The International Graduate School of Leadership was built on the vision of its founding organization, Campus Crusade for Christ, to help train, develop, and mobilize Christian leaders around the world to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ. This commitment to develop men and women as effective leaders led Campus Crusade to establish the Institute of Biblical Studies (IBS), a short-term, graduate level training program for deepening participants’ knowledge and application of the Word of God.
In 1973 IBS was allowed by the State of California to grant certificates. In 1978 it expanded to become the International School of Theology. At the same time, efforts began to establish similar schools in Africa and Asia. The Campus Crusade leadership in Asia started assembling faculty and administration for the establishment of a school in Baguio City, Philippines. In 1980 Dr. Somdee Poosawtsee of Thailand was chosen as Director of ISOT-Asia and Dr. Ananda Perera of Sri Lanka was selected as Dean. Under their leadership, the school officially opened on October 5, 1981.
To have greater impact in a more strategic location, ISOT-Asia moved to Manila in 1990. In 2006, to emphasize its thrust toward the development of leaders for the Asian church, ISOT-Asia changed its name to International Graduate School of Leadership. IGSL’s campus now has over 10,000 sq. m. of dorms, offices, library, and classrooms on a one-hectare property in Manila, Philippines.
The school has grown significantly. The resident school population now includes about 290 students from 22 countries. One-half of the degree students come from outside the Philippines, many from countries most in need of hearing the gospel of Christ. Others prepare themselves as missionaries to Asia through the Master of Divinity Intercultural Studies major, Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership, and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program.
Over its 35-year history, the variety and scope of its programs, the number of faculty, and the corresponding impact of the school have greatly increased. Extension programs now reach almost 2,000 people each year through short-term training programs for rural pastors, seminars for Christian leaders in various Asian countries, and evening classes in Metro Manila.
IGSL’s graduates serve in significant ministries around Asia and other parts of the world. They participate in urban church planting, tribal outreach, ground-breaking gospel teaching among unreached peoples, rural pastors training, missionary training and mobilization, and Bible school leadership. Some are now leading nonprofit organizations in other sectors of society. Ninety-seven percent (97%) of IGSL’s graduates continue in full-time ministry. By God’s grace, IGSL continues to fulfill a strategic role in equipping Asian Christian leaders to help fulfill the Great Commission in our generation.