The Foundation for International Theological Education takes the Bible’s counsel – “How shall they hear without a preacher?” – very seriously. It exists to support pastoral training and especially seminaries – all the institutions which train ministers of the Gospel – globally, in regions where they have not yet had time or resources fully to take root.
Why pastoral training? Because no people can fully embrace the Gospel until it makes it its own. In the long run, people everywhere need pastors from their own communities: men who understand the local culture, idiom, enthusiasms and fears, because all those things are theirs too.
The Foundation supports indigenous pastoral training. It assists in educating new generations of local ministers in sound, Biblical truth. But it also helps them with practical training: proper institutional governance; good business and accounting practices; using cutting-edge technology to cut costs and expand outreach; and countless other applications of God’s teaching to modern life.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teaching him to fish is better; but teach him to teach others to fish and you accomplish far more still. Just so, the Gospel can change whole cultures when we train pastors for the church. By helping the Foundation for International Theological Education teach vital skills to those training pastors in God-honoring local institutions, you ensure Christ’s church will be well-led by qualified ministers for decades and centuries to come, whether in Lusaka or Liberia, Singapore or Seoul.
The Foundation was founded by its President, Phil Roberts, Ph.D. – Free University of Amsterdam, a man perfectly gifted for this task. He began his career in international missionary work, and met and married his wife Anja in Poland while that country was still behind the Iron Curtain. Later he worked as Vice President of the North American Mission Board for urban ministries and interfaith evangelism. Most recently, he served eleven incredibly successful years as President of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, turning the institution around from a period of distress to one of record enrollment, and pioneering the development of online Christian education accessible around the world. The Foundation for International Theological Education is the culmination of decades of Dr. Roberts’ experience, vision for global evangelism, and passion for the world’s lost.
Rod D. Martin is deeply honored to have helped found the Foundation and to serve as its first Board Chairman, and the Martin family strongly supports Dr. Roberts and his work.