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DEC • 2014


B E T T E R S T E WA R D S .


for a lifetime

Continuing education options for church leaders

Table of Contents Online offerings

for leisure learners and full-time students

Ring in the New Year and answer to a higher calling The state of theological education in leadership and business Church business management training and MDiv degrees

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Learning by heart


Regent University’s Pastoral Leadership Institute


Catholic seminaries recognize the need for management education


The church professional and continuing education


Discovering personal digital education

Featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes



CHURCH EXECUTIVE • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • December 2014

ONLINE OFFERINGS for leisure learners and full-time students With an emphasis on Bible education, Grand Rapids, MI-based has served 250,000 online students (and growing) — students primarily interested in a course or two. Classes are available in multiple languages, including Spanish, Arabic and Chinese, with Russian and Portuguese coming soon. Meanwhile, its associated Christian University GlobalNet accommodates ministry leaders looking for full academic programs.

How common is it today for pastors to take advantage of online educational offerings, compared to a decade ago? Morgan: It’s becoming more and more common because of convenience, first of all. Second, pastors are finding they need additional training in areas of specific interest to them in their roles, and online offerings suit that need well. Third, there’s the cost / affordability element of online education.

Evan Morgan, President, Christian University GlobalNet

For pastors and church leaders who haven’t completed a formal education program, the basic foundations are popular. This includes our survey courses (Old Testament, New Testament, church history, and theology). For these students, a relationship with a local mentor is key. Can online courses can be as beneficial and engaging for students as on-campus courses?

What’s driving the adaptation and acceptance of this online format? Morgan: All of the above. Also, people are getting more and more comfortable with the technology. A while ago, even a CD-ROM was intimidating.

Morgan: In every course, you’ve got to learn some cognitive input, which is easier for students to do on their own via distance learning. On the other hand, the affective (higher levels of learning) portion is best done in person, or as part of a hybrid model. If done well, online education can be as effective — or more — than an on-campus approach.

Among church leaders who remain apprehensive about online continuing education, what prevents them from embracing it?

Are there common characteristics among church leaders who embrace online education?

Morgan: Some are pastors who’ve completed traditional degrees — especially before online education was an option. A traditional degree or education sometimes breeds a familiarity with, and value for, in-class and on-campus learning. Also, although online education is getting simpler, it’s still a technical process. Even the need to install plug-ins can make someone who hasn’t embraced online education ask, ‘Is this worth it?’ Finally, there’s the literal perception of distance learning to be … distant. Actually, a hybrid model of online learning and face-to-face interaction is the most effective approach. With Christian University GlobalNet, there’s a mentor requirement throughout the degree program, which requires local, face-to-face interaction with a mentor (in addition to interaction with online instructors and mentors). Completion of coursework includes a final report from that local mentor.

Morgan: Generally, they’re self-starters, open to technology, and have a continued passion for education. Because the attrition rate can be high in online education, a self-starter personality becomes important. And, those with a continued passion for education tend to be problem-solvers, as well — another big strength in education.

What areas of study — which are particularly attractive to church leaders — have seen the most expansion into the onlineeducation realm?

Conversely, are there certain church leaders for whom online continuing education simply won’t be the best fit? Morgan: Some church leaders are averse to online technology for educational purposes. It’s difficult to convince them of the value of this form of education — and even if you do, they’re often disappointed in the end. They also tend to be graduates of more traditional education models, as I mentioned. The reality is this: In any educational environment, you always want to give students options. If online education is mandated, it tends to be resisted and even resented. — Reporting by RaeAnn Slaybaugh

Morgan: Among pastors and church leaders who’ve completed formal education programs, counseling training is an area of need. So is leadership — board governance, conflict management and so on — along with individual areas of interest such as apologetics.

