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About iTIM

The Institute for Training in Ministry is a church-based educational program that both equips God’s people for ministry, and involves them in ministry.

It is based on the biblical command to: “equip the saints for the work of ministry and so build up the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). Every local church can become an iTIM equipping center.

Robert L. Samms

The Founder of iTIM. Dr. Robert Samms was a missionary educator in the Philippines from 1957—1979. He taught at the Philippine Missionary Institute, and at the Conservative Baptist Bible College. He also directed the Conservative Baptist Extension Seminary Training and headed the National Office of PAFTEE (Philippine Association for Theological Education by Extension). He served with both the Overseas Missionary Fellowship, and the Conservative Baptist Mission. His education includes an MA in New Testament from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a DMin degree from Denver Seminary.

The Development of iTIM. On return to the States in 1979, Bob incorporated Lay Action Ministry Program (LAMP) as a not-for-profit corporation. Developing the strategy, curriculum and pilot-testing the first course was his DMin project at Denver Seminary, which he completed in 1985. Other highly qualified writers include, Terry Powell, Ch. Ed. Professor at Columbia International University; Dr. Earl McQuay, pastor and adjunct professor at CIU; Dr. Don Fairbairn, Professor of Historical Theology at Erskine Theological Seminary; Jonathan Nelson, extension seminary professor in Spain and Central America; Scott Rowan, Evangelical Free Church pastor; and Wes Haystead, curriculum writer at Gospel Light.

A significant step forward took place when David C. Cook adopted LAMP as part of their Adult Elective Curriculum. As the vision to help train God’s people grew to include training overseas and on higher levels, it was appropriate to change the name to Institute for Training in Ministry (iTIM).

Currently iTIM ministers in four African countries, in the Philippines, and is venturing into a dozen other countries, including the USA.

The iTIM Educational Methodology

iTIM’s educational methodology is defined as “head”, “heart”, and “hands”. This means that:

First, every iTIM course emphasizes strong biblical content. We ask that learners learn the subject matter well. This is the head part of our methodology.

Second, the heart. Every iTIM course contains applications to the learner’s own heart and life.

Third, the hands. Learners are urged to use what they have learned in actual ministry. We are not merely training people for ministry, but also in ministry. A practical ministry opportunity is part of every iTIM course.

How to Get Started

Getting started with iTIM should involve the following steps:

  1. Purchase and complete your reading of the iTIM Operations Manual. Then (depending on your congregation’s needs) preach or teach on the subjects covered in Chapters 1-3.
  2. Once the decision has been made to launch iTIM in your church, make your plan, including which course(s) you will offer first, when and where, and who will lead the study groups (aided by the leader’s guide, which is available for 12 of the 18 iTIM courses).
  3. From our website, order copies of the learner’s workbooks and a leader’s guide. (Orders are shipped from Scottsdale, AZ. Allow 2 weeks for delivery.
  4. Promote the launch of your iTIM. Challenge your people to become equipped to serve our Lord!
  5. Monitor your iTIM each week. Encourage your study leaders and their learners. Make prayer for them and their ministry a top-shelf priority. God will give the increase.

For further information or questions please email:

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