Our world needs Christ-centered ministry leaders. Asia Biblical Theological Seminary, a division of Cornerstone University, has partnered with Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School & College to offer a master's degree program for refugees within the Mae La camp.
Your support of this partnership makes it possible for students from the Mae La Refugee Camp cohort to complete a fully accredited Master of Religious Education degree program over the next two to three years. This specialized ministry education and in-depth training will further equip these adults for a lifetime of ministry among the Karen people in Thailand, Myanmar and beyond.
Background on the Karen Refugees
Due to years of ethnic fighting in Burma, which included burning villages, stealing food, raping women and even torturing and killing suspected dissidents, many Karen people fled their homes in Karen State to seek refuge in temporary camps on the Thailand-Burma border. Beginning in 1984, a steady stream of refugees poured into these camps, creating a growing need for humanitarian and human rights efforts.
Current estimates of registered and unregistered refugees in Western Thailand pegs the figure at 110,000 refugees, 40,000 of which are based in the largest camp at Mae La. In the camps, refugees are dependent on humanitarian relief organizations to provide food rations and other supplies. Camp residents are restricted in their movements with many not allowed to leave the camp under penalty of deportation.
Educational opportunities are limited in the camps, with Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School & College being one of the few options available for a bachelor's degree. Asia Biblical Theological Seminary has partnered with Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School & College to offer the first-ever master's degree for refugees within the Mae La camp. The Master of Religious Education (MRE) degree is an 11-course, fully accredited program designed to help teachers, pastors, church workers and missionaries enhance their ministry competencies and broaden their biblical and theological foundations for ministry.
Your commitment to support emerging ministry leaders in Asia matters. To get involved with Asia Biblical Theological Seminary's investment in the Mae La Refugee Camp cohort, join us through these opportunities:
- Pray for our ABTS students. We encourage you to regularly pay for this student cohort. The students will be encouraged to know that you are praying for them, especially for family concerns, ministry responsibilities and class commitments.
- Learn more about this new partnership. If you have questions about ABTS' partnership with Kawthoolei Karen Baptist Bible School & College, please send us an email.
- Give a financial gift. Your financial support makes it possible for students from the Mae La Refugee Camp cohort to complete a master's degree in religious education. The total scholarship amount needed per student is 4,080 USD over the span of two years. This covers actual costs incurred by Asia Biblical Theological Seminary for offering this program, allowing a student to pay only a small fraction of our standard tuition rate. We welcome your gift of any amount toward this initiative.