Christian Leaders Institute 2.0 (2019)
Christian Leaders Institute is launching what we informally call Christian Leaders Institute 2.0. Our mission has always been to bring college-level study classes. Our founding goal was not to be a school which grants degrees since our passion was to equip more Christian Leaders for ministry. We are launching some new and exciting opportunities that will deepen our mission and serve a segment of students who are seeking official credentials.
Our English Mission
Since 2006, Christian leaders Institute has offered free ministry training classes which have raised up Christian leaders with in-depth classes that feature top professors with accredited degrees. Our provost, Dr. David Feddes has led a team of professors who have developed over forty college-level courses. By the end of 2018, CLI offers over 180 credits of training in areas of Ministry, Enterprise, and General Education Classes. Each class features lectures, free study materials, and quizzes. A student receives a grade, and that grade is recorded in an unofficial transcript.
So far, over 200,000 people have signed up to take classes, and almost 20,000 people have completed at least one award.
Our International Mission
Since 2014, Christian Leaders Institute has been expanding globally to include other languages. French was added in 2015. Spanish and Chinese were added in 2017. In 2019, CLI plans to launch Russian language studies.
In 2014, an ordination program with the Christian Leaders Alliance was established to guide people through local ordinations that were recognized globally.
Student Vision Partners
In 2016, the student Vision Partners program was launched led by Abby Reyenga. This program was launched supporting the mission to raise up more Christian Leaders by providing free studies at Christian Leaders Institute.
The Vision Partners program has been a fantastic success as students have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to keep the classes free. In 2018, over $500,000 was generated from student sources. The Vision Partners program segments students into Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum Vision Partners.
In 2013, students began to request official credentials. Many were requesting a degree program. So in 2015, a new era of official credentials began. From 2015-2018, free classes were created in general education subjects, ministry subjects, and enterprise subjects. We connected to peer accountability groups, like ACEA and IABCS to strengthen our credibility. While our classes conform to the United States Department of Education (USDE) standards, many standards needed to be complied with before we could seek that USDE-recognized accreditation.
For many students wanting official credentials, this was not a hindrance. Institutions with USDE-recognized accreditation such as Calvin Theological Seminary, Western Theological Seminary, and Northern Baptist Seminary accepted our degree graduates along with their acceptance guidelines.
As Christian Leaders Institute kept expanding, more and more students requested that we receive the United States Department of Education (USDE) recognized accreditation. In February of 2018, the board of directors approved that direction.
Christian Leaders Institute applied for USDE recognized accreditation with the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) at the end of the summer of 2018. After this first review for eligibility, some clarifications and insights surfaced that needed to be addressed. Christian Leaders Institute 2.0 will implement changes needed to help us more fully comply with all 22 standards of academic accreditation.
The significant part of this process is that we will strengthen our mission for delivering free ministry training while at the same time serving our students who want and need official credentials.
Christian Leaders Institute 2.0 Launch
Christian Leaders Institute is planning to launch many new and exciting features that will continue to serve our mission credential students and those students who want and need standardized credentials. Here are some of the exciting new features of Christian Leaders Institute 2.0.
- Christain Leaders Institute will serve students more connected to their goals for enrolling at Christian Leaders Institute.
Mission Credential Status– All students begin as mission credential student status. After they complete the Scholar Orientation getting started class, they are free to take any classes they choose and receive what mission credentials.. Mision credentials are considered Collegiate Credentials under 30 credits hours. In addition, the ordination program with the Christian Leaders Alliance is available to have the mission credentials. Mission credentials are offically recognized as works completed. Mission Credentials are official at the Christian Leaders Directory. We will not send offical paper mission credentials.
Collegiate Credential Status – Students who need or want standardized credential Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees will need to enroll in the Collegiate Credential Status class where they will need to establish their study readiness credentials. This status is required in the USDE standard of admissions proceedures. Only Collegiate Credential Status students will be able to receieve official Paper Certificates, Diplomas, and Degrees after January 1, 2019. The standardized Credential Status class will have a fee to help cover the administrative costs related to it. You can take this class any time after you complete the Connection Class (3 credits). You can take all our classes free as a mission credential status student and if you want an Collegiate credentials, you must establish your readiness for the Collegiate Credential Status. Some people may ask why this is necessary. As CLI workds to becomes accredited with the USDE recognized accreditation, other schools have to be assured that we have followed the same admission requirements. This Collegiate Credential Status for students helps us meet that standard.
- New Scholar Orientation Class– Students who sign up for free ministry training will be ushered into a free orientation class that will take them 2-3 hours to complete. The former Getting Started Class took between 12-20 hours to complete. Then, most students will take the new Connections Class. To help everyone start right, especially those students where English is a second language, all quizzes in that class can be repeated. This is also the class where students can consider leaving the Study Status and enroll in the Credential Status.
- Updated Vision Partners (VP) Program –The Vision Partners Program in 2.0 will focus on the impact of free ministry training. The new VP program will especially focus on the Vision Partners impact their giving brings. Christian Leaders Institute is launching an updated and expanded Student Vision Partners program. The new Vision Partners program will include two more levels of giving. The focus will be on the impact your giving will make. There will also be some further thank you benefits.
The new VP program will feature a new Copper level for those students who want to give at the $.50 to the $4.00 level monthly. An Iron level will feature students giving from $10-$20 levels. Vision Partner Gold and Platinium level Vision Partners will actually have the opportunity to fund Pool of Bethesda scholarships.
