Bethany Global University (BGU) is now more than ever focused on preparing students to extend God’s kingdom to where it is not. As a strategy of Bethany International, we strive to see students transformed by the cross, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and prepared with intercultural educational experience so that they can lead, serve, and extend the kingdom.
Missionary Training On The Homefront
This preparation and transformation happens in a variety of ways on-campus and through the off-campus Global Internship in the junior and senior years. BGU’s staff is highly committed to seeing the Kingdom expanded beyond the edges through the lives of those we are training. Abigail, a sophomore at BGU, said it this way recently:
“Taking the church to where it is not seems complex in its essence, and carries a high order. As a believer, I understand that God has equipped me to be able to do just this because He has given the command to go out into all the world and make disciples of all nations (Matt. 28). In my own life, God has given me a heart for simply loving people. At BGU I have been placed in positions where working with people and learning to love others has become a way of life for me. I intend to implement those skills and gifts on an intercultural level. My desire is to take what I have learned about God, His word, myself, and others, and combine that knowledge with the love of Christ. I would like to be sent to the hardest and darkest places where there is not only a lack of ‘the church’, but a lack of God’s love and light as well. By simply meeting people where they are at and never compromising my love for God, I hope to be His hands and feet to lost souls.”
Those of us on staff at Bethany Global University consider it a great privilege and responsibility to be a part of a training program that has been in existence for 67 years. We are standing on the shoulders of those who have gone before us and look forward to continuing to build a fantastic place for those who want their lives to be used in fulfilling the Great Commission, to come for training and eventual sending.
Missionary Training Abroad
In 2002 through a period of prayer Bethany leaders and national partners embraced the goal of starting 100 missionary training schools. This 10 year goal, called “GO100,” was fulfilled in five years reaching 122 new missionary training schools. Today there are a total of 280 missionary training schools. Some of our recent training projects have taken place in Ethiopia where hundreds of students have been equipped for cross-cultural mission ministry to a number of unreached people groups inside the country. Bethany mission training consults assist these and other schools as requests present themselves.
Asian Network in Missions
“What does a missionary need to know? What character qualities does he need to possess? What skills does she need in order to be an effective cross-cultural missionary?” Bethany’s “know-be-do” philosophy of missionary training has helped prepare missionaries in many nations. One major Asian country asked us to help develop a comprehensive missionary training program for their developing missions movement. This resulted in the creation of almost 700 hours of video instruction in 32 courses, which are now widely used by a number of their church networks to train missionaries. We are conducting training of trainers and training of senders programs outside of their country. These consist of 6 to 11 months of experiential cross-cultural and missiological training. Finally, Bethany has begun to help mentor their missionary teams once they land in their country of service.
The GlobeServe Network
For decades Bethany “daughter” ministries and training programs successfully placed graduates in service within their own countries. Then God began to stir a vision to take the Gospel to other countries – mission fields becoming mission forces! They wanted to join Bethany International’s mission agency, but we felt the Lord speaking that our role would be to assist them in starting their own mission sending capacity. This led to the formation of GlobeServe, which today is an association of 280 missionary training and sending agencies that now work in 66 countries of the globe. GlobeServe partners disciple more than 25,000 new believers per year among 269 different people groups. It continues to grow as it celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015.
Some years back, most Ethiopian Christians thought that conversion of Muslims to the Christian faith was impossible. Then 15 years ago we began working closely with the Ethiopian Kale Heywet Church (EKHC) to train their evangelists to reach Muslims. Based on the results, their perception has completely changed! So far 34,000 Muslims have come to the Christian faith; and 298 churches have been planted in Muslim majority areas. They have sent missionaries to Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Kenya, and are targeting even more difficult Muslim regions. GlobeServe is helping other national mission movements make an eternal difference!