Pursuing Ministry Training

Pursuing Ministry Training

Join today and receive a scholarship towards pursuing ministry training and becoming a leader in Christian ministry. Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) offers free high-quality online ministry training. CLI accepts any individual anywhere in their life to learn about Christianity. Read a student’s testimony below who found CLI and is using the scholarship for pursuing ministry training to spread the word of God.

Hello, my name is Christopher Nickell. I am 24 years old and am currently living in West Palm Beach, Florida in the United States. I consider myself to have been in ministry for roughly 6 years, as this is when I truly began to take seriously the mantle of living like Christ.

I come from quite a broken family – an alcoholic, drug-addicted father who was almost never around; a young, mother who had not grown up; and two younger brothers, 3 and 5 years my younger. The most recent starting from the age of 15. But, I now have a family through my wife, Abigail. We met at University and her family has accepted me as one of their own.

Further, I was homeless twice, from the ages of 7-11 and from 15 until I started University at age 18. I have sold and done drugs, engaged in gang-related activity, and been the victim of alcoholic abuse for many, many years. My family is comprised of mostly alcoholics who had not completed school, had kids really young, and never truly grew up. Their views of the world are contained in the same cycle which they attempted to escape but inadvertently perpetuated.

These aren’t strung together as accolades for myself, but accolades for Christ and his grace and unending love, that He would reach down and be with me during and despite these things. It was these experiences that showed me the true nature and devastation of the human soul – the desire for connection, acceptance, and love but also the desire to survive at all costs, a common detriment to the former desires. These desires help for an easy target from the Enemy. It is these desires which instill in me a passion for providing the ultimate source of connection, acceptance, and love to all people through Christ, the living water.

A bit more about me. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Communication & Media and a Master’s degree in Church History (more a practical, factual degree than a theological degree). This is why I am here at CLI – to learn and establish basic and foundational biblical and theological training. I am very much interested and have always primarily focused on, establishing an attitude and life that reflects the grace of Christ – utilizing these two facets of Christianity to provide meaningful relationships with the people around me. Through these relationships, I believe that Christ can use me to share his love.

Speaking of sharing his love, West Palm Beach, South Florida in general, has one of the highest rates of drug addiction, rehabilitation, relapse, and drug-related crimes in the United States. Many states throughout the US send people to South Florida to enter rehabilitation programs. Many South and Central American and Caribbean countries traffic drugs through South Florida. Both of these facts combined to aid in establishing quite a poverty, homelessness, and crime ridden area.

Much of the demographic in South Florida is comprised of individuals struggling with the difficulties mentioned above, as well as there is a high population of English as second-language speakers, many being Spanish or Creole. This is the area within which I mostly interact.

I have recently moved back to the United States after living in Hong Kong with my wife and in-laws. My time there resulted in much training in ministry through the church that my in-laws planted, called The Little Church World. My time there was oriented in me a vision for how to reach people, albeit not as direct a manner as traditional evangelism, but rather a relationship-centered evangelism which focuses primarily on providing and emphasizing the humanity and dignity found in all human beings – which I believe truly shares the love and concern God has for each of us and the welcoming heart he has, calling each of us to Himself.

For me, this all started as the direct result of a punishment. At age 15, I had a step-father who was abusive. I would instigate him, in order to steer him away from my younger brothers. I finally had enough and told a teacher at school about it. The next day I met with police officers and representatives from the Department of Children and Families. They determined that there was not sufficient evidence for abuse, and dropped our case. As a result, I was charged with attempting to dismantle the family by my mother. The punishment, to spend 6 months attending church with my grandmother.

This was a punishment primarily because my mother and grandmother did not quite get along. The punishment emphasized more the time spent with my grandmother. Going to church was simply what she did. Throughout those 6 months, I met the most genuine and alive people I’ve ever met. Through their interest in who I was and for my well-being, their concern for my soul, I met with an inquisitive spirit and began asking many questions of the pastor and youth pastor, eventually accepting the truth of who Christ was and what he did for us.

