Echo Spring 2021 - 39

By Amy Mongiovi
ancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary
& Graduate School is embarking on an
exciting venture with a seminary in
Londrina, Paraná State, in southwestern
LBC | Capital has entered into a partnership with
Faculdade Teológica Sul Americana (FTSA).
Accreditation with the Association for Biblical
Higher Education is complete, and accreditation
through the Middle States Commission on
Higher Education is in progress.
The partnership began when current LBC
| Capital Ph.D. candidate Art Hurtado ('17),
President of the Arthur D. and Dianna L. Hurtado
Foundation, first met educators in Brazil in
March 2016. FTSA leadership asked Hurtado if
he knew of a seminary in the U.S. that could
provide a beneficial partnership for the Brazilian
students. " I know just the place for you, " Hurtado
had answered.
" When talking about the right fit between
two learning institutions, and particularly
between two faith-based institutions, there
are several factors to consider, which include
their relational, philosophical, missional and
theological fit, " Hurtado said. " It was clear from
the beginning that both institutions would
quickly develop a relationship based on high
integrity. Their shared philosophical structure
and their local, regional and global missions
were key in moving forward. Moreover, and very
importantly, their strong alignment theologically
made for a natural fit in such a partnership. All of
these factors made bringing the parties together
very easy. Early on, there was a sense of shared
purpose with the vision for a Doctor of Ministry
program at FTSA that soon became the vision
for LBC | Capital. "
With a history of philanthropic efforts and
translation work in Latin America through the
Foundation, Hurtado connected FTSA founder
and Chancellor Dr. Antonio Barro with LBC |
Capital faculty and administration. The initial
LBC | Capital vision-casting group included
President Dr. Thomas L. Kiedis and Dr. Rick
Rhoads, then-director of LBC | Capital's Doctor
of Ministry program, we well as Dr. Mark Meyer,
Ph.D. in Biblical Studies Program Director.
" This is an exciting opportunity made all the
better by my long friendship and deep respect
for Dr. Antonio Barro, " Kiedis said. " FTSA has been
doing great kingdom work for years! "
LBC | Capital Interim Director of the Doctor of
Ministry Program Dr. Kevin Gushiken is coleading
the initiative with Barro and Hurtado.
Critical in this process has been accreditation
and curriculum design. " We are currently in
process of finalizing curriculum that both equips
leaders for ministry impact and is contextualized
for the Brazilian culture, " Gushiken said.
The LBC | Capital partnership with FTSA will
offer a program leading to a Doctor of Ministry
degree to interested ministry leaders in Brazil.
FTSA current enrolls 2,000 master's degree
students, many of whom have aspirations for
a doctorate, which is highly respected in Brazil.
As no education institution in Brazil offers a
Doctor of Ministry, this program will fill a deep
and important void in educating pastors across
the country.
Classes will be delivered through an online
portal. Although many of the Brazilian students
are familiar with English, the completely
Portuguese program will enable them to
study in their native language. The blended,
hybrid-style program is entering its final stage
of development and is scheduled to begin in
February 2022. The first cohort of up to 15
students is being recruited and selected from
the large pastoral base. The program will require
34 credits to be completed over approximately
three years among coursework, research and
" Our new D.Min. in Brazil is a strategic
opportunity for LBC | Capital to fulfill the Great
Commission, to make disciples of all the
nations (Matthew 28:18-20), " said Meyer, a
longtime mentor and friend of Hurtado and his
dissertation advisor. " This program will prepare
pastor-teachers to disciple and equip countless
others across Brazil, Latin America and the
world (Ephesians 4:12). It is LBC | Capital's first
major foray into disciple-making through a
foreign language, Portuguese, and it will serve
as a prototype for disciple-making in other
languages, such as Spanish and Chinese. "
Added Barro about the mutually beneficial
partnership, " Over the years I have seen a
change in the landscape of Christianity in Brazil.
More and more, we see people turning to the
Lord, which has resulted in the need to offer
more advanced levels of training for our pastors.
When we have well-prepared pastors, then
we also see the influence it has on equipping
the saints with the full knowledge of God's
Word. This is vitally needed so that they are
able to take the truth of the gospel into the
communities in which they live. Preparing the
saints to be the salt and light of the world is
our focus.
" When we learned about LBC | Capital and got
to know the leaders and professors, " Barro
continued, " we realized that God had brought
us together for just this purpose. Indeed, LBC
| Capital has a wonderful Doctor of Ministry
program, and together with our staff, we are
adapting the program to meet the contextual,
language and spiritual needs of our pastors here
in Brazil. "
For the instruction, LBC | Capital faculty will be
paired with Barro and the FTSA faculty. After
a period of time, LBC faculty will hand off the
courses to the FTSA professors to enable the
program to be self-sustaining in the future.
" Brazil is often neglected as the vast mission
field that it is, " said Hurtado, who hopes to
defend his dissertation this summer. " For years,
FTSA has been the beacon of theological and
missional education in the southwest province
of Paraná. Their outreach in the formation of a
vast number of pastors and Christian evangelical
educators is well-recognized. Moreover, they
have one of only five Master of Theology
programs in Brazil that is government-approved
and accredited. Providing them with a Doctor of
Ministry program was the next natural step and
will afford hundreds of pastors and leaders the
opportunity to take the next step in their formal
education, which is desperately needed.
" The impact of this program will resound
throughout their churches and much farther
into their communities, " Hurtado continued.
" Its potential impact reaches far beyond
Paraná toward the region of Sao Paolo-a city
of approximately 20 million. Eventually, its
existence and excellence will become known
across all of Brazil. "
Gushiken added that benefits abound for both
FTSA and LBC | Capital.
" This partnership will be a tremendous benefit
as LBC | Capital seeks to equip leaders for greater
ministry effectiveness around the world, " he
said. " The goal of this partnership is to enable
Brazilian ministry leaders to think critically and
strategically about the current struggles and
challenges to the Church and the gospel. In the
end, the hope is that this program will serve to
strengthen Christian leadership in Brazil. "
Gushiken also noted that the arrangement is not
simply a matter of LBC | Capital " exporting " the
program to Brazil; rather it is about partnering
with FTSA to create a pathway for further
equipping ministry leaders.
" We live in a global society, " Gushiken said.
" As LBC | Capital partners with leaders and
organizations around the world, we participate
in God's plans for the world. As well, by
interacting with leaders from different cultures,
we enlarge our understanding of society which
in turn serves to strengthen the development of
our own missional and leadership curriculum. "

Echo Spring 2021

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