An Amazing Privilege and Honor!
Nigeria has the largest population of any country in Africa, more than 200 million (7th largest in the world), and is predicted to be the 3rd largest in the world by 2050. Nigeria has the largest economy of all countries in Africa.
Nigeria has the largest evangelical denomination in all of Africa and 2nd in the world (Nigerian Baptist Convention – Only the Southern Baptist Convention in the U.S. being larger);
More than 18,000 churches
Over 7 million church attendees
13 Bible Colleges and Seminaries
Africa’s largest evangelical Liberal Arts University (Bowen University – more than 5,000 students)
and Africa’s largest evangelical seminary (Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary NBTS – more than 1200 students).
The National Baptist Convention also has the largest evangelical missions outreach in Africa, with almost 300 totally funded home and foreign missionaries to 20 African nations and several countries in Europe.
Why do I share these facts? Because YMI has become a part of the NBC’s historic story by assisting in developing and completing the first fully accredited Master’s Degree in Youth Ministry in all of Africa!
On June 1st of this year the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary graduated over 370 students, 20 of whom received our YMI produced MA in Youth Ministry! And, these were not just ordinary MA graduates, as 11 of the 20 already had doctorate degrees, making them eligible to teach the new MA program at the Doctorate, MA, and Bachelor levels, and 9 are able to teach at the Bachelor level … and IN FACT, are already doing so.
This group has already taught some of the youth courses to more than 300 additional students at the MA and BTh levels, just in the past year! The name of the game is MULTIPLICATION, and that was the goal!
In addition to being there to witness this graduation event, NBTS also honored myself and Frank Mills (YMI’s Africa Training Director) by conferring an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity Degree upon both of us! What an Honor… another first for the Field of Youth Ministry in Africa!
I tell this wonderful story to emphasize that this is only the beginning!
In just a few years we have been asked to partner with NBTS to design and develop the first Doctor Degree in Youth Ministry in all of Africa. And the bigger picture is that the real target of all of this training is the entire continent of Africa with its 1.3 billion souls, 70% of whom are under the age of 29.
One out of every four teenagers in the world lives in Africa, and, while we and our partners are targeting those teenagers, so are Satan’s partners!
Please rejoice with us over these recent events in Nigeria, but pray for our efforts with our new Nigerian partners as we together spread the highest level of youth ministry training all over Africa.
YMI is now active in more than 13 African countries through our training initiatives and graduates. Praise to our wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!
– Dr. Randy Smith, President/Founder: Youth Ministry International