Author Archives: Ms Duc

Newsletter December 2015

MTI Report December 2015
Greetings,

I would to take the change at this end of the year 2015 to give you this little report on MTI Vietnam for the year 2015.

Laurent Tran-Qui 2014 1

This year 2015 has been a very busy year as we tried to address an important issue, that of the computer literacy of the students. As you may well remember, the mission of our Bible school is to train pastors and church leaders so they might be able to understand the Bible and preach the Gospel and then plant churches. We currently have 2 centers in the 2 major cities of Vietnam, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. Through we can reach the people of the cities, we cannot reach the people living in the provinces.

The solution to do is is to make us of the internet technologies to reach out to those provinces. But the major challenge is that of the computer literacy: most people over 30 years of age in Vietnam have never touched a computer. And so this past year we tried overcome this issue by learning and investing in the use of the latest educational technologies with Google applications and Chromebooks. And at the end of this year, we have achieved the major milestone to adopt successfully those tools, allowing us to break out into a new phase of our school.

We could summarize the life of MTI up until now as having 3 phases:

  • 2007-2010: the Foundation period
  • 2011-2014: the Consolidation period
  • 2015-onward: the Leap Forward

 

Phase 1 was the most important for it provided the strong foundation on which the school will forever rest: creation of the Board, the school’s constitution, the creation of the offering (the curriculum, teachers, and classes), the promotion of the school to gather students, and the joining of MTI on the international scene with MTI becoming a member of the Asia Pacific Theological Association (APTA). All classes were taught traditionally in classrooms, with no use of technology apart from Powerpoint. Teachers had to teach each course twice, or even 3 times at some times. This period was also marked by turbulences as the new school evolved in a Communist environment still reluctant toward Christianity, which made the school move to new locations 2 times; the school eventually landed into a Catholic church, thus benefitting from its legal protection. Most of the student in this period were pastors who never had the chance to get Biblically trained before.

 

In phase 2, MTI Vietnam introduced the use of videoconferencing technology by connecting the 2 main campuses, MTI Saigon and MTI Hanoi, with high speed internet, thus allowing online classrooms via video conferencing. This new connection allowed to make the 2 classes become as one with the need for only 1 teacher for each course. Also a new academic dean, Ps Minh took over the daily operations. In this period, students were a mix of pastors, church leaders, and normal believers who answered God’s call for ministry.

 

We have entered the third phase gradually over the year 2015 as MTI completely adopted educational technologies mainly powered by Google Applications For Education (GAFE).  In order to do this, I (Laurent the principal) had to study for the past 2 year the world of educational technologies and eventually took and passed the Google Certified Educator certification (both levels 1 and 2) in order to master the Google tools.

 

The Google Certified Educator certification

 

And in parallel I applied to Google so that our school MTI Vietnam may be recognized as an educational institution and might be granted the right to use the GAFE set of tools. Basically GAFE is a set of Google tools including email, Google Drive, Office applications, and most importantly the Google Classroom portal. This portal is a powerful Learning Management System (LMS) similar to Moodle. The change was significant for both the school and the students.

Information on Google of Education tools on www.google.com/edu

 

For the students, the change was tremendous as some of them had never touched a computer in their life. let us imagine somebody learning to type on a computer, and plus with Vietnamese accents. A lot of training was necessary (I had to train the staff, who then taught the students).

 

MTI Saigon class on Galatians taught by teacher Rick Jory (Doctor of Ministry candidate and former CEO of Sandhill Scientific) in May 2015

 

MTI Saigon class picture

 

Another class taught by teacher Rick Jory in October 2015 (USA), but from the MTI Hanoi

 

Lunch time in MTI Saigon

 

How the students in Saigon could see Ps Joshua teaching Leadership from Hanoi

 

Hanoi students taking the online test on their smartphones or tablets, before MTI introduced the Chromebooks.

