By Natasha Kim , CM Writer –
Located strategically in Petaling Jaya, AOIC (Alpha Omega International College, Petaling Jaya) was established in the year 1998. Fully accredited by Asia Theological Association (ATA), the college dutifully seeks to provide lifelong learning Bible education for those who yearn to know more; whether it is those who are interested to find their greater calling and be empowered to lead or those who simply want to increase their knowledge about the Bible hence bringing them closer to God.
AOIC is multi-denominational and not limited to serving one particular denomination. The Bible college has many students who attend, ranging from 21 to 70 years old, from school leavers to people who are already retired. Many of the instructors and educators at AOIC have worked there for numerous years and are passionate about the works they do at the college. The students are enriched and given something deeper in their teachings namely theological and holistic biblical training to find their skills as ministers of the Gospel. Both spiritual and visible unity are displayed, and the oneness according to The Lord ’s Prayer, John 17:21, “That they all may be one…” is passionately followed despite differences in culture and churches.
Dr. Teresa Chai President of AOIC, is a person who has been gifted with several qualities of a true Christian, and it is clearly displayed in the way she carries herself and through her works due to her devotion and dedication to Christ. She found her calling to train and inspire others for missions after performing years of missionary work in places such as Bangladesh where she helped run a vocational school for young people. “…our uniqueness is that we are training a group of people, I will consider them what we call marketplace ministers. Our students are active in the churches they are serving and they use this as a way to further prepare them for doing the work of the Lord in their churches. I consider them full time Christians, despite being at their jobs they are still a witness for the Lord.” She also added that, “On weekends or other ministry situations the students are there to serve. A lot of our classes are catered to them therefore they are at either night or intensives. We are catering to fit the rhythm of their lives so that they do not have to give up their jobs and their careers to study Bible theology, ministry, counseling and they really appreciate that.” AOIC also goes as far as to reach out to people who live in different parts of Klang Valley by having extensions at churches in Kajang, Klang and Batu Caves.
The biggest missiological challenges facing AOIC is the restrictions of what they can and cannot do. Despite that fact however, the students in their point of view have risen to the challenge and are creative and able to compete with the fast changes of the moving world on a global scale. They train and equip people who can join the hearts of believers in so many directions, to keep the faith and walk the narrow path, as well as speakers who are multi-taskers, informed and evangelistic, able to answer questions on very real and current issues pertaining to the Christian faith.
From left to right: Rev. Simon Cheong (President Elect), Rev. Lim Siew Pik (Vice President of Academic Affairs), Rev. Dr. Teresa Chai (President of AOIC), and James Hoh (Business Development Manager)
Rev.Lim Siew Pik, Vice President of Academic Affairs stated that, “We offer different disciplines, both undergraduate and graduate programs for example pastoral counseling, to be a people helper and provide advice and counseling and help them. We provide theory and practice that help Christians and challenge them in their responses and attitudes.” Hence they have been able to impart skills and Biblical knowledge in the hopes of encouraging transformation in their students to become people who have integrity and who are able to articulate between right and wrong. Most importantly people who are able to speak out and impact society around them. Some in more everyday ordinary ways by their testimonies while others in more significant ways. They may be lawyers and doctors or people involved in some political scene or background. AOIC has graduated students who are able to speak in truth and with confidence, enabling them to influence the nation and encourage people from all walks to walk the life of faith.
“We are unique in a sense that any Christian can come to our Bible school, they might not become a full-time pastor but they come out with sound Biblical knowledge, but they are more effective and equipped to serve God in their various vocations.” says President Elect, Rev.Simon Cheong.
The main character traits that AOIC wants to build is to help students be more disciplined in areas of spiritual growth, submission, obedience, played out in and outside of class.
Currently an alumnus of AOIC, James Hoh has gone back the college to help promote the school to churches, senior pastors, and put up booths in Christian events in the Klang Valley to make its presence felt. He shares his experience to various people in order to spread the word about what he himself has learned and experienced in the college that he loves. He added “I strongly believe everyone should have some form of theological studies especially in this time and age.”
“By their own testimonies I have seen my students change for the better.” – Rev. Dr. Teresa Chai
For more information about AOIC please visit www.aoic.org.my