The newly formed "School for Kingdom Evangelizers" will accept married couples and single Witnesses
The newly formed “School for Kingdom Evangelizers” will accept married couples and single Witnesses

Single Jehovah’s Witness women will be thrilled to learn that they are now welcome at a new training school that has been devised by the Governing Body, known as the “School for Kingdom Evangelizers.”

In a letter dated November 6, 2013, it has been announced that this new school will replace the Bible School for Single Brothers (formerly known as the Ministerial Training School, or MTS) as well as the recently formed Bible School for Christian Couples.

In addition to accepting single sisters for the first time, Watchtower is now welcoming older Witnesses after raising its age limit for applicants to 65. However, those applying between the ages of 50 and 60 have been told that they must be “self-sufficient (meaning they can provide for themselves)” and “in no need of financial or medical assistance from the organization.” This is because all students of the new school must be prepared to be reassigned to new congregations after graduating.

End of an era?

Details are apparently still being finalized, but whatever form this new school takes it will almost certainly be markedly different from its predecessors – especially MTS (or BSSB), which has effectively been scrapped. Why so?

I attended MTS in 2005, and a significant amount of the instruction on the two-month course was aimed at preparing students for dealing with elder duties. For example, judicial committees and elders’ meetings would be demonstrated, including dealing with disfellowshippings, the giving of counsel, or the discussing of new elders and ministerial servants for appointment.

Since Watchtower insists that women can have no teaching or ministerial role within congregations, it is difficult to imagine the new-look course encompassing the same amount of elder-related material as it has in the past. Unless, of course, Watchtower intends to reverse its policy of restricting the role of women in congregations, which seems unlikely.

Far more probable is that procedural/judicial instructions for elders will now be dealt with solely at the Kingdom Ministry School and the School for Congregation Elders, leaving this new school to focus more on the evangelical side – as the name “School for Kingdom Evangelizers” suggests.

It would make sense for Watchtower to make a more concerted effort to train willing Witnesses in evangelical techniques as growth stagnates around the 1.9%/2.4% mark. The internet continues to wreak havoc on preaching efforts in more developed lands, so likely this new school will equip students to be more effective in getting Watchtower’s message across to increasingly skeptical and well-informed householders.



33 thoughts on “Single sisters welcome in new “School for Kingdom Evangelizers” as MTS/BSSB is scrapped

  • November 11, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Interesting article, Cedars.

    Evangelising school, eh?

    It’s good news that the WTBTS is finally allowing capable women to attend classes, without their husbands in tow.

    As these classes begin, I am sure that details will be leaked and we will get more information about the content of these classes.

    I hope that they won’t be taught slick techniques to confuse issues, as so many witness posters have tried to do on this site recently.

    I see this as a positive change, forced on the WTBTS because of the reality of the stagnation of numbers that they are experiencing now.

    I look forward to learning more about this as time goes on.

    Peace be with you


    • November 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      @excelsheet, Note it is not saying married sisters can attend without their husbands, but mainly, it is opening up training with new, larger facilities to the masses of single sisters [who’ve always done the bulk of the work anyway–volunteering for full-time evangelizing duties to the level permissible by older rules]. And, as Cedars notes, it is most probably focusing on evangelizing rather than administrative details.

      However, with the scarcity of “qualified” men, it would not be surprising to see women assigned to some leadership roles. Most mainstream denominations do have females in pastoral roles–leadership of congregations–as those denominations proffer appointments as a “calling” not a “privilege”.

      When we consider that the key persons to whom Jesus revealed himself, first, were women, it’s a long overdue “gesture”.

  • November 11, 2013 at 5:16 am

    they learn and teach and yet they are missing to meet gods favour

  • November 11, 2013 at 5:41 am

    This is interesting, particularly in light of an anonymous email I received a few days ago. There is a lot more to this, than meets the eye. Interesting development in their history.

  • November 11, 2013 at 7:19 am

    Care to share this interesting development? …. Bit bad to say you have secret info then not share it. Either share or don’t say dude because your just teasing us.

  • November 11, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Well written and informative. The Tower is buzzing in reaction to “increasingly skeptical and well-informed householders” as you say.

