Belize has only 312,971 people, according to the 2010 census, spread over 8,867 square miles, making it the most sparsely populated country in Central America. The society contains many different cultures and languages, however. Slightly more than half of the population lives in rural areas, and the infrastructure of the country is not well developed. Roman Catholics comprise about 50% of the population, with 29% of the population comprised of other Christian denominations. Slightly more than 21% of the population is non-Christian. Approximately 33% percent of individuals are considered poor in Belize, and around 13% are extremely poor or indigent.
In April of 2012, the Revs. Shaw and Julie Mudge felt called to pursue the possibility of teaching online courses in Belize to support the training of seminary students, provide continuing education for current clergy, and to expand the opportunities for the spiritual development of lay people. In response to that call, they have developed coursework for the Diocese’s Anglican Theological Institute. The Anglican Theological Institute has a campus in Belize and will soon have an additional campus in West Tanganykia, known as Kasulu Bible College. Both campuses will offer a mixture of on-line and on-site courses.
The Institute in Belize has developed a theological preparation program that includes approximately 58 courses over the span of three and a half years. The program has begun with the start of the first class, Biblical Interpretation.
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