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Latin America Resource
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Skip Navigation Links : Ministerial Training : Plan 2033

Plan 2033
Rod and Sherry Boyd

We first heard about Plan 2033 at the Assemblies of God World Hispanic Fellowship (WHF) last October. We are privileged to serve as Coordinators for Christian Training Network (CTN), the international organization that serves the 19 Spanish-speaking countries in the Latin America / Caribbean region. Ricardo Castillo, National Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Costa Rica, serves as President of the WHF. He reported that the Assemblies of God announced a worldwide campaign in anticipation of the two thousandth birthday of the church in 2033. Pastor Ricardo’s desire to participate and the big vision of our worldwide fellowship inspired each one of the international ministry leaders in attendance.

World Hispanic Fellowship ministry team

We left the meeting with this challenge: What do we want our ministry to look like and to accomplish by 2033 and what challenges do we face? Seven years ago, our team launched a similar campaign – Vision 2020 – looking forward to next year 2020. The evaluation, strategic planning and work that we have accomplished since 2012 gives us a jump-start on Plan 2033. The Lords has been guiding us since that meeting in October.

More than 40 national directors, superintendents and members of our ministry team will meet March 12-16 in Panama City, in the new LARTC facilities. We will present and discuss our Plan 2033 at this meeting.

What is our Plan 2033? There are 15 points to the plan! But these can be summarized by the following big brush strokes:

Five CTN ValuesFortify our foundation. Our Vision 2020 campaign launched us on a journey of understanding who we are and what matters most. This journey of values helped us fix our foundation. We identified five values that matter most:  Quality Training, Pentecostal Distinctive, Accessibility, Ownership, Unity.

Knowing what matters is the basis for evaluating current and future plans. Without these anchor points, it is easy to drift and wander! If you are interested in ready more about these values, please read Journey of Values, an article we published to encourage our fellow missionary educators.

Redefine basic competence. Our program is stuck in the past! Shortly after CTN was formed in 1960, a three-year diploma program was established as the basic level of biblical, theological and ministerial preparation needed to serve in ministry. In 1970, ten years later, CTN started a fourth-year program. And ten years after that in 1980, CTN started a master’s program. Today, we have nearly 47,000 students preparing for ministry! Yet only 275 (0.6%) are in the master’s program and just 1,000 (2.1%) are in the fourth-year bachelor’s program. More than 45,500 are in the three-year diploma program. While the world around us has become more educated and basic competence is now a bachelor’s degree, our program has not sufficiently made advance training available to the masses. This must change and will only change if we create new delivery systems.

Facultad Panama 2018-10

Accredited degrees. Latin America is becoming more educated. The Spanish word for a bachelor’s degree is licenciatura. It literally means “licensing” a person in a career or branch of study. In some Latin American countries, governments are putting pressure on our national churches to adequately “license” (educationally prepare) those to whom the church gives credentials (i.e. license to preach). Accreditation matters. Society, government, parents want studies to count. We are in the process of forming an agreement with one or more Christian universities in the United States to provide academic covering to our program and thereby offer an accredited degree. This is not the whole answer. But it is a bridge to help individual countries develop a program that can be accredited in their countries. Part of this process is preparing more ministers with higher academic degrees.

Certified schools and national programs. One of our strengths and values is making ministerial training accessible to all. This has resulted in opening hundreds of branch campuses and classrooms. Maintainin quality training has been a challenge. Even so, if we are to achieve accredited studies, it will require certified schools and programs. We are reforming our certification standards to include the nationalizing of our Bible school programs. Each country must have a functioning education office to manage academic records for students and teachers, teacher appointments, uniform course plan and supervision of extension studies. Each country must have at least one certified central school that gives covering to branch campuses and classrooms.

Emphasis on practical training. Even though our students earn academic degrees, our program is more about vocational training than academic preparation. Our goal is to train good ministers – pastors, missionaries, teachers, evangelists, etc. Our Bible schools maintain this focus. However, as we move up the advanced training ladder, we must maintain the vocational focus in our master’s level. We are exploring the possibility of beginning doctoral level studies, an important step to train teachers for the master’s level! Even so, the emphasis must remain on practical training for ministry.

Please pray for us as we prepare for the upcoming Dialogue. Pray that God anoint us as we share what Plan 2033 looks like for Christian education ministries in Latin America. And pray that God would guide us as important decisions are made to move us toward fulfilling our plans for 2033. Our heart and desire is to fulfill the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations. Our calling is to raise up Christian leaders in Latin America. Not just to make disciples, but to make disciple-makers who in turn will invest in thousands of harvest workers around the world.