By Amelia Krauss
For one Union professor, the summer provided the opportunity to experience diverse Asian culture and to play a unique role in expanding Union’s relationships with fellow Baptists across the globe.
Dr. Kelvin Moore, professor of biblical studies and director of the Doctor of Ministry Program in Singapore, traveled to the Asian city-state July 4-21, where he taught two week-long Doctor of Ministry courses at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Singapore.
Moore’s excursion was part of a three-year partnership with the seminary and the Singapore Baptist Convention that Dr. David S. Dockery, university president, said he hopes will benefit the work of Singapore Baptists and expand Union’s global influence, particularly in the Global South.
Moore’s trip was part of Union’s presence in Singapore, which Dockery said began after he delivered a series of lectures there approximately three years ago as part of a celebration of 20 years of Baptist work in the country.
Through this experience, Dockery said he developed relationships with Singaporean leaders, who asked him to think and pray about a possible partnership between Union and the Singapore Baptist Convention and Baptist Theological Seminary of Singapore.
During his visit to the small nation, Dockery said he was overwhelmed by the many opportunities Singapore had to offer and its strategic location that served as an open door to the rest of Asia.
The partnership agreement was officially announced in November 2010. Since then, Dockery said six current faculty members, including himself and Moore, have represented Union in Singapore.
Union professors are involved in both the Doctor of Ministry program and a Master of Arts in International Studies program.
Moore, who traveled to Singapore just months ago, described the trip as “one of the highlights of [his] career.”
He added, “I’ll always remember and relish the experiences and the relationships we’ve formed there [because of] the warmth, hospitality and generosity of students as well as faculty and staff at the Baptist Theological Seminary, Singapore.”
Moore said five students took his courses, titled “Expository Preaching and Old Testament Text” and “Ministry Research.” Two students were from Singapore, one was from Myanmar and two were from China.
Despite the small size of the classes, Moore said the diversity of the group and their varying cultural and personal backgrounds made for lively discussions about topics such as measuring church growth.
Moore also deepened relationships with Singapore Baptist leaders, including Sun Poling, president of the Baptist Theological Seminary of Singapore; Fong Choon Sam, the seminary’s dean of academic studies; and Peter Tang, executive director of the Singapore Baptist Convention.
Moore dined on exotic cuisine, including squid, snails and durian (a fruit), visited World War II memorials and explored Indian and Buddhist temples. He also spent his second Sunday there preaching at a small Singaporean church.
While Moore’s trip was only two-and-a-half weeks long, his service to the Baptist students in Singapore played a role in a partnership Dockery said he hopes will help fulfill Union’s global-minded mission.
“This open door for partnership, ministry, education and service will hopefully be mutually beneficial for the Union University community and for Singapore Baptists,” he said. “We pray that each group will be enabled and strengthened by the other in our shared calling and in the development of these important cross-cultural relationships.”
Because Singapore is centrally located in Asia and is a wealthy, state-of-the-art city-state, Moore described it as a strategic location that could be used to reach pastors and people in neighboring nations.
“Whether short-term or longer term, we trust the influence of Union University will continue to grow and expand in multiple ways: locally, regionally, nationally and globally,” Dockery said. “We will trust God’s providential blessings on these efforts and pray that he will continue to open new doors and new partnerships for the years ahead.”