The education department of Global Missions, UPCI and its flagship educational program, the Global Association of Theological Studies/Global University of Theological Studies, is thrilled with a growing number of schools globally. Our goal is for each nation to have at least one Bible school or training program.
This page highlights the work of our Bible schools and their faculty in teaching all nations. Discipleship, ministerial preparation, and leadership development are our goals. Competent equipped instructors produce competent equipped preachers (2 Timothy 3:7). We are pursuing ministerial excellence.
GERMAN SPEAKING NATIONS (GSN): Apostolic Ministry Training Center
Photos from missionary Nathan Hulsman
MALAWI: 2018/2019 Graduating Students
We even had a very unique situation with four of our students who were from the Dzaleka refuge camp that we have been working with for several years. One of the students was the senior pastors wife, who could only come with her infant daughter, we agreed to let her come and see how it would work. Sis. Baraka not only finished all of her classes with her infant daughter Blessings attending all of the classes as well. But Sis. Baraka even finished as one of the top 5 students with her high GPA in the 90th percentile. In one of the pictures you can see blessings siting on the desk during class. We also presented Blessings with an honorary certificate from Apostolic Bible College as Sis. Baraka received her Certificate from GATS.
HAITI: Bible Schools 2020
BRAZIL: Various Bible School Pics
My father, Philip D. Walmer and fellow missionary, the late Bennie L. DeMerchant, together understood that the work in Brazil would need an enhanced network of training centers if we ever hoped of reaching that nation for the cause of Christ. Together they pushed for the opening of other schools in their respective regions and under the guidance and vision of Bro. DeMerchant's national leadership, the ministerial training of workers and leaders has morphed into an astounding 135 schools nationwide.
Today we stand on the shoulders of these spiritual giants to enhance and further the work they started. Our challenges are different today, one being the preparation of able Bible school teachers to fill the classrooms of these training centers. Nevertheless, we face these challenges with faith & optimism, as our predecessors did in their day, knowing that God will give us the strength, knowledge & wisdom to expand this endeavor even into the most remote villages and venues of that country. To this end we are most inspired!
Attached you will find some pictures of the Bible school students of different places and times in Brazil. I know this is well after the date you had requested these materials but I wanted to send them on to you. And others shall follow.
Portugal: Bible School
Fiji: 2017 Bible School Graduation
Scotland: Harvest Bible College is Global by Jerolyn Kelley
Early in our missionary career we came across a tiny plaque that says, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” This little plaque has hung in our kitchen for over 32 years and is a constant reminder of the beauty of teamwork.
When we look back over the years and see all that God has ordained for the full time Bible School of the United Pentecostal Church of Great Britain & Ireland, we are amazed at the hand of God. In 1996 when the church in Glasgow, Scotland miraculously acquired two buildings with two parking lots on a main thoroughfare for only $130,000.00, my husband prophetically told the congregation that these facilities were for more than the local church. (click here to view entire story in PDF)
GUATEMALA: Bible School Update
PERU: Gats Training 2016
What a great joy to be involved in the GATS Teacher Training Seminar Program! Last year, Missionary Joe Bir asked me to come with him to Peru and help teach the very first GATS Teacher Training Seminar in Lima, Peru. At that time, we had a good number of interested people show up for the seminar, and it was a tremendous success. The Peruvian people were open to teaching and eagerly received everything that we had to offer -- so much so that they squeezed all of the "teach" right out of us! (click here to view entire story in PDF)
Guatemala: GATS Faculty Education Program in Central America
Philippines: ACTS Graduation 2016
INDIA: Update from missionary Prince Mathiasz
The graduation ceremony was greatly blessed on the 8th of March with 43 students receiving their Certificates. Brothers Shalm and McDougal were our special guests and the power of the Holy Spirit was truly manifested. You may also have the GATS Asia 2014 presentation with you which was given during the GEC meetings in January. 15 new students were welcomed and enrolled for this school year and classes are in full swing. On another note, today in Bible College class, everyone prayed for the Ladies Ministries of North America, Global Missions, and specially for you for helping the them study the Word of God. It was so nice to see the students do this during class prayers. Thank you for what you, the Ladies and Global Missions are doing for the region of Asia in the very vital area of teaching and training.
Argentina: Bible School Graduation
Various: Bible School Graduations
HOLLAND: Bible School
Bible School Class in Holland.
