Training Students for Ministry in the Philippines

Heidelberg Seminary professors have not been able to travel to the Philippines as part of the program for training students for the ministry since 2019. We are grateful to God that travel to the Philippines has again become possible.

Two professors from Heidelberg Seminary, Dr. Patrick Morgan and Dr. Maynard Koerner, were able to spend two weeks this past June in the Philippines. We are grateful for the opportunity to travel safely and to teach students as well as encourage pastors and churches as they seek to be faithful to the Lord.

From June 19-22 we were able to meet with 50 different pastors of small congregations in remote areas of Mindanao. Pastor Rocky Simbajon, a minister of the Pearl of the Orient Covenant Reformed Church has had the opportunity to visit with these men concerning the Reformed faith. He invited them to come together for a conference where Dr. Koerner was able to introduce them to covenant theology and Dr. Morgan presented the distinctives of the Reformed faith. This teaching was well received. The men had many questions and indicated a serious interest in learning more.

This conference took place in a fairly remote area in a town called La Paz. There is a congregation of the Pearl of the Orient Covenant Reformed Church there and also one in a nearby town by the name of Loreto. Prior to the beginning of the conference we were able to meet with the congregation in a joint worship service where Dr. Koerner preached in the AM and Dr. Morgan in the PM. It was quite rewarding to meet with these brothers and sisters in the Lord.

We were also able to meet with Pastor Vic Bernales of Davao City and a number of the members of his congregation. What a blessing to get to meet with them and see how the Lord is blessing the church in the Philippines.

From June 26-29 we were able to teach classes to students of Heidelberg seminary in a completely different part of the Philippines, the area called Luzon. We met these students in the town of Dagupan at the congregation of the Pearl of the Orient Covenant Reformed Church there. Two courses were taught during this second week. Dr. Koerner taught Pastoral Theology and Dr. Morgan taught a course on Evangelism and Missions. We were also asked to give a presentation on the distinctives of Reformed church government. The session on Reformed government was also attended by several pastors and elders of this sister denomination.

On the Lord’s Day prior to the second week of class, June 25, we were again able to meet with two congregations and preach and encourage the members and officers of these congregations. Dr. Morgan preached in San Carlos and Dr. Koerner in Dagupan, both congregations of the Pearl of the Orient Covenant Reformed Church.

The highlight of the trip was a graduation service at Dagupan on Thursday evening, following the completion of the class. Four students who had completed the full course of study provided by Heidelberg Seminary since 2016 received the Master of Theological Studies Degrees from the Pearl of the Orient Covenant Reformed Church. Though these men are already pastors, it was a highlight for them to receive their degree in theology. Under the direction of POCRC ministers, Dr. Koerner delivered the graduation address and Dr. Morgan gave a charge to the graduates. 

The program which Heidelberg Seminary provides for the POCRC so their students can be trained has been blessed and is moving forward. We trust there will be many more graduates in the years to come. The seminary is now in the process of enrolling students for courses to be taught through the internet this fall. We anticipate a total of 40 to 50 students.

Please pray for continued wisdom and opportunity to meet this need which the Lord has put before us. The seminary is very grateful for the generous support of God’s people so that the seminary is able to pursue this program.

If you would like to know more about how to pray or support this program contact Dr. Koerner at or call at 605-595-5850.  

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