Bringing Ministry Skills
into Conversation with
the Biblical Text

 

 

 

We help Christian adults of all backgrounds
improve their skills for effective personal ministry
thru responsible, conversational approaches to biblical texts.

Grow Your Skills for Christian Ministry:
3 Skill Sets

Choose any or all of the skills you want to focus on and master.

Six modules (40 hrs) for personal ministry: 

  1. Understanding "Self" and How it Communicates 
  2. Communication and Conversation 
  3. The Relational Nature of Conversation
  4. Mastering the Art of Relational Conversation
  5. Behavior in the Context of Life Span Development
  6. How to Refer when Professional Help Is Needed

Certificate of attendance & completion is offered for this series.  Available only thru the GOLD & Platinum tracks.
Click here for full info.  Taught by Dr. James C. Savage. 

Ongoing English Bible Study Seminar

  1. Weekly, live, online seminar on a biblical book or topic
  2. OT, NT, and related literature covered
  3. An emphasis on responsible, conversational study methods
  4. Interactive context of Supportive Engagement
  5. Lively 24/7 discussion group
  6. 600+ hrs of recorded English classes at your fingertips 

See also 2 videos below**
Taught by  Dr. Gary D. Collier, Dr. Richard Davies, and others.

Choose Your Own Level from Start to Finish

  1. Learn Baby Greek for basic word studies 
  2. Step up to Greek as a Spiritual Discipline
  3. Master Greek thru weekly, live, online translation seminars
  4. Lively 24/7 discussion group
  5. 600+ hours of recorded Greek classes at your fingertips

See also 2 videos below**
Taught by  Dr. Gary D. Collier, Patrick Spicer, & Lee Patmore

For All Skill Sets,
You Get the Following . . .

  1. LIVE, online, weekly seminars, as if around a table.
  2. Your choice of skills:  Skills for Personal Ministry, or for Biblical Text, or both.
  3. 24/7 email-based discussion group.
  4. All past courses (600 + hrs) are available by recording.
  5. As much personal attention as you want.
  6. No "Tuition monster." A nominal  tax-deductible monthly membership fee.  
  7. Become part of a study group excited about high quality study.

Register Here

GOLD Track
Click Here to Register for
Skill Sets 1 and/or 2
(Ministry / English Text)
PLATINUM Track
Click Here to Register for
Skill Set 3
(Greek Text)

Skill Set 1 (Ministry) is only available in the Gold Track.  For a full description of all tracks, click below.

See All 5 Tracks

**Two short info videos help explain Skill Sets 2 (English Text) and 3 (Greek Text). 

 
 
Request a Personal Conversation

Who Are We

 

Our Philosophy

The world has changed.
Training in biblical text must change.

Time

You know your own schedule.  
8 AM classes three days a week are out of the question.

Location

 Why move, fight traffic, or, wear out your car, when you can engage from your own home.

Cost

College programs have gone through the roof in costs. Even auditing a class can be prohibitive.

The Conversational Model

Our key focus is on conversational Bible study and personal ministry.  By conversational, we do not mean "shooting the breeze" or aimless gabbing about the Bible;  we refer, instead, to skilled listening and deep level interaction, both in our personal ministry activities and with biblical authors through their texts.

All personal ministry should be based in and grow out of responsible, contextual, and conversational applications of biblical texts. Avid Bible readers, teachers, preachers, and other church leaders should understand and approach their personal ministries in the context of high quality, conversational study methods and approaches to biblical texts.  For reading biblical texts, we have developed and teach Power-Reading the Bible, including the PROBE method, to help facilitate a conversational experience.

"Why I came to IABC!" 

Lee Patmore

IABC Board Member
Teacher/Shepherd/Preacher

My concern is that the church today, having long grown weary of wrangling over Biblical texts, has become fearful of a deep engagement with the very texts designed to give her life.

The church is in desperate need of a responsible model for how to engage with and be shaped by Biblical texts. IABC provides that for me.

Twila Higginbottom

IABC Board Member
Bible Teacher

I came to IABC (then CWP) to engage in responsible, contextual Bible study and conversations for the purpose of being transformed into the likeness of Christ in a community of Christ.

It seems to me that many Christ followers are increasingly of the mind that Bible study is not relevant or too hard to do. It's easier to have someone else tell us what to think‚ÄĒthrough tradition or doctrine or authoritative stance. We often don't believe the Lord will engage¬†us in¬†our¬†sacred writings. IABC is just the place for that type of engagement:¬† both with the Lord, and with with each other.

Gary D. Collier

IABC
Director

Personally, I want a more serious  engagement with biblical texts than most churches offer.  

I want study partners who energetically advocate responsible, contextual, and conversational biblical-text study, not only for personal reasons, but also for the health and growth of Christians and churches in the 21st century.

We Don't Offer
a Traditional Degree Path

If you need a biblical studies or ministry degree as a requirement for professional or personal reasons, an accredited university is the path to take.  Depending on the program, one might find good teachers, classes, and fellow students. 

The "T" word:  Tuition is the monster in the room.

Continuing support after the class might be lacking.  (E.g., students who take a year or two of Greek have forgotten most of it within a year or two.) 

Location might be an issue.  Some courses might be available online.

Personal attention might be lacking in large classes.

Watering down biblical-text offerings has become commonplace in many universities, diminishing the amount and the quality to appeal to a wider cache of students. 

We don't offer "degrees."  College degrees can be very beneficial and many of us have them and appreciate them. But high-quality biblical-text study and personal-ministry applications are not limited to college classrooms, degrees, or high tuitions.  Our approach provides continuing, affordable support that goes well beyond what colleges are able to offer. 

