Like Jesus. Hopefully this project will help change the mindset and habits of the leaders and help them lead as Jesus would.” – Founder and former Principal of Christian Schools; Chairman of the School Foundation, Jakarta.

“I learned a lot from doing the transformational project as an application of this module. Through the whole process of working on this assignment, from selecting target groups, determining project goals, planning and implementing ongoing projects, I have experienced God’s transformation in my life. In particular, learning to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, learning to surrender fully to His work of grace, and to patiently wait for His timing in His unique way of carrying out transformation in the lives of those who are being served or led.” – Founder and Minister with ministry to the disadvantaged, Kalimantan; Former Chaplain and School Counsellor.

“I am reminded to be a leader of integrity–as a servant leader. Usually, the leader is identified with power and respected as such. This module has taught me that a leader is not about getting such a power-based respect but is about service. We learnt from Jesus’ teaching on being a servant. Those are the changes within me. I am seeking to show humility in my life as a servant leader.” – Seminary and University Lecturer, Medan.

EAST is grateful for God’s transformative work in the heart of these influential Christian educators and leaders in Indonesia. To God be the glory.


Explore Partnership Opportunities with EAST

EAST is open to seek out partnerships for the furtherance of God’s purposes and the fulfilment of the Great Commission for the global harvest. Please contact us at admin@east.edu.sg to explore partnership opportunities. If you are led to give financially toward expanding our partnerships with others, please indicate your giving to the “Expansion Fund (EF)” – see the EAST giving page on ways to give. Shalom.

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