Pati Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Pati, Indonesia)

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Before World War II the graduates of the mission-sponsored teacher-training school in Margoredjo, Indonesia received an extra year of Bible training, but only very few of these teacher-lay ministers are still in active church service. A few Mennonite young people had also been sent to and graduated from a Biblical seminary operated by the Reformed Mission Society. One student graduated from the Interchurch Theological Seminary in Jakarta. The Mennonites, however, never had their own preacher training program. Therefore the postwar number of trained ministers in the Mennonite Church was very small. Many congregations and mission stations did not even have an untrained minister. This situation was especially dangerous in the light of the postwar situation. In the newly achieved national independence Muslims became very active. On the other hand, hitherto unknown missionary possibilities were opened. All this clearly called for a large number of trained ministers, and thus, for a program of preacher training.

In February 1950 the Javanese Mennonite church established the Biblical Seminary in Pati. The expenses of this project were shared equally by the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the European Mennonite Mission Board, and the Javanese church. Very simple temporary buildings for classrooms and a dormitory were rented. Twelve young people with the equivalent of junior high school training were admitted as students. Afterwards this number was doubled by the arrival of a group of Batak (Sumatra) students who could not find a place in their own (Lutheran) church seminary. An all-Javanese board supervised the training program, which was headed by two Javanese instructors (S. Djojodihardjo and S. Harso) and two Dutch missionaries (R. S. Kuitse and J. P. Matthijssen). A number of secular courses were taught by several part-time teachers (Javanese and American). The five-year curriculum was in general the same as that of other Indonesian seminaries, none of which (except the Theological Seminary in Jakarta) leads to any academic degree, but which train young Indonesian Christians to become full-fledged, full-time ministers and missionaries. The Pati curriculum consisted of Old Testament Introduction, Theology and Exegesis of Old Testament; the same of the New Testament; Systematic Theology; Ethics; Church History; History of Dogma; Islam; Ecclesiology; Pastoral Theology; Catechetics; Homiletics; Liturgies; Missiology; New Testament Greek; Mennonite History and Principles; Philosophy, Psychology, and several secular courses, and supervised practical work. After completion of the five-year course during which time no new students were admitted except for a few in a special two-year program, final examinations were held in the spring and summer of 1955.

The financial position of the Javanese church makes it impossible to absorb additional large numbers of ministers in the near future. Thus the number of new students had to be limited. This fact, added to the financial impossibility of maintaining an adequate faculty, motivated the decision to merge the Pati seminary with two others facing the same difficulties (West Java Chinese, East Javanese). This merger took effect as of 1 August 1955. This new interdenominational school, which is located in Malang, East Java, is attended by several Mennonite students and has an excellent joint staff. R. S. Kuitse, who is the Mennonite member of this staff, also teaches several specifically Mennonite courses to those interested. The rest of the former Pati staff is now occupied in a new training school for lay church workers, located in Pati.

Author(s) Jan Matthijssen
Date Published 1959

Cite This Article

MLA style

Matthijssen, Jan. "Pati Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Pati, Indonesia)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 24 May 2018.,_Indonesia)&oldid=76871.

APA style

Matthijssen, Jan. (1959). Pati Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Pati, Indonesia). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 24 May 2018, from,_Indonesia)&oldid=76871.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 123. All rights reserved.

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