December 2014 • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • CHURCH EXECUTIVE


Ring in the New Year and answer to a

HIGHER CALLING A Master of Divinity or Master of Science in Leadership degree from the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University can help future church leaders continue to practice what they often preach. At GCU, aspiring ministers and Christian leaders are offered focused theological training that is grounded in biblical truth. As a nondenominational Christian university, it is our conviction that the Bible is the inspired, infallible, true, and authoritative Word of God. This conviction shapes all that we do and provides a firm foundation for theological studies and ministerial preparation. “As a Christian institution, it is of utmost importance to be a positive influence on our students’ hearts and minds, which entails a concern for student character as well as intellect,” said Dr. Jason Hiles, Dean of the College of Theology. As a leading theological institution, we are committed to the young men and women who stand firm on the trustworthy Word of God. We welcome all of like mind and faith, and embrace the denominational diversity that characterizes our faculty and student body. Our College of Theology graduate degree programs include: Master of Arts in Christian Studies with an Emphasis in: • Christian Leadership • Pastoral Ministry • Urban Ministry • Youth Ministry

faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors. Grand Canyon University faculty aren’t just teachers — they’re experts in their respective fields. They are practitioners who care about student success and use their hands-on experience to help transform our students into the leaders of the 21st century global marketplace. When you’re a student at GCU, you’re not only studying cases or answering questions, but you’re also working with people who have successfully taken that knowledge out of the textbook and used it in the real world. GCU is committed to serving others on local, national and international levels to make an impact that lasts a lifetime. We offer countless volunteer program opportunities for our students. Annual events, such as the Memorial Day Salute Our Troops celebration, the neighborhood Fall Festival and the Run to Fight Children’s Cancer, are the cornerstone of GCU’s community outreach efforts. Students can also participate in outreach efforts across the country and the world. Our global mission destinations include Mexico, Haiti, Fiji, Kenya, Uganda, Thailand and more. With over 88,000 hours donated to outreach and missions, we invite you to join a community that finds purpose in serving others. Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. 800-621-7440; For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at . Please note, not all GCU programs are available in all states and in all learning modalities. Program availability is contingent on student enrollment. We will not provide your information to any third party without your consent. For more information, read our Privacy Policy.

Master of Divinity with an Emphasis in: • Global Ministry • Worship Leadership Watch more from College of Theology Dean Dr. Jason Hiles Why GCU Founded in 1949, Grand Canyon University is a premier, private Christian university. With more than 160 academic degree programs and certificates, the rich heritage of our past is thriving on a growing campus, filled with innovation and energy. Grand Canyon University stands apart from other online education institutions because we are backed by the history of our 65-year-old Phoenix campus. Our more than 100 online bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs allow students to study at times that work for their schedule while still enjoying a close connection with their classmates and instructor via online discussions. Courses are taught by dedicated full-time 4

CHURCH EXECUTIVE • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • December 2014

College of Theology Dean Dr. Jason Hiles explains how, as a Christian university, GCU encourages students to find their purpose in Christ, with an emphasis on applying Christian values and ethics to their studies and to the workplace.


GCU is Now Offering an Online Master of Divinity Program! Grand Canyon University’s online Master of Divinity (MDiv) program was designed for bachelor’s-prepared individuals who feel led to serve in local churches, Christian organizations or the missions field. Providing a strong foundation in both biblical and theological knowledge, the MDiv program is the standard degree for ordained ministry. This program focuses on the formation of Christ-like character so that graduates have the ability to minister with wisdom and sensitivity within the community of faith. With a focus on the text from the Scripture, GCU’s MDiv helps students learn how to use biblical knowledge within the context in which they choose to minister. The MDiv program prepares those interested in vocational ministry, higher Christian education or other ministerial professions and offers the option of two emphasis areas: Worship Leadership or Global Ministry.


855-428-1264 |

• 90-credit online program • 3-4 years to complete • 3 residency experiences in Phoenix • Emphasis areas in Worship Leadership or Global Ministry • Accelerated program to waive three lower-level courses for those who have a Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts in Christian Studies, Biblical Studies, Theological Studies or Christian Ministry

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at Please note, not all GCU programs are available in all states and in all learning modalities. Program availability is contingent on student enrollment. Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. (800-621-7440; 14COTE0005

