The 56th year of Sunset International Bible Institute is off to a successful start. Each school year begins with the faculty and staff coming together for a two day retreat to focus and prepare ourselves for another year of ministry training. This was an important year for me, as well as for the faculty and staff members present. We celebrated together the transition from Charles Speer to Paul Dowell as Dean of the Residential Program at Sunset. Charles gave Paul a heartfelt challenge and Paul has done a great job serving as Dean thus far. We also spent time discussing the impending transition that I will make as I become the Chancellor of Sunset and a new President is appointed. We continue to solicit your prayers in this regard as we go through the final stages of this process. We are confident in the process we have undertaken and in God to bring forward the right person. In addition to preparing for this school year, we also looked forward to an upcoming fundraising campaign. While still in the formative stages, we anticipate challenging our supporters and partners to join us as we seek to expand the Kingdom of Christ both domestically as well as internationally. Like you, we feel the urgency of reaching a lost and dying world for Christ and like you, we feel the urgency of strengthening congregations in the United States and actively evangelizing and planting healthy congregations here. We thank you for your ongoing support and thank you in advance for your partnership as we seek to intensify and expand what we are able to do for God together.
Opening chapel is always a blessing. Faculty, staff, current students, new students and faithful supporters join together to welcome another year, encourage one another and set our minds for the weeks and months ahead. Lindsey Garman, a preacher for more than 50 years, was the speaker for opening chapel and encouraged the students with a practical and biblical challenge as they began a new school year.
There are 165 students currently enrolled to take classes at Sunset in Lubbock this year. We were blessed to welcome 35 new AIM students and 30 new students in our two year program. They join 54 students returning to continue their studies in our residential program. Senior Adventures in Ministry have 46 registered to take classes in their program for seniors. These students come to us from 8 countries and 26 different states. Among these students are mechanics, math teachers, music teachers and missionaries. There are chefs, roofers, firefighters, paramedics, contractors, real estate agents and truck drivers. There are college professors as well as college students. There are farmers, business owners and ranch managers. It’s a large and diverse group of students that are all focused on being equipped for preaching, teaching, ministry and congregational leadership. We are appreciative of those willing to come and study, but are also mindful of those sacrificially giving to make this possible.
Our 56th year of preacher and ministry training is off to a great start. We thank you for your part in making all of it possible.