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Education Opportunity: Ministry Equipping Network

Posted 7/12/17 12:05pm. Article by Linda Peay.

The BGAV Ministry Equipping Network is designed for pastors, ministers, and lay leaders to be able to enroll in single courses in a specific ministry area or to be able to complete a comprehensive program that yields a Ministry Certification. This program provides interactive, online courses to give participants the benefit of logging in from remote locations to interact with the instructor and fellow participants. Instructors can also be available for in-person training for churches or associations that want to schedule a training day in their areas. The network offers courses in specialized areas: Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, and Family Ministry.

The network formed in March and is an expansion of what was previously offered in Children’s Ministry Certification and Youth Ministry Certification. Under the former education model, students would attend a two- to three day-course at a designated location, which required time away from work and an overnight stay in the area. In order to reach more people by making options affordable and convenient, the BGAV Ministry Equipping Network was developed to allow participants the convenience of achieving quality training from the comfort of their own homes.

Interested people can choose a single course, several courses, or a pathway to certification.  All three certification programs require the same four core courses: Developmental Stages and Ages; Teaching Techniques/Approaches; Bible Study Basics; and The Family of God.

In addition to the core courses, students may choose a concentration: Children’s Ministry, which has three required Children’s Ministry courses and one additional Children’s Ministry course as an elective; Youth Ministry; which has three required Youth Ministry courses and one elective; and Family Ministry, which has four required courses and two electives in either youth and or children’s ministry.

This new way of training development allows students flexibility, depending on interest and available time. The courses can be completed in any order and are not restricted to those students pursuing certification. Core courses are valuable to anyone serving in the local church, working with any age. The instructors currently serve in ministry and can offer relevant and practical instruction “from the field.”

“HB” Birckhead has nearly completed his certification for youth ministry. He started the process under the former program and now has one more course to finish. He plans to retire from the insurance industry within five years and wants to prepare for other options in the future. Birckhead is a father of four and works full time. He said,“I like the new program. Convenience and affordability are big factors for me, and this is a great opportunity for people like me who can’t take the time to attend or have the ability to pay for the costs of seminary or community college.” Following his completion of the youth ministry certification, he also plans to take the courses in Family Ministry. He added, “After this, I will feel equipped for what comes my way in ministry.”

The BGAV offers nontraditional ministry education scholarships for those who qualify and enroll in these courses. For more information, contact Karen Rackett at karen.rackett@bgav.org.

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