 

Class picture of MTI Hanoi

 

Pictures of Ps Gunnar Swahn and Ps Lean Tellebo for Filadelfia church in Sweden visiting MTI Saigon

 

The Google Classroom portal for the course on Romans

 

Sample of an online test using Google Forms and Google Classroom

 

And adding to this, we had to invest in Chromebooks so that students have computers to use. As a reminder, Chromebooks are new kinds of laptops based on the GAFE set of tools, rather than Windows. They have the advantage of being cheaper than regular laptops and easier to use (for as with the iPad, there are many fences and limitations, limiting the students also to the Google tools, which is what they need). Finding those Chromebooks was as great challenge for they are not sold officially in Vietnam, and are only imported by individuals (at a higher cost of course) and sold on a Vietnamese equivalent to eBay.com. The decision to purchase 10 Chromebooks was maybe not the most financially wise as the MTI finances became critically low, but I firmly believe that it was necessary for the future of MTI.

 

Pastor Se (chairman, on the right) and Lan (IT manager, left) with the new Chromebooks for MTI Vietnam

 

The MTI Hanoi class with students using Chromebooks later in the year

 

 

Students in Saigon struggling to use the Chromebook to do their exam

 

As of end of 2015, the students are now all more less able to use the computer and we have secured MTI’s competency in using online tools. Even among APTA schools, we are now forerunners in eLearning, as other APTA schools (like Asia Pacific Theological Seminary) have shown interest in inviting me to teach them how to adopt educational technologies.

 

And lastly, last November, we even went a level higher as I was able to teach the first 100% online class from France. This means that we had a 3 way connection, with me teaching from my house in Paris and the 2 MTI classes in Saigon and Hanoi. Despite the 11,000 km of distance, there was absolutely no lag. The only difficulty was for me to teach from 3 am to noon, because of the time difference.  Teaching that way was tremendously tiring for me physically (1 hour of sleep and an afternoon nap). But by God’s grace we were able to finish the class.

 

The 3-way conferencing class from France, teaching to the 2 centers in Saigon and Hanoi

 

Teaching Hermeneutics 1 from my home studio in Paris last November 2015: 3 screens were used: 1 for seeing the 2 classes, 1 for seeing my notes, and 1 iPad for projecting to the students.

 

All those milestones are significant for MTI because:

  • MTI has mastered the use of the latest educational technologies at a significantly lower cost than the budget used in Western universities
  • We have taught the students how to use computers, thus answering the issue of computer literacy (and overcoming the computer literacy is a requirement in order to overcome a 2nd issue, that of English literacy, which would open up to a whole theological and academic world)
  • MTI has created a model of learning which can be replicated. This means that it will be technically easy to open as many learning centers as desired throughout Vietnam with simple means such as a laptop, a fast internet connection, a large TV screen TV, and a few Chromebooks.
  • We have dematerialized the classroom, so that the teachers and students no longer need to be sitting together in the same classroom. A teacher may go indifferently to either center to teach, or even teach from abroad (Canada, Sweden, USA, …) provided that the internet connection is fast enough on the teacher’s side.

 

For this upcoming year 2016, we are expecting both hopes and challenge. The challenge is that Pastor Minh, the academic dean, requested to take on long-term leave for health reasons. And the hopes are the possibility to open new centers; we have 3 candidate centers in the North Vietnam, with Quang Ninh being the first objective.

 

Our first target center for 2016: Quang Ninh

 

Below are some pictures of Quang Ninh city which is 180 km away from the capital Hanoi (North Vietnam).

 

Please let help us pray that God will open the doors for MTI to train pastors and church leaders for the city of Quang Ninh and its province.

 

When looking back at the year 2015, I can only be thankful to God and to your help and prayers for all those good things to happen.

The team and students of MTI Vietnam stand together to wish you a  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016.

May God bless you abundantly.