This is the foundation of my ministry dream, which is shaped heavily by my wife. Her passion for people and her love for the Lord have greatly influenced my own walk. Further, she is British but was born and spent the majority of her life in Hong Kong. We just spent the better part of a year there with her family and I have developed a love for Chinese culture. She and I see ourselves pursuing ministry training within Hong Kong and Mainland China – whether that is by literally being in those places, or in the States/England ministering to Chinese expats. Specifically, I desire to help establish communities. If this manifests in church-planting, growth, groups leadership, or even simply housing international students frequently, providing a home away from home to which they can experience the warmth and love of God.

By providing a clear context and ministry training outline, this course as reminded me of the significance and impact that engaging in a daily walk with God has on both your own life and the lives of the people around you. Therefore, by utilizing the material and experience of the leaders of CLI, I expect and intend to grow in both my understanding of Christ and my personal role in developing, maintaining, and sharing my relationship with Him.

What prompted me into pursuing ministry training is an easy question to answer, but a difficult question to articulate. What I mean is, the difficulties and challenges I faced growing up both prepared me and my heart for ministry but also are most of the stumbling blocks and temptations in this same ministry.

Prayers are always desired! Prayers for the stirring of the Spirit; for increased desire to know God more deeply and to share His love more excitedly; prayers for steadfastness in maintaining the attitude necessary to reflect Christ; prayers for a love and purity towards my wife and family; prayers for devotion to learning, learning about God, the Church, and about people and how to best serve them; and prayers for the community with which I interact, that their hearts would be softened to see what Christ has down in my life and what He can do in theirs. I am so blessed and excited for this opportunity CLI has given me in pursuing ministry training. 

Check out more stories about CLI students pursuing ministry training and becoming leaders in Christian ministry and much more on the CLI Facebook page

Small Church Leader Ministry Training

Small Church Leader Ministry Training

Join today and receive free high-quality online ministry training. Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) trains revival leaders throughout the world. CLI accepts any individual anywhere in their life to learn about Christianity. Read a student’s testimony below who found CLI and is using the small church leader ministry training from CLI to help strengthen her and her family’s faith:

I was born and raised in Southern California, in the United States. I lived in the same city I was born in until I was over 30 years old when my husband moved us (me, our children, and his mother) out to the rural desert. I have always felt a fondness for the desert. The open land, the dry air, the clear blue sky seem to calm my heart and leave me open to the quietness where God speaks. As I watch the sun rise and set over the brush and cactus, I can close my eyes and be close to the Lord.

Sharing the Lord with others in the United States is probably the easiest thing in the world, the freest and legally protected, but I’m reluctant to be viewed as condescending or strange. I feel like the Lord has blessed me beyond belief, yet I am afraid to share His love with strangers. Why? That’s what I’m here to find out.

I was born into a Christian home that did not practice the faith. I knew the Bible stories they tell children, but I did not mature into a real relationship with God with Jesus as my Savior.
I married the man of my dreams when I was 26 years old and it turned out he was a practicing Christian, a man walking with God. We had some wonderful disagreements during our first years of marriage over what the Bible says, whether it is literal, and who goes to heaven. I really did not have enough information to argue. My knowledge of the Bible ended with Children’s Sunday School stories and coloring pages of Jesus. He suggested I actually read the book and because I loved him and looked up to him, I did. He bought me a study bible and I’ve had the same one ever since. It is full of notes, thoughts, and prayers.

A few years later, I met a woman who became a very good friend. She invited me to her church for coffee and I began attending regularly. I’d bring home the sermon and my husband and I would talk about it and I’d learn so much more. The long story short is that I fell in love with Jesus there and ended up being Baptized and dedicating our children in that church. I felt the Lord move mightily in my life at that time.

After our big move to the desert, I continued my study. I used to attend church with my Mother-In-Law but was never comfortable. I love her dearly but felt “in her shadow” at her church and haven’t returned. Lately, I’ve felt compelled to find a church home and have been actively praying for God’s help in this matter. The trouble is that I’m a very introverted person and I’ve been hurt by church people. I’m afraid to open the door and walk in alone. After some reflection, I’m starting to see it may be my own sin of pride that is holding me back.

My ministry dream. Well, that’s the strange part. When I first started looking online for an in depth bible study, I wasn’t looking for ministry training. I was looking to connect with God on a deeper level than just feeling. I wanted something more systematic than just reading my translation of the bible over and over again with no more input than what came to me. I love that part of my morning study, but I wanted more. I found that in CLI’s Small Church Leader Ministry Training.

