Arab Baptist Theological Seminary in Lebanon Switches to an Online Education Program

ABTS has been using residence space to house medical workers during COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of ABTS on Facebook)

The pandemic continues to leave higher education in a state of disarray as colleges plot out the upcoming academic year. Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) is no different, but president Elie Haddad says the school is making a more permanent change to its residency program.

It’s a big step, Haddad says, since the residency program has been foundational to ABTS since its founding 60 years ago. He explains how the current program works: “They come to Lebanon for three years, get trained, and go back home to serve their churches. We’ve been in a series of crises in Lebanon since last year. It started with the economic crisis, and then politically with the uprising and everything like that. Economically, Lebanon has not been doing well for the last year, and then the pandemic hit. That made a big difference as well. It’s like crisis upon crisis.”

With travel and financial restrictions, ABTS can no longer support this program. But the college leadership is thinking strategically about the future. Haddad says, “We came up with what we’re calling the modified residency program. Instead of bringing in full-time students, we want to reach out to people who are in full-time ministry, come alongside them, and make the program accessible to them. If they’re able to invest 15 hours a week plus annual residences in Lebanon, then we can work with these leaders so that they can get the training they need.”

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray that God will give the ABTS leadership wisdom as they navigate these changes.
  • Ask God to take away all of the chaos from Lebanon, from financial troubles to corruption to COVID-19.