Scholarship for Ministry Training at CLC

Receiving Ministry training through a scholarship at CLC in order to bring people to Christ. – My name is Laurynn Vaughn and I was born in Connecticut.

The Makings Of Laurynn

I was raised in a home of two parents that were saved. However, our home lacked the love of Christ. My childhood was void affection and the reassurance that I was loved unconditionally. It was also an abusive environment. I was raised in the church all my life, however I never witnessed the character of a disciple of Christ in the adults around me growing up. I came from discord and chaos, even in the church. When I was 15 I befriended a homosexual female that my parents forbade me to be friends with. I began to sneak and rebel because I thought they just were being judgmental and didn’t love me. My rebellion led to increased abuse and eventually me being removed by child protective services. I lived in a shelter, from family to friends, to being homeless.

Humbling Events

My late teenage years and twenties were unstable. I was diagnosed with PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, panic attacks and depression. I used drugs, I partied, I drank and I lived a sexually immoral lifestyle. I spent these years trying to find someone to love me all the while not being able to recognize and receive love. I attempted suicide on three separate occasions and experience an innumerable amount of suicidal ideations during these times. My last suicide attempt was summer of 2006 after abuse by the person I was in a relationship with. After waking up in the hospital with them by my side, it was a wake up call that there was no way out. I had to go through it. I spent the next few months embarrassed, filled with shame and in a worst emotional state than I had been in prior to the suicide attempt. In January of 2007 I was asked to keep a baby for a mother who was incarcerated. I agreed and in June that baby was born. When I laid eyes on him for the first time, I cried. I couldn’t believe his own family didn’t want to take him for his mom and I couldn’t believe a mess like me was being trusted with this perfect creation. This was the moment I realized I needed Christ in my life. I couldn’t do a thing for myself except fail. But in this moment, I realized if I failed, I wouldn’t be just failing myself, but this child that I was now responsible for. I spent July and August of 2007 trying to ‘be good’ on my own. By September God had found me and caught me completely off guard. I went to my grandmother’s church to drop off pictures. I deliberately reached there when service was expected to be over, only to discover when I arrived, it was still going on. When I popped my head in and she saw me, she immediately waved for me to come in. Next thing I knew I was being told to come up to the alter for prayer and I ended up receiving Christ. The whole world seemed so new to me and it felt like for the first time I was completely aware of my sin and the sin around me. I remember praying and asking God to help me because I didn’t know how to change the environment on my own. God answered that prayer within days and blessed me with a home for the baby and I to start a new chapter in my life.

Growing into Maturity

I continued in my walk of faith over the years following becoming an instant mom. I did however start doing it the way I saw it growing up. I professed Jesus on Sundays, yet Monday to Saturday I still hadn’t surrendered my shame, my past, my issues with abandonment and lack of esteem. I went from one draining relationship to the next; all while still trying to earn my parents love. I came up with this idea that if I were to get married and give them a grandchild, then they would love me. So the next man I dated, within two months of being in a relationship, we got married. I married him knowing he was abusive and knowing that God told me “no” the same day I laid eyes on him. At that time I didn’t realize it was God’s voice. I brushed it off thinking it was me being nervous about him. I spent two years in a toxic and loveless marriage. God used it to still me. He also used it to mature me in my understanding of myself and show me my lack of understanding of love. God also blessed me and showed His love for me by giving me two beautiful daughters from that marriage to be steward over. My husband left us when I was 6 months pregnant with our second child. I believe God allowed that pain and betrayal to take place because He knew it was the precise thing I needed, to break what was left of me, so He could do the work of deliverance and restoration. My divorce was finalized in December 2016 and the initial feelings of failure, abandonment and betrayal that the enemy meant for my emotional harm, God turned around for my good. I became consistent with counseling, consistent with church and I started volunteering. He gave me life so abundant with love and peace that there’s days I think about how far He’s brought me and I get overwhelmed with gratefulness. Where would I be if it had not been for Christ? Better yet, who would I be? All of this lead me to pursue a scholarship for Ministry Training at CLC.

My Spiritual Dream

My spiritual dreams is to continue to be like Christ and grow in my understanding of God and His Word. I strive for this everyday by learning to be led so that I can lead. I am a single mother of two daughters and I have to lead by example. I also lead a small group in my church and I founded a non profit with the purpose of assisting others in living a Christ-centered life. I’ve learned that I’m most successful when I let God take the drivers seat in my life and submit to Him every plan and desire I have. The training I’m receiving with Christian Leaders College is so necessary for my continued growth as a Christian Leader. Having a scholarship for Ministry Training at CLC made this possible and is so important because I want and need to be equipped at every level to handle the call of God to discipleship. My vision for my life is to become a Minister and preach the Word of God. It is my prayer that God will use my testimony to save people and bring others back to Him.

 

Learn more about scholarships at the Christian Leaders Institute. Interested in a low-cost degree? Check out the Christian Leaders College.

