An introduction to the Global Association of Theological Studies


Our journey began with a Global Education Network meeting at World Evangelism Center in October 2006

thanks to two visionary Regional Directors, Reverend Robert K. Rodenbush and Reverend Jerry Richardson who presented a proposal for such a gathering. At the invitation of the Director of Education/AIM, Reverend Lloyd Shirley, an educational representative from each region joined our six Regional Directors for three days of meetings to discuss various aspects of improving the way we go about theological training globally.

In that get-together, the Global Education Committee, Global Association of Theological Studies, and the Global University of Theological Studies were envisioned. They were later approved by the General Director of Global Missions, Reverend Bruce Howell, Planning for Progress and the Global Missions Board in February 2007. That was the easy part. Undertaking the global educational advancement program is a gigantic task, and is not accomplished overnight. It is an ongoing process.

Thanks for visiting http://www.GATSonline.org . We trust the information you find here will be helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Brad Thompson, acting Assistant to the Director of Education/AIM for matters concerning the GATS program.



General Director of Global Missions – Ex Officio


Assistant Coordinator of GATS (Co-Chairman)


Regional GATS Representatives


Director of Education/Coordinator of GATS (Chairman)


Regional Directors of Global Missions


Global Educator Representative (Consultant rotating – 2 year term/alternating)


The Director of Education and Short Term Missions by virtue of appointment, serves as the “Coordinator of the Global Association of Theological Studies.” This office is currently filled by Jim Poitras. The Global Missions Board, at their discretion, may appoint an “Assistant Coordinator of Global Association of Theological Studies”. In 2017, Rev. Brad Thompson was placed in this position. The Global Educator Representative is included as a consultant with a voice, but no vote.


Africa, Rev. Gerald McLean

Asia, Rev. Prince Mathiasz

Central America/Caribbean, Rev. Brad Thompson

Europe/Middle East, Rev. Robert Kelley

Pacific, Rev. Troy Wickett

South America, Rev. Aaron Anderson


Bruce Howell

Ex-Officio Member of the GEC
Director of Global Missions

Rev. Bruce Howell is the General Director of Global Missions. He is the former dean of Christian Education at Jackson College of Ministries, was appointed to El Salvador in 1979 and served there for about twenty years, became a Regional Director, and was elected as the general director in October 2001.

Brother Howell emphatically states, “Ministerial education is crucial to the future of the United Pentecostal Church International. The Church marches forward only to the extent that we evangelize the world and educate our converts. GATS is a cutting edge education program that uses the foundation of our past to build for the bright future of taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole World by the Whole Church in the 21st century. I stand firmly behind the work of GATS and the Global Education Committee. I foresee ground-breaking changes in the way we go about Bible school training.”

James G. Poitras

Director of Education & Short-Term Missions
GATS Coordinator

James Poitras has a BEd from the University of New Brunswick, a BA in Biblical Studies from Indiana Bible College, and a MA in Ministerial Studies (Education Concentration) from Global University. Additionally, he has attended the United Pentecostal Church Bible Institute (now Northeast Christian College). His wife, Linda, is also an educator with a Bachelor’s degree from Troy State University. Both have been extensively involved in missions and Bible School administration for more than thirty-five years.

Brad Thompson

Assistant GATS Coordinator
Regional GATS Representative CAC

Brad and Regina Thompson have been UPCI missionaries in Guatemala for the past 34 years. Brad is the General Director of one of the largest Bible Colleges in the UPCI, with over 500 students enrolled yearly in the 28 Bible school programs throughout Guatemala.


Gerald McLean


Gerry and Darla McLean arrived in Nigeria on June 1, 1997 with the primary objective of resurrecting a floundering Bible school that was on the verge of closure. Twenty-two years later there is a sprawling campus in Enugu housing a 14,000 square foot Bible School, a 1200 seat auditorium, a dormitory, chapel, and a two-family residence. A second Bible School was opened in Lagos in 2015. Over 400 students have graduated with an Associate Degree in Ministerial Studies. Over half of the pastors in the United Pentecostal Church in Nigeria have graduated from the Bible School. The work has grown from one Bible School church in 2001 to 207 churches and 24,206 constituents. The Bible school has been the driving force behind this growth.

Gerry McLean served as Principal of Ministerial Training Center for 8 years and 11 years as President. He graduated from Gateway College of Evangelism in 1976. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, a Masters Degree in Social Work and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. He is a licensed counselor specializing in substance abuse. Darla McLean served as the Administrative Assistant at the Bible school for 17 years. Both have taught in the Bible school since 1997.

Prince Mathiasz


Prince Mathiasz serves as the Regional GATS Representative for Asia as well as a Career missionary to the nation of Sri Lanka. He received his Associate, Bachelor and Masters degrees at Indiana Bible College.

