This fall, for the second year in a row, First Assembly Community Ministries, in partnership with Southwestern Assemblies of God University is hosting River City Leadership College which will offer an Associate of Arts in Bible and a Bachelor of Arts in Church Leadership.
Maybe you’ve wondered why you would ever attend a school like this one in Lafayette, Indiana. I think there are plenty of good reasons to pick this kind of path toward educational and professional preparation for Christian ministry.
I’d like to point out four strong reasons why:
- Affordability. Compared to the expenses of attending a private university like Southwestern on their campus in Waxahachie, Texas, the cost of this program is less than half. Instead of costing well over $100,000 for four years, this program will cost well under $55,000 for four years.
- Accredited program. Why is this valuable? Your diploma will say Southwestern, a university with nationally recognized accreditation that will allow you to apply the credits you gain here toward other colleges. Furthermore, this undergraduate degree will be recognized by potential employers outside the church, as well as graduate schools you may attend in the future. The reason why post-secondary education is able to charge what they do for their programs is because it has real meaning in the world, well past the walls of the church. By attending River City Leadership College, you would be earning that kind of recognized degree. If someday you decide to go to attend Southwestern in Texas or Southeastern in Florida or Evangel University in Missouri or North Central in Minnesota or Purdue in Indiana or anywhere else, these credits will travel. Plus, if you need government aid or loans, they can apply to this program!
- Close to home. Until now, if you lived in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan or many other places, and you wanted to attend an Assemblies of God institution for training in the ministry, you’d have to drive 8 or more hours or take a flight to get there. Now, you can attend a college close to home, continue to grow in ministry skills and accomplish a significant life goal–a college education.
- Hands-On Ministry Experience. One of the great advantages of this program over going away to a university comes down to the experience itself. If you’re interested in getting plenty of great experience in worship arts, youth ministry, children’s ministry, community outreach, etc., you can get all this PLUS the theory that will come with the excellent academic preparation given by Southwestern. For me, honestly, I got great tools from my university and graduate school that I use in my role as a pastor every day, but my schools did not give me a great practical experience in the ministry. I didn’t learn to teach, counsel, preach, lead or organize in the church much at school, though my degrees were related to my future work as a minister. This program will allow you to have those great intellectual experiences and put them to work in really great, healthy church.
- First Assembly Community Ministries. First Assembly is a great place to learn from great pastoral leaders and a healthy, wonderful congregation that wants to see you thrive in ministry. We have strong, model ministries in the areas of community outreach, worship, youth, children and small groups. First Assembly will be a great place not only to grow in your ministry skills, but you will have a chance to leave a mark on a great church through your involvement in the planning and execution of ministries that change lives.