By Whitney Knight
Last fall, MACU set out to create a program that could assist pastors, church leaders, volunteers and others in developing a better knowledge of Wesleyan theology, new directions in ministry due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a host of other topics.
This led to the development of two unique partnerships with national congregations: the Bishop Timothy J. Clarke School for Professional Studies and the Mansfield School for Professional Studies. Through the two schools, as well as MACU’s previously established J.E. Massey Center for Ministry and Leadership, students can take 5-week courses that meet one evening a week via Zoom to discuss that week’s topic.
Courses are currently offered in Wesleyan Theology, The Phygital Church and Praying with Power. Each course is led by field experts and scholars, including Dr. Cliff Sanders, Rev. Gary Kendall and Rev. Richard Mansfield.
In the first year of offering the certificate programs, the schools have already seen considerable growth. Dozens of students have completed their first courses, including Pastor Bob Ingels of the recently-established New Beginnings Church of God in Kenova, W.V.
Ingels said that what he’s learned in his certificate courses have been instrumental in the success of his new church.
“As a pastor of a new church plant, I was challenged and encouraged to rethink how we were using social media,” Ingels said. “As the weeks went on, it helped us form a plan to change how we use Facebook groups and turn that into an online campus that brings more engagement with our congregation.”
During his course in the Phygital Church, Ingels said he saw five neighbors go from being prayed for to being actively discipled in the church.
“Rev. Kendall is a great teacher and encourager,” Ingels said. “This class will benefit any church leader dealing with today’s changing world.”
Kelisia Hudson of Vineyard Community Church in Reynoldsburg, Ohio is another pastor who said she has benefited greatly from MACU’s certificate courses. She said she hadn’t even finished her first course when she began using what she had learned in class at the pulpit.
“I was able to implement tools and techniques within the first couple of weeks,” Hudson said. “Being able to share information and tools with church staff has helped to increase the presence of our church online. I have a foundation that will continue to help expand our church and reach our community for years to come.”
If you or someone you know is interested in MACU’s church leadership certificates, enrollment is open for February 2022. No prior education is required, and students even have the opportunity to get college credit at MACU for their coursework. Better yet, MACU charges just $195 per course and there are $100 scholarship opportunities available.
Please visit www.macu.edu/church-leadership to learn more and enroll today.