God is at work in Madagascar. He has invited (called) the church to participate in this work (His mission). In order for the church to fulfill the calling for the great commission, it needs to have an adequate understanding of the world and be ready for this task. The seminary equips the church with theological education in order to effectively engage the world with God’s redemptive message (gospel).
The last five years, we have been training pastors and church leaders every summer in conjunction with the local International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries’ effort and the Global Theological Innovation (GTI) from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS). In the summer of 2019, we were able to train more than 70 key leaders in prayer, christian ethics, and in leadership, according to the Epistles. The students enjoyed the classes, and all seemed to have done well on the exams. What has struck us all is how much the students are still discussing and applying the lessons to their own lives and to the churches and Bible study groups they lead. We are seeing the Lord convict of sin, give clear guidance and direction, and provide answers to difficult questions. One example is guys willing to walk more now so that they can continue to pray as they go. The same team separated and did some ministry days that we know have impacted many and has allowed the Gospel to keep progressing forward into the darkness.
There are different approaches to theological education from doctoral level, residential seminaries, all the way down to local, vernacular, grassroots bible school approaches. In order to have healthy and biblical churches, every minister called by God needs the training to equip them with a contextualized theology in their social-cultural context irrespective of their educational background. For the church to be missional, its theology must be robust. In order to gain that strength, theological education must be offered to all, and at all levels. The training we did in Fort Dauphin the past five years straight is a preparation for the launch of the Fort Dauphin Baptist Theological Seminary (FBTS), it has to start with these leaders from the grassroots Bible school approaches before it reaches to the residential seminaries.