Tuition free Bible Courses

A New Creation in Christ

My name is Nathan Sanderson from Iowa, USA. The tuition-free Bible courses online at the Christian Leaders Institute are a blessing for me!

My Youth

I grew up in a good and loving family. I was a good kid and did not get in much trouble. We went to church every Sunday. I believed in the resurrection story and Jesus’ saving me from my sins by dying on the cross. But really, it almost felt like stories in a book. Church was more of a task or a box to be checked off for the week. I went to Iowa State University for a couple of years. Then, I decided to drop out and become a bus driver. While at the bus company, I met a young woman. We married and have two kids that I am very proud of.

My Alcoholism

My alcoholism started casually and socially. It was typically a beer or two and chicken wings with friends once a week. It escalated slowly, and I was drinking more and more. However, it wasn’t a problem until my marriage started to deteriorate. As the divorce became final, I got laid off from my job. This was around Covid shutdowns. I spiraled out of control at that time. It was to the point where I was drinking in the morning and at night. I even got up in the middle of the night to drink. I was drunk all day, every day. Then, I started to get sick and threw up blood. I thought that was normal and that people just did that. I frequently went to the hospital and spent a few days there. When released, I stopped by the store to get more alcohol.

During all of this, my relationship with God did not change because I didn’t have a relationship with Him. I knew the facts, and I believed the facts. However, I did not have a relationship with Jesus. Then, one day, someone invited me to a new church plant in my hometown, New City Church in Ankeny, Iowa. I gained a mentorship relationship with one of the deacons and joined his small group. Finally, he was someone I could count on and trust.

Going to church in itself did not change me. I continued to drink a lot. There were times I was drunk at church. I was driving to church with my kids in the car while intoxicated. One day, the police pulled me over. I got a 9-month no-contact order with my kids, which was very difficult. However, unfortunately, it was not enough to wake me up as I continued drinking.

Time of Change: Salvation

It came time for another child custody mediation. After my lawyer reviewed everything, he said, “Nathan, this is not going to work out well for you. You need to do something.” That day, I enrolled in a 12-month in-house faith-based program called Sheepgate. It is a division of the Adult and Teen Challenge. It is a very intense program with long days. There was lots of studying, daily chapel services, and a lot of time in the Bible. They took everything from me – my car, money, and cell phone. Every minute of the day was structured. This was all by design. Over time, Jesus started to show me who He is and what He wants from me.

Salvation in Christ

One day, a staff member gave a chapel message on Revelation 2:17. “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.” It clicked during that chapel for me. No matter what I did and who I was, I am not that anymore, and I don’t have to be. He took it away. Jesus’ blood washed me clean. I knew what the Bible said about salvation and that Christ died on the cross for me. However, what I was missing was God! This is what it is all about and what He wants! He wants a relationship, and I don’t believe I had that relationship until that chapel service.

After I completed the Sheepgate program in December of 2022, my growth continued exponentially with Christ. To this day, I have no interest in alcohol. That is not me anymore. That is also not human! God took it from me. I don’t recognize the person that entered that program. I am a new person with a new cell phone number, email address, and cleaned-up Facebook. At this point, I am only in contact with Godly men. I have a new life, a new purpose, and new goals. The old me does not exist anymore.

Tuition-free Bible Courses at CLI

My liver has begun to deteriorate again. It isn’t healing the way we had hoped. I am going downhill and now need a liver transplant. Not afraid of dying or of what is going to happen, I trust God. He never lets me down.

I wanted to learn more about the Bible and life in Christ. So I searched online and found the Christian Leaders Institute. The tuition-free Bible courses are what I am looking for.

Romans 6:4 says, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into our death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we, too, may live a new life.” We are all guilty of sin. But, praise God, we all have a gift we can accept from Christ. Jesus Christ died on the cross for us so we could be raised back to life with Him. He created us to be with Him. He wants us to be with Him for eternity. That’s what the cross is all about. God bless!

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, and Diplomas with the Christian Leaders Institute.
  2. College Degrees with the CLI’s Leadership Excellence School.
  3. 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.