Soul Care for Indonesian Doctoral Students

(Front row, L-R) Drs Sarinah Lo, Lau Ying Kheng, Jeannette Shubert, Rev Jonathan Yao, & Dr Ishak Wonohadidjojo. Ps Hendra Bangun (3rd Row, extreme left)

A Mentoring Group (MG) Retreat was held on 21-23 October 2022 at Medan, Indonesia for 15 doctoral-level students with the theme “Soul Care for Ministry Professionals.” It followed an in-person module by Dr Ishak Wonohadidjojo on curriculum design and development as the last module for the doctoral program coursework phase. This is part of the Asia Graduate School of Theology Alliance (AGSTA)—East Asia School of Theology (EAST) Doctor in Education (EdD) program, Indonesia. The program began in end-2020 amidst the Covid pandemic and the cohort did most of the modules online.

“Soul care is what we needed—thank you! How I wish we had MG Retreat at the start of our program. It would have better prepare us spiritually, to be more resilient, and grow in community as we seek to balance our studies and ministry over the last two years,” said retreat participants. This was the first time the cohort could gather in-person since the program began. Mentoring and transformative holistic education are the values and practices EAST brings to the AGSTA-EAST partnership for doctoral programs.

Three EAST faculty were involved: Dr Lau Ying Kheng, who often speaks about soul care, was the main speaker; Dr Jeannette Shubert as the mentoring coordinator and retreat coordinator; and Rev Jonathan Yao as a MG leader and program partnership overseer. Pastor Hendra Bangun, an EAST alumnus and the President of Bethsaida Evangelical School of Theology (BEST) in Medan, contributed to the success of the retreat as he coordinated logistics, translated, and demonstrated servant leadership in the practical ways he assisted classmates.

In addition to Rev Jonathan Yao, three MG leaders came from various parts of Indonesia to join the retreat and spend time with MG members: Drs Jonsen Sembiring, Ishak Wonohadidjojo, and Sarinah Lo. One rearranged his schedule with a visiting Bishop just so he could be with us.

The AGSTA-EAST EdD program, hosted by BEST, seeks to equip Indonesian educators, pastors, and church/school leaders with an holistic approach in transformative education for the fulfilment of the Great Commission in Indonesia and beyond.

The above report on the Mentoring Group Retreat held in Medan for the EdD Cohort in Indonesian is written by Rev Jonathan Yao, Dean of Advancement at EAST, and the EAST Partnership Director for the EdD Indonesian program

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