IDEAL – The Institute for the Development and Training of Leaders
To learn more about the IDEAL Institute, head on over to its main page under Academics.
Friends of IDEAL – Building the Future of the Hispanic Church
Building the Future of the Hispanic Church
Friends of IDEAL is the multicultural partnership of individuals, churches and foundations committed to the vision of educating and equipping leaders for the Hispanic church. As the center of global Christianity continues to shift southward, the need for training Hispanic pastors and lay people in the United States is increasing every year. Because of these new multicultural realities, our response is to renew our efforts to offer top quality theological education to the Latino community in Colorado. Our vision is threefold: (1) Grow IDEAL and Oasis to over 300 students; (2) Start PAP (Programa de Actualización Pastoral), a pastoral continuing education program; and (3) Establish an extension site of the Seminario Teológico Centroamericano (SETECA) at Denver Seminary. Through the extension site of SETECA we will be able to offer accredited university-level classes at an affordable price to Hispanic leaders. In order to accomplish this vision, we need to build a multicultural team of servants, prayer leaders, and givers. We ask for your partnership in this effort to train Hispanic leaders for mission here in the United States and worldwide.
We at Hispanic Initiatives believe that God’s most powerful movements in the world come as a result to prayer. We believe that, if we pray, he will certainly answer our requests (Matt. 7:7-8). That is why prayer is the bedrock of all our work and efforts. Based on Jesus´ parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8), we desire to build a team of 3,000 diligent prayer partners who will commit to praying for Hispanic Initiatives on regular basis.
Since prayer is so important to our work, we take your commitment to praying for Hispanic Initiatives seriously. Please click here to download a “Prayer Covenant.” On your Prayer Covenant, you will promise to pray for specific areas of Hispanic Initiatives on either a daily or weekly basis for a specific amount of time (e.g. 3 months, 1 year). Please send it back to Hispanic Initiatives, or turn it in at class so we can track progress toward the goal of 3,000 prayer partners.
Volunteers form the backbone of Hispanic Initiatives. With an outpouring of generous love, 28 volunteers gave their time to IDEAL and 25 served with Oasis during the 2008-2009 school year. Both current and former students gave of their time to promote IDEAL in local churches, help with set-up and registration for Saturday class, bring food for Saturday and evening classes, manage audio/visual needs, lead discussions, and provide pastoral care to other students. These volunteers epitomize Jesus´ statement, “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” (Mk. 10:43).
As Hispanic Initiatives continues to grow, we are in need of more volunteers. In addition to the volunteer positions of last year, we need additional help working in the office, correcting assignments, editing print and website content, organizing events, promoting IDEAL, coaching students, and setting up food and tables for classes.
Our most urgent needs for new volunteer positions are:
- Setting up food and tables for classes
- Correcting assignments for IDEAL
- Editing print and website content on a timely basis
If you are able to help meet any of these needs, please email .
On the morning of Saturday, September 12th, IDEAL launched its fall classes with a flood of new students. Exceeding expectations, 87 new students started the Plan Básico and attended Como leer la Biblia, a course on biblical interpretation. In addition, 35 students continued their education in the Plan Ministerial, and 11 volunteers helped to register students, serve food, and correct assignments. With over 130 students taking classes on Saturday, as well as the dozens of students registered for night classes, the momentum from the record-setting 2008-2009 academic year seems to only be increasing.
Denver Seminary’s Institute for the Development and Training of Leaders (IDEAL) had a record year in 2008-2009. The number of Hispanic students involved in lay-level Bible and theology classes swelled from 60 at the end of 2008 to 130 at the end of 2009. In addition, a team of 28 volunteers was formed to help promote IDEAL, set-up for classes, bring food, and provide pastoral care to students. Pablo González, a student in the Plan Básico, said of his experience, “Through what I have learned, I experienced significant changes as a Christian. My studies at IDEAL have made a great impact on my life and also in the lives of others in the body of Christ outside of Denver Seminary.”
Students of the Plan Ministerial also spoke highly of their studies at IDEAL. Alma Rincón, a Plan Ministerial student, said, “For me IDEAL has been a great teaching tool in Christian education… Three classes in particular--Pedagogy, A Responsible Life, and Stewardship--have left in me a great desire to serve the Lord.”
