Instituto Especialidades Juveniles (IEJ) is the dynamic training for the best youth leaders in Latin America! Through a formal program of studies (18 3-hour courses), we offer a specialized youth ministry track accredited by prestigious Seminars in Latin America. This innovative project seeks to provide transformational training though experiences and formation courses designed to rise and equip a new generation of youth leaders in the Latin American context. Beyond the academic formation of our students, we concentrate in discipling the new generation leaders, through:

  • 1.Creative Contextualization. A healthy predetermination to experiment and research to avoid stagnation of models and proposals.

  • 2.Holistic Development. A connection to the whole person that is not limited to the supply of information.

  • 3.Missional predetermination. A commitment to the mission of the Church and the needs of this generation permeates our work in each stage.

  • 4.Relational Style. The programs must serve the people, not the opposite. The interaction with the love of Christ defines our priorities.

  • 5.Ecclesiastic Focus. We partner with the local Churches and we serve them as a bank of resources for their ministry.




IEJ offers 18 courses that can be completed in one year, in order to obtain a Diploma in Youth Ministries, accredited by the Central American Theological Seminary (CATS) in Guatemala and the Baptist International Theological Seminary (BITS) in Buenos Aires.

As part of a partnership with CATS and BITS, the students of these Seminaries can obtain a Bachelors degree in Theology with specialized courses in Youth Ministry.

The program is developed in a quarterly system (10 weeks). In each one of these, we offer an Intensive Course (a one-day Super Course, with online follow-up during the quarter) and 4 regular courses (from Monday to Thursday, one 3-hour course each day).

At this moment, the IEJ has campuses in Guatemala and Argentina.




Evolutionary Psychology of Adolescents
1. Holistic development of adolescents
2. The practice of youth counseling
3. Sexuality and youth

Ecclesiology and mission
4. The fundamentals of youth ministry
5. Missiology in youth ministry
6. Comparing doctrines

Programming and outreach
7.Programming and developing events
8.Alternative models of evangelism

Youth discipleship
10. Discipling adolescents and youth
11. Mediation and conflict resolution
12 Biblical teaching (pedagogical techniques for youth ministry)

Cultural context
13. Biblical anthropology and youth
14. Literature, art and culture
15. Comparing statistics, trends, and ideologies

16. Coaching and leading teams
17. Effective communication in youth ministry
18. Situational leadership



Teachers confirmed so far, in alphabetical order, with the course and the country they teach.

Natalia Adami (Media - Argentina)
Nati is a graphic designer. She studied at the University of Buenos Aires and graduated with a degree in Advertising Technology. She taught Design at the University of Buenos Aires for 3 years. As a professional designer she has worked with various advertising and Internet businesses in Argentina. Presently she runs Luvagraphics, a design firm she founded that creates interactive, graphics and editorial design for a variety of ministries and corporations in Argentina and abroad. Along with her husband, Diego Calderon, she also works with the youth ministry of the San Andres Presbyterian Church of Temperley.


Howard Andruejol (Biblical teaching; Discipling adolescents and youth - Guatemala)
Howard is pastor of the Mensaje De Vida church in Guatemala. With 18 years of youth ministry experience, Howard has been involved in a variety of training projects for youth leaders in Latin America. Currently he is also the executive editor of the magazine "Líder Juvenil" and director of the Youth Specialties Institute in Guatemala. He has a degree in Systems Engineering from the University Francisco Marroquín as well as a Masters in Reliability Management and Analysis. He is also a graduate of SETECA (Central American Theological Seminary), where he received a B.A. in Bible. He is a professor of Youth Ministry at SETECA, professor of master's degree courses at the Universidad Panamericana, and producer/disc jockey of the youth ministry radio program "El Bunker."

Author of "Internet al máximo" (Certeza), “No muerdas el anzuelo” (Certeza) and "“Estratégicos y audaces: manual para capacitación de líderes juveniles” (Especialidades Juveniles).


Esteban Borghetti (practice of youth counseling; Sexuality and youth - Argentina)
Esteban is a psychologist with a B.A. degree in New Sciences of Human Behavior from the Universidad de Flores. He completed his postgraduate studies at the University of Buenos Aires in Life Coaching and is presently finishing doctorate degree in psychology. He is Chairman of the Integra Foundation, which seeks to help people with sexual addictions. He is also the Director of Training at the consulting firm Summit Motivational Advisory and Business Development. He is currently a professor in the doctorate program at the Catholic University of Salta and the Biblical Seminary of Rio de la Plata. He is the Director of the Buenos Aires campus of the Youth Specialties Institute. He was a youth pastor for 11 years at the San Isidro Baptist Church.

