104 Inya Road, Kamayaut Township, Yangon, Myanmar.

This is the blog for the Holy Cross Theological College's Alumni and friends and anyone who is interested in HCTC. Here we can meet, express and reveal ourselves, and discuss. Most of all, we will have a chance to strengthen, comfort, and reinforce each other.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Revisiting the past and Looking forward to Future

Today I would like to share something about our country and about our Anglican Church in Myanmar. And the role of Holy Cross Theological College in Church of the Province of Myanmar. You can read the details history of HCTC in my previous posts. Now I am trying to explain the importance of HCTC for the future of CPM. Here is what to want to share;

Myanmar is a country in South East Asia and its neighboring  countries are China in the North, India and Bangladesh in the West, Thailand in the South. Myanmar was under (still is) under the military regime for more than 60 years and it is an under developed country. Over 60 millions people living in Myanmar and it has 8 major ethnic groups. Buddhism is the dominant religion in the country and 90% of the population is Buddhists.  Christianity shares only 4% (2400000) of the population and Anglican Christian contribute only 10,000 to that. Only 2.4% of Christian population is Anglican. Myanmar first contact with Christianity was said to be occurred in 16 century through the merchants and traders from the West.

The Anglican Church was introduced to Myanmar by British army chaplains around 1825. The main task of these chaplains were to look after the British government related people, and, they were not able to do the mission until 1853. Only in 1877, Yangon diocese was founded and it was under the administration of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon Province. After the second world war, missionaries were not allow to enter into Myanmar, the mission in Myanmar was done by the missionaries already arrived. In 1966, all the missionaries, including all the ordained ministers, were asked to leave the country and many buildings; including schools, hospitals, were nationalized. The Church of the Province of Myanmar was only formed in 1970 with four dioceses, and now, there are six dioceses in the Province. The dioceses are; Yangon, Hpa-an, Mandalay, Sittwe and Taungoo. 

Before the missionaries left the country, they realized that without the indigenous/native ministers, the Church would not survive. Therefore, they started to train the native people for the ministry. The predecessor of Holy Cross Theological College was just an ordinance training school and later developed to a degree conferring college. In 1883, the catechist school for the native ministers was opened in St. Michael church in Yangon, later moved to Mandalay. After that, Most Reverend George A. West decided to promote the catechist school to Divinity School and relocated back to Yangon in 1935. The Divinity School was called “College of Holy Cross” that time, and, only in 1979, it has the present name “Holy Cross Theological College. The college began Bachelor of Theology program in 1989 and the first commencement was held in 1993, the present Archbishop of Church of the Province of Myanmar was one of the graduates from that class. Holy Cross Theological College just launched a new program called, Master of Divinity with 9 students. HCTC is a member of ATESEA (Association for Theological Education in South East Asia) and its degree is accredited by that association. 

The primary mission of Holy Cross Theological College is to train ordained ministers, mission workers and future leaders of CPM. In order to materialize its mission, HCTC has set five objectives; Discipleship, Christian Education, Mission, Anglican Heritage and Leadership Development. According to these objectives, HCTC has been training and nurturing future leaders and workers for God’s work in Myanmar. There are 12 full-time faculty and 10 part-time lecturers at HCTC. 4 faculty members are now studying abroad and hoping to be back with deeper knowledge of the Scripture, academic expertise and partnership.There are 58 B.Th students and 9 M.min students are currently studying at HCTC. With the theme of “Imitating Christ’s poverty, HCTC is preparing, transforming lives of the students. HCTC is now trying to improve the academic skills of the student and library resources. Furthermore, in order to improved learning environment, HCTC is trying to build  a four stories building, in which, lecturer theater, offices and library will be included. 

HCTC is vital for the future of CPM because it is the only theological college which produce clergy and missionaries in Anglican Church in Myanmar. Moreover, HCTC is the only place where people can learn, prepare and equip for themselves for future ministry. Therefore, the future of CPM lies at the teaching, training and preparation of HCTC. The growth, success and failures of CPM are depend on how HCTC faithfully carry out God’s work in Myanmar.

Although, Anglican Christians in Myanmar has been faithfully carrying out God’s mission in Myanmar for more than 140 years, we still need the support, partnership and prayers from our brother and sisters in Christ. If I have to say frankly, our Church in Myanmar is a stagnant rather than growing, due to political and economic situation of the country. We have the desire and passion to spread the gospel and share the Love of God, but, we lack resources to put into action of our desire and passion. The fact of only 10,000 Anglican in Myanmar in 140 years of history, highlights us that we have a great deal of work to be done. This is the reason, why we need prayers and supports from fellow believers in Christ. 