I am the mother of teenage boys. While we have always read the Bible together and lived our Christian values, I’ve never felt fully equipped to minister to my children. As they begin to look outside our home for a life of their own, I would like to be a better resource for the Christian teaching to them, their wives, and their children in the future.

Recently, I volunteered to work at a local Christian pregnancy clinic. The clinic offers help for women with unplanned & planned pregnancies, supporting them by helping educate them about their pregnancy, helping them find other resources, connecting them with churches, and mentoring them in parenting and skills. It is all in the hopes of saving children from abortion and bringing people to the Lord through service and love. I’m not a counselor there. I’m just a receptionist. But I’ve found it to be such a place of God’s love that I feel called to be more like them. I want to know God daily like they do. I want to be able to share it with others by only the light in my eyes and the love of my heart. Can the Small Church Leader ministry training I’ve found at CLI be used in this context some day? I believe so.

Like I said, I didn’t come online looking for small group leader ministry training or any ministry training, but it sure found me. God works in some very mysterious ways! Through the last few weeks, I find myself growing more and more excited about the classes that are offered here. Because of the “Getting Started” class, I’ve found ways to add to my daily walk with God in my own way. I’ve changed the radio station I listen to while I do the dishes to Worship music, for one thing. When my son walked by and remarked that he had heard this song at church and smiled that smile I love so much, I knew God was there. I’ve begun to memorize scripture, something I never thought I could actually do, and it has been a light in my heart. My daily meditation is now focused on that verse as I repeat it and let God’s love wash over me, instead of just focusing on my breathing. I feel a call to know God more through this class and I thank you for offering it in such a unique way!

I think I may identify most with “Small Group Leader” and I am interested in CLI’s small church leader ministry training. I’ve always loved the ones I have attended and would love to lead one at our pregnancy clinic for young mothers. I feel a connection with these young women and I want to show them that with God they can be the mother of that child and there is no telling what joy they will experience. There is just so much potential in a pregnant woman, so much expectation and joy. It’s as if you can actually see Creation as it happens. I’d love to lead small group studies that help these women know their own strength and where it comes from, that there is an infinite supply in Jesus. I know CLI’s Small Church Leader Ministry Training will equip me with the tools necessary to follow my dreams.

Every way I’ve turned, God has been there. At my worst moment and my best, God has shown me his mercy and strength. My life has been blessed beyond belief and I give all the credit to the love of Jesus Christ. There have been so many chances to go the wrong way, to give up and end up alone and unhappy, but Jesus has always been holding his hand out to me. I want to be an example to others. I want them to see the love of God when then see me.

I read about the challenges ministries have in other countries and I wonder if there is any real challenge here at all. There is no legal or cultural hurdle. But there is one thing that seems to be growing, apathy and distrust. People all around me are heard saying that people in need should look to the government program that provides for them. That’s what we pay taxes for. But can a government program to feed the poor do the same service as a church ministry? In one way, yes. The people are physically fed to some degree. In the most important way, no. The people are still hungry for a connection to their fellow man and to God. I believe a church ministry can do so much more than hand a hungry child a bowl of cereal or a young woman contraceptives. The church can touch a person’s soul, bring them closer to God, and make them whole so that they can stand on their own and begin to help others. It’s like a ripple effect across humanity. That is what our community needs, the first pebble to be dropped on the smooth surface of the water and then another, and another, until the whole pond is rippling and crossing with love and support in this life. I hope to be a part of this ripplng effect with the use of my Small Church Leader Ministry Training

Has connecting to the Bible has transformed my life? I used to scoff at the idea that just reading could bring you closer to God. Now that I have taken the chance and have been reading for several years, I see the wisdom. I’ve experienced first hand how a simple prayer and a few chapters a day over my breakfast can show me how God’s Word is relevant in every age. It has made me more confident in God’s Word to actually know it first hand. I’m continually amazed by the answers I find there. How much more insight would I receive if I spent more time and trusted that God would show me what I need to understand? He’ll keep repeating it until I see it. It’s there. I just need to pause and see it.

