Course Catalog

Getting Started


Christian Leaders Basics Certificate

This is the first certificate you must take in order to receive Free Tuition. It consists of two courses. Students enter Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) via our Getting Started: Christian Leaders Connection class and the Christian Basics: Introduction to Christian Doctrine class which will make you eligible to become a Scholarship Recipient. The first class introduces students to a reproducible walk with God and gives them an orientation to CLI. The second class covers the doctrinal basics of the Christian faith. This is the foundational certificate that opens up Christian Leaders Institute for further study by students. A student completing these two classes earn 7 credits and their first certificate.

Core Degree Courses


Astronomy (3 Credits)

In this course, you will learn the science of astronomy – exploring all aspects of the universe ranging from the motion we observe in the night sky to the properties of the planets that make up our solar system to the surprising conclusions we can draw from the study of distant galaxies. At every turn, you will learn how the heavens are declaring the glory of God for us all to marvel at and enjoy.

College Algebra (3 Credits)

Many people say that “mathematics is the language of God” because the natural world is so beautifully described by mathematical relationships. In this course, we will explore the mathematics of algebra – a fundamental building block of all advanced mathematics. Our course will begin with a review of the fundamentals and continue into the study of expressions, equations, inequalities, graphing, and applications to geometry.

Ministry Mathematics (3 Credits)

In this course, you will learn the basics of mathematics as it applies to ministry settings in a ministry, church or non-profit.  This class will also help you in your personal finances. This is very important for effective ministry.

Church Planting – Applied Marketing (4 Credits)

The essence of marketing is “getting the word out”. This Church planting class takes many of the timeless principles 20160912_185708of marketing and brings them into a Biblical context for the theory of Church Planting. This class can be used as a marketing core requirement for the Degree program or can be used as an elective in all programs. You can only use this course once in your program. This course looks at the intentional efforts necessary to plant reproducible and sustainable churches.

Introduction to Psychology (3 credits)

The aim of this course is to present students with an overview of the understanding, prediction, and control of human behavior. This course provides students with a basic understanding of how psychologists interpret and research human behavior. Psychology influences the way we understand ourselves and the interactions with people connected to us. This class seeks to analyze and evaluate these psychological perspectives through a Christian worldview

Economics 101  (3 credits)

The Christian Leaders Institute Economics 101 includes content from a course designed by the Foundation of Economic Freedom. This course goes over the vital principles of economics applied to entrepreneurship. This course also draws from resources from the Acton Institute as well as others sources.

Management by the Book (3 Credits)

Management by the Book is a core management class that covers both traditional management topics and also core leadership topics. This class will contextualize the best practices of management theory including an in-depth survey of leadership principles taught in the book of Philemon.

Science: Introduction to Biology (3 Credits)

In this course, instructor Heidi Vonderheide takes students through an introductory level course in the biological sciences. Topics range from an introduction to the scientific method to the cell and its functions in all living things to ecology. There are twelve blocks of material which will each be the basis for a 20 question quiz. The total number of points for the course is 240. Instructor Vonderheide includes one block of material on the topic of evolution because everyone who is a Christian leader needs to understand the principles of evolutionary theory in order to engage in meaningful dialogue with the proponents of that theory of origins.

English, Writing, and Comprehension (4 Credits)

This class will give you a complete simple review of your English from the ground floor. For those who can speak English but have not mastered the basic rules, this will really help you. This class will focus on English grammar, Writing for the Web, and Comprehension Skills. In this class, Dr. Chris Engelsma will expand your English knowledge so that you will do well in studying more difficult concepts. The goal is to have you be able to read for clear comprehension. We also desire for you to be able to write English clearly understanding the rules that guide your grammar.

Advanced English Comprehension (4 Credits)

Many people need to learn or teach English comprehension. This class brings some of the best practices in English comprehension from noted International English comprehension teacher Denise Eide in her YouTube Videos.

Introduction to Philosophy (3 Credits)

In this course, we will be introduced to the field of philosophy. While it sounds intimidating, it really is all about the One who made this world and ourselves as a part of this world. This is a survey course which gives an overview of the thinking of several of those who are acknowledged as great thinkers in history, as well as the thoughts of contemporary philosophers.

Old Testament Literature (3 Credits)

Old Testament Literature examines Old Testament history and teaching within the cultural, geographical and literary backgrounds of the ancient Near East.  Archaeology, comparative history, and literature, as well as key theological themes underlying the New Testament and Western culture, are explored. The Old Testament is one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time. Its text will be explored to answer some of the great questions that have faced humankind for millennia.

