Christian Leaders Training Institute
Christian Leaders Training Institute, or CLTI, is a program that seeks to equip those God is raising up as leaders in the church so that they can fulfill the Great Commission. Below you will find first a brief summary of “The Need,” “The Curriculum,” and “The Organization” and then a fuller description of these three key concepts that led to our setting up CLTI..
The Need. We currently have hundreds of pastors and church leaders with little or no formal training, and the need is growing. Though residential Bible schools are an effective way of training future church leadership, this approach cannot keep up with the need and is too expensive for many church leaders. CLTI seeks to provide an inexpensive, non-residential, church-based, classroom alternative to the residential Bible school.
The Curriculum. Global University provides an excellent set of materials, which we are using as the texts for the courses that are being offered. The 18 Christian Service courses provide a foundational level for all church leadership. A Christian Service Certificate is offered for completion of these courses. After the Christian Service Certificate, a leader can work on five Advanced Leadership Certificates, which are offered for successful completion of six courses in the following areas: Pastoral Ministries, Theology, Christian Education, Bible, and Evangelism/Missions. Completion of all six certificates gives a leader the equivalent of a three year diploma.
Organization. CLTI is directed by a Board of Administrators. Each of the three national churches has a separate CLTI National Director and is free to adapt the program to best meet their needs. The courses of CLTI are offered by Local Training Centers, which are regulated by the Board of Administrators. At present we have a number of Local Training Centers scattered across the nation.
In Zambia we work with three different national churches. When we spoke with the leadership of all three churches in 1997, they all agreed that the lack of well trained leadership was a major problem to the growth of their respective churches. When we arrived in Zambia at the end of 1998 the Assemblies of God in Zambia had only three pastors who had a Bible school diploma. Grace Ministries had just started a residential theological college, but there were numerous pastors and lay leaders who desired further theological training. Two-thirds of those pastoring Pentecostal Assemblies of God (Z) churches had no formal training. In summary, between all three groups there were over 800 churches but less than 300 were being pastored by someone with a Bible school diploma or its equivalent! And the need for such training was continuing to expand as dozens of new churches were being started every year. The Pentecostal Assemblies has a goal of establishing almost 100 new churches a year and the vast majority of those would be unable to receive training without a program such as CLTI.
Can Residential Bible Schools Meet the Need?
How can hundreds of church leaders who are tied to their churches, with family responsibilities and varying levels of education, be equipped to effectively serve their churches? Can the existing Bible schools meet the need?
The Pentecostal Assemblies, with the help of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, operates an excellent residential Bible school called Trans-Africa Theological College (TTC) in Kitwe which graduates 20 or so students a year. Grace Ministries started Grace Theological College (GTC) several years ago, but it was graduating only about 3-5 students a year, and currently GTC is not operating. The Assemblies of God in Zambia also operates a small residential program. Residential Bible schools fill a clear need but they will never be able to meet the need for well-equipped church leadership for several reasons:
1. Residential Bible schools are expensive to operate and maintain. The true cost makes it difficult for a national church to run a Bible school without heavy missionary subsidies. At the present rate, these three colleges cannot even keep up with the increase in demand for new pastors and church leaders, much less train the 500 plus men and women currently serving as pastors with no formal theological education. To make a sizeable dent in the current need would require the building of 2-3 new colleges at great cost, not to mention the probable $100,000 to $300,000 per year it would cost to operate them.
2. When even a fraction of the cost of residential education is passed on to the students, most will not be able to afford it. TransAfrica Theological College charges about $500 per year per student, which is less than 1/3 of the true cost. But most cannot afford even $500 as Zambia is a very poor country with a per capita GDP of about $1700 per person. This compares with a per capita GDP of over $50,000 in America. Even if free scholarships were available, for many of the pastors to leave their churches and families would cause great hardships to both the churches and the pastors' families.
3. Many of these pastors are older men with little or no secondary education. Their reading and writing skills in English are poor. They are not educationally prepared to attend a full-time residential Bible school.
CLTI - Offering an Inexpensive Non-Residential, Church-Based, Classroom Approach.
