Reflections on Gender & Sexuality in Christian Ministry Class


The Study on Gender & Sexuality in Christian Ministry online course was recently conducted by Dr Heng Hwee Chuang, an EAST Adjunct Faculty. Below are some reflections from her students regarding what they have gleaned from the eight-day intensive course.

Chakriya Sok, an EAST Cambodian student, said, “Attending the Gender and Sexuality class as taught by Dr Hwee Chuang has been a fantastic experience. My professor is a knowledgeable and experienced individual on the subject. I appreciate how she simplifies complex concepts, making them easy to understand. Her kind interactions and encouragement added to my enjoyment of the class.”

Chakriya further elaborated:

The coursework has allowed my classmates and me the opportunity to work collaboratively and explore more about gender and sexuality from our selected topics and assigned tasks. In each session, I acquired a wealth of knowledge. The class has challenged me to delve deeper into gender and sexuality around me and in the world. I’ve gained insights into numerous new terms, contexts, and heartbroken stories. This course has expanded my understanding of how the world is evolving regarding gender and sexuality issues, exposing me to the daily realities of the world.

Seeing all these things, I started to question myself: how can I respond to or interact with people who struggle with gender and sexuality issues? Though I cannot find the answer right now, one thing that stood out to me from what the professor shared was, “God loves them, and we need to love them too.” I cannot be an expert just by attending one course, but I am committed to raising awareness in my home church and the ministry I want to remain engaged when I return to Cambodia and be a better minister to those who struggle with gender and sexuality issues.
– Chakriya Sok, Master of Arts in Christian Ministry Student (Cambodia)

Many beautiful and interesting things have gone past our eyes but we have looked without seeing. They appear as “noise” in all the cacophony of images that zip past us. By learning what gender behaviour looks like, it provides us with a filter which we can use to isolate and make sense of what’s happening right before our very noses.
– Kenneth Lee, Visiting Student (Singapore)

Learning can be fun or learning can be intense. Seldom is it both. So it was refreshing to go on an afternoon of field observation at PLQ Mall. We were on a lookout for post-modernistic elements and gendered behaviours and to capture these on our handphones. The agenda was not trifling, yet to get to go around “Sherlock-Holming” was lots of fun. Not least because it sensitised us to our environment and taught us that if we cared to look, evidence is everywhere. Indeed, hours after the afternoon field trip, my husband and I were at dinner and amusingly caught ourselves commenting on post-modernistic, androgynous, gendered elements we witnessed.

I can immediately see how the skill of observation is relatable to all aspects of life; looking for God’s hand in places, noticing unspoken details in people I meet or work alongside with, and being sensitive to needs. And the list goes on.

I sum up the value of this field observation/experience in one cute sentence I once saw in my daughter’s childhood book: “The more you look, the more you see.”
– Lee Ngah Imm, Visiting Student (Singapore)

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