In a historic first, seven leaders from the underground church in China received doctor of ministry seminary degrees recently from The King's University in Los Angeles. Founder Jack Hayford said he believes the school "was raised up for this time."
While a few degrees have been granted to Chinese students from seminaries in Singapore, this was the first time an American university has awarded doctorates in ministry to Chinese students. Faculty from The King's University traveled back and forth to China and taught through translators.
The leaders are a part of what some call the "Third Church," a name often used to describe the Chinese underground church in urban areas. Historically, the country's underground church has been hidden mainly in the rural areas, away from the communist government's power bases. The registered, state-approved Three-Self Church accounts for about half the estimated 140 million Chinese believers.
The King's University also granted its first graduate certificate in Messianic Jewish studies.
Bishop Ken Ulmer, pastor of Faithful Central Bible Church, who served for two years as president of the university, challenged the graduates in a stirring message to "choose Jesus, choose holiness, choose the Holy Spirit and choose truth." —Steve Strang
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