This African-led seminary, located in Lome, the capital of Togo, is the denominational school for Baptist churches throughout Francophone Western Africa. ESBTAO is a formal theological site which confers License Degrees (the equivalent of a U.S. Bachelor's Degree) and is beginning a Master's Degree program as well as a satellite school in Benin.
Approximately 150-180 students are enrolled at ESBTAO. These students are sent by churches in Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, and other nearby countries. The students train for a variety of roles, including pastoral ministry, missionary service, teaching in Bible Institutes, and assisting Bible translation projects throughout Western Africa. Every year the school graduates approximately 10 students in theological disciplines and up to 30 students in various ministry programs.
TLI sends three 2-person teams per year and is always seeking volunteer instructors with a passion to serve the churches of West Africa through training indigenous leaders. Instructors must develop their own courses, basing them upon a catalog description from the school, and deliver them in a two-week modular format.
Director Dr. Sylvain Allaboe and his staff are making progress toward building an entirely African faculty capable of fulfilling all their teaching needs. They are identifying and then assisting gifted students to complete Master's and Doctoral degrees so they can return to teach at ESBTAO. TLI comes alongside the African staff by sending capable and godly instructors to teach six courses annually through three short-term trips. In this way, TLI is working together with ESBTAO to help them fulfill their short and long-term goals.
There is a debate in our context about whether Satan has power over the life of believers. Many people here associate Satan with sorcerers, witchcraft, and demon possessions. They believe that Satan is trying to kill you with magic all the time, and so people in the churches are anxious to know whether the power of Christ can protect them from such things or whether Satan can still kill them even if they are a Christian. This is a big debate.