- New Connection and Ministry 101 Classes– These new ministry classes will serve students better to launch them at Christian Leaders Institute. The Connection Class will focus on a reproducible walk with God and a student’s connection to Christian Leaders Insititute. This class will also be the place where students make a profile that will lay the foundation for an ordination profile, involvement with a student credential path, and their first written assignment. The Ministry 101 class explores the critical issues of being a revival leader. Students will also get exposed to their identities as Christian Leaders. They will learn self-assessment tools from Professor Ron Carter of the DeVos urban Initiative.
- Life Coach Minister Ordination Program– This exciting ordination opportunity will be developed with Coach Approach Ministries. We will be developing basic and advanced Life Coaching classes with Chad Hall the Founder and President of Coach Approach Ministries. You will leverage the classes taken at Christian Leaders Institute in your calling area. You can be ordained as a Life Coach Minister with the Christian Leaders Alliance (a small fee is required for this package). Then if you are interested, you will be able to work with Coach Approach Ministries to get become a certified life coach with the International Coach Federation. The certification process does include a program cost paid to Coach Approach Ministries.
- Degree Program Upgrades– The Degree program expanded in 2018 to include more options. Christian Leaders Institute will strengthen these options with stronger writing preparation opportunities. Recently, we had a meeting with Calvin Theological Seminary, one of our academic partners. It became clear that a weakness for some of our graduates that apply at Calvin Seminary is that they lack the writing skills to do Master’s level ministry training. Our work with becoming accredited also has compelled us to offer more writing opportunities. Here is our plan to be rolled out by June 2019. The Degree program price will increase to $1,250 for both the Associate and the Bachelor degree. The price will remain at $1,000 for Vision Partners. Active Vision partners will also enjoy discounts depending on their level of involvement.
A Traditional College Writing Comprehension Class– This class will be offered with a writing lab which includes a lab fee. This writing class will also be offered without a writing lab for Study Status students. The class will be constructed in such a way that you will be able to add the writing lab later if you decide to pursue an official degree. This writing class will include graded papers. Remember, Study Status students are not required to take the writing lab. Although the writing lab will be offered to Study Status students, it is required for Credential Status students.
Optional Writing Lab for Many Classes– Some CLI students begin studying at Christian Leaders Institute with advanced writing skills. Those with these skills will not need the writing lab. As mentioned earlier, it was reported to Christian Leaders Institute that some of our students need higher proficiency in the writing area. The optional writing lab will be offered with a basic package and an advanced package. There will be a different fee structure for each writing lab package. Accredited writing coaches will be employed and will connect to the students who desire to grow in this area.
- Christian Philosophy Program– As Christian Leaders Institute continues in the mission to offer free classes, we want to offer the opportunity to all students to learn to think clearly and effectively through Christian philosophical study. This philosophy program will be excellent preparation for Credential status students. The program is led by Dr. Roy Clouser, a noted world-class philosopher. This program is launched at a strategic time in the life of Christian Leaders Institute. Every philosophy class will have optional writing lab activities, to strengthen philosophy majors. Dr. Clouser is also the resident philosopher for Christian Leaders Institute and runs the CLI philosophy blog.
- Ignite Restoration Restorative Justice Program – CLI Board President and Peacefire.net founder, Brian DeCook has taken the reigns of the Restorative Justice program at Christian Leaders Institute called Ignite Restoration. This program will focus on bringing more opportunities for saved and renewed justice individuals.
- Youth Ministry Credentials– In 2019, Christian Leaders Institute is going to begin offering a Youth Ministry Certificate. Working with the DeVos Urban Initiative, Christian Leaders Institute will be producing a class for them that will be offered for all students. This class will be added to the one developed in partnership with One Hope Ministries. These two classes will form an excellent training cannon for Youth Ministers. An ordained role through the Christian Leaders Alliance will also be added in 2019.
- Preaching Resourcing– Dr. Bruce Ballast has joined the CLI team, and he has launched a Christian Leaders Institute preaching blog called Preaching Acts. Dr. Ballast will also be developing an advanced preaching course for all students at Christian Leaders Institute.
- Greater Atlanta Biblical Initiative (GABI)– GABI was launched in late 2018. This program is headed up by Morgan Edwards who lives in the Atlanta area. Her goal is to work with the Christian Leaders Institute and the Christian Leaders Alliance in leveraging mentor ministers and bringing some pilot projects that will help raise up more Christian Leaders in that region.
- Administration Issues– Starting in 2019, Christian Leaders Institute will be moving to a new web cart. This web cart is called Shopify and is used by companies like Facebook and others. We believe that this global platform will serve our students better. We will also be moving our administrative headquarters to Florida but will keep a robust presence in Michigan. We are allowed to grant degrees in Florida under the religious exemption clause.
Since 2006, Christian Leaders Institute has raised up thousands of leaders by giving free access to high-quality ministry training and enterprise courses. We look forward to taking further steps in raising up more Christian Leaders.
In about 110-113 AD, a Roman magistrate named Pliny the Younger wrote about the spread of Christianity and its threat to the pagan Roman empire. He called it a contagion,
For many persons of every age, every rank, and also of both sexes are and will be endangered. For the contagion of this superstition has spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms.
Christian Leaders Institute will do everything we can do to help Christianity spread to more cities, more villages, and more farms.