Vision Leadership Institute in Shashamene, Ethiopia

Vision Leadership Institute [VLI] is a ministry for pastors, evangelists and church leaders of rural churches in Ethiopia. VLI was founded by Pastor Dr. Girma Desalegne, Senior Pastor at Medhane-Alem Evangelical Church, Seattle, WA.

Vision Leadership Institute is a collaborative effort of several members of the Body of Christ, led by Pastor Girma, administrated by local Ethiopian pastors in country, and supported by U.S.-based churches and organizations.

Acts 8 Ministries is proud to be a collaborating member in Vision Leadership Institute.

The vision of VLI is to provide high-quality theological education and pastoral training to existing ministry practitioners in rural areas of Ethiopia where the availability and affordability of such education and training are minimal. The participants represent various member churches of Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia, the largest association of Evangelical denominations in Ethiopia.

Many of the participants are evangelists. They often pioneer into new communities with the Gospel. They usually carry the full-time load of ministry responsibilities, everything from evangelism to discipleship to preaching to counseling. Though bright and devoted, none has any formal ministry training.

After the one-week intensives, one evangelist shared with us, with almost a sign of relief, that he now knew what to teach his congregation.

They are severely under-resourced for their mission-critical tasks!

The office wing of one of the host churches where VLI classes were offered

VLI's growing course offering includes systematic theology, NT & OT surveys, leadership, discipleship, evangelism, global missions, counseling, marriage & family, demonology, church history, hermeneutics, Christian ethics, homiletics.

The one-week intensives the American teams lead annually are greatly appreciated by the local leadership as well as the participants because:
  1. The intensives generates a significant momentum for ongoing training 
  2. The intensives casts a global vision for the participants 
  3. The intensives brings much needed encouragement for the participants 
  4. It is also a time when we coach and encourage the local instructors 
  5. We bring with us books for the instructors as teaching resources
The real power of VLI, however, is the year-long classes that local instructors continue to teach after the intensives. These local instructors are pastors with formal training (usually MDiv or equivalent) who share the same vision to equip and empower ministry leaders in the rural areas. We are blessed to be able to cooperate with these committed and generous leaders.

Vision Leadership Institute graduated its first class of 101 students in 2013 with the certificate of completion. Today, the demand for VLI continues to increase. In 2014 we added Meki as the fourth city to offer the program and trained the total of about 400 ministry practitioners in Debre Zeyit, Nazaret [Adama], Shashemene and Meki. We expanded VLI to two additional cities in 2016.

Some of the ministry leaders participating in LVI

The spiritual future of Ethiopia largely depends on the work of these leaders who courageously go into unreached rural areas of the country to bring the hope and life of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Join the VLI Movement

If you would like to be part of this growing movement, please consider the following options:
  1. Become a financial partner to help keep sending a U.S. team annually
    1. $40 will cover the cost for one leader to participate in VLI for an ENTIRE year
    2. Adopt a city for $250/mo or $3,000/yr to sponsor an entire city
  2. Donate your time and expertise:
    1. VLI website development
    2. Photographer, videographer, journalist to gather stories in Ethiopia
  3. Support VLI Office in Debre Zeyit
    1. Donate books
    2. Donate laptop computers, tablets, iPads
  4. Become a prayer partner to pray for the participants
  5. Go teach as a member of the U.S. training team
If you have questions or are interested in exploring, please contact us at VLI@actseight.org.

Your gift and involvement will enable an evangelist, pastor and ministry leader to participate in VLI for more effective ministry!

To donate toward VLI, please use the PayPal link below.


Dates: Spring 2017
Location: Debre Zeyit, Nazaret [Adama], Shashemene, Maki, Dessie and Welega
Participants: approximately 600 ministry practitioners


Under the leadership of Pastor Girma, the following organizations are working together in mutual love for the Ethiopians to make Vision Leadership Institute a vibrant, growing, Christ-class training opportunity in Ethiopia.