The Institut Missiologique du Sahel (IMS) is helping mobilize the African church for mission. The Institute's one year program equips church leaders in French-speaking West Africa to direct mission agencies and train new missionaries.
While the Mission Institute is located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, students spend a lot of time learning in field-based experiences. Institute director Joel Gray says,
"For too long we have assumed that good content alone suffices in preparation for ministry. However, information alone rarely transforms anyone!"
The IMS curriculum is based on competency and aims to produce leaders with practical, cross-cultural skills. The course's activities include:
- Traveling to other countries to experience church planting methods.
- Working with craftsmen to discover how hidden cultural values are visually expressed in artwork.
- Praying daily for other nations to increase awareness.
- Spending a month in a village to practice language acquisition techniques.
Since its beginning in 2003, the IMS has graduated 19 students from seven countries. By 2010, they hope to train 30-36 more leaders. Already most of the first graduates are serving in mission leadership, training, or mobilization.
Listen to Joel's full interview by clicking the "podcast" button below.