In China, only 13 theological seminaries and Bible schools are recognised by the government and all of them belong to the Three-Self (official) church.
Though technically they are theological colleges, they are influenced by the government and include compulsory teaching on Communism Theory and Patriotism Education.
Meanwhile, thousands of Bible schools had been started by underground churches, all of which are considered ‘illegal’ in the eyes of the communist government. At these Bibles colleges, the material taught is from the Bible, designed to equip believers to know and serve the Lord and the church and to win people for Christ.
VOM Australia supports two Bibles colleges in China.
Candidates apply for the training every year. Those who are accepted are generally young people who believe they have been called to serve the Lord and have been recommended by local pastors and elders.
These students from impoverished families would not be able to afford to enrol without sponsorship. VOM supplies funds for accommodation, food, theological books and transport from and to their homes.
There is an enormous need for pastors and church leaders in China. The Bible schools aim to train and equip believers for service in local churches in various parts of the country.