World History 1 (3 Credits)

Christian Leaders Institute educates students with a western education in over 100 countries. This World History class surveys most parts of the world. Dr. Sally Vaughn has made her lectures available on YouTube and we appreciate that we can use this resource to teach you college grade World History. Be clear to understand that Dr. Vaughn teaches at a secular institution and that her perspectives may not reflect the Belief Statements of Christian Leaders Institute at various junctures.

United States History 2 (3 Credits)

This class starts with readings chronicling the United States after the Civil war era. The readings bring you the continuous story. You will be tested with a 10 question quiz on the readings. There is an old Sunday School song that goes like this. “Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.” This class has that characteristic. The readings will take you “wide” and cover the whole era. The video lectures featuring Dr. Tyrone Tillery will take you deeper into a period of time within this era. Dr. Tillery will take you deep into the history from the 1890s to the 1950s. These lectures were completed in 2008 at the University of Houston. Dr. Tillery is presenting this history from the accepted perspective of the general teaching university. Christian Leaders Institute is very appreciative of the availability of YouTube videos covering this subject matter. Our goal is to give you high-quality classes for free. This class can be used as a history elective for the Associate or Bachelor degree.

CLI Courses


New Testament Survey (3 Credits)

This class explores God’s Word in the New Testament, paying particular attention to literary, historical, and theological dimensions.

Old Testament Survey (3 Credits)

This ministry training course examines the historical writings of the Old Testament, focusing on the stories of God’s dealings with Israel in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ. The class also shows some applications for contemporary Christian living and preaching. (The Old Testament’s detailed laws, Psalms, wisdom writings, and prophets are featured in other classes.)

Church and Ministry (3 Credits)

This course explores some key aspects of pastoring a church including: Your Family and Ministry, Leading the Leaders, Helping People Through Grief, The Nine Facets of Training your Ministry and Small Group Volunteers (Carl George), Sharing the Gospel, Hospitality, and tools for pastors as they set up a discipleship culture in homes of those they influence. This course also offers guidance for dealing with important transitional events, such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

Church History (4 Credits)

This course looks at major events and key persons in the history of the Christian church. Such study helps us to see God’s faithfulness in the past and to better understand the church’s present challenges and opportunities.

Pastoral Care and Marriage (3 Credits)

This course discusses caring for others pastorally as well as strengthening your own marriage. Whether you are married or not, this course gets at the spiritual principles of what makes a powerful kingdom partnership as a husband and wife become one spiritually, emotionally and sexually. If you are married, it is recommended that your spouse participates with you in going through this course.

People Smart for Ministry (3 Credits)

This course discusses people intelligence for life and ministry. This class will help you identify common principles for effective communication and how to improve your effectiveness. This course also will help you minister to people better as you learn to hear what they are really saying. This course is designed for you to learn how to express your love in ways that people will understand.

Theology I (4 Credits)

This course considers in-depth doctrines about Scripture, God, creation, humanity, sin, and Christ.

Theology II (4 Credits)

This course considers Christian doctrines about the Holy Spirit, the application of salvation, the church, and the future. (You must take Theology I before you take Theology II.)

Hermeneutics and Exegesis (3 Credits)

This ministry training course deals with key issues in how to interpret the Bible. Students learn basic elements for studying a passage and practice using methods to become more skilled in understanding biblical passages and preparing sermons.

Sermon Construction and Presentation (4 Credits)

This preaching class will strengthen your preaching as you learn basics of communication, study how to prepare and preach sermons, and watch a variety of preachers and teachers in action.

Christian Apologetics (3 Credits)

This ministry training course introduces students to basic issues in apologetics (defending and contending for the faith). Students learn biblical worldview, cultural analysis, and presenting the gospel in a way that shows its plausibility and addresses common objections.

Christian Ethics (3 Credits)

This course focuses on living according to God’s pattern for us. We study biblical commands and their wise application to various life situations. We expose demonic strategies of temptation and learn about spiritual warfare. We seek ways to express the Christ-life within us by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Biblical Interpretation 1: OT Themes (4 Credits)

This course explores Scripture in its original historical, cultural, and geographical context, focusing mainly on Old Testament people, places, and events. Professor Ray Vander Laan takes us to locations where biblical history unfolded and shows the relevance for contemporary cultures and people. You must complete Old Testament Survey before taking this course.