BRAZIL: Diversified & Working Together by Bennie DeMerchant
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples if ye have love, one to another." (John 13:35) My curiosity arose as I flipped through pages and pages of local church names in the UPCI Directory. I started listing the most common names of local churches and gave up. There are hundreds of church names affiliated with the UPCI! Wow! I previously thought the number was a few dozen! Most local churches in US and Canada have their own governing boards, own their properties, acquire tax exemption, pay utilities, maintenance, and other you- name-it administrative costs. (click here to view entire story in PDF)
Eating, Sleeping, & Breathing Bible School Education by Melinda Poitras
I sit around tables sometimes and listen to my friends talk about the “glory days” of their childhood and all of the experiences that they had in public school. The way the education system worked where they were from, the people around them, the hardships they faced: persecution, exposure to sin and the outside world, cafeteria food. They also discuss the teachers: some quirky, some geeky, some hardnosed, some brilliant, some absolutely life changing. I don’t have much to say during these discussions because I never went to public school. I was homeschooled in Africa. My teacher was quirky, geeky, hardnosed, brilliant, and absolutely life changing. She was married to another teacher. And as teachers – they raised me. Quite possibly, to be a teacher. Time will tell.... (click here to view entire story in PDF)
HAITI: Bible School Praise Report
The January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti caused significant damage to our Headquarter's Complex which houses not only our District offices but also the Institut Biblique International des Caraibes. Through the help of so many people, we have been able to make the necessary repairs to reopen the IBIC. It was with much excitement that on January 12, 2011 (exactly one year after the devastating earthquake) the Institut Biblique International des Caraibes officially reopened. We rejoice with the Haitian people as God continually gives them renewed hope.
Expanding the Borders of Education & Training by Bruce Howell
You may have heard the analogy of the island of knowledge and the sea of ignorance. It goes like this: “We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.” In other words, the more we learn, the more we become aware of how much we don’t know. It’s an honest acknowledgment of our limitations and the vastness of God’s creation. The thought is credited to John A. Wheeler, a physicist who worked with Einstein. The more he learned, the more questions came up. Has this ever happened when you taught a new convert a Bible study? (click here to view entire document in PDF)
Running with the Message by Bruce Howell
2 Samuel 18 shares an embarrassing story where a runner aspired to run. One problem; he didn’t have any message. But, he wanted to run so desperately. His leader cautioned, “Why would you run? You have no message ready.” But finally he agreed, “What’s the harm. Run!” The runner, exhausted, reached his destination. Still one problem; he was sent, but had no message. Pathetically, he stepped out-of-the-way to make space for the runner with the message. How sad; a willing heart, ready feet, sent, but coming up short with the Word.
The multi-faceted ministries of the Foreign Missions Division have one mission in mind. We want to see Jesus announced, and exalted in every tribe and nation. Therefore, we “send the message, train messengers, produce self-supporting, self-propagating, self-governing churches; establish fellowship in truth and holiness.”.... (click here to view entire story in PDF)
PHILIPPINES: Come on Jesus! by Trent Gilliam (AIM)
ACTS Bible College in Manila, Philippines along with ten local churches got together for a crusade night. Visitors filed in for an hour and a half. A total of 105 received the Holy Ghost in that one service and twenty-nine were baptized in Jesus name.
A family of four calls this simple "wagon" home. It's where they sleep and keep all their earthly belongings. The students at ACTS Bible College invited them to the crusade. Dad and mom were filled with the Holy Ghost and all four were baptized in Jesus name.
The Far-Reaching Bible School Program by Jim Poitras
At the turn of the 20th century, a Bible school teacher stood in his classroom to give an assignment. Perhaps the students moaned and whispered, “Another assignment!” He reported, “I set the students at work studying out diligently what was the Bible evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost that we might go before the world with something that was indisputable because it tallied absolutely with the Word.”
Charles Parham left school for three days (faculty, don’t get any ideas. Smile!) He returned the morning of December 31, 1900 to collect the assignments. He wrote, “To my astonishment they all had the same story, that while there were different things occurring when the Pentecostal blessing fell, that the indisputable proof on each occasion was, that they spoke with other tongues.” The next day one of the students at Bethel Bible School, Agnes Ozman, received the Holy Ghost as the Parham laid his hands on her. Within two days others students and the teacher himself had received the Holy Ghost. The Pentecostal revival began in a Bible school classroom and nothing will ever be able to stop it.... (click here to view entire story in PDF)
GHANA: Bible School Grads
PHILIPPINES: GATS Teaching Training in Manila
Training using the GATS Advance Educators Series and other material continued in Manila for faculty from five Bible schools in the Philippines. The three day training program was arranged by Missionary Kevin Vacca and facilitated by GTI trainers Dr. Sidney Poe and Rev. Galen Thompson.
Thirty seven leaders from five apostolic Bible schools met at the C.P. Kilgore Bible College in Manila for twelve hours of intense teacher training. Leaders in attendance included Missionaries Kevin Vacca, and John Cogan, Bible College Leader John Wolfram, their wives, and a number of senior faculty and leaders from the national Bible schools. Subjects on the agenda in 2010 included principle centered teaching, the teacher and his family, mentoring students, understanding personality, the power of positive influence, and other timely topics presented in a workshop format.
