IRTC-FITRef - Education for the King | HOME
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April 26, 2016 -- Since September, we have been in an especially busy time and are sorry that we have not given attention to updating the information on this site. Actually, work is under way to publish an all-new, more attractive and more helpful site. Please pray for this, as well as many other new developments in progress.
Please read our monthly newsletters to learn about what has been happening since you last visited this site.
The school year 2015 has come and gone. We are thankful to the Lord for all His provision for the College. The year progressed well. We had our first graduate, Arthur Emmanuel Pascoal Costa.
A new year has begun. In the first module, which ran from February 1 to April 8, there were 44 students enrolled and 7 courses were taught.
At the beginning of February we received assistance in the way of additional administrative personnel. Dr. Leandro Antonio de Lima became the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Daniel Portela became the Executive Vice-President. We have seen great progress in the almost three months they have been working. They are slowly, but surely helping to chip away at the huge amount of duties that have been “on the back burner” for a long time. We are so thankful for all their enthusiasm and efficient help.
Our second module has begun and in it we are testing out a new teaching environment. One course is being taught in the new environment. If this experiment goes well, we plan to host all of our courses on our own WordPress distance education platform.
Please have a look at our “Support Us” page. We have big challenges to meet this year. Can you help us?
September 3, 2015 -- The teaching at the IRTC continues apace and we are now in the third of four annual modules. The courses currently in progress are: Portuguese I, OT Poetical Books, Homiletics, World Religions, and Medieval Church History. Please pray for both our instructors and the students as they face many challenges in seeking to teach and study in the midst of many other responsibilities.
We are excited about a new possibility for providing our college community with libraries of electronic theological books. This will require raising necessary funds. Also, be in prayer for our fund-raising which is not going well at this point. For more details on both of these items please visit our Support Us page. Further, we invite you to read our recent newsletters.
May 29,2015 -- The first module of the year has been brought to successful completion and the second started on April the 20th. Currently seven courses are proceeding well. We thank our Lord for many rich blessings!
A goal of USD$92,000 has been set for our receipts in 2015. As of today's date USD$21,000 has been received, which means that we are not yet on track for meeting this goal. If we consider that our monthly receipts should average USD$7,666, we are more than USD$18,000 short of where we ought to be at this point in the year. All together we still need to receive USD$71,000 by the end of the year. Please join us in praying to the Lord that He may grant the financial means needed for the College.
January 16, 2015 -- With joy and thankfulness to the Lord, we have entered into a new year in His service. We are grateful for a total of USD$62,000.00 in receipts for 2014. This is a busy time of year as we prepare for registrations for the new academic year which starts on February 2nd. Among the courses to be offered in the first 10-week module are: Apologetics, Hermeneutics, The Gospels, Old Testament Prophetical Books, and Ancient Church History. We are thankful for the prayers of many supporters of this ministry. May we count on yours, as well?
November 17, 2014 -- Please be in prayer for our planning for the next academic year which starts in February, 2015. At this point, attention is being given to planning which courses are to be offered. One important concern is that the instructors, who all have other responsibilities, will be able to set aside time for teaching for the IRTC in 2015. We also continue to be in great need of funding. Although we have now received more information that provides with an updated total for receipts, we are still $35,000.00 short of our goal for 2014.
November 7, 2014 -- Currently we are in the middle of the last 10-week module for 2014. The new itslearning teaching environment is serving us well. After an encouraging year in 2013, fund-raising in 2014 is not going well so far. Please be in urgent prayer about our financial needs.
After 13 years of faithful and cheerful service, our registrar, Mrs. Layse Anglada retired at the end of 2013. We praise and thank the Lord for this sister in Christ and are now also rejoicing to be able to thank Him for the work of her successor, Mrs. Fernanda Menezes, a busy pastor's wife and mother of a toddler in Belém, Brazil. This year we have also been privileged to welcome two new members to our Board of Directors: Mr. Tulio Leite of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Mr. Daniel Portela of Calgary, Canada. We gratefully acknowlege the contributions to the college given by the retiring Board members: Dr. Leorges Fonseca and Mr. Michael Coleman.
April 14, 2014 -- We give many thanks to the Great Provider, because our receipts in 2013 were the highest in any year so far! The total amount received was $59,807.00. Please join us both in giving thanks and praying for the needed income for 2014. For administrative reasons our budget has not yet been finalized. However, there are several important needs that have been postponed and certainly will be included in the new budget. Further, since some significant contributions last year were one time donations, it will be even more necessary to continue to expand our support base in 2014. We look to brothers and sisters who are willing and able to help us both with contributions and with promotion of this important missionary and educational ministry.