The state of theological education in leadership and business While church business management training has increasingly become part of MDiv curricula, the need isn’t entirely met — yet. By Susan Michaelson


heological education has undergone something of a renaissance during the last decade. In addition to the expected course offerings in the Old and New Testaments, biblical languages, systematic theology, apologetics, ordination preparation, and applied or practical theology, most of the nation’s larger seminaries now have robust programs that extend from these basics — and no more so than in practical theology. Practical theology began as preparation for pastoral ministry in a church setting, and it has expanded in many exciting directions. In addition to formal training in preaching and counseling, evangelization programs targeting specific cultural contexts are growing. Examples include multilevel coursework in urban church planting, ethnically oriented ministries, Islamic studies, contemporary culture, and marketplace, which brings the gospel into secular work settings. Typically, these can either be structured as standalone MA programs or as selections within a professional pastoral track MDiv. An increased focus on leadership skills Courses of study in leadership have also been in place in many seminaries over this period, although most lack the pizazz of the evangelization curricula. Here, the practical content has tended to remain focused on strategic planning, vision-setting and leadership development. For example, Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary offers the clearly named LEAD 620: Mission, Vision and Strategic Planning. Dallas Seminary’s PM301: Pastoral Theology and Leadership I and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s CL660: Leading and Managing the Christian Non-Profit Organization cover similar content. Other courses in this category are devoted to more interpretive topics, such as discussing leadership models, leading a congregation, developing skills in the laity, and building working teams. Biblical Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary, Moody Theological Seminary, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Westminster


CHURCH EXECUTIVE • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • December 2014

Theological Seminary offer courses in this vein, where the main point is reflective thinking about leadership in light of biblical teaching and Christian calling. All leadership courses are helpful, but most tend to shy away from nuts-and-bolts instruction in important areas such as learning to read and interpret financial statements, developing and monitoring budgets, managing through congregational growth or decline, and coping with physical infrastructure challenges. Too often, the courses which do exist try to cover too much ground in a semester. Is it really possible to teach “relational skills, administration, financial stewardship, staff management, worship planning, weddings, funerals, baptisms, and the Lord’s Supper” in one course, as one notable seminary describes in its catalog?

ministry, including practical instruction in audio/visual production, along with web design and management. For pastors and other church and ministry leaders who have already completed their theological education — or for those who are employed by dioceses, churches and ministries, and have discovered that they need more leadership, business and management education than they have — the Villanova University School of Business offers an innovative program through the Center for Church Management and Business Ethics. There, students may enroll in a two-year, distancelearning graduate program leading to a Master’s degree in Church Management. The 30-credit program begins with a one-week, on-campus residency, and then continues with a combination of directed study and weekly live class meetings conducted online. The scope expansion of the practical side of theological education over the last decade has indeed been impressive, especially in the areas of evangelization and general leadership. While it’s also encouraging to see growing efforts to include managing the business of the church, there’s a clear need for more. Susan Michaelson holds both an MBA and an MDiv, and is on faculty at the Villanova School of Business, teaching Financial Reporting and Controls in the Master of Science in Church Management program.

Not quite there yet In truth, the business side of gospel ministry — which might suffer from crowd-out as much as lack of appeal to theology students — is not an official part of most divinity curricula. The general expectation (if indeed there is one) seems to be that these subjects will be informally caught during pastoral internships and later on the job. Interestingly, the larger the university setting for a theological seminary, the less likely it seems to be that that seminary will directly offer any forum in their degree programs for the teaching of church business and management skills. For example, neither Princeton Theological Seminary, Duke Divinity School, nor Talbot (part of Biola University) provide anything that incorporates church management education. Vanderbilt Divinity School does have the Turner Center for Church Leadership and Congregational Development; however, it’s not part of the regular divinity curriculum. Rather, it’s a conference and consulting center. There are, however some notable exceptions in other institutions. Yale Divinity School’s (YDS) course offerings are similarly restricted to those above. But, YDS is different in that it encourages its students to consider dual degrees with Yale’s other graduate schools, including an MDiv/MBA combination for pastoral track students, and a Religion/Management combination for those more interested in church or nonprofit administration. Asbury Seminary offers a robust set of concentrations, including one in Christian Leadership, which includes CL618: Church Management and Administration. This course instructs non-financial managers in the basics of management and finance, including budgeting, planning and execution. It’s notable because it’s more focused on quantitative skills than most courses, which are able to do little more than touch on these topics as part of a more general approach to leadership. Complementing its leadership curriculum, Asbury also has a department devoted to Information Technology as it relates to

December 2014 • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • CHURCH EXECUTIVE


More and more church leaders are discovering how (surprisingly) personal digital education can be. At Regent University’s School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, VA, the professors — including James Flynn, Ph.D. — prefer the term “digital education” to “online education.” As an associate professor of practical theology and director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, Flynn says “online” doesn’t fully describe the model offered to now-70 percent of students in the School of Divinity: a hybrid of on-campus, modular and distance learning. The trend toward digital education is also evident at Villanova University in Philadelphia. Chuck Zech, director of the Center for Church Management and Business Ethics, says its flexibility makes it an excellent option for students. “Good programs not only offer synchronous — or real-time — education, but also opportunities for asynchronous learning,” he points out.