Author of "Homosexuality and Youth" (Especialidades Juveniles)


Marcelo Gallardo (Media - Argentina)
Marcelo has a degree en Television Direction, and Works at “Estado Lateral”, a progressive medialab that works on production and execution of creative ideas for events and movies. He has worked in Buenos Aires for 7 years next to L.A.Gr.Am. in evangelism and discipleship of adolescents. He is part of Especialidades Juveniles media staff, being in charge of video production and media presentations at the International Youth Workers Conventions.



Willy Gomez (Situational leadership - Guatemala)
Willy is the founder and director for Edured, an organization that provides technological tools for education. He is also member of the strategic team and curricular planning group for Universidad de San Pablo de Guatemala, and the chief executive for their Masters degree in Organizational Leadership. He has an Engineering degree in Computer Sciences from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, and a Masters degree in Educational Administration, as well as a Masters in Curricula, and Diplomas in Education, Management and Strategic Planning acquired in institutions from United States, Mexico, and Colombia. Currently he is the pastor for the children’s church at Iglesia Vida Real.


Kike Guevara (Programming and developing events - Guatemala)
Kike is a graduate of the University of San Carlos de Guatemala with a degree in Communication Sciences and logistical lead-K, a multinational company producing events.


Annette Gulick (Biblical teaching; Missiology in youth ministry - Argentina)
Annette holds a BA in English Journalism and Literature from Baylor University, Texas, USA as well as an M.A. in Theology from Reformed Theological Seminary. She contributed to the development of youth ministry in Latin America in a variety of ways: the Active Learning Bible Study series, the books Raices: la pastoral juvenil en profundidad and The Portable Church, as well as several other Youth Specialties publications, including a column in Lider Juvenil. Together with her husband, Tim, they are the Spiritual Directors for the Buenos Aires campus of the Youth Specialties Institute.

Author of “Raíces: la pastoral juvenil en profundidad” (Especialidades Juveniles)


Tim Gulick (Discipling adolescents and youth - Argentina)
Tim has B.A. Degrees in Philosophy and Literature from Wheaton College as well as a master's degree in Divinity from the Reformed Theological Seminary. He literally grew up in the youth ministry because his parents were youth workers. He has personally been involved in youth ministry since 1984. In 1999, he and Annette founded ParaLideres.org, a web site that currently offers over 25,000 pages of free resources and training materials for youth workers. They work with OC International but are on loan to the Youth Specialties Institutes.


Adrian Intrieri (Holistic development of adolescents - Argentina)
Adrian is a major in Psychology and specializes in adolescent issues. Walk the continent by giving lectures and workshops on adolescence, self-esteem and how to establish good relations between parents and children, in universities, schools, ministries and churches. He writes about adolescence for several news media and is currently pursuing various projects with several organizations evangelical publications. He was a youth leader for over 10 years, and director of www.certezajoven.com.ar. He is currently the marketing manager of the Editorial Certeza Argentina and works at two psychological clinics in the city of San Justo and Lomas de Zamora in the great Buenos Aires, where it adheres to adolescents and youth. He is a columnist in the radio program of Virginia Hanglin, a respected Argentine journalist, where he shares tips for parents who have teenagers.

Author of “Dios también elige burros” (Certeza) and “No muerdas el anzuelo” (Certeza)

Dr. Lucas Leys (The fundamentals of youth ministry - Argentina / Guatemala)
Lucas is the international Director of Especialidades Juveniles. At present, he is the one who trains the largest number of youth leaders in Latin America. He has been a youth pastor in a variety of countries and now travels the world talking to thousands of youth leaders and young adults in conferences, conventions, universities, schools, churches and seminars. He earned a Doctorate in Theology with honors at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Author of "Adolescentes: cómo trabajar con ellos sin morir en el intento" (Certeza), "No me metan en la bolsa” (Certeza), "500 ideas para el ministerio juvenil" (Especialidades Juveniles), “Ministerio juvenil efectivo” (Especialidades Juveniles), "Encuentros al límite" (Especialidades Juveniles), among others.


