What does it look like to go and train pastors?
An immediate thought might be a classroom setting, desks, and chairs for all who attend. In fact, that is not the usual setting at all. Dr. Stuart Sheehan was in the middle of instruction one day, under a mango tree, and experienced disruptive laughter when a mango fell on his head! We receive many field reports describing unique situations. As you view the various pictures in this section, keep in mind that these people are pastors and church leaders, trying to better themselves by obtaining theological training. As they become more aware of God's Truth, their levels of confidence rise as they stand before their congregations and work with others in their churches. The unwavering feedback we receive tells us of the hunger shown by these pastors and leaders who want to know God's Word more clearly and deeply.
Where does our curriculum come from? Who oversees the curriculum process? What curriculum is taught?
We have a Curriculum Editorial Board made up of solid theologians who have contributed much to the creation of our modules. They meet every year or so to look over the suggestions of curriculum edits from those who have trained in the field, always striving to keep our curriculum at its best. For a list of curriculum titles and brief descriptions, click here.
How does training affect a pastor and his church leaders?
How does training pastors and leaders affect church growth?
Without exception, once pastors and church leaders learn sound theology, their spiritual growth becomes evident. This is because training not only suppresses beliefs that are harmful to the work of the Kingdom, it also affirms who God's people should be and what they should do. All those under the care of a trained pastor and those in the community with whom he interacts are immediate beneficiaries of transformed leaders. When the truth of the gospel is not obscured by false teaching and God's people understand the Scripture, the mission of the church is revitalized. Since God's plan is to use the Church to reach the nations, having a healthy, vital church in a local context is essential.
There is significant impact beyond what happens in a single church. As multiple pastors and church leaders from different churches learn together, they see what they hold in common. Whenever multiple churches in a community understand the truth of the gospel, they begin to work together, bound by common core beliefs of the Christian faith. Their methods may be different, but they are able to look past those differences to the unifying truth that is the gospel. At that point, the concept of "growing" churches becomes more than numeric growth (though that does happen). The approach used by the Bible Institute allows us to focus on growth through health. To see an example of this kind of impact in a community, read A Case Study of Lemoru, Kenya.
Does training really bring the churches together?
Yes! One of the clearest examples is how a community of churches celebrate all their graduates (no matter what church they are from). Their unhindered joy to see God begin to work across different styles and denominational affiliations is palpable. As one of our instructors recently said, "Their faces say it all!" You may never get to attend a Bible Institute graduation, but we invite you to see some of that joy for yourself. Take a moment a check out photographs from some of our graduation celebrations.
We'd like to share some pictures with you that were taken at some WHBI Graduations!
"The opportunity to provide theological education in an international context was a powerful experience. I witnessed first hand God drawing together a group of ministers from a variety of Christian backgrounds to study His Word and apply it to their ministry contexts. I could see the ministry of the Spirit work to heal broken relationships, and strengthen the faith of these ministers. Through the course, I was able to show how Scripture continues to be our authority and guide in all matters of life and doctrine."