General,  Learning Network

A new member of the team

I just joined the IBTS team in the role of Development Manager for Learning Network Platform and will be part of the team developing this new initiative. I’m grateful for this opportunity to introduce myself. I’m Tom Arabis, with my wife, Vicky, I have served in Portugal as missionaries since 1990. We are Americans but feel quite at home in Europe. Over these last thirty years our ministry has focused on various aspects of theological education. I’ve served as the Academic Dean at two schools and taught primarily in the areas of hermeneutics/Bible study methodology and Christian education.

I came to Portugal with a master’s degree in Bible Exposition from Dallas Theological Seminary, and while in Portugal I was able to do a second master’s in Education at the Catholic University in Lisboa. My thesis title was, The Social Representations of the Christian Concept of Calling and Its Influence on Vocational Life. Those three areas – Bible/theology, education and calling – shape my ministry. My desire is to see all Christians well prepared to serve God and their neighbor through their lives and gifting no matter where they find themselves: the workplace, their home and neighborhood, and even pastoring a church. That vision calls for the democratization of theological education so that the entire Body of Christ can be prepared.

That led to us launching Teófilos (teofilos.org) in 2005, an online platform for theological education in the Portuguese language. It allows for people to study “anytime” and “anywhere”. Teófilos offers various training programs and also hosts other evangelical institutions so that they too can more readily offer online training to their constituency. In all of this our goal is to see lives transformed by God’s Word being lived out and ministered by Christians who are prepared to cooperate in God’s mission.

As to family, Vicky and I have six grown kids and five grandchildren. Our oldest grandchild just turned two, so being grandparents is a new part of our lives that we are very much enjoying. If you and I have the opportunity to meet sometime in the future, I promise not to bore you (too much) with lots of photos of these five precious kids!