CLTI seeks to meet the need for equipped pastors and church leaders by creating a program that each of the three national churches can implement in ways that meet their needs.
Inexpensive. CLTI classes usually meet in local churches, therefore there is no need to construct new buildings and spend lots of money maintaining them. The only fees are a small fee for books and tuition, which makes the program much more affordable.
Non-Residential. Students usually take courses in short blocks of a week or two, often within a hour of their homes. They live at home with their families and continue pastoring their churches.
Church-Based. The local church is God's plan for building His Kingdom. CLTI makes a conscious attempt to integrate theological education with the practical situation the pastor or church leader faces every day. Instead of training students for a possible ministry they may have some day, CLTI seeks to help those in local church leadership right now learn how to deal with the issues they are facing.
Classroom. CLTI is not a correspondence or independent study program. CLTI believes that the interaction of teacher with students, as well as students with students, provide a valuable component to the learning experience. Classes meet for a set period of time under the direction of a qualified teacher. The general aim is to provide a structured learning situation, similar to that of a residential Bible school, but in smaller units of time and at locations closer to the student so that existing church leaders can attend without disrupting their ministry or their family life.
The mission of CLTI is -
Serving the church by bringing training within reach!
Global University is a ministry of the Assemblies of God, U.S.A. It provides an excellent set of materials, which we are using as the texts for the courses that are being offered. The 18 Christian Service courses provide a foundational level for all church leadership. A Christian Service Certificate is offered for completion of these courses. After the Christian Service Certificate, a leader can work on the Advanced Leadership Certificates, which are offered for successful completion of six courses in five areas: Pastoral Ministries, Theology, Christian Education, Bible, and Evangelism/Missions. Completion of all six certificates gives a leader the equivalent of a three year diploma. Upon completion of all the certificates offered by CLTI, a student can submit a transcript to Global University and receive up to 80 credits towards the B.A. degrees offered by Global University. The remaining 48 credits would have to be taken by correspondence directly with Global University.
Christian Service Certificate
The courses required are as follows:
Courses in Spiritual Growth
Solving Life's Problems
Prayer and Worship
The Responsible Christian
Courses in the Ministry of the Local Church
Christian Church in Ministry
Starting New Churches
Preaching and Teaching
People, Tasks, and Goals
Helping Christians Grow
Sharing the Good News
Courses in Bible and Theology
Kingdom, Power, and Glory (Survey of the New Testament)
Tents, Temples, and Palaces (Survey of the Old Testament)
Understanding the Bible
Cornerstones of Truth
Alive in Christ
Counselor, Teacher, and Guide
Advanced Leadership Certificate in Pastoral Ministries
Work of the Pastor
Preparing and Teaching Bible Messages
Paul's Letters to Pastors
Guidelines for Leadership
Advanced Leadership Certificate in Biblical Studies
Survey of the Old and New Testaments
Principles of Biblical Interpretation
3 elective Bible courses
Advanced Leadership Certificate in Theology
God and Angels
Bible and Church
Advanced Leadership Certificate in Evangelism and Missions
Intro to Missions
Bible and Missions
People and Their Beliefs
Advanced Leadership Certificate in Christian Education
Principles of Teaching
Church's Educational Task
Teaching in the Church
Christian Education Leadership
Intro to Psychology
For further information about Global University, visit their website at www.globaluniversity.edu
CLTI is directed by a Board of Administrators made up of representatives from the church bodies involved. Each of the three national churches has a separate CLTI National Director and is free to adapt the program to best meet their needs. The courses of CLTI are offered by Local Training Centers, which are regulated by the Board of Administrators. At present we have 14 Local Training Centers with about 500 students.
Local Training Centers
Each Local Training Center (LTC) is run by its own local board. The board must consist of at least five individuals, one of whom must be the pastor if the LTC is attached to a local church. The LTC is free to run its own local program as it seems fit, as long as it meets the standards set by the Board of Administrators. The LTC decides what courses to offer, who will teach them, and when they will be taught. All teachers of CLTI courses must be certified by the Board of Administrators.
For further details, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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