It was standing room only in the Emitte Center on Nov. 29 when Aileen Riady spoke with education majors about opportunities for teachers with Sekolah Pelita Harapan in Indonesia.
Riady is the wife of Universitas Pelita Harapan founder James Riady and stopped at Corban to talk about the need for teachers with a “strong Christian worldview” at schools in the majority Muslim nation. She focused on the need for educators who will teach children of expatriates, those working in Indonesia from abroad, and how SPH teachers are transforming lives.
“It means a lot because a school can only be as good as its teachers,” she said. “We believe the most important thing is for our school to be Christ centered and Corban graduates help us fulfill our vision and provide that direct connection between the love of Jesus Christ and our students.”
Most of the students who attended were undergraduate education majors looking toward the future. Senior Brittney Vanderhoogt was exploring her options once she graduates from Corban in May.
“I’ve been thinking about teaching overseas anyway,” she said. “I want to look at everything I can so I can pray over it and see where God leads me.”
Graduate student Mike Bittner is also contemplating his future and wanted to learn as much as he could so his wife and children have more in depth information about the program and opportunity.
“We’ve lived overseas on the mission field before so this is really nothing new to us,” he said. “We want to go wherever God takes us whether it’s Oregon, Washington or Indonesia.” Corban’s relationship with Sekolah Pelita Harapan could make the decision easier for him. Because there is already a level of trust, a working relationship and a focus on Christ between the two, Bittner said he can be assured he and his family will be treated well if he applies and is accepted.
Some students were also interested in the SPH summer teaching program. This gives students two weeks of classroom experience and a third week learning about Indonesian culture and people. Riady said there are two guaranteed summer positions for Corban applicants.
Students also heard from Corban Provost Matt Lucas, Dean of Education and Counseling Janine Allen and students Chris Trammell and Katie Hansen, who have applied to work together at SPH after they are married next summer. The number of interested students was both exciting and humbling for Riady who said she is thrilled at the partnership and relationship SPH and UPH have with Corban University.
“It really provides opportunities for our students to grow and continue their education in a strong Christian university,” she said. “We want them to fulfill the calling of God. We believe the relationship we have with Corban and having your professors come and teach will benefit our students and your students greatly. Corban sees the challenge and the opportunities we have. I believe in my heart that God has brought us together and will continue to bless us as we move ahead.”