From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Changes in Theological Education Offerings in Taiwan
Worldwide Faith News <email@example.com>
Sat, 09 Jun 2001 11:23:30 -0700
Taiwan Church News 2571
10th June 2001
Reported by Uidy Kao, Written by David Alexander
Government Pulls The Rug Out from Under the Undergraduates
Schools of all religions in Taiwan have long operated without
supervision from the Ministry of Educaiton in the central government.
They have been more loosely accountable to the Ministry of the Interior
which made no particular academic demands upon them. This regime is
changing. Undergraduate institutions are under pressure to apply for
accreditation through the Ministry of Education. The pressure has been
subtle. This year's social work graduates will not be admitted to the
social workers' licensing exam. Graduate schools (including Protestant
and Catholic Theological Seminaries) are not yet effected, because
clergy are not "certified" by the government. But many seminaries are
sustained in part by the enrollment in their undergraduate divisions
where religion, music, education and social service departments are
common. The threat to the validity of these degrees is causing alarm at
Taiwan Theological College in Taipei, and institution of the
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, has joined with other colleges to
petition the government to continue admitting its graduates to licensing
exams. In an open forum held on June 1st, professor Hong Li-fen, of the
college's undergraduate department of Church and Society, reiterated the
need of this nation for social workers trained in the spirit of Christ.
She vowed to struggle to the very end to see her students admitted to
exams and their degrees recognized.
To better adapt to Taiwan's changing social situation and to the
church''s need for trained membership the college has opened two
graduate programs to the public at large. These programs, a one year
certificate of theological studies and a two year masters' degree, are
flexible and open. They allow a wide selection of electives from the
entire graduate division. People without a call to ordained ministry in
the church who are interested in theology and wish freedom to choose
what they will study will be able to enter the seminary community,
study, and leave with a certification of being trained and available for
service to the church and the society.
For more information: Taiwan Theological College and Seminary
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