Plan to become an ordained minister


Greetings! I’m Charlene S. Bowden, living in Metropolitan Atlanta, GA, USA. I’m the mother of three daughters and grandmother of five plus two fur babies. Further, I am a student at the Christian Leaders Institute, where I plan to become an ordained minister.

I often struggle with sharing my ministry story because I went to church all my life. I grew up in a family church with both sets of my grandparents and my parents. Then I raised my children and my grandchildren in this church. My sister and her children attend this church as well. In some ways, it’s great to have so many family members in the same church. However, as I’ve grown in my walk with God and realized the difference between being active in church versus ministering, attending church with family can create more challenges than blessings. In short, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives, and in his own home.” Mark 6:4 NIV.

My Journey Starts

It became clear in 1992 when my children’s father and I divorced. I knew to run to the church for healing. However, I didn’t anticipate all of the personal inquiries about what happened in our marriage. No one offered to minister to me one-on-one to help me through this challenging time. As a result, I left my home church to find a church where I could be ministered to without judgment and ridicule. This was when my eyes were opened to see God’s grace and lovingkindness towards me and His acceptance of me as a divorced woman.

Growing In Knowledge

I visited churches with many different ministry styles. These churches were instrumental in shaping my view and understanding of the role of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. One church in particular totally transformed me and my walk with God. From day one, every service was a gift to me from God. It was as though the bishop listened in on my daily prayers, and God gave him the answers and revelation to give me on Sunday mornings. If I picked a time when I entered into a true relationship with God, it was at this church in 1997.

Oceans Deep

I enjoy traveling. There’s nothing like an impromptu weekend road trip to anywhere within a 300-mile radius. However, God has also allowed me to travel to many parts of the world. 2016 I went on my first international mission trip to Manila, Philippines. It was also the first time I preached outside of the USA. I’m not a preacher, but I have learned to be ready both in season and out of season. Upon returning home, I was determined to stay connected with the church I visited in Manila. Therefore, I supported their children’s program, including organizing a Pen Pal ministry between the children in Manila and the children in my community.

In 2019, I traveled to Ghana, West Africa, as part of a ministry team. I’m still active with ministry leaders there. In addition, my nonprofit partnered with a nonprofit in Accra, Ghana, to produce radio and television shows. The shows expand their organization’s work in raising awareness of the lives of children living in street situations. The name of my production company is “It’s Just Us Productions.”

In 2020, I became the first woman appointed Lead Director of Church Twinning International-USA (CTI). In 2023, I became the Co-Founder and International Director of Church Twinning International-Liberia. CTI connects churches worldwide to partner and share information and resources to help develop ministries and communities.

My Spiritual Dream: Plan to Become an Ordained Minister

I am a spiritual advisor with Dee Stokes Ministries, specializing in guiding individuals through mental and emotional healing and overcoming generational hurts. I am also an alum of the Seeds Project, an apostolic training network for ministry entrepreneurs who creatively build community and share the Gospel in our world. Luther Seminary offers this project.

In 2021, I felt the calling and need to be ordained. I have been leading and organizing ministries since 2020. However, I’m entering into a time in my ministry that will require me to have credentials. Thank God for the Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) where I incorporate the plan to become an ordained minister! I wanted to study at my own pace without being restricted by the prerequisites of traditional seminaries. In addition, I like that I can complete coursework in several programs without waiting for semester changes. CLI has been an answer to my prayer and my heart’s desire. CLI, please continue to provide education and training that meets people right where they are on their Christian journey!

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.