Hi, I’m Dr. Berin Gilfillan, founder of the International School of Ministry, also known as the ISOM. I want to personally welcome and congratulate you on taking the first step in your journey to earning a ministry degree. Your enrollment fulfills a vision that God put in my heart more than 25 years ago – to see His people equipped for ministry service.
The International School of Ministry concept began in the late 1980s when I worked as the television producer for Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke. While filming documentaries alongside Reinhard, as he ministered to millions of people, mostly in Africa, I began to realize that there was a severe lack of training material to help nurture and grow these new converts. Yes, Reinhard would bring salvation to hundreds and thousands of people in each crusade. But a burning question remained in my heart. Who was going to help the pastors in the huge work they were needing to do to disciple the great harvest of souls being won to Christ?
I returned to the USA in 1994 and began working on developing the International Curriculum, which was the foundation of what is now known today as the International School of Ministry or ISOM. This program had two major distinctions not found in many other programs.
First, I decided if we were going to create a powerful training program, why not use the greatest teachers on earth. I realized that nobody had ALL the answers but that different ministers carried unique anointings, graces, and understandings. I brought these teachers to a recording venue and asked each one to share their life message with the global Body of Christ. I had them teach you, direct to camera, and impart not only their knowledge but also to pray for their anointing to transfer into the lives of those being taught.
As you experience these teachings, you need to put a demand on the anointings that these ministry vessels carry. We hear stories from around the world about how people are healed and filled with the Holy Spirit through these powerful messages. Each anointing is different, and you can partake in them all. When prayer is taught, an anointing to pray will manifest. When Reinhard Bonnke teaches you evangelism, you will gain a passion for witnessing to others. When the gifts of the Holy Spirit are taught, you will see them activated in your life.
Because the ISOM has been recorded over 25 years, some speakers may also look a lot younger than they do now. Some even, like Dr. T.L. Osborn has gone home to be with Jesus. We captured most of our teachers in the prime of their ministry years. We are thrilled to offer their legacy messages. We are so blessed that future generations will get to partake in the anointings of great giants like Jack Hayford, A.R. Bernard, T.L. Osborn, Joyce Meyer, and Reinhard Bonnke.
As you watch the earlier recordings of people like Reinhard Bonnke, you will sense that they carry the core passion for evangelism, anointed by the Holy Spirit, that will never date. You will be starting in semester one. These were the very first recordings that we produced. You will move chronologically through the ISOM program and end up with our more recent and current material in your later semesters. Each year we continue to add more NEW content to the ISOM. Still, we have never been able to improve upon the solid and complete foundational teaching contained in our original early recordings. They still today carry tremendous power and anointing and are currently being used in over 150 nations to disciple the Body of Christ.
Over 70 Languages
This brings us to the Second distinctive of the ISOM. That is that it’s designed to be a global program, now translated into over 70 languages. The method used was similar to a consecutive live translation that ministers use when preaching in foreign countries. This method gives us the ability to translate this incredible curriculum into ANY language on earth in real-time.
However, when it came to our English speakers, we saw a dynamic opportunity: to cut the teaching time virtually in half by doing a creative edit on the content. In this way, we can cut 55-minute teaching down to 28 minutes without losing a word of content, thus allowing students to complete the program more efficiently. So if you see a gentle wipe come across your screen, that is what you are seeing. It may be a little jarring at first, but students around the world testify that they soon get used to it, and most are grateful they are saving so much time.
How To Take Exams And Support
Following each course, there will be an exam to test your knowledge of what you just learned. Please take those exams and remember, you must maintain a 60% passing grade for the Associate’s degree and a 70% passing grade for the Bachelor’s and master’s degrees. A failed exam can be taken again once, but a student needs to contact us by email to set up a retake. That email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. This email can also be used for any support issues that you need to resolve. Your overall grade is stored with us and will accumulate until a degree requirement is met. Please do not move to another trimester until you have completed the previous one.
Obtaining A Degree
After completing five semesters, an Associate’s degree in biblical studies may be obtained through our office in California. In the same way, following ten semesters, a student may obtain a Bachelor of Ministry degree. The fun thing about the Bachelor’s level program is its flexibility. A student can choose from several different topics and speakers to tailor their studies according to their own personal ministry passions. Even more, flexibility is given at the Master’s level, but students wanting to go that route will need to contact our office directly for guidance.
At the point of graduation, you will need to email us at email@example.com, and we will guide you through your options for a ministry degree. We work with three major University and Seminary entities that recognize ISOM online credit. You can choose which one best suits your needs. Please remember a $150 graduation fee at the point of obtaining an Associate’s degree and a $200 graduation fee at the point of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree.
Some of you may already have some ministry training from another Bible College or University Program and are looking to complete your training through ISOM online. Please send a copy of any past transcript and degree award to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will evaluate it for transfer credit into ISOM online. Please again remember there is a $100 fee to move outside credit into your isom online program.
Training You In Three Areas
In closing, I want to remind you that the ISOMonline program is designed to help you become a mature and balanced Christian believer. We have many powerful inspirational and impartation classes within the program, but others are more instructional. We work to balance your growth in three areas. First, your knowledge needs to be increased, then your character needs to be molded, and finally, the gifts and callings in your life need to be developed. We always balance the training in these three areas of knowledge, character, and gifts.
Closing – Let’s Get Started
Hey, I am so excited about you starting this program. You are joining a student body of hundreds of thousands from around the world, truly an end-time movement of preparing the Bride of Christ for the coming of Jesus and of preparing laborers for His harvest. This has been a journey of more than 25 years for me. I’m so grateful that you have decided to join me on this journey of getting a ministry degree and educating yourself for ministry service.
Let’s get started,
Dr. Berin Gilfillan – ISOMonline Founder