My local church. At the moment, my church does not expand much past, my own family. I’m a work in progress though and am moving towards attempting a church service again. I’ve had some ugly ideas about what church is and what I should expect there. And I’m afraid. I should not be and I know this. God is in any church. He has a reason for me to be there and it isn’t something I can understand just now. I have a multitude of reason why I can’t go to church. I’m busy; my kids race dirt bikes on most Sundays. My husband won’t go; I don’t want to leave him alone on his day off. I’m shy and nervous; I don’t want to try a new church alone. I don’t want to attend with my Mother-in-Law; she’s established there and I feel in her shadow. I don’t like the sermons and politics of her church; maybe I need to be there anyway and see what’s there besides that, “be the change” as they say.

This is an obstacle to overcome. I need prayer here and God’s hand to hold as I step outside my comfort zone.

My family is the reason I feel called to this ministry in the first place. The Lord has held us up in amazing ways and I so desperately want to share that with others so that they can make their families loving and strong fortresses in the world. I believe firmly that each individual relationship with God is where we each begin to build better relationships with our spouse, our children, and our communities.

Though my husband and children have a more subtle relationship with God, one they keep mostly to themselves and share with the world by the way they are responsible for their own lives and help others where they can, they do see that my personality and calling is a bit different than theirs, and they fully support what I do as long as I respect and support their need for peace and privacy. While I read, study, and discuss with them and others, so that I can shout to the mountaintops, “God did this for me!”, they are happy to watch and love me from the sidelines. I love them for this because I know in some dark corner they think I’m a little bit crazy but they love me anyway.

CLI has come into my life at just the right moment and at just the right price. The free online small church leader ministry training CLI offers is flexible that it fits perfectly into my schedule. My husband supports all of us on one income. In Southern California, even in the desert, that’s a difficult thing to do, so we don’t have a lot of spending money. We homeschool our children without government oversight and support, so a lot of our money goes to their education. But my children are moving toward beginning their own journey. As they begin to move outward, I know I’ll have more time to do the things I have put aside while raising them, not to mention the money that used to go to their education can then go to mine. I know I’ll be able to pay back to CLI so that others around the world can get the training they need and desire, but it’s wonderful to know that I can get started on the work of it right now! 

I’d love it if the CLI community could pray for my personal ministry direction and my small Church Leader Ministry Training. Pray that with God’s help I can find the courage to step into a formal church and begin to build a wider church family. Pray that I can find my calling there; that I’ll find a way to fit in or stand out and be happy with where God has planted me to bloom.

Check out more stories about CLI students becoming leaders in ministry the on the CLI facebook page

Free Online Ministry Program to the World

Free Online Ministry Program

Start Christian Leaders Institute’s free online ministry program today. Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) offers free high-quality online ministry program. CLI accepts any individual anywhere in their life to learn about Christianity. Read a student’s testimony below who found CLI as a tool to rediscover the pathway to Christ and strengthen her relationship with God:

My name is June Middleton of Southwest Missouri; the Bible Belt of the great United States of America. As a little girl, I always knew there was a God and I wanted to know Him more, but I was not consistently taken to church in my childhood. After becoming a new mother at the age of 19, I knew there must certainly be an almighty and powerful God. It was then I began attending a family member’s church and shortly after, asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. I was baptized on Palm Sunday of the same year to show my faith decision publicly. The next 15 years of my life proved to be the hardest, and even though I had prayed for salvation and was publicly baptized at the age of 19, I was so immature in my understanding and knowledge of His Word and how I should live my life. Instead, I continued to try to control my life and situations, leading to disasters in relationships, including divorce. In December of 2004, shortly after marrying my current husband of 12 1/2 years, I knew my life had been a mess the previous 15 years leading up to our marriage, and I didn’t want to live in chaos anymore. I wanted to be, and live, the life Christ Jesus intended, and it was on that day I rededicated my life to Him; studying His Word and applying it to my life as best as I could from that day forward. The past 12 1/2 years have not been easy, in fact, there have been so many hard days/months/years; but because I was growing my relationship and knowledge of Him, those hard days became my training ground for serving God and His kingdom here on earth. Just as Paul often communicated of himself, I was the worst of sinners, and yet Jesus loved and saved me anyway.

