African Pastors and Church Leaders Honored
Inaugural class of Moody School of the Bible earns Bible certificates and takes part in ceremony
African pastors and church leaders in rural parts of Ghana, West Africa, recently earned certificates for completing four oral Bible courses in their own language from Moody School of the Bible.
Many of the students traveled all night by bus to participate in the Aug. 12 ceremony, with 281 men and women completing the inaugural program. Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of Moody Bible Institute, personally congratulated each student and handed out certificates with Rev. Theodore Asare, founder and president of Theovision International.
“These people have been transformed,” Dr. Nyquist said of the event. “Now they’re busy transforming the villages and cities around Ghana with the truth of God’s Word, so it’s very exciting.” Nyquist says the Moody School of the Bible will continue to offer classes to African pastors and church leaders.
In 2016 Moody Radio began translating classes from Radio School of the Bible, one of Moody Radio’s longest-running teaching programs, with the assistance of Theovision, a nonprofit ministry organization in Ghana. The content was contextualized and recorded on solar-powered audio devices for use by the Akan- or Twi-speaking people, who live in an oral-preference culture. Over the last year, pastors and leaders who were enrolled in the program listened to 32 lessons that covered courses in Old and New Testament Survey, Life of Christ, and Basic Christian Doctrine. They took oral quizzes on their cell phones every 10 days. They also were required to listen through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
James Ahoto Justice, who received the award for overall best student, addressed the assembly: “I thought I knew the Bible very well until I enrolled in the Moody School of the Bible,” he said. “I must confess this school has been really helpful to me, my family, and church, and has taught me a lot. I give all glory to God and also to Theovision International for this wonderful vision to help all access and understand the Word of God.”
During his time in Ghana, Dr. Nyquist preached in Rev. Asare’s church and also visited some of the Bible study listening groups being led by Moody School of the Bible graduates. Two people, after hearing the Word in a listening group, gave their lives to Christ, including a village chief.
“Moody School of the Bible in the Akan language is one of the best things that has happened in our ministry of reaching Africa’s oral cultures with God’s Word,” Rev. Asare said. “This training is the first of its kind that I know of in Ghana. Already, other language groups are asking for such training to be done in their language.”
For the students who completed the level-one courses, Moody School of the Bible will offer four level-two courses in the Akan (Twi) language, beginning in January. The new courses will include practical material, such as how to set up a Bible study listening group or start a new church. In addition, the level-one courses will be repeated with a new group of Twi-speaking pastors and church leaders. Plans are also in the works to expand the reach of Moody School of the Bible into the African countries of Togo and Benin by translating the level-one courses into the Ewe language next year.
“The partnership between Moody and Theovision is strategic,” added Stephen Asare, who is Rev. Asare’s son, a Moody alumnus and now Moody’s manager of Donor Appreciation. Theovision has recorded the New Testament into 376 African languages, while Moody Radio has rich teaching material available from Radio School of the Bible. “It’s something that was just sitting here on the shelves at Moody Radio, but now it’s going to have a huge impact on the people of Africa.”
For more information about Moody Radio’s partnership with Theovision to bring theological and biblical education through solar-powered audio players to leaders in rural villages, please read the October 2016 news story.