EAST Community Gathers @ Aleph 2022


As we start a new academic year, EAST Aleph was held from July 1-15 for the cohort of new students. Aleph – the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet signifies a new start and more to come for our new students. This two-week immersion program aims to orientate the new students in several aspects – helping our international students to have a better understanding of cross-cultural living in Singapore, gain a better grasp of the various programs offered at EAST, and begin to experience and live out EAST values, etc.

As the new students interact with the faculty, they gain a better understanding of their chosen programs during the Academic briefing session. The students were given an overview of the programs offered as well key academic policies. This help them as they plan and select their classes.

We are so thankful to welcome this first cohort post-pandemic to our physical campus – the EAST mission hub. This is also a far-cry from the last two years as we battle the pandemic with lessons conducted on zoom. It was also an encouragement to hear from different ones, their faith journey leading them to join the school. Our new students comprises different nationalities – Singapore, South Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, India, and China. As such, we have included in Aleph, sessions on Living in a Multi-cultural Community as well as a Briefing for International Students. As they attend these sessions, the international students become more aware and appreciate the different cultures, their own cultural adjustments as well as living in Singapore.

We also conducted 2 foundational courses – Critical Thinking and Research Writing– during Aleph to help the new students develop confidence in academic reading, writing and critical thinking as they write their academic papers. To aid them in their assignments, they learned how to use the Logos Bible software as well as assessing books using the Digital Theological Library – these are much needed tools and resources to aid them in their assignments.

During Chapel services, we emphasized the need to worship and focus on God as the centre of their lives, not just to focus on academic pursuits and ministry. One of the new students shared a key lesson learnt, ”To live a life that God desires depends so much on allowing the Holy Spirit to take control of my life.” Because EAST emphasizes that each student to have a personal ministry, we conducted the Evangelism and Follow-up seminar to equip them with skills in sharing the Gospel and in doing follow-up with new believers.

A last but very important of Aleph is the interaction time with their cohort – having meal time and attending classes together as well as getting to know the faculty members.  They joined them for their meals. The students also got to meet their Mentoring Group leaders and other members in the group. All these help them to start bonding together. The last day was one where they had a fun and relaxing time with the whole school participating in the various events.

When asked to share their experiences, Vanna Ek (1st year MDiv in Christian Ministry) said, “These two weeks have been a real blessing for me as a new student.  I got to know fellow students and the faculty members. The Aleph program was well organized and help students to know what is ahead. The two foundational courses were very helpful and I enjoyed worshipping God during the Chapel times. Learning how to use digital tools were also very helpful.”

Another student, Thanawat Wichapon (1st year MA in Intercultural Studies) shared, “When I was first told of Aleph and that it was a two-week orientation program, I was worried that it will be very intense. However, personally I felt it was a good balance as sessions were held at different times of the day – some in the mornings and others in the afternoons. The two foundational courses were very helpful as it taught me how to put me experiences from my head into writing. Dr Hwee Chuang and Ms Josephine were very helpful. The training on using the digital tools and Populi were also helpful.  Thank you for organising these two weeks.”

We are also thankful and our hearts are full of praise to God as we start each academic year. God is faithful as we saw cohorts of students coming through the doors of EAST for their theological education and training. We would like to thank our financial supporters who have made it possible for the international students who have come and join us. Because they have been committed to invest in the lives of God’s servants, more than 500 Christ-like leaders for the Great Commission have been equipped and sent to the harvest fields these past 30 years! To God be the Glory!

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