By RaeAnn Slaybaugh

Ministry, (un)interrupted As Zech points out, a digital education platform is gaining particular favor among pastors and church workers who can’t take time off from their ministry to attend live class sessions. “The fact that they often work irregular hours (evening meetings and weekends) makes the flexibility even more attractive.” Flynn agrees. “For many of our students, it’s very important to stay connected to their churches or church networks, and not break ties.” Designed for entrepreneurial spirits … James Flynn


Chuck Zeck

CHURCH EXECUTIVE • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • December 2014

While Flynn and Zech agree that digital education students tend to be more comfortable with technology than their counterparts, this is where the commonalities end for Zech. “Otherwise, these students are as dissimilar as any setting of graduate students who share the same discipline,” he says. Flynn, on the other hand, sees clear differentiations among digital students. “Ultimately, witness and evangelism come down to being able to penetrate a culture and its people and to speak their language,” he explains. “People with a more innovative or entrepreneurial approach to ministry realize they must help people listen to the gospel to the best of their ability. This generation speaks and thinks in a digital way.”

… But also great for introverts! Surprisingly, a digital education platform also lends itself well to more introverted students. Zech explains why. “In my on-campus lecture classes, when I throw out a question, the responses usually come from the fastest thinkers — although not necessarily the most thoughtful,” he says. “Introverts can get left behind. And we’ve all had experiences with live discussions where we think to ourselves, ‘Gee, I wish I’d thought of saying [XYZ].’” On the contrary, he has found that giving students a day or two to respond invariably elicits more thoughtful and more thought-provoking answers — particularly from introverted students. Real-time application Digital education allows students to immediately apply what they’re learning in class to their real-world church leadership roles — especially practical/applied theology, Flynn says. “This is where we take biblical principles, apply them to the real world, and do ministry with as much impact and fruitfulness as possible,” he explains. “It comes back to being able to stay in your context for ministry while pursuing your education. There’s no better way to learn.” Another class he teaches — sermon preparation — is entirely online. Students preach in their real-world contexts, videotape the sermons and upload them for evaluation by their peer blogging groups. It’s a far cry from the same kind of training Zech received in seminary, himself. “We would sit in a classroom, learn about homiletics, and then

have several opportunities to preach in a classroom setting, or maybe a chapel service,” he recalls. “Then, we’d go on our way thinking we knew how to preach.” Digital makes the world smaller In Zech’s experience, a class of about 30 usually includes students from all over the world. They’re preaching in their ministry context and culture; getting a chance to evaluate what they see; and receiving a professor’s formal feedback on their homiletics and rhetorical skills. A lot of learning is taking place. “There’s nothing like seeing one of your classmates in India, Singapore or Afghanistan preach,” he says. In fact, one of the most moving sermons done for his class was delivered under a camouflage covering in Iraq by a chaplain deployed overseas. Face-to-face isn’t always “personal” Everyone has taken an in-person class which nearly (if not literally) put us to sleep. According to Flynn, this is because — even in a face-toface environment — the instructor failed to create the “social presence” required for learning to be effective. Granted, in-person learning lends itself to social presence. But, he asserts its inherent advantages are far offset by the global (if virtual) relationships enabled by digital learning. “People’s perception of reality and what constitutes relationship is changing, so culture and its institutions are changing,” Flynn concludes. “Education will never be the same because of digital technology.” December 2014 • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • CHURCH EXECUTIVE


