ABTS Graduates Record Class


by Kristina Garvelink (M.S. ’15)

The February 2019 commencement ceremony for Asia Biblical Theological Seminary (ABTS) of Cornerstone University marked the graduate school's largest class to date. Celebrating the accomplishments of 23 students who fulfilled the requirements for a master's degree in religious education and one student who earned a master's degree in interdisciplinary studies, program participants included Dr. James Blumenstock, dean of ABTS; Dr. Peter Osborn, vice president for adult learning at Cornerstone; and Dr. Joe Stowell, president of Cornerstone.

"The 2019 graduation in Bangkok, Thailand, was a momentous occasion for ABTS," Blumenstock shared. "Not only was this the largest graduation ceremony in ABTS history, but also, of those 24 graduates, 21 came from a single church, the HIM Oasis Church in Bangkok."

Based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, ABTS, an associate member of the Asia Theological Association, offers graduate-level programs designed for Christian ministry professionals, volunteer workers and lay leaders serving in Asian contexts. With seminar sites in the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and India, ABTS partners with mission organizations to provide accessible education options for working ministry professionals and award degrees in pastoral, educational, intercultural, marketplace and interdisciplinary studies from Cornerstone.

"ABTS's vision is to train global leaders for Christ's church in Asia, and this group of graduates gave us an unprecedented opportunity to do just that," Blumenstock said. "All of the classes were taught in their own church facility, allowing this group of core leaders to learn God's Word together without leaving their work, family and ministry contexts. Opportunities like these are what ABTS is passionate about pursuing: training leaders in the field, for the field so that the church in Asia might flourish."

Osborn served as a course instructor for the graduating class. He traveled to Thailand in August 2018 to teach an accelerated 10-day leadership course.

"The students are all ministry leaders seeking an advanced theological degree in order to be as effective as possible for the kingdom of God," Osborn said. "They are a fun loving, dedicated and passionate group that are influencing their world for Christ.

"It is exciting to see 24 graduates because, in Thailand, the Christian population represents less than four percent of the total population. These students are actively engaging their culture through evangelism and workplace ministry, and I look forward to hearing great stories of God blessing their labors."

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