I have spent the past 20+ years of my life in the financial services and/or information security fields. Nearly ten years ago I felt God tugging on my heart to be part of His ministry here in our community, but I didn’t know exactly what it looked like, or in what capacity, especially since I was divorced. Earlier this year, with the prompting of a gracious local Church lead pastor, I felt called by God to leave the comforts of the corporate world and the pursuit of a Master’s Degree in Cybersecurity to take a financial and operations ministry role in his local, community active church, and to begin the pursuit of a Biblical degree. This is a dream come true for me. God has given me these financial and operation gifts, been preparing me over these past ten years, and now He has given me the opportunity to work with a wonderful ministry staff in helping further their mission of providing a safe place for unbelievers to come and learn about Jesus, for a relationship with Jesus, and go out into our community and share their love and knowledge of Jesus to other unbelievers. My ministry dream will be complete when I begin to teach others in classroom, sermon, and community settings (as a pastor and/or evangelist), as well as write a book or two on what I have learned during my walk with Jesus, so I may share it to encourage others and give them hope. However, I was in need of a free online ministry program to better equip me with the tools needed to fulfill this dream. 

After extensive research of online Biblical education programs, I decided to look at the Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) online program. I was looking for a high-quality free online ministry program and CLI offered just that.  I have completed the Getting Started class and I am so pleased I did. It has provided me with a wealth of information and helped me develop better habits for my devotional (prayer and Bible reading) time with the Lord. I was so encouraged by this first course, that it is now my intent to continue taking CLI courses in pursuit of a B.S. in Divinity Degree so I may grow in my faith relationship and knowledge of God to be a witness of His love, compassion, and truth for others. I want to be used by Him; to be His disciple, to love others, provide hope, and win as many hearts to Jesus as I am able.

The Christian Leaders Institute (CLI), a free online ministry program, will open up the Bible for me and train me to be a well-rounded Christian leader. My family and church have been so supportive of my move into full-time ministry and my pursuit to be a Christian leader. I am so thankful for the CLI online ministry scholarship opportunity, as it allows me to study at my own pace and the ability to afford the education; especially after leaving the higher secular/corporate salary ladder (and education was fully paid by my employer) to the church/ministry salary ladder (and education is not paid by my employer). Thank you, CLI for this awesome, life-changing opportunity. I am so blessed to have discovered this free online ministry program. I am truly, and eternally grateful! Please pray for me to be steadfast in completing the CLI courses and always seek His divine will, wisdom, and discernment in fulfilling the ministry dream that lies ahead of me.

Check out more stories about how students are using the free online ministry program that Christian Leaders Institute offers to become revival leaders on the CLI facebook page

Free Online Christian Training: Building Strong Leaders

Free Online Christian Training

Become a strong and authentic leader today. Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) offers free high-quality online ministry training. CLI accepts any individual anywhere in their life to learn about Christianity. Read a student’s testimony below who found CLI’s free online Christian training as a tool to renew his the walk with Christ:

I hail from Southwestern Ontario, Canada. Although a ‘first-world’ country, it is becoming increasingly challenging to practice ministry due to increasing self-reliance and ‘enlightenment’ of the population through the focus on higher education. I know this sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but my experience and popular culture has shown me that the more degrees a person has, and the higher education achieved, the more a person believes they can do and figure everything out for themselves with little or no dependence on others, let alone God.

I’ve always been familiar with God, being brought up in a Christian home, but I began my personal relationship with God more in my adult years after becoming a parent and losing a number of close family members. I believe it took those experiences for me to realize I really didn’t have all the answers, nor the power to control every aspect of my life. I also had the benefit of learning some hard lessons through some experiences that quite frankly made me angry at God. However; only as time passed did I realize that God had a direct hand in all the struggles with a plan to build me up and create new, better opportunities for me and my family.

This introductory class with the Christian Leaders Institute has renewed my Bible walk with God, reinforcing the different connections necessary, especially around devotions and studying the Bible while reminding me of my role and responsibility as the spiritual leader of my household.
Of all the options, I would say I identify most with the title “Small Group Leader”, as my passion is focused on building other leaders and mentors that will lead others using Christ’s example, showing believers and non-believers alike the benefits of seeking to be a disciple of Christ. This is something I want to pursue as I see far too many leaders that are too selfish and focused on protecting themselves at the cost of others.

