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  • The Registration for SBCD Week begins NOW!
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  Interpreter Training Program  
In response to the great need for intensive, in-depth training for Southern Baptist church interpreters, the North American Mission Board (NAMB) offers Interpreter Training Program (ITP) courses.  The regional coordinator from NAMB’s ITP Advisory Board assigned to your state can provide information and guidance.  These courses can be offered in three venues:
  1. during or prior to the annual meetings of the Southern Baptist Conference of the Deaf,
  2. in conjunction with state conferences of the deaf,
  3. as state convention sponsored ITP events, or
  4. local Southern Baptist Churches.

Many church interpreters have not been able to attend the Southern Baptist Conference for the Deaf (SBCD) and have found it advantageous to attend the ITP classes in their state.  Thousands of persons who are deaf and/or hard of hearing are able to receive the gospel message and continue their spiritual growth through the efforts of these interpreters.

While most ITPs are held in conjunction with state Baptist Conferences of the Deaf, local churches are encouraged to offer ITPs as a separate training activity.

Historical Background

One Man’s Vision Sees Thousands Trained
Carter Bearden is a deaf man who has a heart for seeing the world won to Jesus.  He also is a man who had a God-given vision – a vision that depicted interpreters in Southern Baptist churches sharing God’s Word with exceptional clarity and ease.

When Carter received that vision, he was SBC’s Consultant of Deaf Ministries with the Home Mission Board.  His vision began to take shape in 1985, when he chose six Southern Baptist interpreters from around the country to make up the ITP Advisory Board.  They caught the vision and helped Carter develop a program that would give Southern Baptist interpreters the highest level of professional training ever offered to church interpreters. In recent years, the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf has recognized the quality of these courses by awarding their members Certification Maintenance Program CEUs and ACET credits for each 10-hour course being taught through a NAMB ITP.

The first course was taught in 1986, during the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Conference for the Deaf.  As has been the case ever since, all participants who successfully completed that course were awarded one CEU from the Home Mission Board. 

When interpreters earn five NAMB CEUs, including three required courses they receive a special
“Certificate of Recognition” from the North American Mission Board and will receive certificates for each succeeding block of five courses. Required courses are: The Role of the Interpreter, Baptist Polity and Deaf Culture.

Since 1986 NAMB has offered one or three courses each year prior to the annual SBCD week and many state conventions are offering these classes locally.  Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Southern Baptist interpreters have benefited from the realization of one man’s God-given dream.


Participation Process

States, churches, and/or associations may offer ITP courses by contacting their regional coordinator for information and requirements. 

However any program undertaken without prior approval from the ITP regional coordinator will not be recognized by either NAMB nor the national Registry of Interpreters for the deaf.  In order to receive credits toward NAMB certificates, attendance must be for the full ten hours.

In addition, individual interpreters may contact their regional Advisory Board Member to request approval and guidance for gaining RID Independent Study  CEUs.

Mission Statement 

To equip sign language and oral interpreters to minister in Southern Baptist churches.


Vision Statement 

The vision of the Interpreter Training Program is that people who are deaf and/or hard of hearing be saved, that Southern Baptist interpreters be linguistically and culturally proficient in facilitating communication of the gospel, and that all Southern Baptist churches be accessible to people who are deaf and/or hard of hearing.
  Core Values

We value…
  The necessity of an individual’s relationship with Christ.  
  The establishment of deaf ministries.  
  The ethical role of the church interpreter.  
  The vital role of deaf people in ministry.  
  Accuracy in interpretation, which is achieved through excellence in training on a broad range of interpreting skills and issues.  
  Deaf culture and the rights of people to choose communication and other appropriate accommodations.  
  Enlisting and training qualified interpreters who have been called of God.  
Regional Coordinators
  Joni Bice - Midwest  
  ND, SD, MN, IA, MO, OK, NE, KS    
  e-mail: bice@osuokc.edu  
  Tammy Cantrell - Pacific Basin  
  Canada,  Guam,  Commonwealth of Northern Marinas Island, AK, HI  
  e-mail: tammyscantrell@gmail.com  
  Barb Coffan – Northwest  
  WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, CA, NV, UT, CO  
  e-mail: CoffanB@Juno.com  
  Mary High – East Coast   
  NC, VA, WV, MD, NJ, PA, NY, MA, CT, NH, DE, VT, ME, RI, DC  
  e-mail: mhigh@gardner-webb.edu  
  Hetty Otto - Southeast  
  FL, GA, SC, TN, AL, MS, PR, VI  
  e-mail: hettyo@verizon.net  
  Nancy Parrish - Southwest  
  AZ, NM, TX, LA, AR  
  e-mail: nparrish@verizon..net  
  Ina Faye Price – North Central  
  WI, MI, IL, IN, OH, KY  
  e-mail: p_inafay@bellsouth.net  
Contact the local regional coordinator for information concerning training in your area.
  NAMB is an approved sponsor of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Certificate Maintenance Program making available CEUs for certified and ACET members  
  4200 North Point Parkway
, GA  30022-4176

  To obtain the flyer, click here.  
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