Barnabas Aid’s theological and pastoral training programme The Shepherd’s Academy (TSA) continues to grow, with over 800 grassroots church leaders from more than 30 countries now registered.
TSA provides training opportunities for church leaders in the Global South who often struggle to access formal training or education to support them in their God-given calling as leaders of the church.
“The Shepherd’s Academy is an answer to my prayers,” said Pastor Godwill Nkese in Cameroon. “I have always desired sound theological knowledge while doing my pastoral work and TSA afforded me the opportunity.”
Of the church leaders registered with TSA, around 600 are undertaking short courses while a further 200 are studying for an undergraduate degree.
Less than a year ago there were just over 400 students registered.
TSA programmes combine guided self-study and online classes, a format that helps keep overheads low. Each undergraduate student is linked to a local TSA study centre. There are now 20 such study centres in 12 countries.
“I might never have had this kind of opportunity to study without TSA,” continues Pastor Godwill.
“With the kind of tutorials and tutors we have at TSA compared to the small amount of money we pay as tuition fee, I can only say we have been favoured by God to have TSA.”
“Anisha”, a missionary in a South Asian country, is also grateful for the opportunities afforded her by TSA’s programme.
“I praise God for TSA’s innovative idea of helping God’s servants like me who have not undergone any theological courses,” she enthused, adding, “I give all glory and honour to my God for this privilege of learning.”
TSA is part of Barnabas Aid’s Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life (OCRPL). “We aim to train a new generation of leaders,” explains Barnabas International Director Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, who is also Executive Director of the OCRPL.
“Our mission is to form in them the character and integrity that will give them the foundation to face their challenges, find hope in hopeless situations and counter untruth with truth.”
Give thanks for the training opportunities afforded to church leaders through The Shepherd’s Academy. Pray that the Lord through His Holy Spirit will use this ministry to equip a new generation of leaders for their calling as under-shepherds of Christ’s flock.