New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 44

n e w c h u r c h l i f e : m ay / j u n e 2 0 1 8 existed before, and new groups regularly come into existence. The General Church tries to assist these groups as much as they can within the limits of its natural resources. The Heavenly Doctrines are clear that a church requires a ministry which is educated and trained to teach and lead people in their spiritual journeys. As the Church has spread, however, the question of how to provide an educated clergy has presented the General Church with a challenge. At one point it was assumed that all General Church ministers would attend Theological School in Bryn Athyn, and except for those educated in South Africa, that was the way it worked. The Bryn Athyn Theological School is well equipped in terms of teachers and resources, but cannot provide education to every aspirant minister. There is a growing number of men in other countries, speaking languages other than English, who wish to become ministers, yet cannot attend school in Bryn Athyn for valid reasons: they may not speak any English, or their education background may not meet American graduate level standards. Many men wishing to enter the ministry are married with children, and leaving them for years to attend Theological School would be an impossible burden on such families, and breaking up families is very unappealing. Bringing an entire family to Bryn Athyn is extremely difficult, and, of course, the cost is prohibitive. Added to this is that foreign students are not always permitted to enter the United States. As has happened before, the United States government may simply decide not to grant a visa. The only solution to these problems is to educate minsters in their own countries. The Rev. Fred Gyllenhaal laid a foundation for this in 1915. From that time on, many South Africans were trained for the ministry, serving their congregations in Zulu or Sesotho, and in time the same process developed in other countries as well. Currently there are five primary training programs around the world, each tailored to suit the needs of the area, each maintaining strict doctrinal integrity. Today the General Church operates in many countries; it is truly an international church without borders. . . . The General Church tries to assist these groups as much as they can within the limits of its natural resources. 220