By Rosalva Zimmerman

Four students graduated from Escuela Bíblica de Liderazgo, a Biblical leadership school for class_1Spanish-speakers, in a ceremony held at First Southern Baptist Church, Phoenix, on Jan. 30.

The school, which began in 2004 as part of a Contextualized Leadership Development program through Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, is now under the auspices of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention and provides classes to train Christian leaders for effective, culturally-relevant service.

Receiving the basic leadership diploma were Mary Hernandez, a member of Westridge Hispanic Ministries, Phoenix; Berenice Perez, a member of New Light Hispanic, Phoenix; Endelicia Ramirez, a member of Centro Cristiano de Alabanza y Adoracion, Phoenix; and Yesid Millan, pastor of Trinity Hispanic, Mesa.

According to Fernando Amaro, Hispanic church planting catalyst and leader of the school, students who attend Escuela Bíblica de Liderazgo will not only increase in their knowledge of both the Old and New Testaments, they will learn the history of Christianity, as well as gain experience in Bible study through Biblical hermeneutics and develop skills for personal evangelism and Christian education.

“They will develop friends for life with other Christians and learn how to work together,” said Amaro, “The teachers are all practitioners in ministry, so we not only teach theory, but practice it.”

The courses, divided into categories, begin with basic sessions designed to equip those interested in teaching Sunday School or leading a Bible study or discipleship class. Intermediate level courses are designed to develop an individual’s understanding of church organization, such as for the office of deacon or other ministry leadership roles. Advanced courses of study at the school are for those pursuing pastoral ministry and church planting.

Amaro said that in a recent Personal Evangelism class, a student who had never witnessed to anyone shared that she was able to use the knowledge and skills gained in the class and was used by God to lead two people to Jesus. She was immediately able to start discipling them as a result of what she had learned.

Since its inception, Escuela Bíblica de Liderazgo has graduated 20 students, some of whom are serving churches in Mexico as well as those in Arizona. There are approximately 10 churches represented among the current student body of 25, including some non-SBC churches.

Though students pay tuition to attend, the school also relies on support from the giving of Arizona Southern Baptist churches through the Cooperative Program to help with operating expenses, books and student financial aid.

Two classes are offered each semester, which consists of 13 three-hour sessions held in the evenings each week. Interested individuals may contact Fernando Amaro at 602-769-7572 or email fernando@azsbc.org.