More than 30 educational leaders from the Philippines gathered in Baguio 19 to 22 May to discuss the past, present, and future of education in the Philippines. The event was the first of its kind for Nazarene educators in the Philippines. The presidents, academic deans, and members of the Board of Trustees, including district superintendents and lay people, represented Philippines Nazarene College (Baguio), Visayan Nazarene Bible College (Cebu), and Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (Manila).
David Ackerman, Church of the Nazarene Philippines-Micronesia Field Education coordinator, led the group discussions. During this time, they discussed four major topics: discovery, dream, design, and destiny. Then, the representatives met in small groups and answered a series of questions related to each of these four topics. The small groups wrote their insights on poster paper and taped them to the walls.
The group highlighted the ways God has blessed education in the Philippines, as students can go all the way from kindergarten to earning a doctorate of philosophy in the current system.
Finally, the group discussed the future of education in the Philippines. The group came up with many ideas during these discussions, agreeing that the schools need more dialogue and collaboration to facilitate a more effective educational system moving forward.
Asia-Pacific Regional Director Mark Louw was the guest speaker at the retreat. On Sunday, Louw offered a message from 2 Timothy, tracing how Paul’s letter gives insights about the being, knowing, and doing of theological education. Towards the end of the retreat, he provided a collection of his reflections based on the groups’ discussions.
The leaders of these three Nazarene schools are eager to embrace God’s leading to be effective educators for a new generation of church leaders, both lay and ordained.