Since the late 1970s, many new churches and congregations formed for the overseas Mainland Chinese, but there is a tremendous need for trained leaders for these churches. Most of these pastors are already leading one or more churches and SOTA is helping them do ministry with greater wisdom, knowledge, and discernment.
In 2011, Dr. William Tsui joined TWR Canada as Director of China Ministry with a passion to disciple and train leaders.
The SOTA program is constantly evaluated and new lessons and technology added to remain relevant and challenge students.
SOTA students range in age from early 20s to nearly 80 years of age. We have SOTA student groups in every province in China, in Germany and in Canada with individual students from all over the world including the U.S.A., Japan, and Spain.
Over the last five years, the TWR Canada China Ministry has moved SOTA content away from radio broadcasts and instead focused on creating SOTA course content in audio formats available on media players and MP3 devices, online content for download and streaming, a set of six textbooks, and an interactive tablet containing all the course lessons, instructor videos, and additional theological supplemental content.
Students receive individual feedback from instructors in class and on assignments handed in online. Personal relationships between SOTA staff and students help students persevere through a difficult course of study. Many students work full-time or serve in ministry full-time while they complete the SOTA training.
TWR Canada’s China Ministry has an office in Markham, Ontario with a small team made up of volunteers, part time and full time staff. We also have supported missionaries focused only on SOTA development and student learning in China, Germany, and Canada.
Through studying SOTA, I learned to avoid common mistakes in interpreting the Bible which I now apply when teaching. I learned Bible study methods from SOTA so I can study the Bible book by book. I pay more attention to the context of the passage and its unity with the whole Bible. SOTA also taught me some counselling, how to deal with people and be a good example.
--Brother Xu from China
SOTA teaches in a very systematic and refreshing way. Though often I felt tired and stressed about assignments, soon I was passionate about the learning. Learning through SOTA has changed my family. My husband and my children all supported me in my study. SOTA helped me to know more about God’s Word and be more accurate. I realized that to fulfill God’s calling on my life, I had to prepare myself and SOTA helped me do that.
--Sister Chen from Spain