Despite Italy's long standing history of a close relationship with Christianity, only 1% of Italy's population is composed of born again, evangelical believers. The small Italian church faces many, great challenges. On one side, it struggles with internal divisions and quarrels, often caused by personality and character flaws more than doctrinal issues. While there are some encouraging signs of cooperation and growth among churches and denominations, much progress still needs to take place in the area of Bible teaching, Christian counseling, and leadership development.
On the other side, there are many challenges regarding our mission in the world. Traditional religion remains our first battleground, since many Italians are inoculated to the Gospel through a religious system that leaves them spiritually lifeless and indifferent towards any sort of quest for biblical truth. This often coexists with spiritism and occultism as there are many folk practices that keep people in spiritual bondage. Moreover, there is a growing secularism that captures so many young people as they pursue life and happiness apart from God. New challenges like immigration and the growth of Islam pose serious threats to the Italian way of life, offering at the same time open doors for exploring the Gospel, both with migrants and with nationals. Investing in the theological formation of future church leaders, teachers of the Word, church planters and missionaries is key to see God's kingdom progress.
Since 1959, our Bible School exists "to assist local churches, in the most adequate and practical ways possible, in the formation of believers. In particular, IBEI is determined to enable students in enlarging and deepening their biblical-theological knowledge, and in developing their character and their practical skills in the context of community, with an emphasis on the task of teaching of God's Word" (read more here).
In 2016, we will reopen our Residential program, where students live on our campus and study full time. This allows them to obtain in three years a Bachelor of Theology degree (accredited by the European Evangelical Accrediting Association). We are the only interdenominational school in Italy that offers such a degree with a full-time campus program. The community life is a unique distinctive of our School, in which we strive to equip men and women to growth in their character and relational skills, along with their biblical and theological knowledge and ministerial competence.
Given the Italian academic and church scenario, there is no "full-time job" guaranteed after obtaining the Bachelor degree. Some students receive a call for full-time ministry, while others serve in their local church with a bi-vocational career. It is therefore clear that studying at IBEI is a financial investment without great potential for monetary returns. This is the reason we keep the tuition as low as possible, as we endeavor to offer quality theological education at affordable costs. We therefore look to the Lord in faith for donors, from Italy and abroad, to keep our ministry viable.
Why "fill the gap"
The yearly tuition of €5000/$5700 per student (including room & board) and the real costs amounting to €7000/$8000 leave us with a gap of €2000/$2300 per student, per year. We call Italian students and their churches to cover the student's tuition, which is already a significant effort for many of them. And we look to donors to give in order to fill the Gap.
Would you consider donating? You may give the full amount of €2000/$2300 to close the gap for one student, or you may give smaller amounts to reduce this gap. Any help will be greatly appreciated and will make a significant impact.
To express our gratitude and to enable you to see the effect of your giving, we will send you a regular newsletter directly from the student for whom your donation will help close the gap. Moreover, if you are able to pay your travel expenses to visit us, we will host you on our campus for a few days for free, and you will be able to catch a first-hand glimpse of how the student is benefitting from our program.
How to "fill the gap"
If you reside in the United States, you can mail your tax-deductible check to "CMML". Follow the directions found here: www.cmml.us/giving.
Please add on a separate piece of paper: "For Italian Bible Institute (IBEI) via OMEFI". For more giving options for US donors, visit www.cmml.us/giving.
If you reside in Canada, you can mail your tax-deductible check to "MSC Canada". Follow the directions found here: https://msccanada.org/give-now/give-by-cheque.
Please add on a separate piece of paper: "For Italian Bible Institute (IBEI) via OMEFI". For more giving options for Canada donors, visit https://msccanada.org/give-now.
If you reside in the UK, you can give a tax deductible gift through "Echoes". Follow the directions found here: http://www.echoes.org.uk/finance/how-to-give.aspx. Please earmark "For Italian Bible Institute".
For all other countries, contact us for giving options.
Download the Fill the gap brochure.