Akha Bible Institute is the only full-time Bible school in the Akha language. We opened in 2002 as a long-awaited response to the lack of biblically-trained Akha leaders. Our students live and study for three years at the House of Joy compound. This nurtures a family atmosphere, benefiting both the children and the Bible students alike. Their fourth year is spent interning in Akha villages where they put into practice their new-found scriptural knowledge.
Our first semester began in May 2002 with two full-time staff and fifteen students eager to fill the need for Akha leaders in the Akha church. In March 2006, eleven students became the first graduating class. Each year a new class of fifteen students begins their studies, sustaining the current size of the school at around sixty students.
Our students range in age from 16 to 30. Many have only completed a 9th grade Thai education, but some do not even speak Thai when they come to us. This is not a problem, however, since our curriculum is in the Akha language. Still, we do a two-week crash course in how to read and write Akha at the beginning of the first year. In addition, most of our students come from broken backgrounds, just like our children, and we see our school not only as a place for training, but also a place of healing and restoration. Read Anm’s story: Immigrant to Princess.
Our curriculum includes both traditional courses such as Old Testament Survey as well as individual counseling sessions and teachings on spiritual warfare. Second and third year students participate in weekend internships in the villages, and fourth year students spend a full school year in a village learning practical ministry alongside a trusted Akha pastor. In addition, Akha Bible Institute partners with the Thai government in providing free adult education to our students, allowing them to complete their 9th or 12th grade level education and receive a certificate similar to a GED.
Over half of Akha Bible Institute students go into full-time ministry, many of them returning to their home villages to pastor. They often return to the compound to celebrate special events with the AOF family. We also hold alumni retreats, which have been very popular. In addition, many of our current staff at Akha Outreach are graduates of Akha Bible Institute. Read Atu’s story: Why Won’t You Be Like Other Sons?
How You Can Help
Most of our students are from impoverished families and so we keep our tuition minimal: about $170 per year (full-time room and board for nine months out of the year). However, this does not cover operating expenses for the school and we need additional support for these costs. If you would like to contribute to training up Akha leaders at our Bible school, please click here: Support the Bible school.