Regent University’s Pastoral Leadership Institute — Featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes One of the session topics within the “Leadership and the Business of Church Administration” tract is “Leadership v. Management.” What are the key differences between church leadership and church management? Cenac: Leadership involves casting a vision for the church and ministry leaders to follow in fulfilling the Great Commission. This might include design of various church ministries needed to fulfill the church’s mission or developing and building ministry leaders to lead those ministries. Management deals more with the internal administration and operation of the church to accomplish that vision or the church’s goals — for example, managing vendor or supplier contracts and relationships. The website says the program was “initially customized for the Potters House International Pastors Association (PHIPA) network.” Explain. Cenac: The program was designed for the PHIPA network of pastors as a result of the partnership Regent University has with T.D. Jakes Enterprises. We’re the training and education provider behind the T.D. Jakes School of Leadership. Regent University Professional and Continuing Education previously ran five different leadership institutes, including this one for pastors. We customized the institutes for the T.D. Jakes audience. This is one of the more in-demand program offerings. For more information about the Institute, visit Regent University online.

Julianne Cenac, Assistant VP for Professional & Continuing Education, Regent University

One of the session topics in Regent University’s Pastoral Leadership Institute — Featuring Bishop T.D. Jakes — is “Current Topics in Church Administration.” Please identify a few of these current topics and why they’re so timely and relevant. Gonzales: The church is the living body of Jesus Christ. It has to have functional parts, as with any organization. We must understand that an organization is a complex group of people who function as an organism that is constantly evolving. The church administration must put processes in place to assist with the growth cycle. The following are just a few topics that must be evaluated yearly: Insurance needs. Most churches are underinsured on their church properties because of not completing an annual review of their policies and updating their property inventory and ministry needs. Facilities / plant properties. Most churches are reactive to equipment failure instead of being proactive. It is cheaper to have a preventive (proactive) maintenance agreement to extend the lifecycle of your property. The lack of a capital reserve account will destroy a budget. HR / job descriptions. Churches need to place a greater importance on job descriptions. Good job descriptions result in good ministry when everyone knows what is expected and who is responsible. Updating and reviewing annually will head off poor performance and mismatched job skills. Retirement planning. Churches need to have a retirement strategy for the shepherd (pastor) and paid staff. Life insurance should be a part of the compensation plan for the pastor. Church leadership should ask themselves, “How long will our pastor’s family survive without the pastor’s salary?” These are just some of the areas that are very timely and relevant today.


CHURCH EXECUTIVE • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • December 2014

Domingo Gonzalez — a former church administrator — is the instructor of the “Leadership and the Business of Church Administration” tract.

Michael Moreland, vice dean of Villanova’s School of Law, presents on the impact of civil law on parishes. (Photo courtesy of Villanova University)

Catholic seminaries recognize the need for management education By Chuck Zech The Catholic Church in the United States has been experiencing a decline in its ordained priesthood for the last few decades. Nationally, the replacement rate is four in 10 — for every 10 Catholic priests who retire or die, only four are ordained. That has required church leaders to make a number of adjustments in the way they use the relative scarce amount of ordained clergy at their disposal. One of the adjustments has been to appoint young men as pastors within a year or two after their ordination. This is in sharp contrast to earlier periods, when the U.S. Catholic Church was flush with priests. In those days, priests could expect to serve 10 years or more as assistant pastors, being mentored by their pastor and older priests who were also serving as assistant pastors. During this period, they would learn about the temporal management side of pastoring a parish. Unlike many Protestant denominations, canon law explicitly states that the pastor is both the spiritual leader of the parish and the temporal leader. Whether he likes it or not, a Catholic pastor is the CEO of the parish. Understandably, most men who choose the priesthood do so based on interests and skill sets residing in the spiritual role of a pastor, not in the management role. This is compounded by the fact that the vast majority of Catholic seminaries do little or nothing to educate their men on parish management issues. The seminaries justify this on the basis that they don’t have the time for all of the theology, spirituality and language (many now require their seminarians to be fluent in Spanish) that they are required to provide. There is no room in the regular curriculum for management issues. A MANAGEMENT EDUCATION NEED — MET A handful of Catholic seminaries have taken innovative steps to address their seminarians’ need for management education. Two such programs are those being offered by St. Charles Seminary in Philadelphia and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, MD. Both programs are offered in partnership with Villanova University’s Center for Church Management and Business Ethics. The St. Charles program is offered during the summer, after