Our Current Live Seminars

English-Text
Weekly Seminar

A respectful & jaw-dropping
look at what biblical texts
claim about each term.

Greek-Text
Weekly Seminar

Our Team is working through
the Greek text of 1Thessalonians, incl. grammar, vocab & more

Ministry Skills
Coming This Fall--2024

Effective Ministry Training Series begins. Dr. James Savage will begin this 40 hour series.

What People Are Saying

"Nothing comparable to this exciting innovative
program!"

"Having a cup of coffee with the authors of the NT" is both an exciting and appealing way to conceive of what is a unique encounter with the text of the NT. Gary Collier, the moving force behind the program, is an extremely gifted Bible scholar and at the same time an especially exciting and effective teacher. Those who participate in this program will not only receive the very best instruction but will find practical resources for their spiritual life and their daily walk. I know of nothing comparable to this exciting innovative program and I am happy to recommend it with the highest enthusiasm.

Professor Donald A. Hagner, Ph.D.,
George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament,
Fuller Theological Seminary

"First-class content
in high-definition quality!"

[The following note was sent, unsolicited, to our study group
by Lee, a longtime member of the group, during the year-long study topic
"The Apocalyptic Context of the Bible."]

I was unable to attend LIVE on Sunday, so I just now finished watching the recording. I‚Äôm grateful that¬†our sessions are recorded for us and are available in our online Virtual Commentary. The recording is first class in terms of technology. Those who have not been with us from the beginning (2012) are likely not aware of how much work/time/money has been put into the process of developing such high quality video recordings. I am very pleased that IABC has invested so heavily in this area. Watching the video is almost like being there in person. There were a number of times in watching the recording when I just about started to type something in the chat box ūüėä.

Not only that, the class content bears witness to the same level of investment. It’s nice to start getting a sense of how the journey we have taken thus far in the study of the roots of Apocalyptic concepts through the literature of ancient Mesopotamia and the like will bear fruit in our contemplation of Biblical texts.

Lee Patmore
Preacher, Shepherd Team, Student of the Word
Saskatchewan, Canada

"I wish every Bible study
could be like this.
"

[The following note was sent privately and unsolicited by Jim, a member of the group for less than a year, during the year-long study topic
"Scripture, Canon, & Inspiration:  A Fresh Look."
Included here by permission]

I wish every Bible study could be like this:¬† nondenominational, open minded, and lead by a professional scholar with other knowledgeable participants. It's a definite blessing for me and I've learned valuable information, particularly continuing to clear out some faulty assumptions that are easy to fall into regarding "scripture" and canon. My knowledge is much less than some of the others so I can't necessarily contribute the same level of input, but it clearly benefits me‚ÄĒand some of what I learn can be (delicately) shared with those I worship with.

Jim Eoff
Retired chemist and industrial manager
Lives near Bandera, TX.

Barry Francolino 
Christian Cross Cultural Worker based in Romania
Now temporarily in the Netherlands
and being GP (Grand Papuci aka Granddad) to our first grandson of eight weeks!

"Refreshing, motivating,
and inspiring
"

[The following note was sent privately and unsolicited by Barry,
while working himself thru the recorded Apocalyptic Context course. 
Included here by permission]

I’m going through your awesome course on Apocalyptic Context. I’m also going through the GNT3 translation of Revelation. It’s been great to be reading some of the earliest texts that make of the roots of the subject. Yes indeed it’s a very fresh thought to think that the roots of the notion/subject of apocalyptic thinking find their beginnings in ancient cultures we usually only give a head nodding to without giving them their due respect.

I’m convinced that few will do more than give them a nod of the head, but for me, I so respect God’s unreserved historical participation with humanity, that it’s refreshing, motivating, and inspiring to have you do such hard (and serious work) to help us neophytes come to grips with the impact these ancient document have had on our canonized writings and all other writings we would respect related to them.

Ps:  One of my main concerns is that we who hold the Bible in high regard can have a tendency (and thus give the impression) to treat it like a book only given, spoken and dropped en-toto out of heaven. History, therefore, doesn’t matter only what God says does. This is one reason why I like how you are approaching the historical reality that what comes up again and again is that humankind is scared and wants to know what’s our destination and destiny.

More about IABC

Our Primary Focus

Our primary focus is the pursuit of responsible and contextual biblical-text study which seeks to apply academically sound approaches to everyday, real-life settings. Our ultimate goal is to achieve and teach conversational biblical text interactions that bring all readers closer to God, to his longing for us, and to his people.

 

Our Study Partners

Our study partners come from all walks of life.  PhD's, MD's, college degrees, no degrees---highly motivated Bible readers, all.  Women and men from all adult ages, they live in the US, Canada, and parts of Europe.  Those attracted to what we offer have the following traits:

  • although respectful of traditional readings, they all want to think critically about the Bible and Biblical texts.
  • they are, or want to become, independent Bible thinkers.
  • they might be independent Bible students, or they might be small-group leaders, ministry leaders,¬†teachers,¬†preachers, pastors, elders, deacons, or¬†missionaries.

Led by . . .

Under the leadership of Gary D. Collier (Ph.D. biblical studies), IABC communally developed the PROBE approach for reading biblical texts conversationally. Collier taught biblical languages and literature at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA., Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO., and Martin University, Indianapolis, IN., before founding in 2004 what is now IABC.  A full academic bio will open in a new window here.

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Power-Reading the Bible!

 
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Power-Reading Video