International Theological Seminary is committed to its vision of training church leaders from Third World countries who will return to their countries to effectively do ministry. Now on its 30th year, ITS vision remains the same.
ITS has been providing advanced education to church leaders, Bible School teachers and seminary professors from Third World countries. Students receive a grant and they sign a pledge to return to their country of origin or serve as a missionary in another country. One way to gauge the effectiveness of ITS is the number of graduates who return to their home countries and continue or advance in their ministries. In the last two years, 2010-2012, 70 percent of those who graduated returned to their countries. Twenty-two percent of the graduates who remained in the US are immigrants. They are involved in various ministries like church planting, teaching in a seminary/Christian schools, and other Christian organizations. Eight percent went for further studies.
Of the alumni of ITS 13 are Presidents and Principals of Bible schools and seminaries in Asia and Africa, while close to 100 serve as Deans, Professors and Administrators in schools around the world. More than 25 are pastors of mega-churches and several hundred are pastors of small, rural churches. One is the bishop of the largest denomination in his country. Many are involved in children and youth ministries and works among the poor and homeless. Our graduates have also started Bible schools and seminaries in China, Nepal, Thailand, and Tanzania.
Some samples of what ITS graduates are doing in ministry today are as follows:
Alumni in Asia:
- Several of our Korean graduates are serving as missionaries in China.
- Ben and Esther Wang (China) have developed a theological seminary in Beijing, China, where they are training pastors for the house churches.
- Sundar Thapa (Nepal) is one of the key evangelical leaders in Nepal. He is the overseer of over 200 churches in Nepal and he and his wife Sarita, also an ITS graduate, have established a Bible school and seminary in Katmandu.
- Hoo Phu (Vietnam) escaped Vietnam with the Boat People in the 1980’s, after serving for ten years in a communist prison before he enrolled in ITS. He is now back in Vietnam ministering among the very people who persecuted and imprisoned him.
- William Lim (Indonesia) is the pastor of one of the largest Presbyterian churches in Surabaya in East Java and he is one of the founders of a Bible college and seminary in Java.
- Caleb Tong (Indonesia) is a prominent pastor in Bandung with a congregation of more than 20,000 members, and is the founder of the Bandung Theological Seminary with a student body of 125 and alumni of 300. Also serving in the seminary are Agus Gunawan (President), Herlisa Sagala (Dean), and Dwi Maria, Peter Wong, Heriyanto, and Desiana as professors.
- Stevri Lumintang (Indonesia) is the President of the Evangelical Institute of Indonesia in Batu, Malang, East Java with a student body of more than 300 and alumni of more than 2000.
Another seminary president in Indonesia is Kornilius Setiawan (Aletheia Theological Seminary).
Many of our graduates are serving as Academic Deans and Deans of Graduate Studies in Indonesian seminaries.
- Manoch Jangmook (Thailand) is the President of the Bangkok Bible College and Seminary, one of the largest evangelical seminaries in Thailand. He is also one of the most sought after conference speakers in the country. Also, more than 20 of our ITS graduates are serving as professors and academic officers in BBCS.
- Sally Thanapornpraget (Thailand) is one of the leading church historians and history writer of Thai Christianity in Thailand. In fact, Thai graduates of ITS are serving in leadership positions in seven seminaries in Thailand, and many ITS graduates from Thailand are serving throughout the country as pastors, missionaries, founders of urban ministries among the poor, orphanages, just to name a few.
Many of our graduates are leading pastors and educators in Taiwan, China, India, and other Asian countries.
Alumni in Africa:
- Bakari Bunga (Nigeria), son of a Muslim chief, converted to Christianity, received training at ITS and other schools, and is now back in Nigeria courageously ministering among Muslims even though his life has been threatened five times.
- Barnabas Mtokambali (Tanzania) is the founder and pastor of a megachurch in Morogoro. He is the Bishop of the Assemblies of God denomination, the largest denomination in Tanzania.
Two of our graduates are Principals of large Bible schools and many more are academic leaders in these Bible schools. Others are pastors of churches of many sizes in Tanzania.
- Sholy Yusuf (Nigeria) is an academic leader of one of the most prominent evangelical seminaries in Nigeria, JETS (The Jos ECWA Theological Seminary).
- Esphan Nganga (Kenya) is the founder of a pastoral leadership and training ministry that ministers in several East African countries.
Alumni in the United States and Europe:
Many of our graduates are international who were residents of the United States before they enrolled in our programs, especially our Korean and Chinese programs. Some are refugees who cannot safely return to their homelands at this time. Others are missionaries to the US and Europe.
- Tanya Ko (Russia) is serving with her husband as missionaries to China.
- Vladimir Li (Russia) is a Korean/Russian who grew up in Russia and earned his Ph.D. degree in microbiology. After working several years as a scientist in Moscow he was converted to Christianity, came to ITS for his theological training, and now serves as a pastor and seminary professor in Moscow, Russia.
Several of our Korean graduates are pastors of Korean mega-churches in U.S.
- Kyu Sam Han (Korea) who went on from ITS to attend Calvin Seminary, then to Westminster and Harvard for his Th.M, then to Toronto University for his Ph.D. He then returned to ITS to serve as Professor of New Testament and Vice President for many years. Currently, he is serving as the pastor of the largest Korean church in Newark, New Jersey.
- Faustin Uzabakiliho (Rwanda) was a political refugee from Rwanda and cannot return safely to Rwanda to this day. A graduate of ITS, he longs for the day when could return to minister in his country. In the meantime, he has founded a ministry called Exodus/Vision in which he sends teams once or twice a year to minister to Rwandan refugees who are confined to refugee camps in other African countries.
In addition to those who are serving in their home countries, many are serving as cross-cultural missionaries in many countries in their regions in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
These are just a few examples of the worldwide influence graduates of ITS are having. These are the people who are living confirmations that we are achieving our goal of training international Christian leaders and theologians who will return home to their regions and countries to minister.