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Recent trip to Indonesia builds relationships and communication

Tuesday, November 16, 2010
  • For Corban University alumna Kaitlyn McLaughlin ’10, is currently teaching in Jakarta, Indonesia as part of a Corban’s educational partnership with Universitas Pelita Harapan.

 

After spending nearly two weeks in Indonesia, two Corban University employees returned with a renewed spirit and a continued desire to educate Christians who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.

Though exhausted from their whirlwind journey, Corban’s Dean of Education and Counseling, Janine Allen, and Assistant Director of International Student Support, Jeff Benjamin, exceeded their goals for the trip and are ready to put their plans into action.

“The Teachers’ College at Universitas Pelita Haripan is preparing teachers that they recruit from the rural villages to go back and teach in those schools,” Allen said. “Part of the process they needed was accreditation.  It’s like any program we have accredited; we need to make sure that it abides by the accreditation rules and standards.”

One critical component to the trip was developing a mechanism for visiting Corban administrators and faculty to meet and witness teachers in action in the rural schools.

“We want to have an awareness of the context so we can be passionate and compassionate about the schools’ needs for effective educators,” Allen said. “It’s important for us to understand the Indonesian context because it is so different than what we’re used to here.”

Additionally, Allen worked to build relationships with new Corban alumni. In June 2010, the first class of Teachers’ College students graduated with Corban University degrees. She said it is important to stay in touch with them and help them continue to fulfill Corban’s mission long after they leave the school.

As a liaison to UPH and Teachers’ College, Benjamin will travel to the university at least three times per year to monitor the accreditation process. Additionally, he is using technology to create open lines of communication between faculty, staff and students in Indonesia and at Corban University. This includes a regularly updated blog and planned videos featuring students in Salem and Karawaci.

To further deepen the bonds between the universities and their shared dependence on Christ, Allen and Benjamin adjusted their flight schedules to attend church with faculty and staff from UPH.

“In order to be a school that is deeply linked by relationships, we needed to make time for this,” Allen said. “We can’t just have this business relationship without a deep spiritual relationship.”

These relationships are also leading to opportunities for education faculty and students. Allen is encouraging Corban University professors to teach short-term, intensive classes at Teacher’s College and a spring 2011 mission trip is being planned for education majors.

The Teachers’ College head of school is scheduled to visit the Salem campus in late November to recruit new teachers from the class of 2011. There are currently four Corban University alumni teaching through Sekolah Pelita Haripan, SPH, a number Allen expects will grow.

For Allen, one of the greatest joys for her is to see transformation for Christ taking place in Indonesia, and knowing Corban has a significant role in supporting this work.

“Those Teachers’ College students know exactly why they are there,” she said. “They are extremely purposeful and extremely intentional. They have no question about their role in the transformation of Indonesia and are extremely mission centric and compelled by the vision of their school.

“Although we are separated by miles, we are held together by a common purpose share truth through education,” she said.