After 40 years of pastoring in a missions-minded church and enjoying a front-row seat watching TLI get birthed and launched, I now have the privilege of serving with TLI as Director of Theological Education in Cameroon. This gives shape to decades of forays into a land where theological training is yearned for, welcomed, and yet too sparsely available.
TLI is helping establish an accredited MDiv Program in partnership with Bethlehem College and Seminary (BCS) in Yaoundé, the nation's capital. Twelve hungry, motivated, and exceptional students are already being transformed by biblical and exegetical digging into the Greek NT and Hebrew OT. Once equipped, they will revitalize and plant churches that preach and teach the unadulterated gospel as the centerpiece of the whole counsel of God. As they learn, each student is growing in his vision for their own unique role in exponential multiplication of God-centered, gospel-loving expository preachers and teachers of God's inerrant Word.
Why "exponential"? Our dream is that with the help of these students, some of whom are already pastoring churches, TLI will be able to reach an ever-growing number of pastors who have never had, nor ever hope to have, an official degree. These pastors need to further their biblical training while continuing to serve their churches. A full-time Bible school or seminary will not work for most of them. But non-formal instruction from well-equipped peers, like our graduates will be, may strengthen churches where TLI could never reach otherwise.
One key leader from a large denomination has become convinced that what TLI offers fits with what his pastors need to be equipped for biblical expository preaching. He wants them to be gripped by the unified message of the whole Bible, and then to contextualize it for their unique churches in Africa's most complex nation (over 290 languages!). He understands exponential multiplication. His hope is that the first cohort will represent most of the regions of Cameroon. That way, they will bring what they learn back to their region and teach it with the long-term hope of pressing into the most remote areas of Cameroon and beyond—into places where there is even less access to solid biblical teaching.
Please pray that this multi-layered strategy—of formal training through an accredited seminary and informal training through TLI—would achieve its vision of equipping hundreds, or someday thousands of Cameroonian pastors to preach the Word of God.