Alum-run Thailand media training program offers students adventure and experience
When Chuck and Sherry Quinley first became best friends at Lee University, they never imagined they'd end up married with six kids. They also didn’t realize they'd wind up founding a media-centered missions organization in Thailand.
Today, they can’t imagine their lives any other way.
Chuck started at Lee with plans to become an attorney, but as he continued in his studies he felt the pull of something else entirely.
“I felt some sort of calling to ministry, but I didn’t realize it would take me out of the country,” Quinley said.
Quinley enrolled in seminary, and after finishing his degree, he and Sherry decided to go on a one-year missions trip outside of the States.
“I guess you could say things got out of hand,” said Quinley.
“Out of hand” is one way of putting it: after the missions trip, Quinley went on to be a teacher for, and eventually the president of, the Church of God Seminary in Asia and spent 18 years planting churches across the continent.
But as the world began to see a rise in media consumption, Quinley felt that more needed to be done to train churches in that area.
These thoughts helped spark the idea that eventually led to Medialight, a school Quinley founded that specifically teaches missions through media.
According to Medialight’s site, most unreached people are under 30 years old and spend 8-10 hours per day online. Quinley said this is why they feel an immense motivation to train Christians in media skills.
“One of the things that drives us to do what we’re doing is that the world has learned a new language. It’s a global language, and it’s media,” Quinley said, “The great commission is a call to become a communicator. Believers spend a lot of time learning what to communicate, which is the Gospel, but we don’t get hardly any training on how to communicate. That’s what Medialight is all about.”
Anna Snider, a Lee alum who completed a 10-week training program at Medialight, said in these days media training is more valuable than ever.
“Medialight is an amazing way to grow in the skills of digital communication, which is so important in this digital age,” Snider said.
According to Quinley, Medialight thoroughly educates its students in three key areas.
“We train our students to develop themselves as messengers, to learn to tell powerful stories and how to tell visual stories,” Quinley said. “We want to train believers to be good communicators in person, in small groups, in large groups, online and on-camera.”
Medialight is preparing to open a new campus, effectively opening more spots for American college students to complete their training program. Not only will Medialight be training students in key areas like DSLR photography, social media and storytelling, but there will also be opportunities to explore Thailand.
“In between, students will have the opportunity to go to waterfalls, ride elephants and visit Chiang Mai,” Quinley said.
Joshua Bower, another Lee alum who graduated from Medialight, said their ministry is perfect for Lee students to get involved with.
“I would say if you're passionate about seeing the Gospel break the walls of the church as you know it, go and see,” Bower said, “Medialight gives you the tools necessary to reach a generation. The new language in every nation is media and they teach you how to speak and understand it.”
For 20 days, students who are interested in media and storytelling are guaranteed by Medialight to receive an education that's both exciting and immersive.
“It’s good training, and it’s proven. And it’s helpful to anybody professionally,” Quinley said, “It’s a chance to meet people from different backgrounds and make friends that may become friends for life.”
The total cost to participate is $979. This covers all food, travel within Thailand, equipment rental, instruction and hotel stays in Chiang Mai.
For more information, please visit www.medialightasia.com/summer.