2014 started with a flurry of activities, because of two important new developments. First, our Portuguese-language website (www.fitref.org) was totally redone and now looks spectacular. Second, we have begun to use a new teaching environment known as itslearning, a cloud-based platform that provides our instruction with all the latest options. The first module of studies for this year has been very productive, with 37 students from Japan, Brazil and Mozambique studying one or more of 5 courses. The second module is scheduled to begin on April 21. We are privileged to serve the Lord in this ministry that reaches students who have no other option for faithful Reformed training. Please join us in making this possible and persevere in prayer to the Almighty that His word may speed forth (II Thessalonians 3:1) also through the IRTC.
March 31, 2013 – The first 10-week module of studies, which started in the first week of February, is already drawing to a close. The second one starts on April 22. Most of our courses are progressing very well, but we ask your prayers for some instructors who are having difficulties in meeting their obligations (due to accumulating many commitments). We are thankful that the Board of Directors was privileged to approve four new instructors at their meeting on March 7.
January 31, 2013 – In 2012 God granted us a total of 65 students: Brazil 40, Mozambique 17, Senegal 2, Canada 2, USA 2, The Netherlands 1, Japan 1. By his grace, we taught 21 courses. The financial support from friends of the College also increased. Although total receipts were less than in 2011, they attained more than USD$38,000.00, which was practically half of what was budgeted. Clearly, this is still far short of what would be needed to have the college truly prosper. Nevertheless, it is notably better than prior to 2011. For 2013 we are budgeting USD$66,500.00. Please pray that the Lord may use his people to make the budgeted receipts a reality this year.
August 31, 2012 - Now in the third quarter of the academic year, the College rejoices as the student body has grown to more than 40. Our receipts are still not on track to meet our budget for this year. However, we abound with thanksgiving because donations have been notably higher than in previous years. Please visit our Support Us page for more details. Also, our latest newsletter has been posted on the Newsletters page.
February 25, 2012 - God has granted a good start to a new school year. We have been blessed with eleven new students, including one in Japan. We give thanks for the formation of a local study center in Ceilândia near Brasilia. For more information, please see our newsletter for this month, posted on our Newsletters page.
We greatly rejoice that our receipts for 2011 were significantly higher than in previous years, although we still did not attain the total budgeted amount. We received USD$46,200.00 towards a budget of USD$72,000.00. Our budget for 2012 has been set at USD$80,500.00. Please pray that God may be pleased to provide the full amount this year. To see our 2012 budget, please click on the link at the botttom of our Support Us page.
December 15, 2011- IRTC now able to offer tax receipts in Canada! As of this month, the IRTC is able to take donations in Canada and offer a tax receipt for them. For more details, see the note on our Donations page.
October 27, 2011 - The Lord has done many good things for the IRTC since April. Our president and his wife traveled to Brazil in connection with celebrations of the tenth anniversary of our founding. Various people and places were visited, with the highlight being celebrations of thanksgiving to the Lord at a conference in Belém. To share in our encouragement through these visits please read our October 2011 newsletter on our Newsletters page. Throughout 2011 the College was promoted and well received at a number of conferences in Brazil. More than 4,000 people heard about the IRTC in this way. Also, our Portuguese language facebook account has been flourishing in the past few months. We are currently in our final module of instruction for 2011 with 24 students registered and a few more finalizing their registrations. Please continue to uphold us in your prayers with thanksgiving. Although better than previous years, our financial receipts are still well below our budget. Please visit our Support Us page for more details.
April 14, 2011 - We apologize for not keeping up with updating this website. We are shorthanded and this time it was this site that did not receive due attention. We have not made progress with regard to raising financial support. Please pray about this. Also, have alook at our "Support Us" page where you can find a link to our budget for 2011. Because we did not receive the needed support last year we had to increase the budget for 2011 to include the gratuities we were not able to give to the instructors. The total needed for this year is USD$72,000.00. Please consider if you can help in any way.
October 17, 2010 -- "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits"(Psalm 103:1-2).
Today the IRTC community celebrates the tenth anniversary of the College. On this occasion we exalt the Lord and are glad. Our students have been deeply impacted by sound Biblical teaching. They have marveled at God's majesty and mercy as they pondered the truths expounded in the courses. They have sung praises as they considered the fact that good quality education was theirs, even though they lived far from normal sources for such training.
