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ICBM: equipping diverse peoples for diverse roles in the local church

by Laurie Lind, Entrust staff writer

God is using International College of Bible and Missions to train and equip current and future local church leaders from multiple backgrounds.

“ICBM is a very diverse student body,” according to Principal Rev. Arthur Alard.

“We often have students from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland,” says Academic Dean Dr. Steven Briix. “They come to receive theological training and a bachelor’s degree. Most of them are serving in leadership in the church and have done so for many years. The average age of our students is in the mid-40s.”

“In my modules,” Dr. Briix continues, “I have seen a mix of senior pastors, assistant, youth and women's pastors. I’ve also had people who are volunteers in the church and who hope to become chaplains in the military or police forces.”

Faculty member Olga Alard adds, “In the past three years of teaching, I usually had from five to eight different language groups represented in my classes. Some women were Sunday school teachers. I also had a missions committee member, a prayer group leader, a pastor's wife and a youth ministry coordinator.”

“Our faculty is also diverse,” Dr. Briix says, “representing multiple nationalities and heritages. We are so blessed to be able to share our different perspectives as we study God's word together!”

Just one example: Elvis

Elvis Pillay is from South Africa’s Indian community. He serves as an elder at Samaritan Church based in Roodepoort, an area of Johannesburg with an increasingly diverse population. Elvis is also a self-employed businessman.

Elvis graduated from ICBM in June 2020 with a BA in theology, with high academic honors. He is now open to a call to full-time pastoral ministry.

While completing his studies at ICBM, Elvis faithfully served as a student representative, helping the administration assist students both spiritually and academically. Elvis is actively involved in his community, reaching out and sharing the gospel and meeting the physical needs of both the young and elderly from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

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