Currently, church leaders in East Africa have few, high quality, affordable options for theological education. The options most are familiar with include:
- Go to a Bible college or seminary outside of your locality (which is often not near your home, is fairly expensive, and usually takes leaders out of their ministries for years).
- Get an online degree (which means little, creates many feasibility problems and offers no personal contact with teachers and fellow students, and does not connect with the local church well).
- Get an inferior education for properly leading a church at a Bible institute type ministry. We are certainly for learning more of the Bible, but most institutes are not capable of training men to properly lead churches.
We think there’s a better way to entrust the Word to faithful men while empowering local churches to reclaim their biblical duty to proactively train gospel-centered, reproducing leaders. We’re using rigorous, affordable, church-based theological training programs here by reclaiming an apprenticeship approach to ministry training modeled after Christ’s mentoring relationship with His apostles and Paul’s training ministry with his disciples.
This methodology is clearly also seen in Paul’s personal investment in his own disciples and emerging leaders such as Timothy and Titus whose progression can be seen in Scripture:
- — Timothy and Erastus are sent into Macedonia on Paul’s behalf
- — Timothy is a fellow worker of Paul
- — Timothy is a trusted preacher of the Gospel
- — Titus is a friend who encourages Paul
- — Titus is a faithful worker carrying out the wishes of Paul
- — Titus develops a heart for ministry and initiates ministry
- — Titus is a proven minister
- — Titus is sent to appoint elders and plant churches on Crete.
Church-Based & Competency-Based Education
EABST offers theological education grounded in the life of churches. All programs are designed and taught in churches, by churches, and for churches. Church leaders conduct all training within the context of ministry.
Traditional schools tend to focus on the accumulation of course credits earned mainly through the acquisition of a “body of knowledge,” but EABST’s competency-based education in ministry training focuses on ministry skills, character development, life in the church, and biblical understanding through rigorous use of outcomes assessment.
22 And having sent into Macedonia two of his helpers, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.
7 If even lifeless instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone know what is played?
6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,
6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace.
16 But thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same earnest care I have for you. 17 For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest he is going to you of his own accord.
23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for your benefit. And as for our brothers, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith:
Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—