Excerpted from an interview with Dr. Joseph Hiwale.
At the Koinonia College of Theology, we want to educate the students so that their life is saturated with the knowledge of the word of God and they can take this knowledge to other people and win them for the Lord Jesus Christ. So systematic Bible knowledge is very necessary so their life is built on a solid foundation.
In addition, when the students stay together on the KCOT campus, they have fellowship with the other students and get guidance from the professors and encouragement to build up their personal life. They can be trained as a worship leader, they can be trained to have a personal witness, they can be trained to win families.
Most of the other Bible colleges in India, their aim is to impart Bible knowledge only – theological and exegetical, the procedure of the churches, doctrine and beliefs of the churches. Those things they emphasize more, so the student fills his mind with Bible knowledge, but doesn’t have a prayer life. They don’t have the vision to go to the people and preach Jesus Christ. They have the practical knowledge and theoretical knowledge, but no vision.
That is the difference with KCOT. We prepare the man first for Jesus Christ, make him a prayerful man, and then give him the knowledge and give the burden and he goes with that burden to teach Jesus Christ to all the people.
Training women for ministry
We have a very special vision to train women for leadership in the church. Not as a pastor, but leading in various ministries – children’s ministry, Bible teaching ministry, women’s ministry, house visitation and hospital ministry, visiting the sick and the destitute. These women need to be trained to live as real believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and work in the community to prepare people to have a real Christian life.
Training women to be part of the Christian ministry under the leadership of a pastor or other church leaders is a neglected area. Nowhere else in India will you find it. But we are training women for parachurch ministry and they are doing good things. We need to continue to define what women’s ministry should be. We need a special teacher and a special curriculum for this. After training them we need to have a project to place them in. We work with local pastors to open the door for them.
The Needs of the Koinonia College of Theology
Apartments for the professorsToday our professors live in rented houses. We would like to provide apartments for the Bible teachers where they can stay on a nearby campus and have a peaceful atmosphere for their families; where the children can be near, everyone can have comfort, and the professors can conveniently come and go to the college. We have 10 teachers now, but if we provide another one or two courses of study, we will need 12 or 15 professors. If an apartment is made available for them, they won’t have to pay rent, they can save money and put that money into their family.
Dormitories for the students
The dormitories at KCOT are in the main Pune Center building. All the activities go on in the same building – KCOT classes are there, the Koinonia church is there, and the Girls Home too. The students really do not have privacy to study or read their Bibles and have devotions. Student dormitories or apartments for the married students should be made available on the KCOT campus. We are praying for a separate building to accommodate 30 to 60 boy students with maybe 20 girls in another hostel location. That way the students will have quiet time where they can study separately, they can have a prayer hall and they can have fellowship areas.
Expanded Library facilities
Once the students are out of the main Pune Center building we can extend the library. Currently our library books are in a small room and there is no place to study. If the boys move out we can have the whole floor to keep the library books, have a reading room, a study room and many other facilities for them. We need to pray for that.
KCOT cannot provide entertainment facilities for the students, because it’s a small building that is occupied by the students and college classes. They don’t have opportunities for recreation; going out somewhere and playing cricket or other exercise. That facility’s not there and we’re not able to provide it. The students need some time out, to go out and refresh themselves. We would like to have a gym and outdoor playing fields for both the college and the Girls Home.