Called to the Chaplain program

Ministry Profile 2023

My name is Linda Kotara, and I live in Texas. I have been married for 37 years to my incredible husband, Robert. We have two grown sons. Following our parents’ footsteps, we raised our children in the Catholic Church. Since studying at the Christian Leaders Institute, I feel called to the Chaplain program.

My Early Years

My parents were faithful churchgoers and followers of tradition. However, there was no evidence of the love of Christ or a spiritual plan for our lives in my childhood home. Once we left the church building, my father focused only on his career and providing for us. My mother was very passive and never recovered from losing a child previous to me. She suffered from depression and was not a big part of my childhood. My father brought his high level of tension and temper home to us. While with my parents, I felt very alone and without comfort or direction.

Our church had holy days of “obligation” but no offer or encouragement for family guidance. Growing up, I had no idea there was a heavenly Father who could provide the love, safety, truth, or guidance I so desperately needed. My teen years and until I married were a time of individual attempts to navigate this fallen world and search for who to trust. I encountered numerous dead ends and lies on my road to self-sufficiency.

Spiritual Journey

Only by the grace and leading of God did I meet and marry a man who knew the Lord. My husband served as an example to me of a Christ follower. He had a very different upbringing. After four years of marriage and the critical birth of our first child, I slowly began to call out to my heavenly Father. I needed the comfort and assurances only God could offer. I knew I was a lost sinner who needed the forgiveness only provided by the blood of Christ. My husband and I began attending an international Bible study called Bible Study Fellowship. It is a 7-year program that aided us to discern God’s plan for our lives.

During this study, I accepted God as my Father, Christ as my Savior, and the Holy Spirit as my ever-present Counselor. I experienced many situations and divine reasons that led my husband and me to search for a new church home. A place that could help nurture our spiritual walk and closeness to God.

Our new Bible-based church kept us immersed in God’s Word. It became evident that God wanted to draw us back to Him. We must trust Him by following His perfect plan and placing Him before every other distraction.

My Early Spiritual Journey

In my formative years, religion and a God who expected much from me were what I knew. I see now that I was on a training course to experience going it alone and failing miserably. This world presents so many lies about what happiness truly is. Material things will never fulfill us. Only God can fill that longing for the joy, peace, and contentment our heart desires.

Thirteen years ago, while with my favorite aunt at the time of her passing, I first heard of the hospice philosophy. Since then, I have been a patient volunteer and 11th-hour support. Hospice is where I discovered the role of Chaplain and felt initially called to the Chaplain program. Additionally, eight years ago, I was led to a very intensive study at my church that helped women learn how to know God’s perspective for their worth instead of what they were told or shown from their past failures. I felt the Lord’s guidance and grace taking hold more profoundly in my life. After the first few years, they asked me to become a group leader. God showed me I had the divine gifts to be His hands and feet for the suffering. I lean on HIS divine peace and comfort when listening, ministering, and walking with those in a spiritual battle or transition.

Called to the Chaplain Program at CLI: Gaining Competence and Confidence

Today, God continues to prompt me. The Christian Leaders Institute is a blessing to help improve my Bible knowledge, people skills, and confidence to be a better spiritual leader. The flexibility of the online courses and ability-based donation is why I could study the Chaplaincy courses. I remember learning about the inspiration Henry Reyenga received to put CLI into action after 9/11. After hearing this, I felt even more called to pursue the Chaplain program. Then, I could provide that comfort and spiritual guidance to those experiencing trauma, life struggles, or transitioning from this world.

Thank you, Henry Reyenga Jr. and CLI, for making this journey possible. I once read: What would it look like if you became the person God created you to be? I am thankful to CLI for growing the competence and confidence to develop into that person. My dream is to use and increase the gifts God, through CLI, has blessed me with. After that, I can minister to His hurting children and bring them the same hope, promises, and salvation I have received.

Register a Study Account

Register for a free study account, automatically enrolling you in the Getting Started Class at the Christian Leaders Learning Platform. The Getting Started class will take you less than an hour to complete.

When you log in to the Learning Platform, you will notice that the Getting Started Class automatically appears on your dashboard.    

The Getting Started Class will orientate you to the Christian Leaders Learning Platform and the Programs offered, including:

  1. Ministry Awards, Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees with the Christian Leaders Institute.
  2. Minister Credentialling (Ordination) with the Christian Leaders Alliance, including local Soul Center registration possibilities. 

Note: You can enroll in tuition-free courses or mini-courses immediately without finishing the getting started class.  

Find out more about women in ministry here.