Singapore Bible College, an evangelical and inter-denominational seminary, was founded in 1952 by pastors and leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and independent churches, with the support of the Chinese Church Union, Christian Nationals Evangelism Commission (CNEC) and the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF).
We offer theological education in Chinese and English as well as studies in church music and counselling through the School of Theology (Chinese), the School of Theology (English), the School of Church Music and the School of Counselling. The programmes are offered at a diploma level as well as bachelor’s and master’s degrees for ministry, missions and marketplace witness. The college also offers advanced studies, including the Master of Theology (ThM) and Doctor in Ministry (DMin). For lay Christians seeking ongoing theological training, the Centre for Excellence offers theological education with certificate programmes through evening courses.
Every year, we have a total enrolment of over 450 students representing 25 countries. More than 3,000 alumni serve in 40 countries as pastors, missionaries, church planters, theological educators, music ministers, worship pastors, counsellors as well as workers among orphans, drug addicts and prisoners.
In the beginning, Rev Calvin Chao, as Acting Principal (1952-56), pioneered SBC with leaders of Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian and independent churches, CNEC and OMF for the purpose of training God’s servants, who would show three qualities: spirituality, knowledge and service. These three goals have guided the training of SBC for years to come.
SBC’s 1st Principal was Rev Moses Yu (1958-59). His motto: Trust in God’s provision completely; listen to God’s word intently; pray in the Spirit earnestly. Under his leadership, 9-11 Adam Road was purchased. When Rev Moses Yu left, Rev Paul Contento served as the Acting Principal and Dean of Students (1959-60).
Mr Wilson Wang became the 2nd Principal (1961-62). The couplet he wrote still hangs in the dining hall of SBC. It asks: Are you devoted to the Word, prayer and the preaching of the gospel?
With Rev Wang’s departure, SBC was run by an Administrative Committee (1962-69), chaired by Rev Yap Un Han, with missionaries Rev Ernest Poulson and Miss Betty Laing as members. Rev Yap Un Han became our 3rd Principal (1969-78). He, the Board and supporters built Block 1 (1968) and Block 2 (1977). They also purchased the property at 13 Adam Road in 1977. ?Rev Yap’s motto: For self nothing I seek; from Christ nothing I keep. Rev Dr Yap was conferred the status of Principal Emeritus.
Rev Dr Maak Hay Chun succeeded Rev Yap as the 4th Principal (1979-92). In his first year, SBC became one of the founding members of Asia Theological Association, and later received its accreditation. During his time, Dr Maak led the school to build Block 3 in 1983 and purchase the properties of 12 Shelford Road (1985) and 15 Adam Road (1989). His motto: Seek to be a person pleasing to God; then do the work pleasing to Him. Rev Dr Maak was conferred the status of Principal Emeritus.
Rev Dr Michael Shen received the baton from Rev Dr Maak and served as the 5th Principal (1992-2006), and followed the motto, “Be a faithful servant of Jesus Christ.” In building Block 7 (2001), the leaders were guided by a principle the Lord gave to us during our faculty retreat in 1997: Train faithful servants of Jesus Christ in a worshipful and loving community of learners. In appreciation of Rev Dr Shen’s contribution to the college, he was conferred the status of Principal Emeritus on 11 May 2012.
An alumnus of SBC, Rev Dr Albert Ting, became our 6th Principal (2006-14). He led the team to complete the third phase of Project Nehemiah by building Block 5 (2008), a residence of faculty and students. True to his motto—to finish well by bringing out the best in people—he also led SBC to reach a new level of excellence in governance.
During the search of the 7th Principal, Rev Dr Michael Shen became the Interim Principal from 2014 to 2016. In July 2016, Rev Dr Clement Chia, another alumnus of SBC succeeded as the 7th Principal, who upholds the convictions of being a faithful servant of Jesus Christ and doing theology for the Church and mission field.
A more detailed record on the history of SBC can be found in
Issue 257 Jul / Aug 2016 – Pg 2, written by Rev Dr Michael Shen.