Students of the management education program offered in partnership with Villanova University’s Center for Church Management and Business Ethics. (Photo courtesy of Villanova University)

seminarians have completed their second year of theology. During that summer, they are assigned to local parishes to perform pastoral duties. One day a week, for five weeks, they gather on the Villanova campus for presentations on various functional areas of parish management. The first presentation is on the Spirituality of Administration. This sets the tone that administering a parish can (and should) be a spiritual exercise for the pastor. Other topics include communication, facilities management, civil law, pastoral planning, leadership, finances, and human resources. A unique component of the program is that the seminarians are required to meet with their summer pastor-supervisor to discuss how that week’s topics are applied in that particular parish. The seminarian then writes a five-page paper applying the topic to parish management based on their takeaways from the presenter and their pastor-supervisor. At the conclusion of the program, the seminarians are awarded a Certificate in Church Management by the Villanova School of Business. The St. Mary’s program is more concentrated. It is also offered during the summer, but seminarians reside at the seminary. They meet for three or four consecutive days to receive presentations from the Villanova staff on just one parish management topic. In 2013, it was human resources. In 2014, it was parish finances. Each approach has its strengths. The important point is that the seminaries are recognizing the need to educate their men while they are still in seminary, so they can be prepared when that first pastoral assignment comes, likely sooner rather than later. Chuck Zech is director of the Center for Church Management and Business Ethics at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

December 2014 • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • CHURCH EXECUTIVE



As a church leader, you might very well belong to a denomination that requires your participation in continuing education. If you serve in a non-denominational church, however, you might not have such a mandate — unless continuing education is part of your individual performance plan. In either case, I would propose that formal continuing education should be a part of every church leader’s life. By Michael Patterson, Ph.D. 5 important questions A number of important questions arise as the professional considers the opportunity to pursue continuing education. #1: Am I being strategic with my professional education plans? Asked another way, what specific need are you trying to fulfill when you consider your continuing education options? Are you intentionally enhancing competencies that you already possess, or are you trying to fill a gap in your competencies? Both are commendable, of course. Continuing education is designed to enhance professional skills, and in some cases can lead to formal certifications such as Microsoft certifications for technology, coaching certifications for business, or counseling certifications for pastors and professional counselors. #2: Why do I want to enroll in a particular continuing education class? Are you enrolling simply because you’re being forced to meet a minimum continuing education requirement? Or, do you understand how this class, workshop or conference will enhance your professional competencies? Is this simply the most convenient class to take due to schedule or proximity, or is this a class that will provide skills that you’ll be able to apply to your work right away? #3: What have others done? Have you checked with your peers to evaluate the quality of a particular continuing education offering? Have they attended traditional classes, or have they done their work online? Do they believe that a particular continuing education experience has helped them in their professional lives? #4: Who can provide this training? Continuing education can take many forms, including half- or one-day workshops, professional conferences, online coursework, graduate intensives and formal academic coursework. You can find a variety of continuing education options by contacting your professional association, denominational headquarters, or local college or university. You might also find a surprising number of continuing education offerings by doing a targeted search online. #5: How will I need to adjust my schedule? Continuing education will demand a price. Are you willing to carve out time in your busy schedule for self-improvement, even when it seems many voices are crying out for your time? 12

CHURCH EXECUTIVE • C o n t i n u i n g E d u c a t i o n • December 2014

Who’s going to pay for the training? You? Your employer? What value do you place on this opportunity? How will that help keep you motivated? New developments I believe that a working professional should take advantage of a variety of delivery methods for their continuing education needs. I’ve attended countless workshops, conferences and formal academic classes throughout my career, but I’m most excited about the online opportunities that have developed in recent years. I manage and teach in the Adult Degree Program at Corban University. Our accredited degrees in the fields of Psychology: Family Studies, in Business: Organizational Leadership, and in Health Care Administration — as well as our three Masters in Business Administration degree programs — are offered completely online. I am very intrigued by the quality / cost paradigm found in the Mobile Ed program developed by Logos Bible Software for seminary level instruction. Stay on the lookout for intriguing educational opportunities in the months and years ahead. Michael Patterson, PhD is Assistant Professor and Chair of the Family Studies Program at Corban University in Salem, OR. He holds a BS in Theology from Western Baptist College, an MA in Counseling from Liberty University, and a PhD in Biblical Counseling from Trinity Theological Seminary. Patterson is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a National Certified Counselor, and Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor.

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Continuing education options for church leaders