The first graduation of Carroll students in Vietnam

December 14, 2018
The first graduation of B. H. Carroll students in Vietnam was held on Saturday, December 8, 2018. Drs. Dao Tran, President of Vietnam Baptist Theological School, and Gene Wilkes, President of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, along with Bill Holmes, Vice President of Vietnamese Bible, Inc. traveled from the US to moderate the ceremony. Dr. Wilkes recognized the partnership of the three institutions represented in addition to the Missions Committee of First Baptist Church, Midland, TX, as the foundation of resources that made the graduation of these missional leaders with accredited theological degrees possible. Four received the Master of Arts (Religion) and sixteen received the Master of Arts (Theology). Six were women, and fourteen were men. There were fourteen ordained pastors, and one heads a denomination. Four are regional leaders, and the remainder are Senior Pastors. The lay persons are leaders in their churches.

The ministry partnership to deliver accredited theological education in the context of these church leaders was entered into in November of 2013 at First Baptist church, Midland, and courses were first offered in February 2014. Courses were received at five approved Teaching Churches in country. Teachers and translators hailed from the US and VN. The students completed the full requirements for a professional MA degree, culminating their course of study with either a project or thesis. All the course work was done in Vietnamese.

One graduating student spoke during the ceremony, thanking all who participated in the program “so that we could have access to a training that many of us would had no other ways to approach.” He continued:

Through the program, the students from various denominations and regions had an opportunity to know, to listen to, (sometimes) to argue with each other, and, I hope, to cooperate in serving the Lord. The diplomas we get today is the marker of a certain mile of our journey, and I pray that what we have learned will contribute to the good completion of our race, for us to get “the diploma” of being good and faithful servants of the Lord in That Day.

Dear Dr. Wilkes, president of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute

Dear Dr. Daniel Dao, coordinator of the Vietnamese program

Honored guests, families and friends

Fellow graduates

It was five years ago when I first time heard of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute. To be honest, back then I didn’t know who B. H. Carroll was. Surely he is not Vietnamese, but is he English or American, Baptist or Pentecostal, living or dead?

I just felt one thing. As a house church pastor I wanted to be equipped, partly to have an official degree, but especially to know God and serve Him better. I guess the same was true with many graduates here today.

With the vision of being a “seminary that equips missional leaders,” helping its students to earn a degree where he or she lives, works and serves, B. H. Carroll model truly is a promt and sensible response to the need of “harvest laborers” in Vietnam.

B. H. Carroll had wonderful instructors, who possess a great combination of knowledge, passion and vast experiences. The courses have expanded our knowledge, challenged our prejudices, and given us precious lessons, which are applicable in our context of ministry.

On behalf of the graduates, I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to the BHCTI and to those who gave generously, so that we could have access to a training that many of us would had no other ways to approach.

Thank you, Dr. Wilkes for your heart to the work of the Lord in Vietnam. Thank you for taking as one of your core values is “to return the theological education to the local church”.

I would like to say thanks to Dr. Daniel Dao, who acted like a bridge for the program in Vietnam. To us, you are a great example of a devoted life in serving the Lord. Thank you for reading and grading a huge amount of our assignments, though, I think, you have hidden the “A” very carefully.

Through the program, the students from various denominations and regions had an opportunity to know, to listen to, (sometimes) to argue with each other, and, I hope, to cooperate in serving the Lord. The diplomas we get today is the marker of a certain mile of our journey, and I pray that what we have learned will contribute to the good completion of our race, for us to get “the diploma” of being good and faithful servants of the Lord in That Day.

I heard that shortly before his death B. H. Carroll summoned his successor and said to him, “Lee, lash the seminary to the heart of the Savior.” Whatever are our ministries, may the Holy Spirit do the same to all of us! Amen!

Plans are being made and resource being sought to begin a second cohort of students in 2019. If you would like to make a gift to this strategic opportunity to equip missional leaders in this country, you can give online at https://donate.bhcarroll.edu or by mailing your gift to:

6500 N Belt Line Rd, Suite 100
Irving,TX 75063-6056

Comments