The training completes qualifying requirements for the Advance Educators Series basic faculty development course for many of these teachers. Appropriate certificates will be forthcoming from GATS leadership in the Department of Education, FMD, Hazelwood, MO.
In 2009 forty four Bible school faculty and leaders were trained in Manila, and an additional twelve faculty members in Davao. Tentative plans were made to continue GATS teacher training for a third consecutive year with facilitators Dr. Poe and Rev. Thompson in May, 2011.
2011-12: Missionary News Briefs and Reports
ARGENTINA: GATS Teacher Training Seminar
What an awesome privilege I had to be invited to assist in this historic, first-ever GATS teacher training seminar for Argentina/Uruguay/Paraguay! The Sponslers and their team in Argentina outdid themselves in making our time there unforgettable! What wonderful hosts! From the very beginning, there was a spirit of eager anticipation that was palpable. The seminar was kicked off by greetings from Bro. Mike Sponsler and GATS Coordinator Bro. Joe Bir. The Lord gave me tremendous rapport with the teachers, and what a fantastic time we had in each of the sessions I had the privilege to teach. For me it was a very emotional, special time of homecoming, as it was the first time for me to minister in Argentina since we left there 16 years ago. Some who were my students are now teaching there, and it really moved me deeply to see this. Bro. Joe Bir and Bro. Mike Walmer did an excellent job in their sessions, and the Lord used them mightily. I believe that this seminar has generated a high level of enthusiasm for GATS in the southern cone of South America, and Bro. Bir is to be congratulated for everything he is doing to promote GATS in the region. (click here to view entire document in PDF)
BRAZIL: Sis. Gorete
Sis. Gorete is a highly trained woman, seated next to Theresa last night at ABI in Manaus. She works as a hospital administrater and checks out clinics for the government. Gorete has opened seven Bible schools using boats and her car and her team of ten other teachers with 95 students. She graduated two years ago with highest marks in a huge class of nearly a hundred grads.
TOGO & BENIN: Bible Schools - A Vital Link in Reaching Nations
When Missionaries Randy and Carolyn Adams first arrived in West Africa, there were eight pastors and churches in Togo and twelve pastors ministering at fifteen churches in Benin. That was in 1996, over 15 years ago. If one were to visit the Eglise Pentecôtiste Unie Internationale these days, they would find the Lord doing great and mighty things: 30 licensed ministers with 40 churches in Togo, 34 pastors with 45 churches in Benin, and 7,500 members between the two nations! The tipping point of revival for this country? Bible School! .... (click here to view entire story in PDF)
CZECH REPUBLIC: Czech it out! by Becky Buckland
August 31, 1995, nearly fifteen years ago, the plane carrying our family of four touched down on the Prague tarmac, signifying the arrival of the very first resident UPCI missionary to the Czech Republic (formerly Czechoslovakia). The Iron Curtain had come down, the challenge accepted, and what lay in wait for us was known only to God. Without even one contact in hand, we forged ahead through uncharted waters. With reaching an entire nation with the Gospel our ultimate goal, how and where do we begin? At times, the challenge seemed daunting; however, armed with the assurance that God was with us, we put our shoulders to the wheel and began our course of action. With faith for the future, and before we had even one prospective Bible School student, we embarked on the arduous task of compiling a carefully planned three year Bible School Curriculum. Without a shadow of a doubt, we believed that the establishment of a Bible School in the heart of the capital city would be the vehicle to reach this atheistic nation with Truth in building the very foundation upon the study of God’s Word and training others for leadership. Determination to see this come to pass required much resolve and resilience to the many obstacles standing in our way of this dream. Once the curriculum began to take shape, where would we find a qualified translator, someone who is familiar with biblical terms and spiritual principles as the Christian community of Prague is extremely small? How much would this undertaking cost? And, the big question: Will we have students? If God gives the vision, He is faithful! With His divine direction and through the process of time, an excellent translator was located. At a translation cost of $10.00 per page, we commenced in the laborious task of raising the necessary funds crucial in seeing this project come to fruition, with the full amount needed reaching into the thousands and thousands of dollars. Indescribable joy, fulfillment, satisfaction, and a sense of great accomplishment took place this year as the last page of the last textbook was completed, all in compliance with the GATS high standard and solid objectives! With God’s unwavering faithfulness, 30 translated and printed textbooks (10 per each year of study) are now completed! Thanks be to God! Although the work in The Czech Republic is yet in it’s infancy, we do not despise the day of small things. We faithfully plant the seeds of His Word in every student. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: …” (John 15:16)
The Famine Has Ended in Central America - by Brad Thompson