A unique challenge here in Canada is the cultural popularity to promote everything that is not related to the Christian faith and treat Christian believers as an oppressive force that must be shut down and penalized all in the name of pluralism of all except for the Christian Church.

My local church is actually a church plant itself, focused on reaching the unchurched and de-churched in the community. I have been regularly encouraged to explore ministry as a bi-vocational leader and have been given opportunities to take a leadership role within the Church itself.

A scholarship at CLI would assist me in exploring more focused biblical studies without putting undo pressure on my family’s limited resources as well as allow me to study at my own pace while working full-time.

The prayers I would ask for are not necessarily for me, but for all those in Canada, and the world, that has not seen the light of Christ, or have been mistreated by those calling themselves Christian, and that they see what Christ has done and is doing for those that seek to be disciples, not just Christians.

Check out more stories about students using CLI’s free online Christian training to become strong and authentic leaders in Christ on the CLI facebook page

Journey to Ministry: From Wreckage to Reconciliation

Journey to Ministry

Start your journey to ministry today! Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) offers free high-quality online ministry training. CLI accepts any individual anywhere in their life to learn about Christianity. Read a student’s testimony below who used Christian Leaders Institute to continue his journey to ministry:

I was born and raised in Genesee county Michigan, USA. I still reside in Genesee county and currently, I am the outreach and evangelism pastor at my local church. I have been in ministry for a total of 15 years and have held numerous different positions. My wife Samantha Kelley and I are in ministry together.
At 13 years old, I felt the call of God on my life to preach. I come from a line of men of God who uphold the Christian walk and have taught and lived out the truth of who God is. My spiritual mentor is my father. My father’s spiritual mentor was his uncle, my great uncle, BL Kelley. It is my desire to continue this legacy to be the best pastor that I possibly can be. I am currently fully ordained as a minister of the gospel, and I hold an associates degree in biblical theology from Christian Leadership University. I am in a position where I can no longer afford to pay the fees associated with the traditional seminary. This scholarship would give me the ability to achieve a degree in Divinity, as well as give me the training necessary to be the best minister I can possibly be. Christian Leaders Institute will allow me to follow my dreams.
What I love about CLI so far is the quality information and training available. I’m not looking for the easy road for some online school to hand me the paper of completion. I look forward to learning the material so I can apply it to my local church. In my local area, we have a key demographic of low-income families, alcoholism, drug addiction, broken families, All of which who are in desperate need to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so excited to learn in greater detail different ways I can engage our local community to present Christ. My father is the pastor of my local church, I have been called here for a reason. I do not want to have to leave my local church for a bigger denomination that has the ability to train within. The Holy Spirit spoke to me in January 2017 that I am to stay put and help my father pastor our local church. With that said, I am in need of further education and further training. I am excited to be a part of Christian Leaders Institute to continue my journey of ministry. 
I was born and raised in the church but like most, I went astray for a while. Because of my personal encounter with God the Savior, I have a desire to see the lost saved and to see the broken be made whole. In my testimony, God has delivered me from drugs and alcoholism, he has delivered me from depression, PTSD from combat, and saved my life when I attempted suicide. The best advice I have ever been given to be effective in my journey to ministry is that we cannot be afraid to show our own scars. Just like when Jesus resurrected from the dead and some of those who are closest to him did not recognize him. His identifier was his scars.
I identify most with being called to serving as a Pastor because I truly have a desire to see people be filled, to see people healed, and to see people step into their calling.
My local church has been more than supportive and willing to help in any way possible to see us trained and ready for ministry. My family plays a vital role in our ministry because we have gone from absolute wreckage to reconciliation. My wife is truly my other half in ministry she encourages me, loves people, and is a prayer warrior. My children help me lead worship. We are all a package deal.
If there is anything that I can say we would ask for prayer for it is that God continues to direct our path, so we can be successful in creating disciples who will bring value to their own local church.
Sincerely thank you
Pastor Matthew Kelley

Check out more stories about students on their journey to ministry on the CLI facebook page