Opif, Dune - True to its commitment to produce the next generation church leaders, the OPIF Bible School (OBS) is set to confer a Diploma in Theological Studies to 61 hopefuls with commencement exercises tentatively set in October this year.
Originally with 99 enrollees in the running, the OBS opens School Year 2018-2019 last year after the OPIF Board of Directors foresees pastoral requirements consistent with its vision of Church planting worldwide launched a few years back.
“OPIF Philippines alone has 7 Sectors and 1 is set for inauguration come March 2019 in Pagadian City, the first in that region, and the need to develop, train and later deploy a number of pastors are just but the proper steps to take given OPIF Organization has grown to 8 Sectors and that’s within a span of over 4 years from its incorporation”, Pastor Michael Sanchez, the current Director of Board Education Ministry and the OBS Director said in an interview.
Now on its final term, a drop of almost 38% from the 99 enrollees was recorded this school year compared to the same period during the ATMM batch where more than 50% dropped the course in the middle of the academic year.
Pastor Raymond Reyes, the School Head and currently the Education Director of National Council of OPIF-Dunes explained in an interview that the decrease in number was expected. “Since our students are also full time employees and the balance between having yourself endured in an 8-hour class coming in from a 6 days full work a week is something that you have to will, otherwise the chances of reaching the finish line is remote”.
“We also have lesson learned from the ATMM Batch where the curriculum was designed with tough doctrinal subjects from the initial run and that pushed the students to back out even before reaching the midterm because we did not allow them ample time to adjust. This time we made sure we gradually ushered them with light to heavy subjects all along”, Pastor Michael Sanchez was quoted as saying.
Asked how OBS helps in his chosen field of endeavor, Franco Antonio Quiminales, one of the would-be Minister said “OBS enhances my understanding of the Word of God and this becomes my Armor, the same understanding will I also teach to those who have not heard the word of God just yet”.
True enough, the same was echoed by Pastor Tyrone Reyes, OBS Faculty Staff, during an interview. “This School Year’s Curriculum is more diversed than the last time we had our ATMM graduates since this time, we incorporated lessons previously not taken up and these are the very subjects which we believe each graduate should learn prior to actual field deployment”, stressed Pastor Reyes.
Apart from doctrinal studies, the hopeful will also be exposed to actual job trainings where mentors will evaluate performances of the students.
This year’s commencement rites will feature academic awardees and special awardees alike. All graduates shall also be accorded a Ministerial License by the Board of Directors.
OPIF Inc. held similar graduation ceremony in October 2014 with close to 30 students conferred a Diploma in Theology and are now active pastors and ministers in different OPIF churches worldwide.