Wow! What is happening in Central America? In twenty three years as a Bible School administrator I have never witnessed so many dynamic teachers. Teachers with a new found authority, following lesson plans, using unique styles of teaching; teachers with an anointing, leaving their students hungering for more. For years our teachers in Central America have hungered to be more effective in the classroom and for our Bible Schools to be more productive. We have always said that the Bible School is the seed bed for ministry, but knew we were not reaching our potential in harvesting students for ministry. We were suffering a famine in the area of teacher training. Most nations held seminars for their teachers, but the majority ended up being pep talks and did little to cultivate teaching skills or put tools into the hands of the teachers to give them a more productive teaching ministry. But the famine has ended in Central America and we have gone from hunger to abundance! What has happened? What has changed? The introduction of the Global Association of Theological Studies and its Faculty Development Program has poured out blessing on the parched land in the hearts and minds of our teachers. For the past two years Faculty Development Seminars have been held in Central America. The first seminar sowed so many seeds of inspiration and possibilities in the teachers that in October of 2009 we had 197 teachers come to the seminars from seven nations. The GATS theme of ‘striving for excellence’ set the pace throughout the teachings and workshops and is now firmly planted in the hearts of our teachers. The harvest has already been beyond our projections: 1. The teachers are now teaching with course objectives and using lesson plans. 2. The wide variety of teaching styles taught and demonstrated in the seminars have been put to use in the classroom 3. The qualities of a good teacher, established and defined in the seminars, are being implemented and developed by our teachers. 4. Teachers are focusing on the ‘final product’ that we want to produce from our Bible School 5. Attendance in the Bible School in Guatemala is at an all time high – 363 students enrolled! A direct result of excellence in the classroom and the implementation of the GATS curriculum. 6. The countries of Nicaragua and Honduras have been blessed with new properties to build Bible School facilities on. I feel this is God’s way of putting His stamp of approval on their renewed vision for training for ministry that has come through the teachers being involved in the GATS seminars. Personally, I am seeing an enthusiasm in the forty-eight teachers in Guatemala that I have never seen before. They are more focused and professional in their approach and have adapted new teaching techniques. Many, who were not high school graduates, have now obtained their GED and others have taken college classes to get their teaching degree. Our faculty has risen to a much higher level; they have become more responsible teachers and are showing pride in their teaching ministry. Our goal now is to be accredited through the national department of education. A Bible School can have a nice facility and a great curriculum, but if the teachers are not equipped the program will not be productive. Faculty training empowers our teachers to equip our students to impact our nations. This is the harvest you will reap through the faculty development seminars offered by GATS. The purpose of a Bible School is to train and equip for ministry, shape our future leaders and ensure a visionary church for the future, strong in doctrine and leadership. GATS sows into the lives of our teachers. New course materials being developed take Bible School curriculum to the next level. It’s time to end the famine in our Bible Schools all over the world.
GUATEMALA: Teachers Upgrade to Associate Degree Level
All of the Bible School faculty in Guatemala are graduates of a UPC approved Bible School. However, the majority of them do not fulfill the requirements for an Associate Degree with the Global Education of Theological Studies. We have gone through the transcripts and records of each teacher and determined what they are lacking in subject material and classroom hours. In 2009 we were able to work with our teachers and complete missing hours of study in some courses, but the majority of teachers were still lacking eleven courses of study from the Associate Degree curriculum. In 2010/2011 we are working to cover these courses with our faculty. In March Pastor Raymond Woodward, from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada came to Guatemala for intense teaching sessions with our Guatemalan faculty. He very capably covered the materials of Holiness and Poetic Books. In fact our 54 teachers were hanging on to every word as he brought so many rich truths to light through the study of the word of God. Our teachers became the students in the classroom, and were not only blessed through awesome teaching, but also were challenged through such high quality and profound teaching. They were given a model to follow; a high standard to strive for in lesson preparation and excellence in classroom teaching. Not only are they fulfilling the requirements for the Associate Degree program, but this is developing into part of their training to become more effective teachers. During 2010 and 2011 we have other capable teachers coming to Guatemala to offer similar studies to our faculty. They are investing in our teaching staff and leaders of the UPC of Guatemala. This is a wonderful opportunity made available to us through our enrollment in the GATS program. Our teachers are excited as they want to be ready to begin the GATS Bachelor Degree program once it is up and running. GATS has inspired our teachers to ‘strive for excellence’ and we are reaping wonderful benefits because of it in the T.L. Craft Institute of Pentecostal Ministries of Guatemala. Rev. Ron Brian, missionary to Haiti, said it well in a recent meeting with leadership from the Central America, Caribbean and Mexico region, ‘With all that GATS offers, who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?’