Men and women of God in Brazil, Mozambique, the U.S.A., Senegal, Portugal and Canada appreciate Dr. Frans L. Schalkwijk's pastoral compassion and strength as he leads them through the highways and byways of church history. Dr. Elias Medeiros' contagious passion for evangelism and missions is embraced with thankfulness. The principles of Reformed hermeneutics and homiletics, ably taught by Dr. Paulo Anglada, are gratefully accepted because they are presented with clarity and Scriptural authority. This is only a sampling of the joy experienced by students who often have longed for the opportunity to receive faithful Bible training at post-secondary level, but were previously unable to receive it due to isolation, distance, or manifold commitments to family, work, and church. What a breakthrough the distance education of the IRTC has been for these servants of the Lord! These students count it a great privilege to study with the IRTC and give glory to the Lord on the day of the tenth anniversary of the College.
The IRTC instructors also count it a privilege of God's grace to be allowed to serve students and churches that are otherwise inaccessible to trustworthy Reformed post-secondary education. Although it is very demanding to be responsible for IRTC courses in addition to the many commitments each of the teachers already has, a sense of duty and calling inspires the instructors as the Spirit of God works in them both to will and to do what is needed to attend to the needs of the IRTC students. It is a most glorious task to be stewards of the manifold grace of God in Jesus Christ!
"The steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments" (Psalm 103:17-18).
Our community blesses the Lord for providing perseverance for financial supporters, for faithful Board members, for volunteer administrative staff, for instructors, students and local mentors. There is only one God and Father of us all who is in all of us spread throughout the world. Blessed be his name! The Lord has tested us with opposition, with an overload of responsibilities and with a variety of health difficulties. Lightening strikes have repeatedly burnt out computers. Hackers have brought down our server and overwhelmed us with extra work when we already were not keeping up. Yet we count it all joy to encounter these trials, knowing that through them our Lord works perseverance and steadfastness.
Praised be the God of gods on this tenth anniversary of the International Reformed Theological College! He has heard your prayers. His grace is evident in the fruit in the lives of all the members of the College community. In all humility and grace his Son gave his life for us. With thankful hearts we humbly labor to promote the glories of him who called us out of darkness to declare his marvelous works to all generations.
"Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul!" (Psalm 103:20-22)
Do join us in praise and prayer.
August 20, 2010 -- We are now in the middle of the third quarter of studies for this year. Twenty-seven students are enrolled in one or more of four courses: Introduction to the Bible, Old Testament Historical Books, Modern Church History, and Evangelization. Please pray for the students and the instructors. All are very occupied in the Lord's business and it is difficult for each one to give adequate attention to these studies. Our receipts so far this year are still far from attaining our budgeted needs, since we have received only one-fifth of what is required while three-quarters of the year are almost gone. Please visit our "Support Us" page for more details.
February 16, 2010 -- In 2009 there were 51 students enrolled in at least one of the courses taught by the IRTC. The 2010 academic year is now well under way and we pray that the Lord may lead even more students to look to the IRTC for training. The year began with the adoption of a revision of our programs of study which better meets the needs of more students and more closely conforms to academic standards of North American colleges and universities. We are in great need of more financial contributions. The budget for 2010 calls for USD$61,000.00 in receipts to meet our needs. Please consider whether you are able to help in any way.
November 7, 2009 -- We have now completed 4 weeks of the last 10-week module of studies for this year. There are 28 students, 1 from Portugal, 12 from Mozambique, and 15 from Brazil. A new course offering for this quarter is Apologetics (defense of the faith), taught by Rev. Franklin Ferreira of São Paulo, Brazil.
We are also pleased to welcome Mr. Harold Ludwig to our community as development director for Canada and the English-speaking world. If you are interested in communicating with him about supporting or promoting the IRTC, he can be reached at
. Our financial needs for this year are still very great. To October 31 we have received USD$15,998.35. Our needs for this year are budgeted to be USD$58,500.00. Please join us in our prayers to the Lord for his gracious provision.
August 20, 2009 -- Our third module for 2009 started on July 27. There are 28 students studying one or more of the following courses: Research Methodology, Greek III, Hebrew IV, Old Testament Prophets, Medieval Church History, Doctrine of Salvation. We are particularly thankful to the Lord for the opportunity to teach 8 new students from Mozambique. Our receipts to this date are USD$10,800.00 towards an annual budget of USD$68,000.00. Please be in prayer for instructors who labor faithfully, but cannot yet count on any gratuities for their services.