    We’ll see how this will pan out…

  • November 11, 2013 at 8:40 am

    The internet isn’t the only thing to hurt JW growth. Historically, when the GB isn’t basically saying the end is tomorrow, growth slows down. Such was the case after the disappointment of 1975, and after the obvious passing of the generation of 1914 that would “by no means pass away.” Growth only increases when people think Armageddon is imminent, and salvation requires being a JW. With the overlapping generation, Armageddon is not imminent, thus growth is low. The GB reaction to this is to find new ways to make the end seem imminent. Thus the overlapping generation was refined such that those who saw the events of 1914 had to be anointed in 1914, and those who overlapped with them have to be anointed when their lives overlapped. The attempt to make the end seem closer is obvious.
    I think the real purpose of including the sisters in the school is to increase loyalty to the organization, which is a major focus of the school, according to a recent graduate.

  • November 11, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Loyalty to men and a organization is what lays a snare. Just another attempt to hook people in to a man made cult.

  • November 11, 2013 at 10:58 am

    The addition of women does seem out of character for the Watchtower. I can’t see them allowing them any more responsibility though.

    Perhaps they will split the sexes for portions of the class. The men can learn how to be elders and the women can learn how to be good submissive elders’ wives.

    It’s a good thing they made that new bible “sister proof.”

  • November 11, 2013 at 11:16 am

    So the upshot this is that they are tossing their two new schools (Bible School for Single Brothers AND B.S. for Christian Couples) after only a few years. These new schools were supposedly founded under God’s direction, and now they’re already on the scrapheap? My guess is that they are struggling to find enough young brothers/couples that qualify to go (or want to go) and thus opening it up to sisters and older ones will widen their demographic a little. Just more evidence that they have a real youth problem at every level of this organization. Plus, having only one school instead of two will be a more effective use of resources.

    As far as the cirriculum goes, they would likely use the material from the Christian Couple school, since that one was already “sister-proof”.

  • November 11, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Sisters could use some training to be evangelizists beyond what they are getting now. Just a few days ago (a weekday) I was laying in bed around 8 AM – just waking up. I heard this soft tapping at my front door (we have 2 doorbells). I figured it must be neighbor, so I grabbed my robe and went down the stairs to see who it might be. Two ladies were standing there dressed in heavy coats, soft hats, high heels and big smiles. They got to see me in my robe, bare feet, hair askew, and half asleep. I knew, of course, that they were JWs and probably “pioneers.” The payoff? “We want to give you this (a “Can the dead really live again?” pamphlet).” That’s is literally all they said – never gave me a chance to say anything. Just smiled at me, turned around, and left. So they woke me up and got me out of bed at 8 AM for that? Have you seen that pamphlet? Somehow I can not imagine Jesus or his disciples considering that to be “evangelizing.” While I was not prepared to invite them in and get into a discussion, but I would expect a bit more than just a smile and a view of their backs. What if I had had questions? Some sort of a short conversation would have been appropriate. BTW – this is the first time I have been visited in years. My house may have been marked as owned by a “mentally diseased apostate.” If so, then why did they even bother to come to my door? But I must not be the only “apostate” in this neighborhood, as I watched them proceed down the street and clearly skip two or three houses before going to another door. I wonder if they teach that in “evangelizing school”?

    • November 11, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      That’s how I used to do it! I was pretty good at the ol’ fake doorbell ring. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone. I was just going along with it for the sake of keeping peace with my family.

      I hope they liked your robe!

  • November 11, 2013 at 11:42 am

    It is just a longer, more intense Pioneer School, which already includes single brothers, single sisters and married couples.
    The only difference is the length and the fact that they might be asked to move to another area or country.

  • November 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    So they are finally catching up with the mormons! The mormons figured out a long time ago, it was better to train folks on how to be effective missionaries and send them somewhere where they do not know people, than to expect people to do it locally.

    Nothing like ripping the mormons off

  • November 11, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Juan, I always went to the 8am knock-on-the-door, robe open as a sign of haste, and I slept in the nude, so I’m guessing that explains why elders and pioneers never came back for next year’s Memorial invite?

  • November 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    John, I think that’s a misunderstanding of JW history. Long, long ago, there was a JW school which trained missionaries and full-time pioneers in evangelizing, congregation start-up and congregation administration, and I believe it was called Gilead School. These graduates had the option of accepting assignments overseas, which is why the recent hullabaloo regarding Indian nationals returning home was puzzling, since JW’s had a program of shipping off missionaries comparable to the other church programs of sending off missionaries.

