The first ever International College for Soldiers (ICS) was held from 10-24 September. Twenty-five young adult delegates from across the worldwide Salvation Army gathered at the International College for Officers and Centre for Spiritual Life Development (ICO/CSLD) in London for an intensive two weeks of study, worship, evangelism, and fun. The curriculum followed the framework of Knowing, Being and Doing.


Knowing - Delegates increased their biblical, theological, and historical knowledge through lectures from the ICS staff and guests. Salvationist Dr. Roger Green (USA Eastern) was the main guest lecturer and has been the visionary for this event for many years. He was recently awarded the Order of the Founder and is Professor and Chair of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. He taught on the Kingdom of God from the New Testament and also on the theology of Catherine Booth (social ministry, women in ministry and holiness).


Other lecturers included Commissioner Sue Swanson (IHQ), who led the delegates in a bible study focused on David and Saul, and Colonel Richard Munn (ICO/CSLD), whose lectures on the Army’s tenth doctrine and personal holiness were eye-opening and meaningful. Lieut-Colonel Eddie Hobgood (IHQ) presented his one man show on Joe the Turk; Commissioner Lalkiamlova (IHQ) spoke to delegates about his pioneering work for The Salvation Army in his home country of Mizoram and Salvationist Phil Wall (UKI) challenged delegates to take their leadership seriously and decide how they want to be known.


Sunday was a significant time spent with General Linda Bond, who spoke with clarity and conviction about the vision for a spirit-filled Army, active on a worldwide front, to win the world for Jesus. The General examined Acts 2 to remind delegates to be Jesus-centred, personally as well as corporately, to study the Bible for wisdom, guidance and examples of faith in action and to be on our knees as an army of prayer.


Being - Delegates learned about personal holiness and put into practice spiritual disciplines and new methods of prayer. Each morning began with Morning Prayers, guided by the ICS staff. Delegates and staff also took part in the Worldwide Prayer Meeting on both Thursdays, led by Colonel Janet Munn in praying through the Vision Plan. New ‘rhythms’ of prayer were taught throughout the week, including Praying the Bible, Circles of Influence and Listening Prayer.


All delegates were divided into small groups for discussion of Dr. Green’s Bible Study material on the Kingdom of God. The time spent in these small groups allowed for deeper understanding of the material, and the opportunity to reflect on the daily experiences of the ICS.


Doing - Delegates also implemented their knowledge of social holiness, with missional opportunities in The Salvation Army centres and streets of London. Major Hannelise Tvedt (UKI) challenged delegates with the call to Social Holiness, and how their ongoing pilgrimage for holiness affects the call to 'rescue the perishing [and] care for the dying.' She was also responsible for organising a day of Outreach on the Streets at three Army centres in London. The ICS delegates were split into three groups and visited the Stepney, Clapton, and Notting Hill Corps, where each group had unique opportunities of evangelism at each centre.


The ICS was also given the opportunity to visit and tour International Headquarters, and meet and dialogue with the Chief of Staff Commissioner Barry Swanson. The final Sunday morning was spent in worship with the Regent Hall Corps, where delegates joined in a march of witness followed by a short open air meeting.


The two weeks were demanding but eternally rewarding. The International College for Soldiers resulted in life-changing experiences for all the delegates, who were empowered by the Word of God and fostered wonderful relationships with fellow soldiers from all around the world.


Annie Carter

ICS Staff

Centre for Spiritual Life Development