Biblical Interpretation 2: NT Themes (4 Credits)

This course looks at some major Biblical events, key persons, important Biblical archeological sites, and themes in the history of the Biblical revelation. This class tends to highlight the New Testament, but also will jump back to Old Testament characters and themes. The articles will mainly feature New Testament topics. Our noted professor Rev. Ray Vander Laan takes us to onsite locations where Biblical history unfolded. Such study helps us to see God’s faithfulness in the past and better to understand the church’s present challenges and opportunities. You must complete New Testament Survey before taking this course.

Biblical Wisdom (4 Credits)

This ministry training course examines the wisdom writings of Old Testament sages and poets: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, and Lamentations. The class shows the relevance of Old Testament wisdom for knowing God’s wisdom in Christ and following Jesus today.

Church Planting (4 Credits)

Church planting begins with the church planted in your own life, marriage, and family. This course looks at the intentional efforts necessary to plant reproducible and sustainable churches. This course will also help you come up with a “Bible culture,” home discipleship style church planting plan.

Early Church History (3 Credits)

Using written materials with our accrediting partner Christian History Institute and a textbook written by Dr. James Orr, Early Church History surveys the history of the early church from the Resurrection of Jesus Christ until St. Augustine.

Evangelism: Presenting Grace (3 Credits)

This class looks at mighty things the Holy Spirit does in the thought, work, and practice of presenting God’s grace to others through evangelism.

Missions and Revivals (4 Credits)

This class looks at mighty things the Holy Spirit has done at various times and places, causing the church to grow in holiness, power, and numbers. By examining major mission advances and revivals, we gain insights for mission and revival in our own time and place.

Old Testament History, Literature, and Theology (3 Credits)

Old Testament History, Literature, and Theology examines Old Testament history and teaching within the cultural, geographical and literary backgrounds of the ancient Near East. Archaeology, comparative history, and literature, as well as key theological themes underlying the New Testament and Western culture, are explored. The Old Testament is one of the greatest pieces of literature of all time. Its text will be explored to answer some of the great questions that have faced humankind for millennia.

Biblical Greek I (Elective | 4 Credits)

This is the first in a sequence of three courses on the basics of New Testament Greek. (Note: Greek is very hard for most people. Usually, it is best to take Greek only after you have already successfully completed some other CLI classes.)

Biblical Greek II (Elective | 4 Credits)

This is the second in a sequence of three courses on the basics of New Testament Greek. You must complete Greek I before taking this course.

Biblical Greek III (Elective | 4 Credits)

This is the third in a sequence of three courses on the basics of New Testament Greek. You must complete Greek II before taking this course.

Ordination Courses


Officiant Ordination

This 1 credit hour class completes you Officiant Course of Study and Your Officiant Ordination Certificate. Understand up front there is an administration fee for the official documents because of the staff attention necessary. An Ordained Officiant is someone who officiates (i.e. leads) at a service or ceremony, such as marriage, burial, or name giving/baptism or other sacred events. This is great training for more involvement in ministry.

Christian Leaders Ordination

Students who earn at least a Christian Leaders Diploma or greater are welcome to be ordained and included in the Christian Leaders Directory. Graduates who receive this ordination must stay current in the Christian Leaders Directory and continue to affirm their belief in the basic doctrinal statement of Christian Leaders Institute on a yearly basis. We will publish those ordained in this network so that governing agencies and the public are aware of your ordination credentials.

Church Planting – Applied Marketing (4 Credits)

The essence of marketing is “getting the word out”. This church planting class takes many of the timeless principles of marketing and brings them into a Biblical context for the theory of Church Planting. This class can be used as a marketing core requirement for the Degree program or can be used as an elective in all programs. You can only use this course once in your program.  This course looks at the intentional efforts necessary to plant reproducible and sustainable churches.

Church Planting Action Class And Ordination

Christian Leaders Alliance is calling church planters to plant churches globally. You are welcome to join this movement by planting a church through Christian Leaders Institute. Church Planter Leaders have been called and sent to ministry since the New Testament era. In this class, you will actually plant a new church, and that church can be part of the Christian Leaders Alliance, which is connected to Christian Leaders Institute. If you need to be “Ordained,” this class will automatically put that process in place. If you do not need to be ordained, this required ordination will be secondary for you.

Ambassador Program

Ministry Training Ambassadors

Christian Leaders Institute promotes the cultivation, training and ordaining of local ministry leaders whether in your community or worldwide. Christian Leaders Institute invites graduates to join the “Christian Leaders Ambassadors”. Christian Leaders Ambassadors promote local ministry training, and CLI and their global efforts in bringing free ministry training in their relationships and ministries. Christian Leaders Ambassadors are independent affiliates of Christian Leaders Institute who will receive affiliate ministry shares (compensation) for their efforts to promote or support local ministry training.