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Training National Leaders for Regional Impact

Pioneer missionary James Gribble first claimed land in the Central African Republic for a mission site one hundred years ago. He dreamed that one-day Christian schools would prepare men and women so that leadership of churches, schools and key institutions would be turned over to African nationals. To many, this dream seemed impossible. But God specializes in the impossible.

One hundred years after Gribble and his party set sail for the heart of Africa, hundreds gathered for the dedication ceremony of the James Gribble Leadership Training Center. Located at a new campus outside the capital city of Bangui, Central African Republic, it’s more than a beautiful facility…it’s evidence of a long commitment to investing in training local and regional church leaders.

Watch below to learn more about the dedication of the James Gribble Leadership Training Center which took place in Aril 2018.

The Training Center is part of a larger plan to strengthen seminary-level education by relocating the school from its original location in northern C.A.R. Started in Bata on October 4, 1981, the Seminary was birthed from a shared commitment between the national church and Encompass World Partners to provide training beyond the level of regionally-based Bible Schools. On January 11, 2008, the Seminary relocated south to Bangui so as to better influence the spiritual climate of the nation’s capital and beyond.

The School of Theology (Seminary) seeks to prepare men and women to exercise godly and effective leadership for key local churches, many of which are quite large and influential. It also prepares professors for ministry in local Bible Institutes. In addition to the basic curriculum found in most seminaries, the School of Theology works hard to address real-world problems on the African continent from a biblical perspective.

To the north in neighboring Chad, the relatively new School of Missiology provides graduate-level training with another focus: to prepare men and women to lead apostolic-style ministries among the least-reached.

Florent Varak, Director of Encompass’ Church Equipping Network, shares about some of the unique cultural situations faced by students at the School of Missiology. As one student awoke, he discovered a trail of blood leading from his bed to the site of the church they were scheduled to begin building that day. It was the work of animists, who were trying to discourage the progress of the gospel. In addition to typical classes on cross-cultural ministry, The School of Missiology prepares church planters and evangelists to address issues like this, which are unique to African culture.

God is at work in and through these educational institutions, and we think Gribble would be thrilled to see the harvest God has provided from the seeds he planted.