Since the 1990’s the Ashaninka Bible Institute has served the many small churches among the 30,000 Ashaninka tribespeople scattered over an area the size of New Jersey. A number of those worshiping communities were started through Institute students and graduates.
The cost of the Ashaninka Bible Institute program is almost insignificant to us, but it is still a challenge in the largely non-cash Ashaninka culture. An Ashaninka lay pastor, for just $300, can receive biblical training and other instruction to help him serve as a lay leader in a village church. The leader and his wife can both study for $600.
The Ashaninka Bible Institute opens its doors every August and September, offering biblical and pastoral training designed to meet the basic needs of the agrarian lifestyle of the Ashaninka people. The students board at the SAM Mazamari property. The professors teach in the Ashaninka dialect and some specific course offerings include: The Life of Christ and the Gospels, a Survey of The Old Testament, Homiletics, Missions, and Scripture Memorization. A basic Diploma of Theology is obtainable through the IBA after the completion of three two-month sessions, realized over three years.
Ashaninka students come from among the 100 or so Ashaninka villages scattered throughout the central jungle region of Peru. Often spouses and children accompany the students and study as well. During their stay, the families are able to grow in certain fundamental areas of learning, such as reading, or in areas of family life, such as learning how to manage a Christian household.