Master’s Commission is great. YWAM DTS is an incredible program. I have a friend in Florida with an incredible discipleship school that develops people. However, some people think that River City Leadership College (RCLC) is just a program like the options mentioned above.
How is RCLC different from other contexts like those? I can think of at least three ways that this school, located in Lafayette, Indiana, is different.
- You’re pursuing a recognized, fully-accredited and transferable degree. RCLC is a local expression of its partner, Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) in Waxahachie, Texas. All the rights and privileges of students at that university belong to the RCLC student. This means RCLC students can get government grants, loans and other qualified aid. RCLC students also can transfer their credits to other institutions, such as public and private universities. You’ll not only qualify on the academic side for ministry credentials with the Assemblies of God at the conclusion of a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be ready for graduate school and have a recognized degree outside the church as well. Not to mention, you’re going to get that degree at half the cost of going to school at SAGU in Texas!
- You’re not working full-time at RCLC. Ministry schools often require an all-out commitment to the program, consuming the student’s day from morning through evening and involve a lot of study. This can mean that it’s tough to get a job or enjoy life apart from the program. RCLC students do get real-life ministry experience through ministry practicums. However, our practicums are limited to 15 hours per week, giving a full-time student the time to complete their studies or get a job, if they desire. You’ll have all the breaks that a normal university in the US takes–Christmas, Spring Break, etc. Plus, you’ll have time to develop friendships with the people you’re studying with.
- You’re getting a lot of ministry experience and personal mentoring from the leadership at a local church. Often, ministry schools can so focus on traveling or working on projects in the church that they end up having much exposure to the way the local church functions. At RCLC, First Assembly Community Ministries (FACM) is the point of connection and offers plenty of experience in a local church setting. All RCLC students attend the weekly worship, leadership lesson and meeting for the whole staff. RCLC students are paired up with a mentoring pastor in the church who takes time to get to know you and help you grow personally. Also, as the lead pastor, I spend half an hour per week with all students talking about books the students are reading and delivering leadership development content and having open conversations about what a life in ministry means.