Stories that are featured in our e-newsletter
As Christian Leaders Institute launches our Women in Ministry Ordination, I’ve taken some time to reflect on some of the amazing women we’ve seen here at CLI. As I looked through the stories shared by women in ministry I discovered this compelling testimony from a recently ordained woman. I’m excited to share her ordination story with everyone as we launch this next step in CLI ordination.
I would like to begin by introducing myself. My name is Iva L.M. Zeaunc-Paddio. I am from the Deep South, New Iberia Louisiana in the United States of America. I was raised by my great- grandmother in the Methodist Church. I began my walk with Christ at an early age, when I can remember is at age seven walking to church every Sunday with my grandmother. Service began at 7:00 a.m. sharp. My grandmother was never late, so that meant my family was up at 5:00 a.m. every Sunday morning. Sunday school began at 9:00 a.m. and of course we attended every Sunday faithfully.
As I got older – about thirteen – there was the church summer camp every summer and I attended that also one of my camp counselors ask if any of us was predestined. I really didn’t know what the word meant at the time, but I said yes I was.
There was always this aura tugging at me that signaled me that something was different about me, that I really was predestined to witness for Christ, to spread his gospel. I knew what I needed to do, but I didn’t act upon it. I drifted away from God and into the secular life for many years. Finally when my life had reached an all-time low, I met a minister and his wife who befriended me and brought me back to Christ. But still I wasn’t walking the way I needed to.
Several other clergy including my former brother –in-law spoke to me and told me I had a calling that had to be full filled. To stop running. My question was, where do I begin? I don’t have the money or the transportation to go to a traditional seminary. Traditional seminary is very costly. Not very close to where I live. So I searched the internet for help. There it was Christian Leaders Institute. At first I thought, Nah! this can’t be true. A free online College education.
Well after I researched everything I found out that CLI was very transparent. Everything about the school and its founders was in different search engines. It’s not common that you will find any institution that makes all of the information concerning their school available to the public for viewing.
The education that I am being provide is top notch. CLI provides this valuable training through generous donations only. The education I have received is invaluable. Through CLI I was able to accelerate the time it would have taken for me to become an ordained minister in the church I am a member of. CLI ordination class gave me the knowledge needed to become an ordained minister in one half the time it would have normally taken through the ministry in my church. The ordination class has so much quality information to increase one‘s knowledge in ministry.
The Pastor of the Church that I am a member of and attend ordained me as an Evangelist and a teacher. He stated that those were the two areas that I am the strongest in. I have gained those strengths in my studies through CLI. The Subjects that are taught are very informative. I have learned a lot and I am very thankful for being given this opportunity to further my education.
Since becoming a student at CLI, I have been given the position of teaching in the adult bible study class. My taking the step to further my education has shown the elders in the church that I am taking the necessary steps to get the knowledge that is needed to be a church leader.
I have also encouraged another member of the congregation to start taking classes through CLI. After seeing my accomplishments my fellow church member became interested in furthering her education in ministry also.
CLI has opened the doors for the ladies in our ministries, because they are becoming more active in the ministry now that they can see the accomplishments that are being made by myself and our fellow sister in the ministry through our classes with CLI.
We know there are many women out there like Iva who God is preparing for ministry. Many of these women are called later in life, or just don’t have the money to attend a traditional seminary to be ordained. We’re grateful that God is using us to help people like Iva – called female leaders in His kingdom.
Christian Leaders Institute is excited to announce a brand new ordination opportunity! As of February, 2016, students at CLI can now get ordained for Women’s Ministry!
Why offer a specific ordination for women in ministry? Through our conversations with Gena McCown, who’s served as a women in ministry for more than 15 years, we’ve seen that this is a tremendous opportunity in churches all over the world. Like any other ministry, women’s ministry leaders will face unique challenges in their service to the Lord.
With this in mind, our women’s ministry ordination explores what it means to lead women’s ministry in a church. Why do we have women’s ministry? What is the purpose? What’s expected of a women’s ministry leader?
The Inspiration of Phoebe
One of our primary inspirations in creating this ordination is Phoebe. Phoebe is a somewhat mysterious figure in the Bible. She’s mentioned only once, with an entire 2 verses of the whole New Testament devoted to her. Yet those two verses say a lot about her character and position. They’re a personal endorsement by the apostle Paul, who most scholars believe entrusted her with carrying his epistle to the church in Rome.
Paul speaks of Phoebe as a leader in her local church. He implies that she has carried out her charge as a leader diligently, in a manner worthy of a called leader. He says that she has been a great help to many in the church, including himself. There are few people in the Bible with so little written about them whose character is so highly represented.
We believe that God continues to cal women to various roles in ministry. And we’re excited to be launching this opportunity for called women in ministry.
Ordained Specifically for Women in Ministry
The women’s ministry ordination isn’t meant to be a substitute ordination for women. We’ve already ordained several women for the full Christian Leaders Ordination and will continue to ordain women through that program. The women’s ministry ordination is a less study-intensive ordination for women specifically interested in leading women’s ministry in their church.
For this reason, there are only 26 credit hours required for Women’s Ministry Ordination as opposed to the 37 that are required for the Christian Leaders Ordination. Women who complete the Women’s Ministry Ordination are, of course, welcome to continue on and complete the full Christian Leaders Ordination if they so desire. But our focus in this ordination is on women whose vision is for Women’s Ministry.
Churches Need Women in Ministry Leaders
We’re excited about the Women’s Ministry Ordination because it will be an important resource for ministry leaders around the world. God has already called women to be women’s ministry leaders in thousands of local churches all over the world. We want to equip these leaders to disciple the women that God has given them charge of in their local church. And we thank God again for the opportunity to be part of His plan for these women across the world.