It wasn’t that long ago the LifeWay Global team dreamed about ways to resource pastors and other church leaders around the world — those with extremely limited or no access to formal theological training. The vision of Ariel Irizarry, the leader of LifeWay Global’s training, became a reality when LifeWay Equipa (pronounced aye-KEEP-ah) — a Spanish-language training platform — launched in May 2019 at lifewayequipa.com.
The digital platform stems from the desire to respond to the needs of pastors and lay leaders around the world, said Craig Featherstone, senior director for LifeWay Global. “We’re hearing the heartbeat of the church and the nations toward understanding how to contextualize solutions for the local church,” Featherstone said of the international outreach of LifeWay Christian Resources, which is now distributing resources in 164 countries.
The Equipa digital platform now has 7,250 members who have earned 2,500 certifications for completing Equipa courses, which include interactive quizzes interspersed within a teacher’s video instruction typically spanning an hour. To use Equipa, a pastor or church member creates an account at lifewayequipa.com.
Encompassing 35 courses in leadership, groups, women’s and children’s ministry, the interactive video courses are taught by LifeWay Español authors and other experts. Equipa’s next steps will include courses on ministry to youth and an extended program of 12-15 courses, including New and Old Testament, preaching and church administration.
Within the U.S., Equipa can be an aid to churches with Hispanic congregations or ministries, Featherstone said.