Several years ago, I was engaged and realized that I had a knack for this wedding-planning thing. In fact, I really enjoyed it. So much so that I was asked to plan a few other weddings. No big, right? As someone who loves to have a side-hustle or five going on at all times, I decided I should learn more about this event planning business.
After looking online at different options (of which there were multitudes), I landed on the one that felt right for me. I joined a cohort at a local college to get certification in wedding and event planning. It was a comprehensive program led by an experienced faculty, and I’m still networked to many of the students who were in the program with me.
Sometimes we find ourselves in positions we didn’t go to school for, don’t we? And friends, that is often the most exciting place to be!
If you’re a learner, or you’re just even the least bit curious, you desire to explore and grow in and dive deep into the places you’ve been called to serve. Most of us serving in children’s ministry didn’t go to school for it, but we sense a need to get deeper into our calling and explore depths we haven’t yet been.
There was a dream shared by INCM and Bethel Seminary a few years back to provide children’s and family ministry leaders a certificate program that would equip, connect, challenge, and develop. This dream became reality with the launch of the Advanced Certificate in Children’s and Family Ministry program at the Children’s Pastor’s Conference in Orlando, Florida, 2014. There are currently 30 alumni of the program and another 20 students currently in process.
This one-year, 100 hour certificate program is unlike any other – it includes attendance at three INCM conferences (CPC16, CM Leaders 2016, and CPC17) where all the breakouts and pre-con seminars are with the Cory Center/Bethel Seminary staff. In addition to in-person training, students participate in online training and mentoring, and two projects for implementation into their unique ministry setting.
The faculty for the ACCFM includes Dr. Deb Moncauskas, Dr. Denise Muir Kjesbo, Dr. Anne-Marie Finsaas, Barbara Cionca, and Bethel MACFM graduates.
The level of excellence this faculty brings to this program is so apparent in the stories of the alumni:
“I’m so grateful for this experience and for the knowledge and wisdom I’ve been blessed to learn and experience alongside wonderful people. Thank you for caring well for us and creating an incredible experience that has shaped me into a better leader.”
“Thank you!! What a great year of growth in ministry and personally!”
“Thank you for this experience! Your leadership and commitment was an amazing blessing to my life. I was not alone!”
“Thank you for putting this program together! It was just what I needed as I was plunged into taking over all of Children’s Ministry. You have all been so loving and supportive, and are great teachers! I look forward to staying connected!”
Not only have these alumni grown in knowledge, confidence, understanding, and perspective, but they also have gained deep connections to the faculty and to their fellow cohort members. By having a certificate connected to a respected higher education institution, their credibility as a leader in children’s ministry is vouched for by both Cory Center/Bethel Seminary and INCM.
Friend, if you’re ready to dive deep into an advanced program that will equip you academically, spiritually, and personally in your role as a Children’s/Family Ministry Leader (not to mention connect you to fellow leaders in a truly remarkable way), I hope you’ll consider joining the next cohort of the Advanced Certificate in Children’s and Family Ministry program.
The next cohort will launch in Chattanooga, TN at CPC16, on January 20, 2016.
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