Nazarene Bible Institute re-opens in Nicaragua
Nazarene Bible Institute in Nicaragua reopened on 5 January 2020 after closing nearly 40 years ago. The institute is a sub-site of the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Guatemala.
The purpose of this center is to provide comprehensive training to people called by God to pastoral ministry, as well as to provide continuing education to the pastors of the four districts of Nicaragua.
The inauguration was carried out with a service of thanksgiving and dedication, attended by the four district superintendents of the country, pastors, district leaders, graduates of the institute, and members of the Church of the Nazarene in Nicaragua. Regional and global leaders also attended.
Among them were Ulises Solís, rector of the Nazarene Theological Seminary of Guatemala and project consultant Roberto Hodgson, who is the Multicultural Ministries director for the USA Canada Region. Global Work & Witness Coordinator Stephen Sickle also attended along with Work & Witness groups who will improve the center’s infrastructure and begin construction of the new Nazarene Convention Center on the campus.
The institute closed due to a combination of the Nicaraguan Revolution that began in 1979 and the building of Seminario Nazareno de las Américas in Costa Rica in 1970.
In 2017, pastors and district leaders in Nicaragua began dreaming of bringing back the Nazarene Bible Institute. Pastors and students in Nicaragua had to go to Costa Rica or Guatemala to get their education. Now, within their own country there is the opportunity to further their education and answer the call to ministry without having to leave the country.
“In spite of the situation, the civil war … they have 200 churches in four districts,” Hodgson said. “There has been some growth, obviously. If we can prepare 15 men and women every year, I can imagine through it, [the church] could open 100 churches in a decade. It’s doable.”
Since 2017, countless hours have been put into the renovation of the facilities thanks to multiple Work & Witness teams, including groups from Costa Rica. The original DS who oversaw Nicaragua in the 70s has returned to the country for the first time since the civil war and is volunteering as the school’s chaplain.
Leaders hope to open a retreat center on the campus, which is located on the shores of Lago de Nicaragua (Lake Nicaragua). They hope the retreat center will provide students with employment to help pay for their tuition to the school.
For a previous story on the Nazarene Bible Institute in Nicaragua, click here.