    Mormons, by the way, do not make missionary duty seem “optional” for men desiring elder assignments because it is a status and usually an initial eldership. If a single fellow can muster himself to handle these “foreign” (but domestic) assignments, he returns with status and rank, and certain betrothal.

    One other facet to think about with introduction of singles into the mix of evangelical school, while they may come to Evangelical School as singles, there’s apparently nothing in the rules about leaving School as singles. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Given the constant whine from many single sisters/bros regarding finding a qualified mate, it seems like a slam-dunk because here two singles have like-minds, and career goals, so…

  • November 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    That’s how I still go Door to door Lol… Fake door bell press…

  • November 12, 2013 at 1:53 am

    Its clearly all about the money. Get those canvassers out there preaching the message for the publishing company WT.


  • November 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Because the Witnesses don’t know where you live unless you are BFF. I’ve lived in the same house for years and went to the same KH for years and no one knew where I lived. If you are not one of the beautiful people then you don’t exist.

  • November 16, 2013 at 1:50 am

    That is the one thing I can’t understand with all the hammering they are getting on the internet, why they are not encouraging more to start setting up web sites. An interested person in this religion has to see positive testimony from others. I’m sorry they just have to!!! If I was looking at buying a car and just before I was about to put the deposit down, the car dealer just happened to say “BTW don’t go looking on the internet because all the lies will make you’d doubt the car maker.” The first thing I would do after I walked out of the car dealership would be to look on the internet. So WATCHTOWER if you are reading this, “if you wouldn’t buy a car like this, then don’t expect someone to choose a religion like this”. Go to where the people are at, and start getting more people talking positively about you. Oh I forgot as a mentally diseased angry apostate, I’m not supposed to be giving them constructive advise. I’m supposed to be tearing them down.

  • November 16, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Awsome, more hot available chicks at the meetings.

  • November 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Nice a school for sisters taught by all brothers. So sisters can go out and teach men and then have them come in and become servants and because they are men they can teach them what to do. Absurd

  • November 18, 2013 at 1:39 am

    Soooooo, isn’t the Thurs. night Theocratic Ministry School supposed to be the ‘school’ to teach JWs to preach? And what about the Pioneer school? On what basis will they select these sisters to attend this elite new school? Sounds like another tier is being added to the WT hierarchy, and just another scam to wind people up.

  • November 18, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    I can see how the school could be “adapted” toward a bit of a meeting place. Connecting single JWs would certainly reduce DFing capable young men.

  • November 20, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Back to issue of malice on ex jws I had not been to a meeting for ten years they needed to talk to me I would not talk I was suffering from pted so they said if I did not want to talk I would be dissociating myself surely this is malice on there part I think if everbody wrote a story and it got in a book we will call it the wtbts malice diaries what do you think…

  • November 20, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    Tiger, your comment wins the internet. The sisters get to be taught by men so they can go and find new men, then those men can get their final quiz by other men, come into the truth, and turn around and teach the sisters who found them in the first place, and most of whom are old enough to be their mother. One circuit overseer had the gall to tell me that “obviously Jehovah views women as equals.” I should have asked him equal to what? Pets? The rocks he could make cry out? Lordy I do not miss that place…

  • November 24, 2013 at 6:21 am

    The publications have been given without cost for years so it’s not about money. If anyone offers a voluntary donation without being asked then that is accepted. But at no time do Witnesses ask for money.

    • May 30, 2016 at 1:37 am

      The witnesses don’t ask for money? They always ask for money from their members. They ask members to donate towards cost of magazines and books even before they are placed. They also ask for a set amount to be sent in to the headquarters from every congregation every month even among halls that were 100 % bought and paid for by local members. And they also transferred ownership of halls from local congregations to the headquarters.

      Just cause they don’t specifically sell magazines for a set price any more doesn’t mean they don’t ask for money.

  • February 26, 2014 at 2:39 am

    May i know please what are qualifications for this school.Thank brothers

  • June 22, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I want to serve God, how can i go to school for free….to serve God

  • September 8, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Do you by chance have or know of anyone who has a copy of the “School for Kingdom Evangelizers Office Guidelines”, the instructor’s handbook? Please email me. Thanks!

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