ASPIRE – June 2019

Confident Grads Result of NGC/CLD Training Partnership

In May, I attended the Leadership Gathering of Next Generation Churches, a Northern California church network.  The highlight of this annual journey is the recognition of the many students from NGC churches who complete the Ministry Leadership Certificate, a partnered program of NGC and the Center for Leadership Development.

Cooperatively developed by NGC and CLD leadership, this year’s class marked over 60 participants who have now completed the rigorous course of study and personal development.  Featuring 100 course hours of CLD materials, local seminars developed by NGC and careful mentoring, each annual cohort navigates life and the MLC in 9 very intense months.

The outcomes?  The MLC graduates fill ministry roles as elders, church staff members, pastoral assistants and associates, specific ministry leaders and coordinators, small group leaders, rural church pastors and two this year are planting churches under the guidance of their home NGC churches.  But if those watching the “graduation” event are asked about an outcome, nearly all will have the same response: “What I saw in the graduates, both individually and as a group, was confidence.  What they gained was confidence in God’s calling for their lives.”  If you asked the graduates, they would agree.

And this all began with a simple question posed by Western’s president to Dr. David Whitaker who was then the Executive Director of NGC.  The question?  What could Western educationally offer that would be of priority benefit to NGC and its partner churches?  Six years later the MLC cohorts have grown to two annually, one in Fresno and the other in Sacramento, serving up to 20 students per year and producing confident, well-prepared Christian servants.

Today, our partner groups in addition to NGC include mission agencies, para-church ministries, individual churches and chaplaincies.  Each has grown out of the same kind of question asked of and answered by NGC 5 graduating classes ago, “What could Western educationally offer that would benefit the ministry God has given you?”  Interested?

We’d be honored to listen to your response and then answer that question in partnership with you.

Bert Downs

Director, Leadership Development �

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