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A new era beckons as TTC gets its first professor

Dr Tan Kim Huat being congratulated by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon as Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, Principal of Trinity Theological College, looks on. – TTC picture.

Tan Kim Huat appointed Chen Su Lan Professor of New Testament

DR TAN KIM HUAT, Dean of Postgraduate Studies at Trinity Theological College (TTC), made history when he was appointed the Chen Su Lan Professor of New Testament.

The service was held only two days after the official opening of TTC at Upper Bukit Timah Road by the denominational heads of the governing churches. Present at this official opening ceremony were some very special guests, including President and Mrs S. R. Nathan.

Dr Tan, a regular contributor to Methodist Message, is currently one of the two alternate writers for the Reflections column.

TTC has come a long way since it first opened its doors, 53 years ago, as an institution to train pastors and ministry staff in Singapore and from the region.

The Induction Service was attended by an assembly of diverse participants, made up of representatives of the Chen Su Lan Trust, leaders of the Christian community in Singapore, distinguished guests and well-wishers from Singapore and abroad, as well as TTC faculty, staff and students. All gathered were linked together in that common bond of Christian unity, witnessing a milestone in the making.

It was a simple and heartwarming service. The Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, Principal of TTC, Dr Chen Chi Nan, son of the late Dr Chen Su Lan, and Professor Graham Stanton, Lady Margaret Professor of Divinity at Cambridge University, who was Dr Tan’s tutor, conveyed in a spirit of thanksgiving the synergistic role in which scholarship would play in today’s Christian world. The gift of the Chen Su Lan Chair promises to fuel the intellectual groundwork, blended with the “heart” of spiritual formation, that looks primed to make an impact on the Asian theological arena in the near future.

Noted TTC student Leonard Tay (M. Div 1): “If the service was simple in its structure, Dr Tan Kim Huat’s inaugural lecture could be described as intricate – a kaleidoscope of scholarly observations and views.

“The question for his debut address, ‘What is the New Testament?’ would prove a multifaceted and demanding undertaking. Yet, Dr Tan proceeded to relate the complex concepts of covenant (in the Old and New Testaments) in a virtuoso lecture of astute examination, profound depth, and eclectic understanding, delivered with that familiar brand of enthusiasm and passion.”

TTC looks set to embark on an intellectual and scholastic journey, beckoning a new era of hard work and exciting times.

The generosity of the Chen Su Lan Trust, the dedication of Dr Tan Kim Huat as Professor of the Chen Su Lan Chair of New Testament, and the commitment of the TTC community will make significant theological contributions in the region and beyond.