I thankful to the Lord that we are under the leadership of our Archbishop, Stephen Than Myint Oo. He is a godly man who commits his life for the spread the Gospel in Myanmar and for the truth of the Scripture. I would like to quote his first speech as an Archbishop of Myanmar; “I will seek God's will and purpose first rather than my individual concepts, vision, and personal feeling in accomplishing His mission (or) goal that is set before me. For that, I will obey Him and go forward without turning to the right or to the left.” His primary vision is to do God’s will in Myanmar through godly leadership, Mission and evangelism so that we are able to extend the Kingdom of God in places where we are. Since he was a lecturer at HCTC, he also have passion for our college. His vision for our college is to train and nurture the students with God’s love to be faithful preachers of God’s word, passionate missionaries and most importantly, godly persons who is filled with the Holy Spirit. I have no doubt that we would be able to extend God’s Kingdom and to do His will in Myanmar with the blessings and guidance from Him. The wisdom and directions from God through our Archbishop would play a very important role in our mission in the years to come. With God’s help, may we grow from 10,000 to 100,000 in near future.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Anglican Church in Myanmar: the way we worship

Here's something that I want you show all of you. I want to show how Anglican churches in Myanmar worship and how'd we keep this wonderful tradition alive. It is the clip that I've extracted from "Holy Trinity", a gospel album made in 2011 for the 125th anniversary of Holy Trinity Cathedral. I hope you enjoy watching it.

As always, any comment and suggestion are most welcome!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Is the idea of "Messiah must suffer" from Luke, an oxymoron or an invention of Luke?

As a Christian, to speak of Jesus is to speak about a son of God, who suffered and die to pay the debt of the sins of the world (John 3:14-21, Gal. 1:14, Heb 13:12-16) and by His resurrection, he was enthroned and sated at the right hand of God and shared the Lordship with the Father (Philippians 2:8-11). Bellinger and Farmer wrote “central and essential to a distinctively Christian faith is the belief that a particular person, namely, Jesus, died on behalf of other”
It is Jesus Christ’s suffering and death accomplished God’s plan of salvation and played important role in Christian belief and theology. The term Messiah and suffering servant is coin-sided of salvation theology because, when Christians proclaim and confess about Jesus Christ and his redemptive work, they are confessing Christ’s suffering as well as Christ resurrection. The son of God paid the debt of sin by his suffering and death. And that suffering and death was legitimized and proven as an act of atonement by resurrection of Jesus Christ which is the coronation or enthronement of God’s anointed one, Messiah. Therefore, in my opinion, the suffering and the role of Jesus as messiah is the heart of the Christian theology of salvation and atonement, even the center of Christians’ belief. 

In the Gospel according Luke, the Apostle Luke indicated that messiah must suffered, died (Luke 24:44-46). Here, Luke explicitly mentioned that messiah had to suffered and died according to the Laws, prophets and Psalms. Therefore, in Luke's interpretation of Jesus’ suffering and death, Jesus had proven that He had fulfilled all the Messianic prophecies and expectation. Jesus’ suffering and resurrection as messiah or suffering servant plays essential role in understanding of Christian salvation theology. Yet, the question arises here that how Jesus actually did fulfill the role of messiah and how Jesus could actually claim that He is the Messiah. 
Many scholars argued that the idea of Jesus as being Messiah or the suffering servant of the Lord is the idea invented by the Gospel writers and the early Christians. Some biblical scholars claimed that Jesus’ suffering and death have nothing to do with or have no linkage to the servant songs in Isaiah or the Royal Psalms. They even argued that suffering messiah was typically the oxymoron of Luke. “Interpreters have usually been content to draw on the figure of Isaiah 53 or to note that pre-Christian Judaism had no concept of a suffering Christ figure; they therefore remark that Luke’s scriptural suffering Messiah is an early Christian invention or oxymoron.”
This statement basically saying that the idea of suffering messiah is not originated in Old Testament, therefore, the role of Jesus as suffering messiah could not be a fulfillment of the Laws, the prophets and the Psalms as Luke stated, and thus the idea of Jesus being a suffering messiah is merely an intervention of early Christians.  If this statement is true, it would jeopardize the Christian belief that by His suffering and death, Jesus, the Messiah, had paid the debt of sins and redeemed the whole world and accomplished the salvation plan of His Father. Because, if there were no suffering messiah and the suffering messiah and it was not part of God’s salvation plan, the whole system of Christianity would failed and what Jesus did for us would not be a valid act for atonement and our saviour, Jesus Christ, would merely a person who died on the cross during the Roman occupation in Mediterranean. For this reason, it crucial for Christian to convince other that it is God’s plan to save the people through the sufferings, death and resurrection of his son and anointed one, Jesus Christ. 

