The national seminary of official Chinese Protestant churches is expanding and preparing to build a new campus in face of the growing need of theological training in China.
After the ground-breaking ceremony for the new campus of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary was held on Jan. 17, 2005, the construction of the 124,067-square meters campus that is expected to accommodate 500 students is now underway. Chairperson of the National Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) Presbyter Ji Jianhong has introduced the progress on Jan. 19’s communion worship service in Hong Kong for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity when meeting with the leaders from Hong Kong Christian Council.
"As the society is changing rapidly and the churches in China are growing dramatically, the theological education in China is facing new challenges. We need to try our best to improve both the physical facilities and faculty development of the seminary so that we can train more excellent talents for Chinese churches," stated a statement from the seminary.
The estimated construction cost for the new campus is approximately 140 million Chinese yuan (USD 17.38 million) and the construction is expected to be completed within two years. This is the first project that is approved and financially supported by the central government.
The current design of the new campus features the 5,760-square meters campus church, which uses architectural language to express the Protestant Christian spirit in the Chinese context. The appearance of the church incorporates biblical motifs such as "Noah's Ark" and the "Peaceful Gospel." The church building is multi-functional, and will be used for worship, art exhibitions and music appreciation.
Other facilities include a main teaching building, a library, an administrative building, a sports ground, a student residential area, and a front plaza.
"I expect the new seminary to be characterized by steadfast faith, excellent conduct and abundant knowledge. We share the love of God in this community, and we are also cultivated in character and virtue in the incarnation of Christ. I am confident that the future of Nanjing Seminary will be bright!" said Bishop KH Ting, honorary chairperson of the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Committee of the Chinese Protestant Churches, honorary president of the China Christian Council and president of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary.
"We eagerly look forward to the early completion of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary's new campus so that she may train even more qualified personnel for Chinese churches nationwide," stated Reverend Cao Shengjie, president of the China Christian Council.