– Rev. Dr. Yeonjeong Kim
I am happy and thankful to have experienced God’s amazing blessings upon the ministry of EPTS for the last 15 years. When I moved to Nepal from the Philippines, my first mission field, with Anne and my two kids in June 1999, Anne and I had a vision—the vision of restoration of God’s good creation in Nepal through nurturing and educating the children and youth through the establishment of a Christian school and Bible college. However, I came to realize that this vision was given by God to not only Anne and I but also to several other servants of God in Nepal. There were prayer meetings which were going on once a month with missionaries and Nepali pastors who were mostly associated with the Presbyterian Churches of North India. They were the respectful Dr. Mahendra Bhattarai, Rev. Subbas Regmi, Rev. L.T. Moya, Rev. H.S. Dan and Rev. Falgun Sunuwar.
I eventually joined them in the prayer meetings. They had been praying for the establishment of a Bible college that emphasizes Reformed theology for young men who strongly commit to the church planting ministry. As our goals became a deeper common interest in our prayers, I came to the realization that establishing a Bible college was God’s plan. Rev. Falgun Sunuwar, whom I met and had fellowship with at my mother church in Korea in 1998 during his studies at ACTS, became the principal and I held the position of founding chairman of the management committee. The initial batch of students at the newly established EPTS was only a small number of 13 students. All of them were local church pastors in the Kathmandu Valley and were eager to undertake a formal theological education. Due to their busy situations in their respective church ministries, the classes were offered during evening time from January 2000 to 2003. The presently ongoing daytime and residential scholar system began in 2002 when students were recruited from different provincial regions. Several Presbyterian churches in Nepal recommended students, and teachers introduced by Presbyterian missions taught the students. The purpose of EPTS was to produce new church planters who were equipped with Reformed theology and a Presbyterian Church tradition.
June 1999: Rev. Yakub Kim and Mrs. Ann with their two kids moved to Nepal from the Philippines.
2000: EPTS started. Evening Classes are offered for ministers.
2002: Residential Scholar System Began. Rev. Fagun Sunuwar continued to serve as the principal
2004: Theological Education for Women Students. Rev. Arbin Pokharel became the principal.
2007: EPTS’s Library: Theology Book.Net in the USA donated around 10,000 theological books and Journals
2009: EPTS accredited by Asia Theological Association (ATA). EPTS became the 2nd bible college in Nepal to receive this membership.
2017: EPTS renamed Reformed and Presbyterian Seminary. The proposal for the change of name of the seminary from Evangelical Presbyterian Theological Seminary has been approved by the Board of Trustees and declared to be Reformed and Presbyterian Seminary on 31st October 2017.
The founding principal Rev. Falgun Sunuwar left for the USA for further theological studies in 2004 and Rev. Arbin Phokarel came to EPTS and obtained the title of principal of EPTS. He has contributed remarkably to the development of EPTS, especially in academic areas and school administration during his 10 years of service. According to his proposal, the goal of training potential church planters was extended to also provide a theological education for women to help pre-existing local churches.
It was God’s great blessing that Theology Book.Net in the USA donated around 10,000 theological books and journals to EPTS’s library in 2007. The number of students increased every year as well as the number of fulltime teaching faculty and staff. By the year 2007, the number of students were at more than 50 students, and fulltime teachers and staff were up to 10 personnel. The application for the ATA regular membership was finally approved in the year 2009, making EPTS the 2nd bible college in Nepal to receive this membership. Nowadays the Alumni are serving as church planters, evangelists, Sunday school teachers, Christian school teachers, and as teachers in Bible colleges by completing higher-level degrees abroad.
In order to develop the EPTS ministry, God has encouraged many churches, mission organizations, and individuals to contribute to the financial needs of EPTS. Among them, the Korean Church of Chicago (Rev. Changkwon Suh), has helped continuously and profusely since 2006. GZB in Netherland, Jamshil church in Korea, CRC World Mission, EPCoN, CRCN and NPA are also some of the groups that have aided through prayers and financial helps.
The planting of seeds and harvesting of fruits are happening simultaneously in the 21century in this land by God’s people. The Nepali church is growing rapidly. In order to send workers into the field, God continuously blesses and strengthens the ministry of EPTS through mission-minded churches and committed servants. The work will continue ceaselessly until God’s kingdom and His reign blesses this land. I am for one, someone who is very blessed, for I am one of the people God has chosen to work in His Kingdom’s ministry in this blessed land.