In 2008, Dr. Daniel Tran, President of Vietnamese Baptist Theological Seminary (VBTS) and Dr. Bruce Corley, Senior Fellow and at that time President of Carroll Institute, met with other Carroll leaders to begin discussions on how the two institutions could partner to bring accredited graduate degrees to Vietnam. On November 17, 2013, Dr. Gene Wilkes, current President of B. H. Carroll Theological Institute, joined representatives of three other ministries to sign a covenant of agreement to teach Master-level courses in Vietnam beginning in February 2014. Dr. Bruce Corley stated, “Provision of materials in their own languages is critical for training leaders on site in their countries. It is more difficult to teach and provide resources in their native tongue. That is why there is a need for partnership for collaborative learning, teaching, and resources with open access.” First Baptist church Midland, a major supporter of missions and leadership development, is also one of the partners with Viet Nam.
Dr. Daniel Tran commented:
I am thankful to the Lord for bringing B. H. Carroll Theological Institute to this partnership. The Christian and Missionary Alliance has started a bible college there, and they are happy to join Carroll to teach graduate education. Since the government doesn’t allow foreigners to teach religion, they teach online and have intensive seminars to train local Vietnamese teachers. Since 1975 until now, there has been no formal theological education for graduate degrees, so there is a great need to train evangelical leaders for the next generation with quality education. Hopefully over the next several years Carroll can train faculty for these schools.
The partnership with Carroll offers the Vietnamese a Master of Arts in Theology with textbooks and materials translated into their own language. Courses are taught in six different teaching locations from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City via the Internet and in person. Professors come from the VBTS and Carroll Institute faculties. The first cohort of students numbered around 100. VBTS and Vietnamese Bible, Inc. (VBI) have been working with the government and churches in the country to ensure access and support from those in leadership for the program.
Drs. Stan Moore and Jim Spivey, Senior Fellows, have made several trips to Viet Nam beginning in October of 2013 when they met with church leaders in Hanoi to sign an agreement securing a teaching site in that city as well as other teaching church sites. They returned in 2015 to teach courses and encourage the students. Dr. Moore expressed the following:
What a privilege to teach but also learn from the students through a gifted translator! God is working in and transforming so many lives in Viet Nam. Students in the program are serving as pastors and leaders of local congregations. Graduate theological education is not available in Viet Nam. We are grateful to the Lord that He has opened the door for Carroll to equip missional leaders in Viet Nam!
One of the Vietnamese students shared his gratitude for his theological education through Carroll Institute:
Thanks to God the Father for giving me this opportunity to learn through Carroll Institute! Through these courses, my call to ministry has been renewed and my spiritual growth has deepened. The Christian Disciplines course helped me to understand that though imperfect, I may continue relying on Jesus Christ to make me new each day, to become pure in heart, and to grow in the character of grace! As I study and prepare myself, I will continue to be influenced, admonished, and caused to stay on the path God wants for me.
If you would like more information about how you or your church could scholarship a student in Viet Nam or in one of our other global programs, click here.