“My choice in joining the Master of Transformational Development (MTD) programme at Eastern College has been one of the best moments of my life. I was praying and exploring for the Christian universities which could help me learn theology that is not only limited to dogmas but has a wider reach to embrace the issues the world is facing today. And, I must take pride in saying that Eastern is one such Christian institution which has dared to go extra mile in search of an authentic biblical theology that reflect the holistic mission of church in the world.
I count myself fortunate to have the opportunity to spend the last three wonderful years as Eastern student. Though my journey with the MTD was short, and it has come to an end today, the lessons learned from it are something that will last the rest of my life. There are so many things I remember learning from the MTD programme which I am happy to tell you. But, for the sake of time, I would recall only a few of them here. The biggest lesson I learned – and I am probably speaking for a lot of Eastern students – is that we learn to unlearn and relearn in life. There were so many things that had been the way of life for us as Christians. We were not just comfortable, but probably very convinced that the church was something ‘separated out’ from the world and ‘anointed’ to proclaim the soul saving grace to the rest. We used to believe our theologies were the most correct, the church we did was the best accorded and the ministry call we had needed the world’s attention because to these we had our absolute commitment and accordingly put everything to make them look real, authentic and appalling, which at times, regretfully, did harm us and the world than good. But we continued to be what we used to be, seeking our own gain in expenses of others. And, probably we lost sight of our common sense and became entrenched in the super sense. I recall a satire long time back I heard that says, “Things go wrong when Christians forget their common sense and start to operate in the super sense.”
There are countless lessons and experiences I came across during my time with the MTD that kind of brought many turns and twists in my understanding of theology and mission. First, the subjects taught in the MDT programme helped me realize the dangers of operating in the super sense as it often tends to project you at the center of everything. They enabled me to come to hold onto and love my common sense which says, “God is in the center and I am just one of his instruments in his restorative mission”. The topics in each semester confronted me in way never before and helped me shape my missional perspectives. I was challenged to rethink the way I define the world and mission. I was reminded that the world we so dearly seek to save is in difficult situation not because it was unable to evolve itself, as Darwin would argue, but because we failed in our God ordained responsibility to care for them.
I am sure a lot of my colleagues will echo my MTD learnings. MTD is such a platform which encourages us to go extra mile, seek more from God and from life so that we become what God intends us to be. It points you to a direction where there are people needed to be rescued, wrongs needed to be right and relations needed to be restored. MTD taught and helped us to lose some our own identities so that we are better prepared to recognize and respect the identity of others. I can now say it aloud, “I am prepared to go into the wilderness where I will discover that marvelous voice, calling, “I will be there before you” (Mk 16:7).
Masters of Transformational Development Graduate
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