Recently, I completed training at Radius International. The training prepares long-term workers for the first 5+ years on the field. We study language learning, business development, literacy, initial curriculum development, and how to accurately communicate truth linguistically and culturally.
These tools prepare us for the initial steps in reaching a specific people group. Once a gathering of believers is established, then we start translating the Word into the heart language, developing more detailed teaching materials, and training leaders from the community. This enables the fellowship to stand on its own.
While Radius provides a significant amount of training in the Word, it is not a seminary. Most students, myself included, seek out additional Biblical training. This training is either through online classes, seminary, and classes/resources provided by our home fellowships.
Radius recognized the need for additional training for long-term workers and established the Radius Theological Institute (RTI). It’s a 12-week, intensive, lecture-based program located in Bakersfield, California. The program covers several in-depth topics, including: the doctrine of God, the Trinity, Biblical theology, historical theology, etc. A detailed listing of courses and schedules can be found at radius institute.org.
The short timeframe and modularity of the classes doesn’t allow professors to assign projects or papers, so the program is lecture-based and has an intensive book list requirement that covers around 4,000 pages. Students meet five days a week for three-four hours daily, and typically spend another four hours a day reading. The program’s focus is on equipping long-term workers, but it is open to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of God’s word and grow in their relationship with Him.
I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the inaugural class led by Dr. James Dolezal from Cairn University, and visiting professors Dr. Michael Morales and Dr. James Masters, from Greenville Seminary. I’m only four weeks into the 12-week program, but have been very challenged by the coursework. The work is such that it would be impossible for me to provide any sort of meaningful synopsis of the material. However, the concepts of divine simplicity and the implications for the Trinity and the Biblical theology of the Pentateuch have completely blown my mind. I’ve been challenged to re-think my own views on these topics. This is a sentiment has been expressed not only by the other Radius grads in the class, but also by several pastors who are taking some of the modular classes.
While the professors are very knowledgeable and the curriculum is excellent, the biggest plus of RTI is the professors’ academic pursuits. Their teaching style reflects that they are motivated by a deep love for God, and a desire to know Him better. Thus far RTI has been an invaluable resource for me, and am looking forward to working my way through the rest of the curriculum.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.
From the Field,
A Radius Graduate and Goer