Mexico City, Mexico…[Libna Stevens/IAD Staff]
Nearly 2,000 laypeople received certification diplomas throughout Seventh-day Adventist Churches in the Inter-Oceanic Union, or region, headquartered in Mexico City. The graduation events, held December 3-7, were part of varied course training program in specialized evangelism courses offered to church members by Inter-American Division’s International Institute of Christian Ministries.
According to Luis Fajardo, director of IAD’s International Institute of Christian Ministries, the Inter-Oceanic Mexican Union is the first to hold their graduation ceremony in the Division territory.
“These were the first graduation ceremonies held in the Division territory,” says Fajardo. “It was great to witness the laypeople excited dressed in their graduation robes while receiving their diplomas,” he adds. The nearly 2,000 laypeople from the churches of Olmeca, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco and South Pacific fields completed Personal Evangelism specialized training, a certification that constituted a series of 10 courses held during weekend sessions, or weekly sessions which were led by union personnel and local field personnel.
Fajardo goes on to say that the Institute, which began in 2001, has implemented an aggressive training plan throughout Inter-America. He explains that the 10 courses included four core courses such as Spiritual Gifts, Witnessing Principles, Leadership and Growth, and Adventist Biblical Doctrine and six others on Evangelism Principles in the life of Jesus, Small Group Ministry, Methods of Obtaining Decisions, Visitation Strategies, Simple ways of giving Bible Studies, and Reaching Special Groups. All classes making up a 3-hour credit course accredited by Griggs University, an institution located in the United States.
Inter-America’s 13 of its 15 union regional territories have been offering this certification program to its 60,000 lay students all year long and most will soon conduct their graduation ceremonies in the coming months.
The Institute is an umbrella program established by the General Conference where a series of courses is offered to laypeople for the purpose of equipping Seventh-day Adventists throughout the IAD to contribute to membership growth.
Next year’s new certification program will be on Religious Education for Adults.
For more information on the International Institute of Christian Ministries, write to Inter-American Division, 8100 S.W. 117th Avenue, Miami, Florida, 33183, or visit www.interamerica.org.