Know what you say, do what you can
Education and church go together well. After all, the doctrine that is brought to the congregation in the sermon or to the children in the various classes has to be learned. And to help this process along, the New Apostolic Church in South-East Asia has just opened its own academy.
The director of the academy is Frank Hoyer, a professional, certified trainer in adult education and a Priest in a congregation in the Philippines. District Apostle Urs Hebeisen, who is responsible for the New Apostolic Church in this part of the world, appointed him as head of the new academy and explained to the participants at the annual retreat for ministers Tagaytay on Luzon how such an academy is set up today.
He said that he had long been thinking about providing regular support and resources to the ministers, teachers, and others who help along in the Church in his district. He was glad, he continued, that the first important step—the official launch of the academy—had now been taken.
The NAC Academy, so its official designation, is a resource and competence centre and will concentrate on Deacons and Priests for the time being, especially those who are still young in the ministry. Its purpose is to assist the ministers of the Church in executing their ministry. This includes providing access to resources, establishing the fundamentals, offering help, giving explanations, and setting the standards.
Important: the principles of methodology
The teaching programme covers the fields of ministry, choir and music, youth, confirmands, children and trainers. Priest Frank Hoyer is a professional, certified trainer who has lived in the Philippines for years. He developed the greater part of the programme. During the official launch of the academy, he made it clear that this was just a beginning. “The academy programme will go through a progressive evolutionary process. Subjects and material will be continuously added and eventually also be made available online.”
District Apostle Hebeisen pointed out to the participants how important teaching and learning are in a changing world. There is no area in life in which one can progress without constant learning. “Teaching and learning was high on the agenda of the Church here in the Philippines from the very beginning.” The new academy in South-East Asia will provide the support which those who are responsible in the Church today need to be able to fulfil their tasks.
Other District Churches, for example in Germany, Africa, and the USA, also run academies that provide target-oriented learning. The Academy of the New Apostolic Church Southern Germany, for example, has set itself the goal of promoting the training and further education of ministers and functionaries. The academy opened in 2009 and has been offering courses since. It has set itself the objective of being a learning centre and be a place where dialogue and the exchange ideas is possible. It wants to create opportunities for personal development, as well as offer or deepen knowledge and skills. The academy offers courses on pastoral care, theology, religious education, or music.