The "Istituto Biblico Evangelico" (or the English equivalent, Italian Bible Institute) was founded in 1959 near La Spezia by missionaries of the Greater Europe Mission. The founders were motivated by a strong desire to offer Italian evangelical churches a tool that would facilitate the preparation of believers to serve in the churches and to reach out with the Gospel.
In 1961, it was relocated in a villa of Montesacro (Rome), and in February 1981, an old country house was purchased and restructured. This country house, that became the new home of the Institute, is located on the outskirts of Rome, near Borgata Finocchio. Here the students enjoy the calm Roman countryside, yet are connected to the city and to its evangelical churches. In 1983 the association I.B.E.I. (Istituto Biblico Evangelico Italiano – Italian Evangelical Bible Institute) came to life. This association is constituted by believers, who share the goals of the Institute and that are involved in the various churches from which the students come. The association elects a council that appoints the executive committee.
During the eighties, the Correspondence School was born, a program which has developed into today's Distance Learning program. Throughout time, many students who could not attend the Residential School benefited from IBEI's educational program studying directly from home.
In the same decade the Extension Schools were born. The idea for this innovative educational program was sparked by the desire of many believers to study the Bible. IBEI thus launched a pilot program of weekend intensives in Sesto S. Giovanni (Milan), and a series of Extension Schools have since begun: Turin, Naples, Palermo, Florence and Rome, to name a few. Also, there have been some extension schools abroad (Germany, Switzerland, Albania).
In 1990 the first issue of Lux Biblica, our school's journal, was published, with the aim to update alumni on theological and ministerial issues, and to stimulate the churches with accessible material for spiritual and ecclesial growth.
In 1996, our three-year program was accredited by the EEAA, the European Evangelical Accrediting Association, member of ICETE (International Council for Evangelical Theological Education) and of INQAAHE (International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education).
In 2009, our Certificate of Theology program has been also accredited by the EEAA in its three modes of delivery (Residential, Extension and Distance Learning). Both of IBEI's degrees have undergone reaccreditation through the years. This has opened the door for IBEI alumni to continue their studies in various institutes such as Evangelische Theologische Faculteit of Leuven (Belgium), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (USA), London School of Theology (England), Tilsley College (Scotland).
Today, IBEI continues to labour in order to serve the evangelical churches in the formation of believers, to be prepared to serve!