LCA International Mission walks together with our partner churches overseas through support for such projects as the Lutheran Study Centre (LSC) at Sabah Theological Seminary (STS) in Malaysia. LSC Director Dr Wilfred J Samuel explains the critical role of the centre for the region’s Lutheran churches.

The Lutheran Study Centre (LSC) at Sabah Theological Seminary (STS) in Malaysia was established to meet the need of enhancing Lutheran confessional identity among the member churches of the Federation of Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Malaysia and Singapore (FELCMS).

After initial talks with the LCANZ’s Dr Vic Pfitzner, the need was raised with LCA International Mission and other mission partners. The centre was opened in March 2010, thanks to advisory and financial support from the LCA and Australian Lutheran College, and technical assistance from the Lutheran World Federation, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

What are the objectives of the centre?

The centre’s key objectives are to serve the Lutheran churches in South-East Asia in providing Lutheran distinctive training for pastors, lay members and theological students; to serve as a centre for theological research; to develop resources and publications to enhance Lutheran identity; and to network with regional and international Lutheran study centres.

The LSC has been able to reach out to the four main language groups in Malaysia and Singapore – Bahasa Malaysia, Mandarin, Tamil and English. This has included organising seminars, making publications such as the Book of Concord and selected doctrinal tracts available in the different languages and giving theological lectures on Lutheran themes.

FELCMS member churches have a policy that all pastoral candidates must go through Lutheran distinctive training by LSC before ordination.

These efforts have helped the LSC to achieve its goal of enhancing Lutheran confessional identity in Malaysia and Singapore. But we acknowledge that the journey has just begun and more needs to be done.

Moving beyond Malaysia and Singapore

The ministry of the LSC was also extended to Indonesia and the Mekong region. In Indonesia, Lutheran churches were encouraged to send students to STS for training in Lutheran distinctive, while LSC also invited Indonesian Lutheran theologians to serve by giving lectures and conducting seminars.

The LCA and the Mekong Mission Forum also played a crucial role in connecting the LSC with the Mekong region. The ministry in this region was conducted on three levels. Firstly, post-graduate students were invited to study at STS and major in Lutheran studies. Secondly, training programs were organised for the Lutheran churches in the Mekong region; and thirdly the region’s churches were invited to participate in online courses and training modules.

We continue to pray, that God will use the LSC to be able to do greater things for his glory. At the same time, we at LSC ask for the continued support and prayers of our International mission partners. Thank you for your partnership in this ministry.

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