What does Spirit-filled education look like around the world? The President of Facultad de Teología, Allen Martin, tells us how this seminary is training men and women across the Spanish-speaking world. Part of the Pentecostal Theological Education Around the World series from PneumaReview.com.
My name is Allen Martin and I have been a missionary with the Assemblies of God for the last 25 years. For over 20 of those years we worked with church planting and Bible School education among the Quichua Indians in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador. At present I am the President of the Facultad de Teología de las Asambleas de Dios en America Latina (in English: the Latin America Theological Seminary/LATS). I am also currently working on a Ph.D. in Intercultural Studies at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.
Facultad de Teología was born of the desire of Latin Americans who had graduated from the Instituto de Superación Ministerial/ISUM (Latin America Advanced School of Theology/LAAST) to continue their ministerial training. LATS was designed to offer advanced training to recognized church leaders by delivering on- site, intensive month-long modules, in easily accessible regional locations at a reasonable cost, thereby minimizing the time students would be away from families and ministry. The uniqueness of the program provides for mutual learning, mentoring, counseling, encouragement, friendship, growth and prayer as professors and students live, study and eat together.
We are a Pentecostal seminary (Assemblies of God) whose aim is to train and equip Spanish speaking Pastors and leaders in all of Latin America. Because many Latin countries have a high percentage of native Indian groups we also a higher percentage of Indian students who study with us in those regions.
Bible school education in the Assemblies of God in Spanish speaking Latin America is set up in such a way that the first three years of Bible Institute studies are taught under the direction of the national church in each country. Each of those 3 year bible institutes uses what is known as the Basic Plan as their model. The Basic Plan was developed by and is regularly revised and updated by an international team of educators, many of whom are career missionaries. In order to graduate with a four year BA degree the 4th year of theological studies are then studied in a series of four, one month-long, live-in modules taught by a roving faculty called ISUM. We at the Facultad de Teología then offer the next level of theological training, it is the Master’s degree level. Similar to ISUM, our program involves 5, three week long live-in modules and the writing of a thesis, project or a published book at the end of their studies with us. Also similar to ISUM we hold our modules in bible school facilities in countries that are strategically located allowing for students to come from surrounding countries to study. We currently hold modules in 11 countries, including: Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, México, Dominican Republic and Cuba as well as having two centers here in the United States (Springfield, MO & La Puente, CA).