ISTL is now in the beginning of its 10th school year since its start in September 2008. Initially it was intended as a local church educa-tional program based at the Cen-tral Church of God in Tirana in or-der to equip its own members for leadership and church planting—church planting being the key fun-damental strategy for discipling the nation of Albania.
Yet, soon after its early developing months several pastors of different denominations joined in participation as they saw the need of their own church mem-bers to be equipped for ministry. At first, mostly on voluntary bases, some pastors and missionaries of-fered to teach, mentor, consult, and network.As a result, each year ISTL has progressively grown beyond de-nominational and national borders. The school today has reached and trained students from over 40 dif-ferent denominations and inde-pendent churches primarily from all over the country of Albania, but it has also had the privilege to re-ceive students from the sur-rounding countries of Kosovo and Macedonia, as well as other EU countries. This way ISTL has tru-ly become an international and interdenominational leadership Bible school being the largest in Albania and a dynamic voice in reaching and discipling the Bal-kans. Many of its students are already pastors and leaders who have come to be equipped and strengthened in their calling, whereas the majority of the re-maining students have started ministries and planted churches while studying and being men-tored at the school. We have been in awe of with God’s favor being able to see over 50 churches planted and numerous ministries within -some churches with a multiplication DNA of planting other churches. This last school year we have had the highest stu-dent enrollment ever -presently having over 70 active students in our 4-year bachelor program.The school has grown so much in its influence and impact for the Kingdom, in spite of the limited resources.This is a confirmation to our ISTL family and students that it is following God’s leading into greater things not yet seen. We only can ask so much from Him with limited desires, but God can do exceedingly more than we ask or imagine.The focus of our school is not graduating them in their studies but equipping, networking, re-sourcing and enabling them for planting and strengthening churches, missions and pioneer-ing in areas where the Gospel has not reached yet.Hervin Fushekati
2-4 Nëntor 2023