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Degrees in hand, graduates’ sights turn to China & other Asian countries
June 07, 2004
By David Roach
Hong Kong natives William and Kam See Fung, who received doctoral degrees from Southern Seminary this spring, are moving to Singapore with their children, Kam Yan, 12, and Wood Yan, 10, where the couple will teach at a Bible college with students from 30 Asian countries. Photo by David Merrifield
Most graduates of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary will have the opportunity to impact a church for the Kingdom of God. But William and Kam See Fung will have the opportunity to impact 500 churches in 30 countries upon their graduation from Southern this spring.
The Fungs, who are originally from Hong Kong, are scheduled to move to Singapore this summer where they will teach in the School of Theology at Singapore Bible College. The college provides graduate and undergraduate education to 500 students who eventually will serve churches across Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
William received his doctor of philosophy degree in New Testament from Southern’s School of Theology, and Kam See received her doctor of education degree from the School of Leadership and Church Ministry.
“We’ve always had a burden not only to serve in a local church,” William said, “but we also want to train a new generation of ministers of the Gospel.”
The Fungs have a particularly strong desire to assist churches in China where many Christians are persecuted for their faith. By teaching Chinese pastors at Singapore Bible College, they look forward to helping build the church in China.
“Through ministry and partnership with Singapore Bible College, we can eventually reach our goal of influencing ministers in China,” Kam See said.
Teaching Chinese pastors will not be easy though. In order to communicate with their students, the Fungs had to learn Mandarin, a dialect of Chinese with which they were unfamiliar. As children they learned to read Mandarin, but until recently the Fungs spoke only their native Cantonese dialect.
In addition to their teaching responsibilities in Asia, the Fungs will have an opportunity to use their newly acquired Mandarin skills across Europe during summer and winter breaks. Between semesters, professors from the college travel to European countries to conduct seminars for Chinese pastors, they said.
Another important aspect of the Fungs’ ministry will be translating Christian books into Chinese. They noted that one of the greatest needs among Chinese pastors is a larger body of theological literature.
“There is still a big demand for more Chinese Christian literature, especially textbooks for seminarians,” William said. “We hope to be able to contribute in that area too.”
The Fungs said Southern served as an ideal preparation ground for their ministry in Singapore, with the professionalism and humility demonstrated by Southern professors having become a model for their own teaching ministry.
“The most impressive thing about Southern for me is the relationships [between students and professors],” Kam See said. “The professors are very humble, very professional, and yet they care for the students.”
The Seminary Wives Institute (SWI) has been a helpful model of effective ministry to ministers’ wives, Kam See said.
“I have been blessed by SWI,” she said. “We came here ... and for the first year I did not enroll in any formal program. So I went to the SWI classes, and I was very impressed by people like Mrs. [Mary] Mohler and Mrs. [Sharon] Beougher.”
As the Fungs minister in Singapore, they look forward to using their Southern education to impact churches across Asia and throughout the world.
“In Singapore we feel like we will be on the frontline of ministry for reaching different people groups,” William said.