While The Word Is Out does not seek to create seminaries—our relationship with existing seminaries works well for our goals—we do recognize that the vast majority of pastors cannot afford seminary training and do not have time for it (many in the Global South are bi-vocational ministers out of financial necessity).
To meet this need for biblical literacy and professional training, The Word Is Out creates Centers for Biblical Understanding. These are places where The Word Is Out provides teaching materials for pastors and Bible teachers, and where Champions and other trained staff provide continuing education and refresher courses. Our inductive approach to study will train those who attend to accurately uncover the message of the Biblical writers, how they communicate it, and what is to be learned for the up-building of the Church today.
First Center for Biblical Understanding, Established in Zambia in 2016!
In 2013 a pastor in Zambia by the name of Sam Lael Mwase Zulu sensed God’s call, and accepted the invitation from The Word Is Out, to come with his wife (Susan) to study for the work of a Champion in his country. Lael believes that Zambia is at a crossroads in spiritual development; many of the pastors in his country have only minimal training for the work of ministry, and false doctrine is rife among the churches. It was not an easy transition to come from Africa to Wilmore KY to study at Asbury, but it was one that Lael welcomed; in his country, it’s no small opportunity to be offered a chance to study in the United States.
Fast forward to fall 2015; it’s graduation time, and Lael has earned an M.A. in Biblical Studies from Asbury Theological Seminary. After a short break to rest from the demanding schedule at Seminary, he and his wife returned to Zambia to begin the work they prepared for.
In June 2016 a conference was conducted to launch the Zambia Center for Biblical Understanding. Regular operations commenced on September 5, 2016.