GOH partners with Grand Rapids Theological Seminary to offer a course in Leading Community Ministry,and with Calvin Theological Seminary to offer a two-year Certificate in Hispanic Ministry.
These courses are designed to improve pastors' leadership skills and theological foundations, deepen their ability to reflect on their own spiritual state, and inspire them to reach out to their fellow pastors and to their neighborhood's residents.
Leading Community- Ministry is a 6-credit, one-year course in leadership offered by Grand Rapids Theological Seminary at Cornerstone University, in partnership with GOH.
It is part workshop, part classroom, part coaching experience.The purpose is not so much to instill knowledge, but to take students through a process of discovery about themselves as leaders, about biblical models of leadership, about Christian cultural assumptions about leadership. After much classroom and online discussion, paper writing, journaling, and introspection, students arrive at a Breakthrough Plan for how they’ll move forward in their ministries and lives.
Students are typically senior or associate pastors and their spouses, or people who are in senior leadership in their congregation. One of the best parts of the course is the wisdom the students share with each other-the learners are also teachers.
The course covers a wide range of topics:
- What is the church? What is its purpose?
- What is the breakthrough you need to go to the next level of leadership? What behaviors or beliefs are holding you back from growing?
- Who are you becoming?
- What does a balanced life look like? Is your life out of balance? How can you approach leadership so that you can foster healthy families and relationships in your congregation? In your community? In your own life?
- Are you getting out into your neighborhood? Where is the community in your ministry?
Classes begin in September and are held bi-weekly for a full academic year; September through May. Each class includes a meal and all expenses (books,meals,accommodations for any special classes) are covered.
Interested in more information on the 2017-2018 Leading Community Ministry? Register below.
The Certificate for Hispanic Ministry is a two-year course for Hispanic, Latino, and Latina clergy and church leaders. It is offered by Calvin Theological Seminary in partnership with GOH, and led by Dr. Mariano Avila, Professor of New Testament at the seminary. This unique program opens doors of formal theological training to students who have not otherwise had the opportunity.
CHM students are already pastoring churches, some for many years, so they have experience, but may not have a theological education. Since the schooling history of students ranges from a few years of elementary school to a college degree, with most students falling in the middle, having completed high school, students meet regularly in small groups with a mentor, in addition to whole-group class time.
During the first year, the Iglesias de Esperanza (Churches of Hope) program comes alongside CHM students to teach classes in Spanish grammar and academic writing, computer and internet use, and study skills. The second year, they teach English classes. Although all CHM classes are taught in Spanish, deepening students’ English skills helps them in their paid jobs (most of these pastors work outside the church), and in their communication with the wider Grand Rapids community, but it also makes it possible for them to continue taking seminary classes after they've graduated from this program.
Courses cover nine key areas:
- Exegesis-Preaching Ephesians
- Exegesis-Preaching the Old Testament
- Community Transformation
- Pastoral Counseling
- Theology for Ministry
- Leadership and Church Administration
- Marriage Enrichment Retreats (for pastor-students and their spouses)
- Children and Youth Educational Ministries
Students so far have ranged in age from 20s to 70s, and come from 6 different countries and 11 different denominations, so the course in preaching Ephesians does more than teach students how to unpack that letter. Its focus on the unity of the church encourages and inspires students to come together as leaders, to trust each other, to share resources-so the fruits of the CHM program expand far beyond theological and administrative skills.