Many of the members of the Pars team have been involved in teaching and training Iranian ministers for years. This goes back to the time when many of them lived in Iran and were in full time ministry prior to the Islamic Revolution. After they moved to the west in more recent years, they continued, each in their own context, the work of teaching and training Iranians who came to the Lord in the west. At the same time, they kept their contact with the church in Iran and either through their own initiative or by the help of different organizations, had the opportunity of teaching and training church leaders from Iran in conferences held in neighboring countries. Most of these efforts were of a scattered and piecemeal nature, lacking unity or proper structure and organization. As a result, many started dreaming and talking about establishing a non-denominational Iranian seminary that would make the facilitation of serious biblical and ministerial education for Iran’s church leaders its main goal.
Rev. Dr. Mehrdad Fatehi, the Founder and Executive Director of Pars, has been involved widely in training Iranian Christian leaders in the Diaspora. He ran a two-year Diploma program for Iranians in London for 9 years, and established extension schools in Austria, Germany and the UK. He has also been involved in teaching and training underground church leaders from Iran in the last 10 years. As a result of a growing awareness of the weaknesses of the present attempts at leadership training for Iran, and the need for a more serious attempt at a biblical and ministerial education, he initiated discussion with Iranian Pastors and Bible teachers from different denominations, inviting them to join hands in a united attempt to address this great and urgent need. These later formed the core of the Pars team who gathered together on 15 May 2010 to have the first Board of Directors meeting.
By January 2013, with the launch of student portals, the instigation of conferences and the broadcasting of satellite TV programs, Pars commenced its first year of training. Today, Pars has produced 12 Degree Level courses, held 17 conferences, broadcast 200 hours of lectures through satellite TV and is currently training 230 students in its School. In 2015, Pars will be launching its quarterly magazine, “SHAGERD” or “The Disciple” and hosting the first Persian-speaking Theological Conference in history.
It has been a beautiful and yet challenging journey so far, and we as a team are overjoyed in the progress we have seen in these years, all of which is down to the support of our friends and partners, the hard work of our staff, and above all, the grace and faithfulness of our ever-awesome God.