Pastor Antoine Lee of Central Christian Church in Kansas City was eager to complete seminary, but work, family – and cost – made a Master of Divinity degree program seem unobtainable, until Rev. Debra Sermons, Central's Director of Recruitment, told him about the create program and the thoughtful planning that goes into each individual's schedule.
The create program is fully scholarshiped, schedules are designed for busy people, and classes are offered in Kansas City's urban core. “It was like they met all my needs before knowing my personal situation!” says Antoine. “I express sincere gratitude for everyone who was involved in making it possible for me to continue my education. Thank you!”
MIT DMin Students Empower Local Congregations
In October, thirteen Doctor of Ministry students (two women and eleven men) travelled from Myanmar (Burma) for classes at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. These students are the second group of DMin students from the Myanmar Institute of Theology who are part of the ongoing collaborative partnership between that school and Central.
The students, along with two faculty members from MIT, were in Kansas City from October 4-22 and participating in classes with both Central and MIT faculty, as well as, at times, with the two groups of Shawnee-based DMin students. The first group of US-based Central DMin students will travel to MIT next March for their cross-cultural immersion experience.
The collaborative work between Central and Myanmar Institute of Theology is transformative for both schools. Faculty and students are learning about contextual realities of ministry in a religious plural world, the impact of the shifting political landscape on issues of faith (both US and Myanmar), and the reality of economic disparities and educational privilege in global partnerships in a post-colonial world. It is inter-cultural learning at its best
In addition, Kansas City metro area churches, including newer congregations of refugees from Myanmar, graciously extended hospitality to the visitors from MIT by providing meals, connections to refugee communities, hosting the visitors for worship and community gatherings, as well as helping with travel while the visitors were in Kansas City. Central is grateful for the graciousness of those who welcomed the guests from Myanmar.
And finally, what these students experienced is empowering their ministries at home in Myanmar. President Marshall asked one of the DMin students about visiting his area of the country when she travelled there next. He told her, “Mum, you cannot visit my area. It is not safe (because of armed conflict) and it is in the jungle. Yet,” he continued, “you are touching my area—indeed, all of Myanmar—through MIT.”