Friday, July 20, 2012

Unearthing the Missing Links

The recent search for  TEMC Coordinator  posted on  the  Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches facebook group  has inspired me to resume my blog related to  the life of Baptist ministers in the Philippines. This topic was the main focus of   my blog during its early stage after a pastor-friend introduced me to the community of bloggers.

Going over my notes on Theological Education and Ministerial Concerns (TEMC), I came across this document which was included in the request for deployment of  University personnel to  the TEMC Program. The request was addressed to the president of Central Philippine University in 2009. Hopefully, the document will help unearth some missing links related to the history and development of the program.

The Theological Education and Ministerial Concerns (TEMC) became a new  program of Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches by virtue of the CPBC  Strategic Plan for 2000-2010.

Specifically, the TEMC  aims to empower the local pastors to comprehensively develop their potentials so that they can more relevantly respond to the challenges and needs of the present situation.

Toward this end, the following areas are given focus:
updating of the pastoral profile and keeping a data based program
regular consultation with our theological institutions and bible schools for sharing of ideas, faculty exchange and sharing of expertise or other forms of services for the school and students
facilitating the advanced studies of faculty
continuing education through seminars in the different fields and areas of ministry for our pastors
exploring and building linkages with other theological institutions to develop an educational program that will be beneficial for the pastors in the local church
providing pastors with information on opportunities for further studies and help facilitate scholarship privileges
responding to concrete pastoral problems among which are low salary, lack of SSS/Philhealth benefits, retirement schooling of children

While the program  could have been the missing link to respond to the needs of pastors, it was  not  given much priority due to limited budget and lack of personnel. Since its inception, the  TEMC activities were either carried out as part of the functions of other personnel, if not the General Secretary or undertaken by volunteers and TEMC Committee.


Last 2007, a major breakthrough took place when the CPBC Board of Trustees unanimously approved the CPBC Unified Theological Education System (UNITES) conceptualized by the TEMC Committee.

The CPBC UNITES aims to set up the standard and policies for all the member theological institutions to meet the needs of CPBC member churches and institutions, and the requirements of the Philippine Association of Bible and Theological Schools (PABATS), and other affiliations, as well as the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for recognized higher learning institutions. This includes among others the standardization of programs & curriculum, the faculty and library requirements, for CHED recognition & PABATS accreditation.

Bringing together all existing theological institutions affiliated with the CPBC under one system and partnership, it attempts to build a support mechanism and establish a continuing program for pastors.

There being no designated full time personnel, the TEMC Committee voluntarily became working committee and after a year, the program has achieved two major accomplishments which need to be sustained and improved, namely:

1. Formulation of Standardized Curriculum for one year which is being implemented in three theological institutions in Negros

2. Offering of Master of Socio Pastoral Ministries (MSPM)
As part of the continuing pastoral education, the TEMC has designed a program to prepare graduate students  for leadership roles in  church, church-related institutions  and communities. A non CHED masteral program, MSPM is geared towards a healthy and balanced  pastoral leadership, administration and community services.

MSPM is a combination of Master of Social Work and Master of Ministry. Modular classes were conducted in 7 centers participated in by more than 100 pastors in Western Visayas.


Due to the aforementioned development and other urgent concerns, there is a need for full time personnel to sustain the gains and further improve the program. While the CPBC BOT has acted on the recommendation of the TEMC to employ full time personnel, the finance committee has not raised funds for the purpose. A regular personnel was once detailed as  TEMC Coordinator. But it was short lived  as she was promoted to another position.

(to be continued)

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