Your ministry lives in the real world. You are working to solve real world problems, serving real people in real communities. And you know that the next generation of leaders needs more than what the traditional university model can give; they need practical leadership skills. But with the right training program, you don’t need to choose between giving your students hands-on training and academic credit. They can have both.
Be the Hands and Feet of God
God has work to do in this world and he does that work through real people. When you are involved in training the next generation of leaders, you want leaders capable of doing the hands-on work of God. We are the hands and feet of God here on earth and you want leaders who understand this, both in principle and in practice.
We are saved by grace, but God desires that grace to result in real-world change. When Jesus spoke of his return in Matthew 25, he emphasized this. He is looking for the sorts of leaders who will feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, heal the sick, and visit the imprisoned. What we do for the “least of these,” we do for him. You want leaders passionate about the practical work of God.
The Practical Side of Academic Credit and Degree Programs
Bible schools, Christian universities, and seminaries all play a valuable part in God’s plan to raise up leaders. While they cannot offer the dynamic hands-on training opportunities that your local ministry can, they do provide a way for students to gain recognized academic credit. When a graduate can put a completed degree program on their resume, they immediately raise the likelihood of landing the job they feel called to pursue. Employers, even in the ministry world, value completed degree programs.
Students know this, too. When they are considering how to get trained for whatever life God has planned for them, they know a university degree will help them get there. The modern world puts a high premium on education. Academic degrees, of all shapes and sizes, are supposed to represent that a certain level of quality education has taken place. And this helps students prove their potential to any future employer.
How You Can Help Students Get Ahead
Potential ministry residents or interns are often forced into an unhelpful dichotomy. On one hand, they want a training program that is practical and that takes place in real ministry contexts. But on the other hand, they need a degree. This means they can find themselves enrolling at a traditional school, even if they know that they need a more hands-on environment to really prepare for and fulfill their calling.
You can give your students a third option, one that gives them both the practical training they need and the academic degree pathways their future employers will require. We have helped ministries do this both on the graduate and undergraduate levels. Your students do not need to choose between getting a degree — or academic credit toward a degree — and getting the more personal and hands-on training that your ministry offers.
In fact, when you pair the real-world practical training that a frontline ministry offers with the academic credit that schools provide, your graduates actually come out further ahead than their peers. They can graduate from your program with a degree or academic credit towards a degree that helps them in the hiring process. And they also enter the workforce with real work experience and skills.
Students can enter the next stage of God’s plan for them with both the credentials and the skills to succeed. And you can give them that opportunity. Whether you are building a leadership pipeline for your own ministry, launching emerging leaders into their next step, or both, elevating their outcomes and their opportunities is a critical step.
If you have a training program and you want it to give your students degree pathways, as well, we can help you get there. Schedule a call and we will get you started in no time.