Dr. Ivor Poobalan

Posted by: RTBC Admin 2 years, 6 months ago

Ivor Poobalan is from Sri Lanka where he serves the Lord in the capacity of Principal of the Colombo Theological Seminary (CTS), an evangelical interdenominational seminary, which was founded in 1994.



Ivor was 19 when he began fulltime ministry as a Youth Pastor in his local Methodist Church. Using his gifts in Bible teaching,
music, and evangelism, and implementing a strategy of disciple-making, the ministry grew. At the end of 10 years, the youth
ministry was citywide, incorporating 15 youth groups engaged in several social and evangelistic initiatives in the capital city.

In these formative years, Ivor recognised the crucial importance of biblically-grounded mature Christian leadership to sustain effective ministry. And so, following theological training in the London School of Theology in the UK, he joined Colombo Theological Seminary in 1996 and was soon invited to function as its Principal. In 2004, he graduated from Trinity International University Deerfield, Illinois, with a ThM in Old Testament and Semitic Languages. In 2015, he was awarded a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, for his thesis ‘Who is “the God of this age” in 2 Corinthians 4:4?’

In 22 years, CTS has grown from a student body of 40 in one location to teaching close to 1,000 students through 9 centers of study in the country. The seminary faculty, numbering over 75 now, teaches approximately 250 courses every year in 3 languages. CTS has published over 80 books on theology, church history, discipleship, and ethics.

At CTS, Ivor teaches regularly. He majors on Biblical Studies, Leadership, Discipleship, Homiletics, Hebrew and Greek.

In his ministry of over 30 years, Ivor has been widely used as a preacher both in Sri Lanka and in over 15 countries worldwide. Most recently Ivor was the Bible Reading Speaker at the 2017 Keswick Convention along with Don Carson and Alistair Begg. Ivor’s Keswick Convention messages are available at Keswick Ministries. Ivor was a Bible Expositor and Seminar Leader at the Keswick Convention of 2014 as well and the 2014 messages are available for download at Keswick Talks. He was also invited as a resource person in the Lausanne III Congress in Cape Town in 2010. He addressed over a thousand missionaries at the Friends Missionary Prayer Band missionaries’ conference in South India in 2012. He is a Local Preacher of the Methodist Church.

He is the author of Everything Has Become New! Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, and a contributor to Langham Partnership International’s South Asian Bible Commentary (2015), having written the commentary on Amos as well as two articles on “Money, Sex, and Power” and “Conflict and Reconciliation”. He contributed the notes on the Book of Haggai to Biblica’s NIV God’s Justice Bible: The Flourishing of Creation and the Destruction of Evil (2016), and the forthcoming Vital Faith Bible project of Christianity Today.

Ivor is Chairperson of Sri Lanka's first world-missions initiative – named Global Impact – which aims to send Sri Lankan missionaries to unreached regions of South and West Asia.


Ivor is passionate about politics, cricket, rugby, and has written over 25 songs.

Ivor and his wife, Denisa, have two daughters, Anisha and Serena.

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