Felix Ortiz (The fundamentals of youth ministry; Alternative models of evangelism - Argentina / Guatemala)
Felix is recognized as an authority in the youth ministry both in Latin America and in Europe. He graduated in History from the University of Zaragoza, with a Masters in Christian Education for the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Forth Worth, Texas. Additionally holds an MA in Distance Education from the National University for Distance Education in Madrid and a Diploma in Coaching for the College of Newcastle, United Kingdom. He was professor of the Spanish Theological Seminary and Bible Institute in Barcelona and is now professor of the Spanish Baptist Theological Seminary in Madrid. In his own words: "Despite all this, accepted only by the sheer grace of God (Ephesians 3:8)."

Author of "Raíces: la pastoral juvenil en profundidad" (Especialidades Juveniles), "HAci un ministerio juvenil dinámico" (Clie), "X-Files" (Clie), "¡Vaya Caos!" (Clie), "Conexion Posmo" (Especialidades Juveniles), among others.


Germán Ortiz (Discipling adolescents and youth - Argentina)
Founder and Director of L.A.Gr.Am. (Youth Leadership and the Group of Friends), an organization born in Argentina dedicated to evangelism and discipleship of teenagers. He is a youth pastor along with his wife, Daniela.

Author of “El amor de mi vida, ¿quién será?” (Certeza), “Oración: tu acceso directo a Dios” (Certeza), “Ser amigos” (Certeza), and “Vamos por más, hasta la estatura de Cristo” (Certeza).


Alan Perdomo (Comparing doctrines - Guatemala)
Alan is a renowned professor of theology and history. He earned his B.A. and MA. in Theology from SETECA (Central American Theological Seminary).

Author of “Y tú, ¿qué crees?” (Independent publication).


Dr. Joel Van Dyke (Biblical anthropology and youth; Missiology in youth ministry - Guatemala)
Joel is director of Strategy for Transformation. After 16 years as youth pastor and senior pastor of Bethel Temple Community Bible Church in Philadelphia, he currently lives and works in Guatemala. During his years as a pastor, Joel served in a variety of ministries as a youth ministry trainer for Kingdomworks, Making Urban Disciples Inc. and was a co-founder of the Project Philadelphia youth ministry. He holds a doctorate in "transformational leadership for the whole city" from Bakke Graduate University in Seattle, Washington, a Masters degree in divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Work.


Rich Van Pelt (Mediation and conflict resolution - Argentina / Guatemala)
Rich trains thousand of educators, counselors and youth leaders each year in topics of intervention for teenagers in crisis, prevention and response to youth suicide. His experience arises from over three decades in youth and family ministry, including the years he spent working with youth in prison and the Colorado State Correctional. He is the president for Alongside Counsulting, an organization for leadership development and director of national ministry relations for Compassion International. He has a Psychology degree from the Bloomfield College, and a Masters in Divinity from the Conwell Theological Seminary.

Author of “The youth workers guide to helping teenagers in crisis” (Youth Specialties) and “A parent’s guide to helping teenagers in crisis” (Zondervan)


Junior Zapata (Comparing statistics, trends, and ideologies; Literature, art and culture - Argentina / Guatemala)
Junior is the general director of the Instituto Evangélico América Latina of Guatemala. He is also a recognized lecturer on the subject of adolescence. His book "The Emergent Generation" has stirred the imagination of an important sector of leadership in several Spanish-speaking countries. He is a business consultant and holds a B.A. in Communications from Virginia Tech, a bachelor's degree in Theology from Liberty University, a BA in philosophy from the Sorbonne University and an MBA in Organizational Leadership the Technological Institute of Monterrey.

Author of “La generación emergente” (Especialidades Juveniles), “Agorafobia” (Especialidades Juveniles) and “Conocido en el infierno” (Caribe Betania).

Mark Oestreicher
With close to 30 years in youth ministry, Mark Oestreicher is the president of Youth Specialties, the largest youth ministry resourcing and training organization in the world. “Marko” is a graduate of Wheaton College and Wheaton Graduate School, with a Master’s Degree in Educational Ministries. He is also a former instructor in Youth Ministry at Fuller Seminary. Marko has authored dozens of books and speaks to youth workers around the world.

Geordon Rendle
Geordon Rendle has a Canadian passport but a Latino heart. He is the Regional Director for Latin America of Youth For Christ International. He ministers in 17 countries with leaders, youth and local churches. His passion is evangelism and discipleship. He is married to Marilyn since 22 years ago, has 4 children, runs marathons, likes hiking, and is an Ironman. He has a degree in Criminology and a Masters in Leadership and Pedagogy for Adults.