The Korean Union Conference (KUC) education department conducted a union-wide educational council at Lotte Resort Hotel in Buyeo, Korea, from January 15 to 17, 2017. Principals of all the schools, presidents of two universities, officers of five local conferences under KUC, and officers of the Union attended the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to orient all education leaders about the importance of Integration of Faith and Learning (IFL), to listen to reports from the schools, and to work together on strategic planning.
On the first two days of the meeting, school reports were presented, focusing on the efforts each school is making to connect students to the church, especially the local churches. The purpose is to retain students in the church even after they graduate from the schools. At one school, for example, students are divided into three groups per class according to their addresses, and they are connected to the local pastors to take care of them. The local pastors work with these students to help them understand religion, prepare for future life, and have spiritual experiences.
At another school, many religious activities at the school are linked to the local churches. For example, local church pastors are invited to give Bible studies at the school, and baptisms are done at the local church, not the school. This means that the baptized students are recorded as members of the local church. For this purpose, local pastors and the school chaplains and Bible teachers need to work together.
During this education council meeting, the participants received two presentations on the theme of IFL, presented by Richard Sabuin, education director of the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD). The first presentation answered the question “Why Adventist school?” In these times when there are many schools offering quality education academically, Adventist schools should have a unique reason for their existence. While striving to offer quality education, our schools are to be centers where IFL is intentionally done, with the purpose of helping students to become more Christ-like.
IFL is not unique to Adventist education. Educational systems of other Christian denominations have been offering the same kinds of teaching strategy. The second presentation emphasized the need of our IFL to be more distinctive, offered in the framework of the mission of the remnant elaborated in Revelation 12 to 14.
We thank Pastor Kang SeokWoo for organizing the meeting. KUC is planning to offer an IFL seminar for college professors and another one for primary and secondary teachers later this year. We are praying for these plans.
Dr. Richard Sabuin, NSD Education Director