The IDEAL Institute is a lay-level ministerial program that offers classes in Bible and theology to Hispanics in the metro Denver area. Taught entirely in Spanish, the purpose of the institute is to train Hispanic leaders through the systematic instruction of the entire Word of God.
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IDEAL (pronounced ee-day-ALL) is an acronym in Spanish which stands in English for the Institute for the Development and Training of Leaders. Dr. M. Daniel Carroll R. founded IDEAL in 2005 to meet the growing need for theological education in the Hispanic community in Denver. After experiencing tremendous growth, in August 2006 Wilmer Ramírez, an adjunct faculty member of the Seminario Teológico Centroamericano (SETECA), took over as Director. Today the program boasts over 180 total graduates and currently has 161 students enrolled.
IDEAL courses are taught at Denver Seminary by Dr. M. Daniel Carroll R., Wilmer and Vioneth Ramírez, as well as a host of guest lecturers (see Our Faculty). Study materials for the courses are produced by SETECA in Guatemala, where both Dr. Carroll and Wilmer Ramirez serve as adjunct faculty. Students enrolled in IDEAL attend class, complete study materials, memorize Bible verses, do regular devotionals, and carry out ministry projects.
The Institute is also part of a larger partnership between Denver Seminary and SETECA. Currently, Denver Seminary is assisting SETECA build a Masters of Counseling Program and helping to improve their library resources. Conversely, one SETECA professor speaks at Denver Seminary’s annual biblical studies conference and IDEAL uses materials published by SETECA for all its classes. This global partnership supports one of Denver Seminary’s core strategic initiatives, which seeks to identify “multicultural and global dynamics,” and build strategies to share Christ with a multicultural and multiethnic world. As Denver Seminary seeks to train leaders for a globalized church, IDEAL brings an international perspective to theology right here at home.
Dr. M. Daniel Carroll R. is Distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary. He celebrates his heritage from both Guatemala and the United States, joining the faculty at Denver Seminary in 1996. Dr. Carroll earned a PhD from the University of Sheffield, England, a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a BA from Rice University. Prior to his appointment to Denver Seminary, he was professor of Old Testament and ethics and director of graduate studies at El Seminario Teológico Centroamericano in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He remains an adjunct professor there. His latest book, Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church and the Bible, is a biblical-theological orientation to Hispanic immigration. It is now in a second edition and has been translated into Spanish.