Words of Hope’s Persian discipleship classes exist to give Iranian believers a safe space to grow in their faith alongside other Christians. The conferences also provide training for lay pastors. While churches are closed officially inside of Iran, many house churches meet together in secret.
As the Iranian government persecutes church gatherings, it definitely does not allow seminaries to teach inside the country. Until now, Words of Hope’s in-person conferences, held at a safe location outside the country, were one of the only times that Persian Christians could deepen their knowledge of the Bible. House church leaders attend the conferences and then relay what they’ve learned to their small congregations back home.
But now, through an exciting partnership between Western Theological Seminary and Words of Hope, Persian house church leaders will be able to deepen their understanding of Scripture even further!
The Words of Hope team has worked to translate a lecture course taught by Western’s Dr. Han-luen Kantzer Komline into the Farsi language. Transcripts of the original lectures are being translated and then recorded as videos by Words of Hope. One of the books assigned in the original class is also being translated into Farsi to accompany the video and audio recordings.
Western will make the translated class resources available in an online module to a group of 12 Iranian Christians—all former conference attendees. This smaller class size will allow for a test-run of the online format, which will be offered to the Iranian students free of charge.
The Words of Hope Persian team will oversee the assigning and grading of tests and papers throughout the course, making the experience as similar as possible to the original class offered by Western. Upon completion, students will receive a certificate. The team hopes that Dr. Han-luen Kantzer Komline will be able to attend a future Persian conference to offer further in-person teaching to the students who complete her course!
The videos and book translation are nearing completion. Please pray that this would be an enriching experience for all the students who participate, and that the house churches in Iran would be blessed through these endeavors.
If all goes well, Western and Words of Hope would like to produce more such Persian classes together, enabling house church leaders and other Farsi speakers to receive a full seminary education while inside the country of Iran.