The Bible is God's story to humanity, and through it He teaches us what it looks like to live a full life while being led by the Spirit to love God and people. We always start with the Bible, seeking to discover what God says.
We need education that engages our head, heart and hands. To achieve real transformation, the things we learn with our head need to affect our heart deeply, and the process is completed when what we learn is executed in authentic action. So, we pursue knowledge, learning about the Bible, history, theology, culture and more. But knowledge by itself, does not transform and empower, so we are always asking, “so what?” As we explore God, and what He says about us and our world, learning should produce fresh ideas, vision and passion in our heart. We push you to not only know about steps of response, but to take them. Mature disciples don’t just know what a godly life should be – they have learned how to do it. You will explore life alongside people who are pushing you forward, sharing Jesus from their life, and encouraging you to follow Jesus with your actions. You will have plenty of opportunity to learn ‘how’ by doing, serving shoulder-to-shoulder with leaders. Our aim is to launch you into your next chapter with a life that reflects what you have learned – that reflects Jesus.
The Kingdom needs leaders! They may not call themselves a pastor or a missionary – those are just functions in the body of Christ. But it needs people who will run point on pushing the mission of Jesus forward. If you ask current pastors and leaders what they wish they had more of, you might expect them to say ‘money’… but the real answer is overwhelmingly ‘people who can help lead’. We need people who are full of passion, who Jesus can give vision to, and who have drive to turn vision into reality. This takes a complex set of skills and broad knowledge! It begins with a call from God, a stirring that God gives us to follow His lead. But calling does not equal effectiveness. We have watched so many people who have passion, vision and calling, flounder in discouragement or unfruitfulness because they were missing some of the ingredients they needed to be an effective Kingdom leader.
At the moment it is difficult for churches to find people who have been holistically trained for ministry and Kingdom leadership. There are people with lots of education, who know about the Bible and theology, but lack some of the soft-skills needed to make disciples and influence people well. This is because education can be costly and all consuming; a season that leaves little time for other training. There are others who have gained lots those soft skills, the only way you can – through experience and mentoring. But they lack the rigorous background knowledge of the Bible and theology, which limits how far they can lead people.
Our aim is to avoid this dichotomy, and design a pathway that develops people holistically for Kingdom leadership. The Bible is our foundation, so we aim to produce graduates who know their Bible back-to-front and inside-out. But the Bible needs to be interpreted to connect with the questions our culture is facing. So we train people who are theologically skilled, and can engage others, and help them discover the story they are part of – God’s story. True leadership flows not only from what we know, but who we are and what we do (1 Corinthians 11:1). So we pursue mentoring and coaching, to make mature disciples of Jesus who have something to say about the issues of life because they have worked through them themselves. They are people whose lives reflect God’s story. Out of mature discipleship flows the call and vision for life that drives leaders to know where to pour their energy and how to build. As we build we inevitably run into the need to utilize God’s chosen material… people. So we develop graduates who are experienced and have the soft skills required for leading people and making more disciples of Jesus.