Notes: I would like to hear from you what you think of the scholars' claim of "suffering messiah" is a creation of Luke, or the early Christians. 

A brief History of Holy Cross Theological College

A brief History of Holy Cross Theological College 

            The Holy Cross Theological College ( then known as college of the Holy Cross) had a very humble beginning as a Bible school at Kyimindaing, a mission headquarters situated at the outskirt of Yangon at that time. It was the first Bible school that was opened in the Yangon Diocese in 1883 by the Rt Rev John Miller stranchen. Due to the lack of school teachers at Mission Headquarters at Kyimindaing, (Yangon) the Rt Rev R.S. Fyffe moved  the school to Mandalay, and Myittha (upper Myanmar) in 1916. Then in 1924, it was moved back again to St. Michael’s Church, Kyimindaing which was the mission centre for Delta and Pyay areas.

            The Yangon Diocesan Council decided in August 1929, that the Divinity School (as it was known then) should be made a proper institution with separate building and a full time missionary in-charge of it. This decision was materialized when the Divinity School was moved to Kokkaing situated at the eastern bank of Lake Inya where new Bible school building was built by the Rt Rev Norman Tubbs in 1931. The foundation stone of the College of the Holy Cross was laid byt the Metropolitan of the Church of the India, Burma and Ceylon, by the Most Rt Foss Westscott at the present site within the Holy Cross Church compound on 12 February 1934 with hostel facilities for ordinand training. The new College building was completed within a few months and Bible school was moved to the facilities which were called College of the Holy Cross. The new College was consecrated by the Rt Rev G.A.West on 27 February 1935. The aim of the Whole venture was to educate and train indigenous ministers to meet the new conditions in Myanmar. The College was closed during the WWII from 1942 to 1945. After the war it was reopened from 1946 to 1950. Again it was closed from 1950 to 1955 due to internal unrest. During the period it was opened as a interdenominational University students hostel. The College was reopened for ordinands in 1955 by the Rt Rev V. G. Shearburn.
    All the foreign missionaries left Myanmar in 1966 in including the Bishop of Yangon for good. Consequently, the Holy Cross Divinity College was came under the care of the new indigenous bishop, the Rt Rev F. Ah Mya. On 24 February 1970, the Yangon Diocese became the church of the Province of Myanmar, Which was formed comprising four dioceses (namely Yangon, Mandalay, Hpa-an and Sittwe) out of the former diocese of Yangon. Accordingly, it became the College under the direct care of the province called the Church of the Province of Myanmar. At the 9th . Provincial Council held at Toungoo in 1984, a 10-year plan for a higher theological education was adopted with a view to conferring degree on trainees of both sexes, ordinands and Laity. Consequently, the B.th programme was began in 1989. Starting from 1993 the college has been conferring the B. Th. Degree in consultation with the other theological institutions and members of the ATEM.
The Holy Cross Theological College is a constituent member of the ATESEA. The Board of ATESEA approved the B.Th degree of Holy Cross Theological College on 3 March 1999.
    The Holy Cross Theological College has drawn up a second 10 year Plan (2011-2020) at the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee celebration which was held on 27-28 February 2010. The college is starting to implement the improvement programme for B.Th. degree a proposed by the plan starting from 2011.

            The Principals of The College
Rev. George Appleton (1934-1942),
Rev. Garrad (1946-1947),
Rev. George L. Tidey (1948-1950),
Rev John Maung Pe (1955-1966),
Rev Canon Stephen San Hoo (1966-1976),
Rev Samuel San Si Htay (1976-1990),
Rev John Wilme (1990-1994),
Rev Samuel Htang Oak (1994-1998),
Rev. Mark Saw Maung Doe (1998-2006),
Rev. Dr. Simon Be Bin Htu (2006-2010) and
Rev. Dr. Samuel San Myat Shwe (2010-present).

Mission Statement

            The Holy Cross Theological College (HCTC) has been nurturing the leaders and ordinands for the CPM since 1935. The primary mission of the HCTC is to train ordained and mission workers and future leaders of the CPM.
To materialize the mission statement the main objectives fostered by the college are:-
(a) Discipleship –To make the true followers of Christ who serve the Lord and other people with full dedication and humbleness.
(b) Christian Education – To Impart academically and contextually sound knowledge on biblical, theological, historical, and social etc. essential for the service of God. 
(c) Mission      - To carry out the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and shepherding of the folk.
(d) Anglican Heritage – To uphold the Anglican identity and characteristics.
(e) Leadership Development – To nurture leadership ability with high spiritual and moral standard. 

There are four departments at the college.

