Introduction of Lay Education

   Theological education of adult Christians is often overlooked due to the following concept: A Christian needs to be clear about his/her calling before he/she goes to the seminary, and he/she is called to be a minister after completing the education in the seminary. If I am not called to be a minister, why do I need to go to the seminary, and why do I need to have theological education?

           This concept, however, will require some modification today. Due to the limited resources at churches thirty to forty years ago, most of the resources are put into the training of pastors and ministers – the so called pastoral training. However, theological education is not only for the pastoral staff. In fact, the training for lay believers is even more important, since these believers stand between the church and the world, with the unavoidable mission to spread the Gospel.

            A minister is primarily called to be at church, to pastor, teach and exhort our brothers and sisters with God’s words. The brothers and sisters at church, on the other hand, are primarily called to be in workplaces, in families, in societies, in countries and in churches, to work in concert. Therefore, pastors have the calling to be pastors; believers also have the their specific callings.

            Having inherited the convictions of the Church reformation period, at China Lutheran Seminary, we strongly hope that theological education can be popularized. In other words, it is not only the pastoral staff, but also the lay believers who should receive quality theological education.

             The goals of CLS Lay Education are three-fold: teaching students in accordance with their aptitude; providing education for all people without discrimination; helping students become more useful after receiving education. To achieve these goals, CLS Lay Education provides two kinds of theological education programs, with the local churches as their bases:

           1. Grassroots Ministry Program

           2. Lay Ministry Program           

             All brothers and sisters in Christ are welcome and encouraged to apply to and participate in the courses. Together, we can then achieve the mission of priesthood of all believers and lifelong diligent learning.