Our eleven course curriculum normally takes students 18-24 months to complete. Taught by our OBM Pastors.
The uniqueness of the program is that OBM's objective is to take the courses to the students with minimal expense to them. It is often times too expensive and logistically too difficult for potential students to attend formal seminaries or Bible schools therefore the curriculum is made available to them through OBM teachers who will host classes anywhere in the four lower coastal counties they find enough interested students to justify renting a house or office to hold classes.
In the beginning, OBM intended to give current pastors, that had never been formally trained, a foundation of good doctrine and the basics of pastoral duties. Over time, men not called to pastorship desire Bible training, and eventually women were joining the classes. Today, out of the classes completing each year, approximately 4% of all male graduates express their interest and calling to plant a new church if they aren't already a pastor.
In Kenya, there are three levels of post-prep education: Certificate, Diploma, and Degree. The Degree is the same as the United States which is a Bachelors level education. The Diploma is much like an Associates level education. And the Certificate is the foundational understanding of a person's trade. Due to the proliferation of random and many times criminal "religions" and "preachers" that were lying to, abusing, and robbing Kenyans, the Government of Kenya now requires all pastors leading churches to at least have a Certificate level of education. Although the basis of OBM's curriculum is of seminary quality and is based on a theological seminary degree program that Dr. Alvin Low taught for many years in American Seminaries, OBM presents its training as Certificate level only.
OBM is mobile, however presently we have three locations that are nearly permanent because of so many potential student in a certain area. They Teveta Centre (near Mount Kilimanjaro), Shanzu Centre (just North of Mombasa Island), and Kinondo Centre (on the South Coast near Diani Beach). But the ministry still goes to other communities as needed. If a particular village has at least five or six interested people, OBM's instructor will establish a school schedule where the instructor will travel to that village as often as the students are available to meet.
The usual timeframe to complete all the courses listed below varies. Some classes can meet four hours a day, three days a week. Each topical course requires approximately 125 classroom hours. And that greatly varies depending on each students formal education in public school effecting their ability to keep the pace of other more educated or experienced students. Most groups go through the curriculum in 12-18 months.
The cost is intentionally kept low. The entire course curriculum is 16,500 KES (~$165) with 1,500 KES due prior to the start of each course to cover the instructors travel or office rental costs and the printing of the booklets.
All instructors are OBM Pastors of our church plants. But not all OBM Pastors are instructors. And the qualifications to be invited to be an "OBM Pastor" is listed on the Church Plants page.
Below listed are the course topics for the entire OBM curriculum, listed in the order they are taught (L-R, Down). Printed in the U.S.A., 2000. © Alvin Low. All Rights Reserved.
Keys to Unlocking the Bible
Hermeneutics, or methods of Interpretation. This course teaches the student how to discover the meaning intended by the original author.
A survey of the Old Testament that is not meant to an exhaustive study of each book.
Unlocking the New Testament
A survey of the New Testament. Not exhaustive, but the students will learn the foundations of the 1st Century church and what it means for their local church.
The NAME Above all Names
Uniqueness of Christ. The students will dive deep into the centrality of all Christianity. That it is the person and the work of Jesus Christ.
Clearing the Fog from the Pulpit
Biblical preaching, or Homiletics. This course prepares God's messenger to become effective communicators of His Word.
Healing the Wounded
Biblical counseling. This book teaches the future pastor or lay-leader how to use the Word to help with the struggles all church member sometime will face in their lives.
Unchanging Truth in Changing Times
Biblical Doctrines. The students are expected to learn not only proper doctrines, but to be prepared to prevent the spread of heresies.
Descending into Greatness
Biblical leadership. As all good leadership is rooted in humility, this material shows that the pastor fully surrendering to God is the paramount to leading his flocks.
Unfolding the Drama of the Ages
Church History. This study covers the major events in the church over the last 2,000 years and the reasons for those events and the lessons for us today.
Touching Lives for Eternity
Biblical evangelism. This book teaches basic evangelistic skills and outlines to core underlining spiritual needs, commitment, and behavior of an evangelist
This course addresses the dangers of misinterpreting passages in Acts that are normally used to abuse the the work of the Holy Spirit.