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Friday, 6 September 2013

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There is a University for Children's Ministries , Read it!

There are literally thousands of children’s workers, leaders, and children’s pastors in churches here in America who have no formal training in children’s ministries principles and practices. Add to these the numbers outside of this country and the potential market for this training is astonishing. These people are involved in ministry in the local church and will most likely never take the time to move to another community, enroll in one of the few Christian Colleges nation-wide that offer a Children’s Ministries program, and earn a degree.
The idea of an Internet-based training program for these children’s pastors, leaders, teachers, and helpers in Evangelical Christian circles has been cast about for several years. Imagine if you will, a volunteer or paid children’s pastor being able to benefit from a training program embarked upon in his or hers church office, home, or local library. All admissions, class materials, and testing will take place online.
We are Pentecostals and make no apology for believing in the full gospel for today’s church and children. We are designing all course materials to reflect evangelical non-Pentecostal doctrine with special sign bars and units specifically for the Pentecostal children’s worker.
Classes will be college-level quality, fully accredited, and offered at bargain basement prices. Some churches will host training days or retreats during which they present the CMUO materials on a big screen followed by discussion and personalization of the program.
A children’s leader can progress through each course alone or with fellow workers at his or her own pace. Eventually a leader will be able to earn a one year certificate in children’s ministries followed by an associates degree if he or she chooses.
All courses will be user-friendly utilizing the latest in online educational technology. Classes offered will present a practical no-nonsense approach to children’s ministry in small and large church settings. Students will enjoy lecture material, audio-visual presentations, assignments, and self-assessments insuring that they will receive the greatest benefit from their investment.
The first four courses will be available on our launch date of August 1, 2005. These will include; Children’s Ministries, Pastoring Children, Evangelizing Children, and Technology in Children’s Ministries. Additional topics to be included in the 30 credit certificate program include: New Testament Survey, Old Testament Survey, Biblical Theology or A/G Doctrine & History, and several other electives. Development of the remaining core courses of the program will continue after the initial launch, and elective courses will continue to be added on an ongoing basis. The goal is to provide children’s ministries workers and leaders with the most comprehensive, cutting-edge, and accessible children’s ministries training possible in a format which they can personalize to fit their specific ministry context and educational goals.


The Dreamers

Rev. Jason Rhode is our instructional designer and online technologies expert. Jason currently serves as Online Technologies Coordinator at Northern Illinois University (NIU) located in DeKalb, Illinois, where he works as a member of the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. In his role at NIU Jason is responsible for developing and offering training programs and consultations on web-course management systems and assisting faculty with online teaching and related needs. He is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education at Seattle Pacific University. More information about Jason is available on his website at: www.jasonrhode.com
 
Prior to his position at NIU, Jason served for four years as the Director of Children's Ministries at Christian Life Fellowship, Port Edwards, WI. He oversaw all ministries to children ages birth thru sixth grade and parents at CLF, which included over 250 children and 150 volunteers. His specific responsibilities included volunteer recruitment & training, curriculum development, coordination of online technologies, and general oversight of all aspects of the children's ministries of CLF. As an instructional designer and online instructor he was able to successfully implement online training strategies in a variety of contexts. Jason has earned a B.A. in Children’s Ministries from North Central University, a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction from Seattle Pacific University, and he is currently finishing a Ph.D. with an emphasis in Instructional Design for Online Learning from Capella University. He will be utilizing his extensive experience as both an online learner and instructor to guide the development of CMUO.
 
 
Rev. Dick Gruber is serving as subject matter expert, curriculum developer, instructor, and promoter. Dick currently serves as the Children’s Ministries Specialist at Valley Forge Christian College in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He has worked as a member of the faculty at VFCC since June of 2001. As the Children’s Ministries Specialist, Dick has developed a Bachelor’s Degree program in Children’s Ministries and is training young people to be children’s pastors, evangelists, and missionaries. He also travels nation-wide speaking in children’s ministries training events. More information about Dick is available on his website at: www.dickgruber.com
 
Prior to Dick’s VFCC position, he served for eight years as Children’s Pastor at Bloomington Assembly Of God Church in Bloomington, Minnesota. There he oversaw ministries to over 450 children each week as well as training and maintaining a volunteer staff of over 160 workers. Dick served prior to that as the National Children’s Ministries Consultant for the Assemblies Of God in Springfield, MO, Children’s Pastor at the People’s Church in Salem, OR, and Children’s Pastor at Farming Assembly Of God in Farmington, MN.
Dick has had nearly 200 articles published in children’s ministries magazines and is author of the books; Children’s Church: Turning Your Circus Into A Service, and Focus on Children, A Handbook For Elementary Sunday School Teachers.
Together, Jason and Dick have over 35 years experience as children’s leaders.
 
 
 
The Opportunity

In order to launch this web-based training, CMU Online will need a group of supporters willing to pray, advise, and give a one-time offering to cover our start-up budget. We anticipate spending nearly $22,000.00 between now and next August.
This money will be utilized to cover the following start-up costs: logo and identity artwork, website design and development, design and printing of promotional pieces, magazine advertisements, e-mail ads, promotional efforts at several major conferences, and provide other software and equipment needs for the start-up. Once launched, we are confident that CMUO will be self-sufficient.
CMU Online is an auxiliary ministry of Valley Forge Christian College. Its accreditation status is directly related to the college. VFCC will provide personnel and support for admissions, and ongoing maintenance of the CMUO. For this reason, your tax-deductible check can be made out to Valley Forge Christian College with notation that the money is for CMUO.
 
Send all checks to:
Valley Forge Christian College
C/O Dick Gruber - CMU Online
1401 Charlestown Road
Phoenixville , PA 19468




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