theology and ministry classes

From a Troubled Life to a Calling to Serve

My name is Richard Fennell. When searching for theology and ministry classes online, God led me to the Christian Leaders Institute.

My Journey: Early Years

I grew up in Western New York State. I don’t remember very much from my early childhood, but I do have some recollections of going to a Lutheran Church occasionally. My parents divorced when I was very young, and to say it was a nasty divorce is an understatement. My father gained custody of my older sister and me. He took us to church occasionally. I also sometimes went to Vacation Bible School during the summer. None of this meant very much to me, but I learned a few things about God.

When I was a little older, my father remarried. We moved to my stepmother’s house. She had four children. My sister decided she wanted to live with our mother. The situation was not ideal for me. However, one bright spot was that I went to a non-congregational church, which I liked very much. There were many activities that I participated in. Further, I came to know about God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. At this time, God became very real to me. At that time, I thought I was saved, but I did not make a commitment to keep the Lord in my life. Due to home life difficulties, I ran away from home when I was 14.

After running away, I lived with my mother and stepfather. There, I forgot about my spirituality and went on to have a very troubled youth. I turned to alcohol, drugs, and other things to have a great life. It was a time of turmoil that lasted too long.

Marriage, Family, and Career

Fast forward to the age of 24, I met and married my wife. She has stuck with me for almost 45 years now, despite the lifestyle I lived. We have two children, a son and a daughter. I was not a great role model to them. Therefore, they had their share of issues growing up.

Despite my abuse of alcohol and drugs, I managed to better myself in my career. It eventually led to obtaining a college degree in computer networking. The jobs got better and the compensation followed. However, I wasn’t getting it yet. I knew God was there but wasn’t ready to follow Him.

Health Challenges

As I neared the end of my career, my lifestyle caught up to me in the form of physical issues. I almost died as a result of one issue, but that still didn’t wake me up. Then, I became disabled at 63. As my condition worsened, I knew I needed something more in my life. Something other than my worldly desires, something more spiritual.

Earlier this year, in a Divine intervention, I watched Christian programming on cable TV. The shows I watched pertained mostly to prophesy, end times, and the rapture. After a couple of months, I felt a desire to read the entire Bible from beginning to end. I had read the New Testament several times, but I never read the Old Testament. As I read the Old Testament, it was as if I was opened up to a whole new understanding of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Things I remember from the New Testament made more sense.

Theology and Ministry Classes at CLI

A couple of months ago, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior! Nothing has been the same since! I prayed for a church that teaches Scripture and how to serve the Lord. The Lord provided that for me. Then, I felt an overwhelming desire to find Theology and Ministry classes online to be able to better serve the Lord. The Holy Spirit led me to the Christian Leaders Institute.

My spiritual dream is to lead my family to the Lord, to lead others to the Lord, and to create a Bible study/Prayer group in the community where I live. Perhaps becoming ordained as a minister is in the future. That would be the ultimate spiritual dream. If God has other ideas on how I am to serve, His Will will be done. I am so thankful I can take the Theology and Ministry classes at the Christian Leaders Insitute. The free ministry training is necessary to be able to obtain the knowledge that will enable me to serve the Lord in any way possible. A scholarship for obtaining a Bachelor’s degree would be the ultimate gift to prepare me for future service to God. I want to serve the Lord wherever He leads!

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.