What Schooling Is Provided for Pioneers?
Theocratic education has long been a hallmark of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Special schooling is provided for those who devote their full time to the Kingdom-preaching work so that they can ‘fully accomplish their ministry.’—2 Timothy 4:5.
Pioneer Service School. At the end of a regular pioneer’s first year of full-time service, he or she is enrolled in a six-day school that may be held at a nearby Kingdom Hall. Its purpose is to help the pioneer draw closer to Jehovah, become more effective in all aspects of the ministry, and continue on in faithful service.
School for Kingdom Evangelizers. This two-month school is designed to train experienced pioneers who are willing to leave their home area to serve wherever they are needed. They say, in effect, “Here I am! Send me!” in imitation of the greatest Evangelizer who ever served on earth, Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 6:8; John 7:29) Moving far from home may involve having to adapt to a simpler standard of living. The culture, climate, and foods may be totally different from what one is used to. It may even be necessary to learn a new language. This school helps single brothers and sisters and married couples, ages 23 to 65, to cultivate the spiritual qualities they will need in their assignment and the skills that will enable them to be used more fully by Jehovah and his organization.
Watchtower Bible School of Gilead. In Hebrew, “Gilead” means “Witness Pile.” Since Gilead’s founding in 1943, more than 8,000 graduates of this school have been sent out as missionaries to give a witness “to the ends of the earth” with great success. (Acts 13:47) When graduates first arrived in Peru, there were no congregations in the country. Now there are well over 1,000. When our missionaries began serving in Japan, there were fewer than ten Witnesses in the country. Now there are well over 200,000. The five-month Gilead course includes a thorough study of God’s Word. Those who are serving as special pioneers or field missionaries, are at branch offices, or are in the circuit work are invited to this school for intensive training to help stabilize and strengthen the worldwide work.
What is the purpose of the Pioneer Service School?
For whom is the School for Kingdom Evangelizers designed?