EAST Aleph 2023 @ EMH


As we start a new academic year, EAST Aleph 2023 was held from end-June to mid-July at EAST campus for the cohort of new students. Aleph – the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet signifies a new start and with more to come for our new students. We warmly welcomed new students from East Asia, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

As newly matriculated students, EAST Aleph is the first schoolwide event they have participated in at EAST. This two-week program is an immersion experience to orientate and prepare them for a mentored learning community, holistic formation, and academic studies at EAST. The academic orientation includes sessions on how to think critically and write research papers, academic counselling, use of digital tools, etc. They were also introduced to the EAST community and experiences to help them have a better understanding of multi-cultural learning and living at EAST and in Singapore.

Sessions on Living in a Multicultural Community as well as a Briefing for International Students are aimed to help them in their transitions. Messages on living the Spirit-filled life are incorporated into Aleph chapel services reflecting an EAST value. Practical equipping for ministry includes sessions on evangelism and actual witnessing opportunities outside of campus. A Mongolian student shared how the sessions have better prepared her to be a bold witness for Christ which she applied during the witnessing time.

This academic year we are thankful for the launch of the online Chinese Partners in Ministry Certificate Program (Chinese PIM). PIM is specially designed for the development of wives of ministers or seminary students. We are especially glad for the all-international wives who have enrolled in Chinese PIM. During Aleph, there was an online orientation and welcome event specially organised for them.

The newest partnership program at EAST is known as IMPACT, using the competency based theological education approach, also underwent a separate orientation for its inaugural cohort of students from Malaysia and Singapore. They joined the rest of the Aleph participants on the final day where they meet with their faculty mentor in mini-cohorts and participated in the school-wide fun and games time.

Nuugii, a Mongolian first year student, also shared how the Evangelism course during Aleph gave her the tools and techniques to boldly share the gospel. Before coming to EAST and attending Aleph, she was often at a loss for words when it came to sharing Christ with others, but now that she is equipped, Nuugii is a lot more confident. She realises that success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leaving the results to God.

Here are what two of our new students have expressed in their experiences at Aleph.

Ms Roschelle (from the Philippines)

I’m happy to be able to join EAST Aleph online (while pending my arrival to Singapore). The schedule was provided ahead of time which was really helpful for me. Aleph has helped me a lot, especially as a new student when everything is new to me. It has guided me right from the beginning, showing me what to do and preparing me for the upcoming school year. I was initially anxious and overwhelmed, but I felt the support from my peers, teachers, and staff when I started talking to them and they made time to get to know me. The courses I took not only taught me how to navigate the tools but also encouraged me to think more and understand the core values. I know it won’t be that easy, but I am reassured that EAST is there to help, guide, and equip me in areas of my life where I need to grow, not just academically but also in my personal walk with God.

Ms Pang (from Singapore)

I feel that there was a good balance of relationship building, academic, spiritual and practical aspects. I think Aleph was well planned and included much consideration from our perspective, from the content to the schedule (e.g. not having all the academic sessions packed on the same day/avoiding the afternoon slumps). I appreciate the way sessions were conducted, especially my little experience in areas like academic reading, writing, thinking, and street evangelism. Guidance and introduction of tools and resources (Logos, Four Spiritual Laws tract, etc.) coupled with hands-on practice has helped build my confidence to step into this season. Though it’s only been 2 weeks, I’ve experienced how EAST cares for people holistically, and I look forward to growing in that as well. I am grateful for all the help that allowed me to make it in time for Aleph, which has  orientated my mind, attitude and posture to begin the journey ahead.

We are also thankful and our hearts are full of praise to God as we start the new academic year. God is faithful as we see cohorts of students coming through the doors of EAST for their theological education and training. We would also like to thank our financial ministry partners who have made it possible for students from Asia and Singapore to undertake their faith journey of personal and ministry development.


The article above is authored by EAST Registrar, Ms Rina Lee and edited by Rev Jonathan Yao. Photo by Ms Wong Ee Yuing with design by Mr Tan Eng Kwang.

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