A colorful map rests framed on a wall outside of the International Teachers College’s (ITC) offices. A rainbow of 3,800 tiny pin heads covers its surface. Each one represents a teacher trained and equipped by ITC through a longstanding partnership between Universitas Pelitas Haripan (UPH) and Corban University.  

“3,800 grads have gone all over the Indonesian islands and taught students who most likely would not have had the opportunity to go to school had this vision not existed. Students are learning about Jesus and experiencing a transformational education,” says Corban University Dean of the School of Education, Dr. Aaron Imig, who had a chance to witness the map in person on a recent visit to UPH’s Jakarta, Indonesia campus.  

Tracing back to 2008, Corban University has worked in step with UPH’s Teachers College and the ITC to provide training and collaborative resource-sharing in order to expand UPH’s education programs and initiatives. The primary role of this global partnership is for Corban University to assist ITC in their active ministry training teachers to excel in their craft and bring high quality education to underserved communities across the Indonesian archipelago, primarily to locations where limited or no educational opportunities are available.   

Dr. Imig’s first trip to Indonesia was back in 2011. Since then, he has returned numerous times to continue strengthening the program and partnership between the two universities. This most recent trip marked the first year where Dr. Imig was able to see teachers trained through this collaborative ministry return to UPH’s campus as lecturers, serving and equipping the next generation—a full-circle moment for Imig.  

This year, Dr. Imig was also joined by new Corban University President, Dr. John Mark Yeats, marking his first trip to the Indonesian archipelago as Corban reaffirmed and emphasized its continued commitment to the partnership. During the trip, the two universities signed a new memorandum of understanding that will see the partnership and ITC’s ministry well into the next decade.   

“It was amazing to see their work and their vision,” said Yeats. “The idea of the International Teachers College specifically, to educate young men and women to go and be teachers in remote areas where they do not have access to quality education, taking with them the hope of Jesus Christ, is vital.” 

The trip also included the unique opportunity for current president, Dr. Yeats, to meet with his predecessor, former Corban University president, Dr. Sheldon Nord, who now serves as Head of School for Sekolah Pelita Haripan – Sentul City and works in step with UPH in their teacher training and global initiatives. “So much of this existing relationship is Dr. Nord’s work,” Yeats said. “We were able to celebrate all that God is doing in both institutions and through this partnership.”  

Since 2008, the partnership has been responsible for sending more than 3,800 teachers into educationally underserved areas across Southeast Asia. Dr. Yeats and Corban University are excited at the expanded possibilities this new MOU represents in a rapidly globalizing higher-ed and ministry climate. “There are increasing capabilities for us to engage globally, learning from Christians in other cultures, and gaining a broader perspective of what God is doing throughout the world,” Yeats said. “UPH’s work and vision is in lockstep with our mission. If we are going to be those that make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ, having and prioritizing global relationships like this is critically important.” 

It’s a vision Dr. Imig is thrilled to see extend well into the future, with the heart of the ministry remaining unchanged. “The mission is still about Kingdom work,” he says. “We are never going to shy away from being invited to partner in Kingdom work. This is a mutually beneficial partnership for both universities and for God’s Kingdom, and that’s exciting.” 

Standing in front of that map, tracing the thousands of tiny pinpoints dotted throughout the Indonesian archipelago, Southeast Asia, and beyond, Dr. Imig saw a world of impact. “The Kingdom impact of those teachers is exponential,” he said. “That was the most humbling part of my trip, to see that number represented. If you could show that to the people who started this back in 2008, they would be blown away.”