Institut Missiologique du Sahel / Missionary Institute of the Sahel (IMS)

The Institut Missiologique du Sahel (IMS) is helping mobilize the African church for mission. The Institute’s one year program equips church leaders in French-speaking West Africa to direct mission agencies and train new missionaries.

While the Mission Institute is located in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, students spend a lot of time learning in field-based experiences. Institute director Joel Gray says, “For too long we have assumed that good content alone suffices in preparation for ministry. However, information alone rarely transforms anyone!”

The IMS curriculum is based on competency and aims to produce leaders with practical, cross-cultural skills. The course’s activities include:

•Traveling to other countries to experience church planting methods.
•Working with craftsmen to discover how hidden cultural values are visually expressed in artwork.
•Praying daily for other nations to increase awareness.
•Spending a month in a village to practice language acquisition techniques.

Since its beginning in 2003, the IMS has graduated 19 students from seven countries. By 2010, they hope to train 30-36 more leaders. Already most of the first graduates are serving in mission leadership, training, or mobilization.

IMS Graduate and Mission Leader Pastor Jeremy Coulibably is a 2004 graduate of IMS. Today he is an effective leader in Africa’s mission movement. The Coordinator for the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CM&A) Mission agency in Mali, Pastor Jeremy is working to change the African understanding of missions. “Most Africans conceive of missionaries as necessarily having white skin and coming from America, but we want to change that perception,” he says.

Thanks to Pastor Jeremy’s leadership, the CM&A church in Mali has sent four couples to work among different unreached people groups in Mali. Now he cares for them by visiting to encourage them and promoting the ministry among churches to raise the support to keep them on the field.

Please pray that God will send motivated students who will influence the African church.

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