Latino Bible Institute trains leaders
THE FIRST SESSION of the Spanish Bible Institute (2000). In the front row are (l-r) Captain Oscar Juracan, Captain Mario Reyes, Lt. Colonel Alfred Van Cleef and Captain Oscar Tippol.
Thanks to an innovative Salvation Army program, 45 Hispanic students are currently pursuing an education in theology, in their native language, at the Bible Institute for Theological Education (Instituto Bíblico para la Educación Teológica, or IBET).
“The Institute is the realization of a vision born in 1998 at the Long Beach Temple Corps,” said Captain Oscar Tippol, school liaison/director and then corps officer at Long Beach Temple. “Our dream was to establish a theological school, offering college level courses, that would develop effective Hispanic leaders at the corps level.”
The school opened in January 2000, serving 30 students from three corps. With divisional support but with no foundation or educational support from any theological school, the Institute became by faith a school that serves the Southern California Division.
In September 2001, the Hispanic Association for Theological Education endorsed IBET to offer the certificate, diploma, associate and bachelor degree in ministry. Soon after, in December 2001, the Institute received approval to function as a religious institute from the State of California.
For those students who plan to become Salvation Army officers, the Institute and Crestmont College are working together in the accreditation process and in continuing education.
IBET classes are taught quarterly, and new students enroll yearly at the beginning of the spring semester. Students learn Salvation Army doctrines along with their ministry classes and they are encouraged to become “servants” at local corps.
The main campus is located in Santa Ana, with an extension in Long Beach. The campus maintains a library and a computer lab; students can also access the Crestmont College library. Grants are available. For more information, contact Captain Oscar Tippol at 714-545-2937.