Pursuing a Biblical Education

Hi, everyone! My name is Alica Neal. Called to preach, I am pursuing a Biblical education online at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about free online Bible courses, Click Here).

I am currently serving as a Youth and Young Adult Pastor in the beautiful state of North Carolina. I grew up in a Bible-based home where my maternal grandmother was an Evangelist and my mother was also. Therefore, I gained an early love for church and God. It prompted me to first be baptized at the tender age of three. Though they initially refused my request, after several attempts, they allowed me to do so. Later in life, at the age of 14, I was rebaptized. I felt that at my younger age, though I knew the importance, I hadn’t really experienced much to appreciate my decision.  Shortly after, I was filled with the precious gift of the Holy Ghost in my bedroom.

The Calling: Preach the Gospel

A few years later, at the age of 16, I felt God calling me to the Gospel ministry. But, I gave every excuse possible not to do God’s will. My main reason was the same as the prophet Jeremiah’s that “I am too young” (Jeremiah 1:7). However, as I continued to listen to His voice, I was reminded of the passage which states: “Let no man despise your youth” (1 Timothy 4:12). Finally, at the age of 17, I preached my initial sermon and became legally licensed to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ in 2012.

After developing a passion for education and graduating from early college in 2013, I was pursuing a Biblical education to get the Advanced Christian Education Certificate from Living Epistle Bible College in 2015. Though I did some further studies at another local Bible college in 2019, I was not able to finish those classes due to financial hardship. During these years, I self-published some Christian books to earn money to pay for my tuition, but it would soon not end well.

Challenges

I had just relocated to a new area and was only getting offered temporary job assignments. It was putting me behind on my bills as I had to choose between my biblical education and calling or a solid job. Since I was taught God came first, I felt an obligation to the college so I let the job go. This put me deeper in the hole, and the college had no sympathy! Can you say cruel? The college knew my situation. Even though I was the most deserving candidate of the degree in the Pastoral program for a scholarship, it was given to someone else. This person already had financial assistance and a steady income whereas I didn’t have any.

I was devastated because I was only one year away from finishing! Everyone who knows me knows all I live and breathe is the Word of God. So, I felt I failed myself, God, my church, my future ministry I’d planned to lead in years to come, and my family. This time is when everything began to spiral down in my life.

Further Challenges

Long story short, 2020 was filled with many deaths. The loss of my maternal grandmother to Alzheimer’s and her son, my Uncle Leonard, unexpectedly, led to me preaching their eulogies. In early 2021, I lost my paternal grandmother as well. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, I lost my dad to COPD a month after his mother passed away. I preached his eulogy while I was battling gastritis and diverticulitis simultaneously. Talk about stress and depression! I was a walking timebomb, and everybody thought I was okay because I was preaching and smiling. Little did they know, I was falling apart inside. As a result, I ended up with complex migraines which greatly affected me.

The Coma: A Spiritual Rebirth

I received some counseling to assist me in my grieving process. Yet, it was God’s way of redirecting me into a deeper relationship with Him. During these past two years, I was busy doing church. I poured into other lives and neglected my spiritual needs. Therefore, I was functioning while running on empty. God revealed to me that I was like a patient who has been placed in a medically induced coma to protect other areas of the body when it’s not effective. I call it a spiritually induced coma.

God showed me my spiritual gifts were operating as a patient who is in a coma has organ function. I wasn’t being as effective as I could be. So, God finds a way to give me rest by any means necessary to take the pressure off of any area that stands in the way of His work. Some people looked at my situation and thought it was the enemy attacking me and my ministry. I quickly corrected them and shared that for so long I thought ministry was all about building God’s people. However, before we can ever do such a thing, we must first allow God to build and strengthen us. At this point in my life, I need rebirth before entering the next assignment God has for me.

The Christ: Light At the End of the Tunnel

Pursuing a biblical education further is a forever must for me. I desire to teach, preach, and train other leaders as I do now. So, pursuing a biblical education with the Christian Leaders Institute courses will strengthen my leadership skills in the pastoral area.

My desire is to eventually gain my doctorate degree. Then, I can assist other leaders in planting and building churches professionally and with excellence. It will also open up many doors for me to network with others around the world. It could lead to ministry advancement opportunities that are beneficial to the spiritual relationships that I build through CLI. Thank you, CLI!

These benefits have given me hope and brought a source of light at the end of my tunnel in a season that has been so dark. Christ is leading me in a new direction to expand my reach, capacity, spirituality, and connectivity.

Steps to Sign Up At Christian Leaders Institute

Step 1 – Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2. 

After you register, you will automatically be enrolled in the “getting started” course.  You will locate the course at your “home” button when logged in. Scroll down to find the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2 Link. Click the link and open the course.

Step 2 – Complete Part 1 of this course, and then you are allowed to enroll in mini-courses or regular courses. 

The Christian Leaders Getting Started Class Part 1 shows you how to enroll in courses and mini-courses. Part 2 of the course connects your calling into ministry with programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute. Part 2 will offer some ministry training and introduce you to the other programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute.

Learn more about ordination at the Christian Leaders Alliance. Interested in a low-cost college degree? Check out the Christian Leaders College.