If you’re familiar with theological education by extension (TEE) in Spanish, chances are you’ve heard about the CCBP or CCBL course. It’s really the same course, the only difference being the last letter of the acronym. The first is Curso de Capacitación Bíblico para Pastores (CCBP, or BTCP in English), the second is Curso de Capacitación Bíblico para Líderes (CCBL). “Pastors” to “leaders” reminds us all that such Bible knowledge is useful for everyone, not just pastors. Check out a summary of the curriculum HERE. According to the website, www.bibletraining.org, the course has been translated in over 30 languages.
The Puebla Bible Seminary has taught this course by extension in several different cities in the past (including Guadalajara and northern Mexico City), and continues to facilitate a class in San Martín Texmelucán, Puebla, with a current attendance of approximately 20 people. The Seminary still offers a diploma using this material. The course was developed by Dr. Dennis Mock, and is a synthesis of theology classes taught at Dallas Theological Seminary. For a while, Denton Bible Church, north of Dallas, was aggressively promoting the material. Maybe they still are.
The impetus to do this course here in Ixtapaluca came last May, after a visit from several friends from Still Water Community Church, in Rowlette, TX. Would there be interest in the churches here in receiving formal, theological training? The first 40-hour course would be hermeneutics and Bible study methods.
Well, actually, yes! Although 40 hours of class time is quite a commitment for busy city-dwellers, 52 people from 4 Bible churches attended our first (of 5) 8-hour class this past Saturday. Formal and semi-formal theological education is often a luxury that young, small churches (and their leadership) cannot afford. We are thankful to the Lord for opening doors for this training. A special thank you to Dr. John Schimmel and brother Frank Villalobos from Still Water for helping to make it happen! Of course, we rewarded them with all the tacos they could eat!
A special thank you to Martin and Laura and the Sendero Santa Bárbara church for allowing us to use their facilities. And to Eva and Nacho, who made some awesome food. To God be the glory!
Class manual and notes…and a study Bible!
Frank and John shared teaching times.
Believers from the three Ixtapaluca Sendero churches and also from Peña de Bernal, Iztapalapa attended the class, which started at 9 a.m. and ended at 6 p.m., with an hour break for lunch.
How we pay John and Frank for their labor of love…lots of tacos!