Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung –was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2016.
He served as President of the Chinese Annual Conference from 2008 to 2016.
Education has always been a vital core ministry of the Methodist Church. Its missionary work in Singapore began in 1885 and the Anglo-Chinese School (ACS), a primary school for boys, was established the following year.
Two primary schools for girls, Methodist Girls’ School (MGS) and Fairfield Methodist Girls’ School (FMGS), were subsequently set up in 1887 and 1888 respectively. Like mustard seeds, these have burgeoned. Today, The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) has 15 schools and educational institutions, which include primary and secondary schools, a junior college, an international school, a private school and a music school.
John Wesley believed education was vital to a fuller, richer life. G. M. Best, author of Education from a Methodist Perspective, wrote: “John Wesley was as much an educator as a preacher. Methodist involvement in education stems from his passion for education, which was rooted in his understanding of the Bible and centuries of Christian tradition that the Church should be engaged in constantly seeking and understanding what is the truth by which we should live.”
Professor Richard Heitzenrater, my teacher at Duke Seminary and an eminent scholar in Methodism, said: “Knowledge, for Wesley, was not so much a purely intellectual attribute but rather a channel of self-understanding, which is crucial for salvation.”
Wesley believed everyone should have access to education regardless of their gender or class. He set up schools for the children of coal miners so that they would not be deprived of education because of poverty. Wesley also devoted himself to raising the quality of education for the younger generation. He believed that education could help build future social leaders of character and responsibility.
In Education from a Methodist Perspective, G. M. Best stated several general principles, including the following:
While the schools of MCS abide by the principles established by Singapore’s Ministry of Education, they also uphold the inherent spirit of its mission in education. Students will continue to be nurtured and developed in our Methodist schools, which are rich in history and tradition, to fulfill their roles and responsibilities towards self and society. This is part of our social principle related to responsibilities in community life, where we seek to work towards societies in which each person’s unique value is recognised, affirmed and strengthened.
The best is yet to be! Glory to God!
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