WASHINGTON, DC — News Direct — Shincheonji
Zion Christian Mission Center, the biblical theological institution of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, held a graduation ceremony for Mission Center Class No. 113 at Daegu Stadium on November 20, 2022. A total of 106,186 people graduated that day, making it the largest in the world. degree from a theological educational institution.
For security reasons, the number of people attending the graduation ceremony in South Korea has been limited to 80,000 people. About 300,000 people in total attended the ceremony and participants were represented in online and offline groups. The event was made available on YouTube Live broadcasts in nine languages.
In light of recent concerns, this graduation ceremony has been carefully planned and thoroughly prepared to avoid any security issues. A representative of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus said, “In preparing for this event, safety was considered the first…and the second…and the third.” They added, “We have created a network of cooperation with the local government to ensure sanitation, safety, traffic and order. We also operated a control room to monitor the event with police, fire department, security officials from Daegu-si and Suseong-gu office.
In addition, “the church itself assigned a total of 14,000 designated security personnel to maintain order inside and outside the site, and ensured that attendees entered and leave the site over a period of four hours to avoid overcrowding”. he said. “Around 180 medical staff and four ambulances are also on standby in the event of an accident.” All church security personnel received emergency rescue training and all graduates completed watching emergency rescue videos prior to the event. “We would like to emphasize that this graduation ceremony was particularly focused on safety,” explained the church representative.
The event had two parts, an opening ceremony and a graduation ceremony. The first ceremony consisted of worship, congratulatory speeches, congratulatory messages, representative prayers and memorial speeches by President Lee Man-Hee. The second ceremony included a congratulatory performance, a congratulatory speech by Tan Young-jin (the head of the Zion Christian Mission Center), the presentation of a certificate of completion, an acorn shoot, an award ceremony, a testimonial from graduates and a special final performance.
Among this year’s Class #113 graduates, a total of 522 pastors (including 37 Korean pastors and 485 overseas pastors) have completed the seminary program. The number of participating pastors has increased significantly from previous years. This increase in pastoral involvement is closely tied to Zion Christian Mission Center’s new online classroom environment that was created due to the COVID-19 pandemic. An environment where students could attend classes without being exposed to others was created, and so the number of pastors and seminaries grew rapidly. The two graduate representatives who shared their acceptance speeches that day are also pastors.
The fact that pastors who joined the Introductory, Intermediate, and Revelation (Advanced) courses were able to participate in online education without being exposed to others during the COVID-19 pandemic is the reason for the increase in the number of pastors studying at Sion Christian Mission Center.
Heo Jung-wook, a Korean student representative who shared his testimony at the graduation ceremony, is a current pastor who has led his congregation for a decade. After 20 years of ministry, he said, “I learned traditional theology in seminary, but I didn’t know much about Revelation. I had only taught easy words to the saints and I had not shared difficult teachings. I repent for being a sinner who added to and subtracted from the word of God,” he shared further, “I have laid down all my possessions and walked forward to the truth. Here I learned the true theology that takes me to heaven, not the teachings of mankind. I thank God for giving me a chance to live”.
D. Jackson, a representative of foreign students, is also an Indian pastor who graduated at this ceremony. Jackson changed the name of his former seminary to “Hepto Zion Christian Mission Center” after signing a memorandum of understanding and receiving the online Bible course from Shincheonji Church of Jesus in October last year. Currently, 294 members of his church — including a pastor in charge of two affiliated branch churches — have completed the entire Zion Christian Mission Center seminary course and they are listed as part of this year’s class.
In addition to the theology training of Shincheonji Church of Jesus, the church has also focused on contributing positively to revitalizing the local economy and coexisting with local residents. This was largely accomplished by hosting the first large-scale in-person event in Daegu since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. All possible expenses including transportation, accommodation and meals for over 100,000 people were made in the region to help local residents.
After the Itaewon disaster, there were great deliberations on whether or not to proceed with the graduation ceremony. In the end, rather than abandon the mutually beneficial event, it was decided to continue with the ceremony and focus on safety as much as possible. This event has been carefully organized using professional expertise in organizing large-scale domestic and foreign events.
See the source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/the-largest-class-of-students-from-zion-christian-mission-center-over-100-000-people-graduate-302687044