Advance International has experienced tremendous growth in East Asia since 2011. We have conducted training in over 36 locations throughout the region. Our student enrollment exceeded 2,100 students over the last ten years. By God’s grace, we were able to complete over 550 classes, with over 500 graduating from our training program.

    A significant development in our work came with the cultivation of qualified Asian teachers who live in-country. These teachers have earned, accredited theological Masters degrees and have experience in pastoral ministry. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, we were able to continue training throughout the region through these Asian partners. As a result, 10 classes were completed in 2020 with an enrollment of 115 students.

    Another expansion of our work in 2020 was the video recording of our 8 courses. These recordings have expanded our outreach to more pastors and church workers. The videos provide a helpful tool for our partners who can oversee Advance training in their context. 

    In 2021, we faced continued restrictions because of the pandemic. Yet, we were able to maintain our active centers throughout East Asia with a number of students completing the requirements for graduation. We believe the Lord Jesus Christ opens doors which no one is able to shut (Rev. 3:8), and we praise Him for these advances in training pastors and church workers. We are hopeful that the pandemic will ease in the coming year, and we will have opportunity to return to this region with more resources for gospel advance and the strengthening of the church. Thank you for your prayer and support in this work.

    Advance International East Asia Director: Jim Law

  • Kenya

    The Theological Education Team of the Baptist Mission of Kenya (IMB) has launched two AI sites among Maasai associations and have five other prospective sites around the country.


    One of those sites is the Matapato Baptist Bible School. Built a number of years ago by Southern Baptists, the school rests between a former missionary house and a meeting house for the local church. Unfortunately, the school sat unused for 10 years until the initiation of the AI program.


    The students are hungry for sound biblical teaching as formal theological education programs were not accessible due to cost and distance. The AI program fits nicely into the Theological Education Team’s diversified strategy. In this strategy we are bringing biblically-sound, academic theological programs to the closest local level as possible (local church, association, etc.). By so doing we are able to keep costs down, making education affordable and accessible.

    The other site is Ilmamen Baptist Church located in Kajiado County, which is in southern Kenya. The training site was established in September 2021, and it is composed of leaders who are excited for this opportunity to have robust theological training. Most of the leaders are Maasai, so both of the sites in Kajiado County are strategic locations to strengthen the numerous Maasai churches in the region.

    These two schools are entering their final year and they will graduate 27 students in the spring!

    Advance International Sub-Saharan Africa Director: James Bledsoe


    We are excited about our first group of students that will be graduating from Taitung in the Spring.  Taitung also has 10 new students that will be starting in March.  There are four centers now in Taiwan with Kaohsiung having its first class in March.   

    Taiwanese Director:  Guffy


    We are excited about the progress of our Advance Center in Tokyo, Japan!  

    They just finished their sixth class with five students. These courses are being taught in Japanese and this training has become a meaningful tool of ministry for our IMB partners.


    We are exploring other regions of Japan and would ask partners to pray specifically for the Sapporo region. Pictured with Jim is Pastor Jeon san, who has pastored the same church in Sapporo for 30 years!  With his help we are trusting the Lord to establish a center there for His glory to train pastors and teachers for the building up of the Church and the spread of His word.


    As we end this year, we do so with great thanksgiving for how God is opening doors in a country that has been identified as the second least evangelized nation in the world.


    “May God be gracious to us and bless us

         and make his face to shine upon us, Selah

      that your way may be known on earth.”

                                                    ~Psalm 67:1-2a

    Advance Japan Director: Jim Law


    In early October at our Advance Thailand school in the Nan province, a group of nine Hmong students graduated .  The graduation was 2 hours filled with deep and meaningful expressions of their love and commitment to the Lord.  Jim Law preached the graduation sermon from the text 2 Timothy 2:1-13.  His message was “Be Strong in the Lord.” 

    Please pray for Thai and Ming Her, our IMB partners, as they continue to lead our school as well as minister to that area.  They are pictured along with Jim Law, Vice-President of Advance International.   

    Advance Thailand Director: Jim Law


  • dominican republic

    La Romana serves as the site for Advance International Dominican Republic. Located on the coast and surrounded by sugar cane fields, this location provides theological education for students of various backgrounds and occupations. Advance International Dominican Republic typically holds classes all day Friday and Saturday with exams on Sunday afternoon after church two to four times a year. Classes consist of 25-35 pastors, teachers, and church leaders, both men and women of all ages, who serve local churches in a variety of capacities. Though primarily a cooperative ministry of the William Wallace Baptist Association and Baptist Associations of Southeastern Louisiana, instructors come from churches and theological institutions throughout the United States.


    Advance International Dominican Republic Director: Keith Sheridan

    Advance International Dominican Republic Site Coordinator: Polo Savenit



    Located in an area near the capital and surrounding mountain villages, Advance International Honduras holds classes in the Valle de Angeles, Honduras. Classes are offered in the fall and the spring of each year with each fall and spring session including two classes per session that are held over a five day period. Typically the classes run from Wednesday through Sunday. Students include a great mix of young men called to ministry as well as older men who are currently serving in ministry.

    They graduated 15 this fall and have enrolled 60 for the upcoming schools starting in the spring.  Here is their graduation video from 2023:  


    Advance International Honduras Director: Dr. Joel Williams

    Advance International Honduras On-Site Coordinator: Mario Barahona

  • First class of Advance International Namibia


    Our school is hosted by Christian Baptist Church in Ongwediva, Namibia. Pastors and church leaders from across Northern Namibia and Southern Angola attend. Teachers are David Warren, Pastor of FBC Seymour, Texas and Chris McLain, Pastor of FBC Bandera, Texas. 

    Advance International Namibia Director: David Warren


    -During 4/9-11, Dr. Charles Stahl, came and taught the seventh class of this term

    “Hermeneutics”. Dr. Stahl is pastoring a church in Kingsville, Texas. For 3 days, 15 pastors and leaders of the churches studied the word faithfully and in Spirit. Dr. Stahl emphasized the importance of not only understand the content of His words but also the context to be able to teach and lead and make healthy disciples out of their church members.

    -Our students are already self-studying the eighth class (the last!) of the program “Pastoral Leadership” which will be taught during 7/9-11 by Dr. Bong S. Choi. Please pray that our pastors and leaders be disciplined as they study. And pray that all of our Nicaraguan pastors and leaders, their family members, and the church members that they serve, and the brothers and sisters throughout Nicaragua would practice in their lives what they learn from the words.

    -Please pray for the third term AIN class starting October of 2024. We need to secure a venue, recruit new students, and mobilize necessary resources. Pray for us that we follow God’s leading only when we make decisions of any kinds.

    Advance International Nicaragua Director: Dr. Bong Choi

    Advance International Nicaragua On-Site Director: Dr. Sung Kim  


Our schools fall into two groups. The schools in East Asia, Japan, Kenya, and Taiwan are funded and administrated over directly by Advance International. 

Occasionally we have people who have a real passion to start a school in a country where they are serving. If this is true for you, then unfortunately we cannot start a new school for you, but if you will find people, churches, or organizations that are willing to raise the necessary funds to pay for the expenses of the school, and you are willing to administrate over the schools (find local leaders, local students, meeting location, teachers, translators, etc.), then we can partner with you to make sure you meet the requirements so your students can receive the Biblical Ministries Certificate from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

If you would like more information on how to start a school, please contact Advance International President Phil Walker.