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PAstor-Fermin-Garcia4-WebInste Global Bible College (IGBC) exists to make disciples and develop leaders for the fulfillment of the Great Commission through excellent and affordable distance education not only in the U.S. but all around the world. IGBC serves 12,000 students in 12 languages and is available in your church.

President Randall A. Bach recently sat down with IGBC’s new president, Fermin Garcia, and discovered some exciting new initiatives.

Randall: As pastor of Grupo Unidad in Tijuana, Mexico, you were already busy. What made you decide to become president of IGBC?

Fermin: I believe my call is to prepare leaders to work with pastors and churches, not only in their own local churches but also in helping other churches fulfill their mission. It seemed a perfect fit.

Randall: What attracted you to IGBC?

Fermin: I met Drs. Nick and Leona Venditti about twenty years ago. One of the things that intrigued me is that they go to churches and help the local church prepare their leadership within that context instead of taking students out of their own church context and having them come back and tell the pastor how “wrong” he or she is.

As my relationship with Drs. Nick and Leona grew, I was asked to be part of the executive board about six years ago. In this position I dove into not only the front side (the educational side) but also to the back side (the legal side) of IGBC. I began to get passionate about it. I was asked four years ago to take over leadership of IGBC in Mexico. That was life changing. I could see how IGBC changes the dynamics of the local church.

Randall: How did God prepare you for this day [of becoming President]?

Fermin: I had no idea this was coming. God didn’t even hint it to me. I wish He would have! Twenty years ago when I met the Vendittis, I never thought I would have to sit in their seats. What impressive people they are! I have such admiration for them. God is saying, “Now it is your time.” They even told me about some prophetic words that were given to them about me before this time indicating that this was coming. I marvel at the way God prepared things. I am honored but do feel the weight of the responsibility before me.

Randall: Tell us a little about your vision for IGBC.

Fermin: We are hearing from pastors and organization leaders within the church community about the need to offer short-term preparation material for certain types of ministry. For example, youth ministry. There are no certificates for youth pastors. They have to train on the spot. Sometimes they don’t have theological training; sometimes they don’t have practical ministry training.

We feel IGBC needs to design specific certificate programs for the local church so they can accomplish their mission successfully and have more tools to do it.

Randall: I know that IGBC is dedicated to helping the church, but you are also making the curriculum available to individuals; can you tell us about that?

Fermin: In the next six to eight months we are going to offer the certificate programs digitally not only through our online platforms but also through an app for your phone so that you can pick up your phone, open the app, and study whatever course you need online. Maybe no one else in your church wants to study. This way you can study and maybe also acquire a mentor.

Randall: Why should a church or individual select IGBC?

Fermin: IGBC adapts more to your direct vision. Other educational systems concentrate only on the theological level. We concentrate on the practical side of ministry as well, making sure that what you are learning you are also practicing. I encourage churches to look into their needs. Based on those needs we can come in and fill that gap to make your ministry more effective. Our concern is that you reach what God has called you to do, and we will provide the tools to get you there. We know our time has come to impact the world.

WITHIN THE NEXT TWO YEARS WE WANT TO ACHIEVE THESE GOALS:

1) Dedicate the first year to having a strong online presence
2) Create certificate programs based on research of local church ministry needs including the development of onsite campuses while working alongside schools of ministry
3) Strengthen commitment to missions and ministry by offering practicum opportunities in strategic churches and mission field areas
4) Build an effective mentoring community that nurtures body life and unity
5) Continue to translate our curriculum into many other languages to train leaders to reach the world effectively
6) Invest in people, churches, and ministers
7) Promote IGBC through engagement with likely and unlikely partners

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