Practical department
Historical department
Theological/ Anglican Studies
Biblical department

Motto: Obedience, Poverty, Chastity

Themes for Academic Years 

2006-2007 Academic Year - Submit to God and be at peace with Him (Job 22:21) 
2007 - 2008 Academic Year - Faith expressing itself through love. (Galatians 5:6) 
2008-2009 Academic Year - Keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord (Romans 12:11) 
2009-2010 Academic Year - Each will receive His praise from God. (1Corinthians 4:5b) 
2010-2011 Academic Year - Sing for Joy (Zechariah 2:10) 
2011-2012 Academic Year - Walking in Obedience (Mark 14:36, Deut 5:33)
2012-2013 Academic Year - Imitating Christ’s Poverty (2 Corinthians 8:9)  

Long Term

Post-grad program
Lay theological education
Continuing Th. Ed. for Alumni
Four-storied building
Networking and mutual relationship with local and communion theological institutions

Credit to: http://hctcnewsletter.weebly.com/index.html

I am back to this blog

Hi everyone! I wasn't able to update this blog for years because I was back in Yangon and the internet connection there was not that good. Now, I am at Moore College, Sydney to pursue my M.Th degree and have opportunity to update this blog again. As you have seen in my previous post, me and the other two were in USA for our MA program and again, three of us are in different places for our M.Th and Th.D. Snow Hinn Hinn Aye is now at Trinity in Singapore doing her M.Th, Myat Hsu Mon is now in Hong Kong doing her Th.D. Me in Sydney doing my M.Th. We also have a new faculty recruit, Enok (Enoka) and he is doing his M.Div in Hong Kong. When I look back to the past, I've witness God's immeasurable blessings to our College and now, with God's help, our College has launched a new program, Master of Ministry. This is our fist post graduate program that we have ever offered in history of our college and I am proud and thankful to the Lord that we are part of this God's handy work. Until next time!


This is my all time favourite photo of HCTC students!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

HCTC 2008 Commencement

It has been awhile that I haven't able to update this blog because I was too busy with my studies at EDS and finishing my program there. Finally, I have accomplished my mission here at EDS, Cambridge and now I have sometime to update my blog. Actually, I am writing this blog from Nashotah House, Wisconsin which has stunningly beautiful campus.

These are the pictures from 2008 Graduation and credits go to Deacon David!

Getting Ready for the Commencement Picture

Final Procession to the Chapel

2008 Valedictorian, Naw Sal Gay Phaw

Receiving Blessing from Archbishop Stephen

Concluding Commencement with Prayer

Photo Slideshow of the entire Commencement

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just FYI

Here is something I just read about our new Archbishop on the Anglican Communion Network by Bishop Henry Scriven,. This is when I learned how he as Archbishop addresses his flock for the very first time.

Here's the quote: "I will seek God's will and purpose first rather than my individual concepts, vision, and personal feeling in accomplishing His mission (or) goal that is set before me. For that, I will obey Him and go forward without turning to the right or to the left."

I look forward to working under his episcopacy, and I shall try my best to serve the Lord under his supervision. If you want to read the details of this article, just click the link below!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Congratulation to the class of 2008

Photo credit to David Horgath.

Another academic year has passed and our HCTC has nurtured new servants of our Lord for ministry in Church of the Province of Myanmar, yet again. My congratulations to our new graduates! Another exciting news is that Deacon David Judson Horgath will be teaching at HCTC for the whole semester next year. Praise God that the students will have a chance – through him - to improve their English and to work on the four new state of the art workstations in the Library!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

There I've spent 4 years!

I am sure every student knows exactly where this place is. I just can't wait to be back there; I praise God that I have only two months more to wait. Here I come to you, HCTC!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

We were enjoying taking pictures with these stunning views in the horrible cold (it was like 20/18F). Ma Cho and Ma Noe from Alexandria, VA, and me at Boston, MA. We tried to keep in-touch and we reached out for each other whenever we could. Today, I've just had the news that Our New Archbishop is "Bishop Stephen Then Myint Oo". Congratulations to our newly elected Archbishop. May the Lord be with him throughout his Episcopacy!!

Good news folks! Isn't it? Let's try harder to build up the Anglican Communion in Myanmar.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I have just come from the Hebrew exam and was thinking how it was easy to be in HCTC.

For me, studying at HCTC is totally different from any other school that I have attended or will attend, because I found my family, my community, and my vocation at HCTC. I had this great chance to study with a fabulous faculty. They may not be world class professors; yet they do know what they are doing and are strong in the faith. I miss HCTC!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

2005-2006 Graduation....

Here are some photos I received from my classmate, Myatt Hsu Mon, while I was studying at EDS. These pictures touched my heart; I felt like I was back home again.
Please forgive me that I cannot honor the graduating students by naming them individually, but deep down in my heart I am very proud of them.

credits to Ma Cho