South Asia Nazarene Bible College (SANBC) celebrated its 25th Anniversary at Baptist Missionary Society, Kolkata, India, on September 7 – 9th.  About 100 people attended the celebration.

SANBC is a decentralised education program with its administrative base in Bangalore. It has learning centers in five countries of South Asia, teaching in fourteen languages.  The celebration was held in Kolkata, that is where the new approach for pastoral training and education was envisioned replacing the small residential program which was only catering to one language group with the direction of the then Regional Director Dr. Franklin R. Cook and Rev. John Haines the Regional Education Coordinator. Haines very enthusiastically invested himself with the leaders from South Asia Field to create a new strategic education program to meet the needs of the five nations. Rev. Arlen & Mrs. Joyce Jakobitz also invested and encouraged the formation of SANBC.

This new way of education and training was led by the first principal Rev. T.K Sadakshri with Rev. Simon Jothi being the Registrar, Mrs. Joyce Jakobitz managing the finance and helping Rev. Simon to maintain the students’ records.

The decentralized model- where learning comes to local learning centers, using a combination of traveling lecturers and local qualified pastor-teachers – offered a way forward. This helped the new pastors and leaders at the grass-root level to be trained in their own context and language. The 25 courses were developed by leaders locally and translated in various languages.

In the celebration at Kolkata, the highlight was the graduates who shared their testimonies of their learning through SANBC and now who are ordained and leading as leaders in various ministries in South Asia.

Dr Carla Sunberg (General Superintendent) and Dr Klaus Arnold (Director of Global Education and Clergy Development) were keynote speakers at the event, with Revd Joel Mullen (South Asia FSC) and Dr Tammy Carter (IBOE Administrative Director) leading Continued Professional Development training.

Although SANBC is still a fairly young institution, and is still developing, it was remarkable to see how much has been accomplished, with limited resources, by the dedication of those committed to seeing learning flourish in the service of the Church, at the same time SANBC stands on the rich legacy of many national and missionary leaders investing in pastoral training and education over the past 50 yrs.

– shared by SANBC, India Field Communications and our Regional Education Coordinators