There’s no question about it: people all across China are hungry for the Word of God. That fact has helped spur exciting changes in Seminary on the Air (SOTA).
In July, 2013, the SOTA shortwave programmes aired from TWR on the island of Guam were discontinued in order to expand SOTA Online, a three-year audio Internet ministry, in concert with instruction through several on-the-ground SOTA study centres in China. Through these study centres, students have access to trained instructors and spiritual mentors who monitor their progress in the online programme and serve as coaches in their online learning.
In recent years, although SOTA Online existed, more than 4,000 students who wanted to study SOTA Online were turned away due to TWR’s lack of capacity to thoroughly monitor online students. In early 2012, TWR studied the progress of SOTA over the past decade and decided on three objectives to help develop churches in China:
• Mobilise local pastors for small Chinese churches;
• Set up SOTA centres in China to mentor new or young pastors;
• Use an online format to teach Bible and leadership courses.
Today, SOTA Online’s explosive growth features these elements:
• About 1,300 students studying at SOTA centres and online;
• A new SOTA website;
• A growing staff of 10 mentors;
• The capacity to mentor 1,500 to 2,000 students each year;
• A SOTA MP3 player with the courses loaded on it;
• An invitation to the 4,000 students previously turned away!