Born and raised in Lebanon, Elie Haddad immigrated to Canada toward the end of the civil war in Lebanon in 1990. He worked for 15 years in Toronto as a senior Information Systems & Management consultant.
During this time, Elie felt called to ministry, so he enrolled at Tyndale Seminary in Toronto to earn his Master’s degree in Theological Studies. He was also involved with the Middle East Baptist Church in Mississauga, Ontario, where he served as an elder and a member of the pastoral team.
Despite leaving Lebanon with no intention to return, Elie and his wife, Mireille, felt called by God in 2005 to return home. Elie took a missionary post with Canadian Baptist Ministries and then served as Provost of Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) in Beirut, an Overseas Council partner school. He became President three years later.
Elie is pursuing a PhD in Missional Ecclesiology through another Overseas Council partner school, the International Baptist Theological Seminary (IBTS) in the Czech Republic.
Elie has a heart for the mobilization of the Church, and under his visionary leadership, ABTS has become a missional educational movement, seeking to expand and impact local and regional communities.
He also serves as the Executive Director of the LEARN Project, one of two components of a strategic initiative known as TEACH/LEARN. Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, people are embracing faith, sometimes through unlikely means like dreams, visions, satellite television and the Internet. Overseas Council invests in seminaries in this region where it’s possible to do so. However, in many places, it is impossible to teach a theological class openly, and therefore, believers will never be able to receive quality theological training to fulfill their calling.
The TEACH/LEARN initiative is a program that has the potential to transform the future of theological education in this region. It allows theological training to transcend political borders through satellite television (TEACH) and Internet delivery (LEARN), offering over 30 courses. It has been highly effective in sharing the Good News in restricted-access nations, offering sound defense of the Gospel in the face of Islam and providing solid discipleship for believers. People are embracing Christ in places where the call to prayer punctuates the air five times a day, where sharing the Gospel is illegal and where conversion is punishable by imprisonment, torture or even death.
Overseas Council estimates that TEACH/LEARN will impact millions of viewers and equip thousands of emerging church leaders. It disciples the called and trains them, so they can multiply the Kingdom. Our prayer is that we may witness the rapid growth of the Church in this challenging but key region in our lifetimes. There is new hope for the Middle East and North Africa through TEACH/LEARN.
[TEACH stands for Theological Education for Arab Christians at Home, and its principal delivery medium is satellite television. LEARN stands for Leadership Education And Resource Network, and its principal delivery medium is the Internet, using multimedia instructional technology.]