West Africa Bible
Institute (IBAO)

—walking alongside the local church globally—


IBAO is dedicated to training leaders to serve the church in Africa’s 22 French-speaking nations. Thirty graduates are serving the church in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. Funding underwrites the training that students receive to provide effective leadership formation through upgrading the resources center, providing student grants, and adding to the facilities.


The total cost for the project is $5,500 per  year.

Project # 42.30131


IBAO opened in 2007 and is dedicated to training leaders to serve the church in Africa’s 22 French-speaking nations. To date, IBAO has trained about thirty students in three programs of three years of course work followed by a time of practical internship in a local church or ministry. IBAO seeks to develop students as future leaders of the church in four specific areas that we call our “4Cs of IBAO”, being to train them in content, competence, character and context.


In Côte d’Ivoire, 90% of trained pastors and many other leaders of the Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire have been trained at IBAO. In 2018, a new group of students will begin training to serve the church as it reaches out into new countries, areas and ministries.

Most students come from poor backgrounds without the means to receive a high level of education. 


How can the Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire continue growing and reaching to its neighboring countries with the hope of Christ? IBAO is one way the local church in answering that question, by raising up new leaders to serve across the region of West Africa. And you can be a part by supporting the work of IBAO.

Your contribution trains pastors who bring the hope of Christ in places you might never be able to reach.


“We would like to see IBAO become truly a training facility that can serve all Francophone areas of Africa where the Church of God is at work, such as Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Burkina Faso.”

Larry and LeAnn Sellers
Global Strategy Missionaries to Cote d’Ivoire

The Church of God in Cote d’Ivoire

The Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire begin in 1992 but was officially registered in 1997. Larry and LeAnn Sellers began their work there in 1996 and have been a constant encouragement toward growth for the last 20 years.

Since its beginning, the Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire has been seen as a hub of connectivity for the 22 French-speaking countries in West Africa. And this vision has been voiced not only by missionaries, but the leadership of the Church of God. The growth of the Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire is seen through the lens of expanding work in French-speaking West Africa, including in countries they already have a presence like Burkina Faso.


In 20 years, the church in Côte d’Ivoire has grown from 25 people to 2000.

“This school is essential to the church here in Côte d’Ivoire. It is from IBAO that all of our workers who are useful to the work come from. And our need for more workers is still enormous. Your support for the ongoing success of this training program under IBAO is indispensable for the forward development of the evangelical church of God in Côte d’Ivoire and other French-speaking countries of Africa.”

Yeo Nanhoua Emmannuel, National Superintendent
on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire

West Africa Bible Institute (IBAO)

The Program

IBAO begin in 2007. Our program of training using intensive modules is adapted to meet the needs of leaders in training who have other responsibilities and find it difficult to spend their full-time living on a campus to do traditional studies. Our current approach brings them to campus for no more than two weeks at a time six times during the year for three years. This allows them the opportunity to continue their other activities or ministries while pursuing studies.

Students contribute to the cost of their education by paying a small portion of their tuition costs and lodging during the modules. They are also responsible to cover their transport and food costs for each module, however, those who come from farther distances benefit from some transport aid from IBAO to cut down on the cost. We also encourage local home churches of the students to provide some financial support of their students at IBAO.


The Administration

IBAO is administered by a committee of five persons, four missionaries and one African teacher. These are Larry and LeAnn Sellers, Bobby and Jenny Mihsill and KWIDI Tamba Emile.  All five teach at IBAO and have one other adjunct teacher, Kouassi Lucien, who teaches the French language courses. In addition we have several other outside professors who teach occasional courses in specific areas.

Why Project Funding?

Though students pay school fees, because of the economic situation of many of the students, on-going funding from outside donors is needed to maintain the school at this time. Outside funds are used for costs such as personnel costs, upgrading the resources center, providing student grants, and adding to current facilities.

The annual cost for these needs is $5,500.


Future Plans


Currently, IBAO uses the facilities of the Church of God National Center located in the capital city of Yamoussoukro.  However, in the next three years, there are plans to build its first dedicated building. This facility would include classrooms, dorm, bathroom, and dining facilities. It would be located on the same property as the national center belonging to the Church of God in Côte d’Ivoire.

As IBAO continues toward local sustainability, they hope to explore the possibility of grants from theological or leadership training structures that seek to undergird leader formation initiatives in Africa with funding, resources and personnel.

Will you join Global Strategy in preparing a path for the next generation of leaders?

Ways to make a difference

  • Online—Visit this link.
  • Check—Make checks payable to “Church of God Ministries” and specify “Côte d'Ivoire IBAO - 42.30131 in the memo line.

For more information, contact Global Strategy Projects at 800.848.2464 or GSProjects@chog.org.

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