April 2, 2009 -- The IRTC is organizing an association of "Friends of the IRTC" that will help support and promote the work of the College. You are invited to become a member. Please be in prayer for the formation of this association and that the Lord may provide a volunteer to do development work for the IRTC.
February 25, 2009 -- Although we closed out 2008 with rather low receipts (only $23,547.12 of the $62,500 we budgeted), the IRTC continued to grow. The number of courses taught grew, as did the number of students (34 who took at least one course).
We are off to a good start in 2009. Currently there are 22 students. Mr. Franklin Ferreira is teaching Government and Economics. Greek is being taught by Dr. Paulo Anglada and Hebrew by Mr. Sadiomar Pelisser. Dr. Frans L. Schalkwijk is giving instruction in Ancient Church History. Mr. Jorge L. Barros is ministering a course in Introduction to the Bible. Old Testament Poetical Books are the subject of Mr. Paulo H. Brasil's instruction.
For 2009 the IRTC has a budget of USD$58,500 and we recognize that we need many new donors to achieve this goal. We have had to raise the fees paid by the students and also pray that other brothers and sisters will help out. Our Financial Statement and Budget can be viewed from a link on the "Support Us" page.
August 28, 2008 -- The third quarter of this academic year began one month ago and both instructors and students are very busy as they work on courses. Our Introduction to psychology is being taught by Dr. Lindalva Nunes, a Reformed psychiatrist in Belem, Brazil. Rev. Paulo Henrique Brasil e Souza, presently following postgraduate studies at Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Greenville, SC, is teaching on Old Testament Historical Books. A course on the Revelation is being taught by Rev. Jorge Luis Barros, an Orthodox Presbyterian home missionary, ministering to Portuguese-speakers in Mississauga, ON. Dr. Paulo R. B. Anglada, pastor of Central Presbyterian Church in Belem, Brazil, is teaching Homiletics, a course on the principles of preaching. Evangelization is being offered by Dr. Elias Medeiros, professor of Missions at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS. Finally, Rev. Leandro A. de Lima, a pastor in Sao Paulo, is providing a course on Contemporary Theology.
The IRTC is in urgent need of help for support services. She is looking for volunteers to seek financial support among members of their churches, a volunteer to coordinate promotion of the College among Christian brothers and sisters, and someone who might be able to help with matters of educational administration. While our student body is growing and receipts from student fees are increasing, we are still well short of our needs for giving gratuities to our instructors. This year our total receipts by July 31 were US$13,454.35, while our budget for the year is looking for US$62,500.00. Could you help us? Would you pray for us?
June 4, 2008 - The 32 students in our second quarter have three more weeks to complete their courses. Please pray for them and for our support. We have received a little less than US$10,000.00 of our budget of US$62,500.00.
March 24, 2008 - Half way through our first quarter of this year, instructors and students are working diligently to please the Lord in their teaching and studies. We are delighted that there are presently 25 students. We also give thanks to God for permitting us to offer two courses that have not been taught previously. Gradually, year by year, we are building up a full program of studies. Please pray for all of us that we may be found zealous and faithful in all we do.
December 5, 2007 - In just over two weeks our fourth and final quarter of study in 2007 will draw to a close. We have 19 students taking one or more courses, a number that is encouraging. We are thankful for the rich blessings God has given us in faithful instructors who labor diligently even though for all of them the IRTC is not their first calling. With much commitment, they make time for our students in addition to serving the Lord as pastors or teachers in His service in their churches or in other educational institutions. Although the year is far advanced, our receipts are falling significantly behind last year. We have received less than 40% of our budget so far. Please have a look at our "Support Us" page for more details.
October 4, 2007 - We miss our brother, James Olin Coleman, who was glorified by the Lord on September 23, 2007. Olin was a member and the moderator of our Board of Governors. For more information about this brother you can visit http://puritanpro.blogspot.com/ .
Our fourth quarter of this year is scheduled to start on October 15. We are encouraged that six of the seven courses to be taught have not been offered before. We thank the Lord for this growth in our work. Please pray for us and be sure to visit our "Support Us" page to see what you can do to help this educational ministry.