He was instrumental in the establishment of the UPC of Sri Lanka and has served as founding pastor of several churches there. He has written several textbooks for the Ministerial Institute of Theology of Sri Lanka and is heavily involved in their Associate Degree program.

Prince has been a part of the GATS program from the very beginning and has worked diligently to see many Asian nations implement GATS Curriculum in their Bible Schools.

Brad Thompson

Central America / Caribbean

Brad and Regina Thompson have been UPCI missionaries in Guatemala for the past 34 years. Brad is the General Director of one of the largest Bible Colleges in the UPCI, with over 500 students enrolled yearly in the 28 Bible school programs throughout Guatemala.

His passion is to train and equip men and women for effective ministry, and to make training available to as many people as possible. With a team of 124 GATS trained teachers, they are taking ministerial training into every region of the nation. His motto is ‘if the student cannot come to the Bible school, then we will take the Bible school to the student’. This concept has been very effective in producing ministers, training leaders, and providing stability to the UPC of Guatemala. It is evidenced in 250 established churches, 186 daughter works, 301 licensed ministers, and over 22,000 in attendance in their churches on a weekly basis. As a direct result of the training efforts, they are averaging monthly one new church established and 2 new ministers receiving license.

Brad has served as Regional GATS Representative for Central America and the Caribbean for over ten years, during which time they have held annual Faculty Development seminars in many of the nations and witnessed exponential growth and development in the Bible Schools.

In 2017 he was appointed as the Assistant GATS Coordinator globally. It is his vision to continue to develop and expand the GATS program, have annual faculty training seminars in every GATS nation and to facilitate the sending forth of equipped laborers to once again ‘turn the world upside down’ with the full gospel.

Robert Kelley

Europe / Middle East


Robert Kelley was appointed as a career missionary in 1983 and has served in the United Kingdom since that time.  In 1998, Harvest Bible College began their part time program and in 2002 this expanded to a ten month full time program for the whole of Great Britain & Ireland.  In 2009, Harvest Bible College received full accreditation with the British Accreditation Council and has maintained that status.  In 2016, the college added a second year internship program in partnership with Urshan College.  In 2020, an online program was also established that is fully accredited. 

Students from numerous countries have attended Harvest Bible College and are now working in many nations of the world.  HBC has been a springboard for both faculty and students who are interested in missions.  It has given them a chance to get a taste of missions and practical experience. 

In 2010, Bro. Kelley became the Area Coordinator for Northern Europe.  This area includes Great Britain & Ireland as well as the Nordic countries.  The Baltic nations as well as Russia and Belarus are also included in his responsibilities as Area Coordinator.  Bro. Kelley has served in numerous positions in the United Pentecostal Church of Great Britain and Ireland.

Robert and Jerolyn Kelley are the parents of two appointed missionaries—James and Mary Catherin (Kelley) Beek who serve in Scotland and Kyle and Amanda Kelley who are appointed to Wales.  The Kelleys reside in Glasgow, Scotland.

Troy Wickett


Troy M. Wickett is the GATS representative for the Pacific Region. He is working with students and faculty of Bible Colleges in the Pacific region with a goal of ministerial excellence.

Since appointment in 2017, Troy Wickett has made numerous contributions to the advancement of higher education. He is an instructor at Faculty Development Seminars, and is creating and enhancing support provided to faculty and administrators of Colleges in the many Pacific countries on a continual basis.

Troy has studied at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia and Texas Bible College in Houston, Texas in pursuit of a Bachelors Degree in Christian Education, as well as a Bachelor Degree in Psychology and Christian Counselling. He has also received education and accreditation from the US Federal Government as a Federal Instructor of the Mine Health and Safety Association (MHSA) for an International company (Headwaters Resources Inc.).

Troy has served in Global Missions to places including South Pacific, Central America, Europe and in Africa; teaching in Bible Colleges both in North America and abroad. In September 2016 Troy and his wife Jennette along with their three children (Justus, Callan & Eva) received their appointment as Missionaries to Fiji and The Solomon Islands where they continue to invest in Bible Colleges as they endeavor to establish churches and preaching points throughout the islands.

Aaron Anderson

South America


Aaron Anderson is the Regional GATS Representative for South America.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies with a minor in Theology from Indiana Bible College in 2011. His wife, Tiffany, also holds two Bachelor’s degrees: one in Biblical studies from Indiana Bible College and the other in Applied Arts and Sciences with a specialization in Linguistics from San Diego State University. Both have taught in and been involved in national Bible school works in their country of appointment, Brazil, since 2015. 


The GATS Curriculum Development Committee oversees the development of curriculum for GATS Bible Schools and for Faculty Development. This includes teams of professional writers, editors, and translators.

GATS official translation focus is on the English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic and Hindi languages. Although many materials are also available in other world languages.

This team also coordinates the design and administration of GATS websites, the creation of PowerPoint/Keynote presentations, answer keys and course packs.