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South America

Novo Tempo enrolled more than 160,000 new students in 2021

Growth in the number of Bible students that are in the Biblical School project demonstrates a model that works in partnership with the local church.

Brazil | Felipe Lemos

Since it was founded, the Novo Tempo de Comunicação Network has had the mission of taking the Gospel message to its viewers. Traditionally, the network does this through television and radio programming, along with audiovisual products. However, in 2016 the network introduced a new resource - the Novo Tempo Bible School. Thousands of people in South America have already been reached by the work of this branch, which has surprised the network's directors with its growth.

The South American Adventist News Agency spoke with Felippe Amorim, the current manager of Novo Tempo's Bible School, to understand the method of work and its development over the past five years. Check out the interview: 

How does the service to students at Novo Tempo (NT) Bible School work?

We have 32 collaborators at the NT Bible School. They are divided into different work areas as follows: telephone service, WhatsApp, and pastors. We also have four people ready to give our students direct one-on-one help when they have questions about Biblical topics or need spiritual counseling. To speak with one of our advisors, simply call 0XX12 21273121 during business hours.

How is the connection of the Bible School with the local church and the pastors?

There is a very strong connection between the NT Bible School and the local churches, so much so that our students can be served by a local church if they prefer. Today, we have 46 District Bible School (EBD) coordinators spread across eight countries in South America, and that number is expected to grow rapidly. Our objective is for each administrative region in this territory to have an EBD coordinator. These coordinators manage the 422 Novo Tempo Spaces that currently exist. They also help district pastors in assisting our students who are in their territory and who request local church support. When someone asks for a pastoral visit, a closer accompaniment to study the Bible, or even a prayer in their home, we connect with our team in the respective region. Some of these students continue on with advanced Bible studies, they are welcomed into our churches, and make a decision for baptism. To date in 2021, 5,288 people have been baptized throughout the territory as a direct result of the partnership between the NT Bible School and the local churches. 

What are the current numbers of students and Bible studies, both physical and digital?

We send an average of 30,000 Bible studies per month throughout Brazil, whether for people who are already our students or for those who contact us for the first time. In 2021, just through the month of October, we registered 163,502 new students. Right now, the numbers of Bible studies provided are as follows: 

  • Printed and online: 339,630
  • In PDF: 131,772
  • Total: 471,402

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How has the performance been in recent years?

We have been continuously advancing over the past five years. Interestingly, growth in 2020 was unusual. This was because of the pandemic - people were at home and were very distressed; this led them to look for answers in the Bible. The numbers for the last five years are as follows:

  • Students in 2016: 177,797
  • Courses taken in 2016: 369,834
  • Students in 2017: 148,615
  • Courses taken in 2017: 337,526
  • Students in 2018: 142,452
  • Courses taken in 2018: 313,774
  • Students in 2019 :138,029
  • Courses taken in 2019: 303,373
  • Students in 2020: 183,576
  • Courses taken in 2020: 468,088

What are your plans for the future?

In 2022, we plan to launch four new Bible studies in magazine format. Each of them will have a link with video classes on our website, bíblia.com.br, to facilitate learning. We will also be launching this website in a new format, as well as an application that will make it easier for our students to be served in all of the countries in our territory. 

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site.