August 16, 2007 - We are now in the third quarter of the academic year. 17 students are taking one or more of five courses: Hermeneutics, Research Methodology, Hebrew II, Missions, and Doctrine of Salvation. Our teaching is proceeding well, with more students than last year. Our administration has gotten behind a little due to our limited human resources, but we think we'll be able to get caught up. Please pray for all of us and have a look at our "Support Us" page to see how we are doing financially. May the Lord grant us all we need as we continue to dedicate ourselves to building a complete program of studies for students who do not have the opportunity to study in a traditional college or seminary.
March 20, 2007 - We apologize for not keeping you posted more often on how the Lord is leading us in our service to him. Our academic year began on February 5 and we presently have 13 students working on four courses. Our prospects for this year are good as we have several more instructors and are now offering about half of the courses in our programs. Each year we are encouraged as the Lord enables us to add more courses to our offerings. For the current year, we have adopted a budget of US$40,000.00. This is an increase from last year, due to the increase in the number of courses. Please pray that our God may supply our needs and that we may reach a greater number of students around the world.
November 6, 2006 - Please pray for our 4 instructors and 12 students who are working on courses this quarter. We rejoice in the Lord and give thanks for receipts that now total US$21,611.00 for the year. This is 70% of our budget. Would you be able to help us meet the full amount this year?
September 13, 2006 - We are now in the third module of studies for 2006. Please pray for our 14 students and 5 instructors who are hard at work at this time. We rejoice in the Lord for our receipts thus far this year. We have now received US$18,686.00 towards our budget of US$31,000 and pray that our gracious God may grant full support for this year.
March 25, 2006 - Eleven students are well under way in following their courses in the first quarter of 2006. We got off to a bit of a slow start and also had a couple of days delay because some of the configurations on our teaching environment needed to be changed. Now the teaching is proceeding well. We thank the Lord for continued blessings that enable his work to go forward. We also rejoice in the prayers of God's people. Our financial support is still limited this year, having received less than 10% of our budget so far.
January 14, 2006 - In December rhe U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has determined that the IRTC is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Tax Code. Last week our Board of Directors adopted a budget of US$31,000.00 for 2006. We pray that the Lord will provide the necessary funds through the generosity of his people. See Support Us for more details.
November 15, 2005 - During the course of the year we taught the same courses as last year and added several new ones: Christology, Biblical Counseling and Hebrew I. Some 30 students were enrolled in one or more of the courses.
Our administrative advances included filing an application with the IRS for non-profit status and participation in the Association of Institutions of Theological Training of Reformed Churches in Latin America.
Our financial support is lagging behind last year's receipts. We have received USD$4,950.00 towards a projected budget of USD$34,000.00 for 2005. Please pray for us and bring our needs before our heavenly Father.
February 9, 2005 - The Lord has continued to grant us significant developments. On January 20, the Virginia State Council for Higher Education granted us certification as a religious institution of higher education, which means we are exempt from state supervision while meeting the basic requirements for a school of our character. We are now able to receive donations online. For this, you may click the link above. You may also be interested in our English-language catalog which fully describes the IRTC. See the link at the top of our home page. We have just initiated the first quarter of instruction for 2005 and look forward to the Lord's blessings on this important teaching ministry. Our financial base increased last year, while so far this year we have received US$1302 toward a budget of US$40,000. Please continue to pray for improved vision for our president, Rev. Ralph Boersema. He is very thankful for continuing improvements, but is not yet able to read.
September 17, 2004 - On June 16 the International Reformed Theological College was incorporated in the state of Virginia, USA as a non-profit educational institution. We thank God for this significant development. Our president, Rev. Ralph Boersema, had an infection in his eye on April 30 and is still recovering after two surgeries. He has not been able to read and this has limited our communications with our supporters. We thank the Lord for blessing the surgeries and ask for continued prayer that his eyesight may recover sufficiently to permit him to read again. In the meantime, our teaching has continued under the Lord's care. We had a successful second quarter and are now about halfway through our third quarter. Our financial support has been quite limited. We have received US$15,539.10 of our annual budget of US$40,000.
March 31, 2004 - Seventeen students are enrolled in one or more of the four courses being offered in the first quarter of this year. With regard to our budget, having reached the end of the first quarter of the year, we have received US$9,456.00 which is 23% of our goal. We give much thanks to the Lord for his great mercies!
January 17, 2004 - The IRTC is now entering its fourth year. Our first quarter of teaching will start on February 2. Pray that the Lord may continue to increase the number of students who seek us out for a sound Reformed education.