Networking with other schools

Unfortunately there is a tremendous waste of resources in the Christian community because of a duplication of effort. In the area of graduate education this is particularly true. Every school has to have its own facilities, its own library, etc., all of which are only used part of the time. This wastes the precious resources of the institutions as they each try to provide for their own programs.

A parallel problem is a realization that the scope of the training needs is simply larger than one church, or one school can address. An example is the very real need for training and equipping of inner-city and/or rural pastors and ministry leaders. Traditional seminaries and Bible Colleges see few of these students in their schools, because of the economic hardships. Where programs have been developed, the required subsidy can be 60-80% of the actual cost. The logical answer for these problems is a genuine networking of schools to provide collectively what they cannot provide individually.

Another benefit of genuine networking is it allows partners to be involved with their own areas of expertise, which often allows for more creativity and diversity. It is even possible to create a separate umbrella organization that could coordinate the efforts of the individual schools and training agencies.

Development of consulting resources

We have found that even with the best classroom or online instruction, including significant time for interaction and hands-on training, this does not guarantee the degree of transferability we feel is necessary for our definition of success. The reason for this less than satisfactory result is the issues pastors and ministries face when they get back on the front lines of ministry in their own communities. We believe this can best be addressed through the use of mentoring, consulting help and the training of key leaders who are equipped to deal with problems of implementation.

Churches and pastors are becoming much more open to the use of consultants, however the financial situation of most churches does not allow for them to contract for the necessary resource personnel. From the opposite perspective, consultants who have tried to specialize in church ministry have found it difficult to maintain the necessary income.

The possibility exists for a Graduate School to offer this kind of service whereby mentors as well as instructors would serve as part time consultants. The churches would reimburse them at a reasonable rate and both parties would benefit.