In addition to IDEAL, two new initiatives were birthed in 2008: Oasis and “Against the Flow.” Oasis is a women’s training program started by Vioneth Ramírez. Meeting bimonthly for group studies and conferences, Oasis grew from 25 participants in the Spring of 2009 to over 70 this past summer. In addition, Wilmer and Vioneth Ramirez launched a radio program entitled “Against the Flow.” The purpose of the program is to stimulate personal and spiritual growth through engaging Bible teaching. Broadcasted every Wednesday from 11:30am-12:00pm on 810 El Camino, the program is reaching over 15,000 people in Colorado and up to 170,000 in Southern California.
If you are interested in registering for IDEAL or attending a class, please contact Wilmer Ramirez at IDEAL classes take place in the Simpson Leadership Center one Saturday morning a month from 8:00am to 12:00pm (the next class is October 10th). If you are interested in registering for Oasis, please contact Vioneth Ramirez at
Oasis – Training Female Leadership for the Hispanic Church
Founded by Vioneth Villatoro-Ramírez in 2008, Oasis offers biblical training to female leaders in the Hispanic church. After sensing a greater need for the intentional equipping of Hispanic women for ministry, Oasis was created for the purpose of providing ministry training to women who are proven leaders in their local churches.
The Oasis program follows a three-part methodology. First, women commit to spending daily time studying the Bible and completing study materials. Second, meetings take place twice a month at Denver Seminary with other Oasis participants. These meetings include guest lecturers, group participation, and mutual fellowship. Third, participants are required to share what they learn with their local churches.
Training and Studies Offered
During summer 2009, Oasis met Saturdays from 10am – 1pm at Denver Seminary for an eight-week session that began on June 6. These meetings consisted of biblical instruction, group sharing, and usually a shared meal. The theme was Cambio de Imagen (“Image Change”), which focused on the themes of self-image and the Bible’s concept of femininity. This fall Oasis will do a four-month study entilted "Woman, Get Out of Your Crisis."
The participants in Oasis must meet various criteria to be admitted to the program. First, only two participants are allowed from each church. Each participant must also formally apply to the program, which requires a character evaluation, pastoral recommendation, and written commitment to the program.
Oasis by the Numbers
Oasis has experienced tremendous growth in past years. The following numbers tell the story:
- Number of Oasis participants at the end of April 2009: 30
- Number of Oasis volunteers at the end of April 2009: 6
- Number of Oasis participants for the summer of 2009: 70
- Number of Oasis volunteers for the summer of 2009: 25
In addition, Oasis has hosted several conferences at Denver Seminary. On May 2, 2009 Vioneth Villatoro-Ramírez hosted "Señor, Cambia mi Historia" (Lord, Change My Story). Over 150 women were present and the radio station 810AM El Caminobroadcasted the conference live. In December of 2009, Oasis hosted a conference entitled "Mujer, Sal de tu Crisis" (Woman, Leave your Crisis), attended by 134 women.
Links and Contact Information
The following documents (in Spanish) include application materials and advertisements for the program:
- Promocion de OASIS (.pdf)
- Formulario De Respaldo Y Recomendacion Pastoral (.pdf)
- Hoja De Requerimientos Del Programa OASIS Y Firma De Compromiso (.pdf)
- Solicitud de Ingreso a OASIS (.pdf)
Vioneth Villatoro-Ramírez is the primary contact for Oasis.
- Facebook: Vioneth Ramírez
- (303) 783-3137
Against the Flow – A Radio Program for the Global Hispanic Community
Against the Flow is a radio program launched by Wilmer and Vioneth Ramírez which aims to stimulate personal and spiritual growth in the Hispanic community of Colorado through Bible teaching.
Listening to Against the Flow
Against the Flow is broadcasted every Wednesday from 11:30 am -12:00 pm on 810 AM El Camino.
Global Impact - Against the Flow by the Numbers
Against the Flow has surprised everyone with its early impact.
You can contact Against the Flow at:
- (303) 783-3137