On the morning of May 10, New York Theological Education Center (NYTEC) and China Nanjing Union Theological Seminary for the first time held a trial-run of “Internet Real People Classroom”. This trial-test united Chinese seminary students and teachers from Hong Kong, Nanjing, and Toronto – speaker from NYTEC spoke in Hong Kong’s “Real People Classroom”, some of the staff workers appeared in Nanjing with students and teachers from Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, and a time was set aside for them to ask questions. Meanwhile, another speaker from Toronto, Canada would instantly make comments on the contents of the lectures.
The first ever pioneer within the Chinese Christian community, NYTEC’s ‘Internet Real People Classroom’ has been used for four years already. The range of the broadcast extends to United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. On May 10, in China’s largest and only national seminary – Nanjing Union Theological Seminary for the first time test-trialed, and it was viewed by the participating teachers and students as a “new breakthrough.”
Even though it was only a test-trial, but to make it complete, NYTEC made the entire process no different than how it would be on a typical day of class. The speaker in the classroom in Hong Kong taught the ‘students’ who are thousands of miles away on the subject of “Different Interpretations of the bible”. Meanwhile, he would stop to answer the questions posted on discussion board on the website. The speaker stated that even though the subject at hand may be more difficult than usual, the participating Nanjing Seminary students are either professors of the seminary or student studying there. In direct relations, the questions presented are quite challenging. To illustrate this effect, after the speaker from Toronto made his comment, many ‘students’ questioned the validity of the comment. It was an exciting scene. At the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary, there were approximately 10 teachers and 30 students, who participated in the entire course curriculum through looking at the big projection screen.
In addition, Chinese Christian Council Honorary President, TSPM Board of committee Honorary Chairman, Nanjing Union Theological Seminary president Ding Guang-xun also was present at the classroom. In regards to trial activity provided by NYTEC, he stated that this is a new experimentation that can bridge the gaps between Chinese churches and the new era; he hopes this up-to-date technology can be used widely among the Chinese churches in China.
NYTEC director, Rev. Qiu Fang He, who personally visited Nanjing for the sake of this cooperation, expressed, “Even though this is only a trial-event, it has brought much excitement to people; because not only can we see the advancement of the information technology in possession in our mother country, but the more important thing is that Bishop Ding Guang-xun, who is currently 90 years old, and the young students are all able to accept this technologically advanced type of education system, which means that this kind of tool has a strong receptiveness. And in the face of the rapid growth of believers in China, lack of pastoral workers, and the reality of cult activism, if this kind of tool can be widely accepted and used, then the quality of believers will be changed greatly, and it can prevent and fend off any attacks from cults.