 

Laurent Tran-Qui

Principal

Master’s Theological Institute Vietnam

www.mti-vietnam.com

 

MTI Vietnam becomes member of APTA (July 2008)

On July 23rd, 2008, MTI Vietnam has been recognized as an official member of the Asia Pacific Theological Association (APTA). This participation allows MTI to connect to a vast network between Standard Bible schools in Asia. The membership’s benefit in this organization is to build partnerships with standard theology schools in Asia. MTI will also receive guidance from APTA to upgrade the quality of their education, and teaching standards, international standards. This is one of the goals of MTI, improving the quality of education to be accredited by APTA follow international standards in 2012.

On September, from 8th to 12th, 2008, Pastor Bui Thanh Se (Government Board President) and Rev. Tran Qui-Laurent (MTI Vice President at the time) attended the first meeting APTA, they are official representatives of MTI – a member of the APTA.

picture: MTI’s Principal (white shirt) received the Plaque at APTA Conference, Singapore.

 

Official founding of MTI Vietnam (Oct. 2007)

In December, 2007, PAOV decided to work with the international churches and other denominations in the world. These partners were invited to join PAOV to establish Governing Board of MTI. The members of the MTI Board includes members from:

  • Pentecostal Assemblies of Vietnam (Rev. Bui Thanh Se)
  • Filadelfia church, Sweden (Rev. Gunnar Swahn)
  • Global Prayer Ministries, Canada (Rev. Charles Crane)
  • Kelowna Christian Center, Canada (Rev. David Kalamen)
  • Pentecostal Assemblies Of Canada(PAOC) (Pastor Peter McIntosh and Pastor Vaden Williams)

During the first Board meeting, MTI has established a Constitution and members of the Executive Board was selected: Pastor. Vaden Williams is President of MTI and Pastor Laurent Tran Qui is Vice President

In 2008, MTI was teaching at 3 centers. The teachers came from PAOV and many denominations in Vietnam and abroad, not only for the students in PAOV but also for all student from all denominations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creation of MTI Hanoi (Apr. 2007)

Creation of MTI Hanoi center (Apr 2007)

Picture: Pastor Sê is opening the first MTI class in Hanoi class in April 2004.

By the end of 2007, MTI has reached a total of 90 students in all 3 centers: Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Tay Nguyen

 

Creation of MTI Saigon (Jan. 2007)

The first Bachelor of Theology Course of MTI was opened on January 24, 2007
Vietnamese Government has started to recognize the individual perception of the Christian Church in late 2006 because of the opening of MTI. In January 2007, after the government granted licenses to Ms. Bui Thanh Se,(Pentecostal Church Elisha)he opened the Bible School MTI in a collaborative relationship with the Pentecostal Assembly Of Sweeden(Ms. Gunnar Swahn is the representative). Since then, Ms. Se is the founder and president of Pentecostal Assembly Of Vietnam

Pastor. Se (Pastor of Elisha Church), together with Pastor Gunnar Swahn and Pastor Peter Runegrund (both are representatives of the Swedish Pentecostal Church) attended the licensing of Religious Affairs of Vietnam. January 24, 2007

Introducing the Google suite of Apps: Google Apps for Education (GAFE)

Today I’d like to introduce you to the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) which is the Google’s set of apps to help teachers and schools to introduce and implement technology in your classes.

 Check out the website of GAFE: www.google.com/edu/

Among the most important apps of GAFE are:

  • Google Classroom: similar to Moodle
  • Google Drive: Cloud storage (like Dropbox)
  • Google Docs: like MS Word
  • Google Sheets: like MS Excel
  • Google Slides: like MS Powerpoint
  • Gmail: (email)

Many others are part of the suite too, but may be checked out later as one becomes more fluent in using Google apps:

  • Google Groups
  • Google Sites
  • Google Blogger
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Tasks
  • Google+

In the following blogs, I will go more into the details of these apps, and how we implemented them in our school MTI Vietnam.

 So stay tuned