Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
We are excited to bring you the latest edition of the ISTL Albania Newsletter, where we share updates on the remarkable journey of our program at the International School of Theology and Leadership. Our mission is to equip and develop future generations of Christian leaders through strategic and innovative Bible education. Here are some important highlights from the past few months.
Accreditation Process Update:
We are thrilled to inform you that ISTL Albania has been actively engaged in the accreditation process with the European Council for Theological Education (ECTE). We have diligently worked on preparing the necessary documents and meeting the requirements outlined by ECTE. We are now in the review stage, eagerly awaiting a response in September. Your prayers and support during this critical phase are deeply appreciated.
Enhancing Student Experience:
We have made significant improvements in order to enhance the learning environment for our students. Our dedicated team has relocated the library to a better setting, providing easier access to valuable resources and creating a productive space for studying, research, and reflection. We believe this enhancement will greatly benefit our students in their academic pursuits.
Translation of Theological Books:
In our commitment to meet the need for theological literature in Albanian, we are delighted to announce that we have successfully translated and published the book “Power in Weakness: Paul’s Transformed Vision for Ministry” by Timothy G. Gombis. This work sheds light on the power of God in our weaknesses and provides valuable insights for ministry. Furthermore, we are currently translating three more books, aiming to provide a wider range of theological resources in Albanian, facilitating the growth and development of our students and the wider Christian community.
Upcoming Graduation Ceremony and 15th Anniversary Celebration:
We are eagerly anticipating the upcoming graduation ceremony on September 29th, where we will celebrate the achievements of our graduating students. This year’s ceremony holds special significance as it coincides with the 15th anniversary of ISTL Albania. Graduation is a joyous occasion to celebrate the students’ growth, dedication, and commitment to the calling God has placed on their lives. We invite you to join us in prayer as we prepare for this momentous milestone and celebrate God’s faithfulness throughout these 15 years of equipping and empowering Christian leaders at ISTL.
International Students’ and Teacher’s Testimonies:
At ISTL, we have been blessed to welcome international students who have experienced the transformative power of our program. Here are three testimonies that capture the impact of ISTL in their lives:
Lisa, an American student, shares her journey of becoming a virtual student at ISTL. Despite initial concerns, she took a leap of faith and joined our program. Lisa commends the exceptional support from our staff, the quality of instruction, and the sense of belonging to the ISTL family. She highlights the invaluable equipping and training she has received, both academically and spiritually, and wholeheartedly recommends ISTL to international students seeking a Christ-centered education. Read the full testimony here.
Shanu, a student who embarked on his theological journey at ISTL, shares his testimony of transformation. He describes his initial attraction to ISTL due to its academic excellence and global faculty. Shanu speaks of the comprehensive curriculum that deepened his understanding of Scripture and equipped him to serve his community for Christ. He expresses gratitude for the supportive faculty, staff, and fellow students who made him feel at home, overcoming the challenges of being an international student. Read the full testimony here.
We have the privilege of sharing another powerful testimony, this time from one of our esteemed faculty members, Stanley Pede. In his personal testimony, Stanley recounts his unexpected journey to Albania and the profound impact it had on his faith. Visiting the country that was once considered Godless and closed, Stanley discovered the heartbreaking history of Albania and the government’s control over its people. What started as a one-day visit turned into a deep connection with the country, its people, and ISTL. Stanley shares how he was encouraged to teach at ISTL and witnessed the school’s growth and the students’ eagerness to learn. Despite challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and a health condition, Stanley recognized God’s guiding hand and the students’ unwavering commitment. Through Stanley’s testimony, we are reminded of the transformative power of education and the impact ISTL is making in Albania and beyond. Read the full testimony here.
As we embark on this crucial journey of accreditation and continue our efforts in providing quality theological education, we humbly request your prayers. In the coming months, you will also hear about an exciting leap of faith that ISTL will be taking with a capital-building campaign to raise significant funding for a new facility. The overwhelming blessing and growth of ISTL has given us a need for increased classroom and facility that can no longer be postponed. This has been a need for several years but has now become urgent. We will keep you updated as the process takes place and we covet your prayers and support in this great step forward. We deeply value your support and intercession.
We thank God for His faithfulness and the wonderful community that surrounds ISTL Albania. We are committed to serving Christ and His Kingdom by equipping and empowering students to impact their world. May His grace and peace be with you all.
In Christ’s service,
The ISTL Albania Team