Free Apologetics Courses

Free Apologetics Courses

Online Bible College Journey

Online Bible College Journey

Online Bible College Journey – Chaplain David Green

First, I would like to mention what a wonderful opportunity it has been over the past four years, starting as a Christian Leaders Institute student and graduating with a degree from the Christian Leaders College. My online Bible College journey has been blessed!

 The Call: Beginnings

When I began my studies, I was not too sure about where or what may lay ahead. Was this the right path for me? How many classes should I take? Should I just get my Commissioned Minister License? Should I pursue an associate degree? Or should I really go all in, grit my teeth, and pursue a bachelor’s degree and get ready for years of studies.

What I did know was that it was the Lord’s will for me to get some sort of education in ministry. Conversations with the Lord were: “Are you sure you want me to pursue a 4-year degree? Because that will take a lot of commitment, and I have so many other things going on.” I felt as if God said, “You know what I want you to do. Now stop complaining because I am preparing you for something you do not even know yet.” Even in the beginning, I did know what the Lord wanted of me. I was not sure I wanted to listen.

To start, I took courses and got awards in the adult education program at Christian Leaders Institute. Many, many hours have gone by studying in airports, early mornings, late nights, even on vacations when I traveled with my family. I am not sure I would even want to know the number of hours I have spent studying.

Ministry Journey into Chaplaincy

Back in 2012 was when I felt that being in the Ministry as a vocation was where I needed to go. It was not necessarily wanted, but needed. It honestly feels like a lifetime ago, and it almost seems surreal that this part of my journey is about to end. Now one of the biggest commitments I have ever made is about to begin. After two and a half years of studies and the Lord working in my life by putting certain individuals in my path, I decided to not only get ordained through CLI but to continue a higher degree and pursue a Bachelor’s of Chaplaincy degree at the Christian Leaders College.

I volunteered as a first responder Chaplain in September of 2019. A traumatic event occurred in my life a few years ago. In working through and getting past this event, it helped me realize even more exactly where God was calling me. Being a first responder chaplain has been difficult and has had many challenges. The classes I have taken help with those challenges.

Full-time Chaplain Opportunity

In April of this year, the Executive Chaplain made known his plan to retire in August. A few people told me that I should think about applying. I was not sure I should consider this position as I am or was not the most qualified at the time the idea was presented to me. However, I sent in my application in June. Then I hunkered down for many months studying any chance I could get to finish my degree. I knew the degree would help with being offered the position. I was interviewed for the job this September and was asked soon after if I would accept the position.

On October 1, 2020, I will be beginning the new full-time Assistant Chaplain position. It is hard to grasp that it is actually happening. I am also finishing my degree at the same time. I know my degree work helped significantly in my application. With help from CLI and CLC, this dream has become a reality.

It is hard to put into words how I felt when offered the position, and how I still feel today. I have prayed for many years for this day to come. That the Lord would allow being in Ministry to be my life’s work. Now it is happening. Many hard days are to come, I know. But with the Lord’s strength and never forgetting why I do what I am doing, I know I can succeed. With this new position, I will be serving all the first responders of Central Oregon (fire, law enforcement, dispatch, etc.). The Lord has truly given me a heart that loves and respects our first responders. To be able to care for them is an honor!

Growth on My Online Bible College Journey

I have experienced growth in a myriad of ways throughout this journey. One of the most basic of ways has been discipline. Being a husband, father of two, and working a full-time job, it has taken strong discipline to get to this point. There have been days or weeks that I genuinely wanted to quit and thought the task was too great. But my desire and love for God kept me on track. I have not only met but exceeded my goals.

One of the most valuable things I have learned throughout this whole process has been on how to be a leader. Classes such as “Leadership”, “Life Coaching”, and “Introduction to Chaplaincy” have taught me what it means to be a leader. They have also taught me what it is to be like our Savior in becoming a servant leader. As Jesus stated, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” There is no better person to model after then Jesus when he lived among us. He lived a life of servanthood and became a leader by not only saying but living a life that was honorable. Every aspect of his life can be learned from.

Being a leader does not mean you become a person that is full of pride and arrogance. As Proverbs 29:23 puts it, “Pride brings a man low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor”. Paul writes to the Galatians 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” In becoming a full-time Chaplain this is how I must live: To serve as Jesus served while on earth and to love as He loves.

Knowledge Gained on My Online Bible College Journey

The knowledge that I have gained from all the classes is invaluable. Many of my favorite classes were ones where Dr. David Feddes was the instructor. I truly enjoyed his teaching, his style, and his “Back to God Hour.” I wish I knew about his program back when it was on the radio. I would like to get the opportunity to thank him someday.

Another class that I absolutely enjoyed was Philosophy. I dreaded the idea of taking this class for years, so I kept putting it off. But this class was much different then what you would get at the university. Many universities can be biased and one-sided. So as a Christian, this class fit and did not feel overly one-sided.

I have learned about and listened to many different theologians, philosophers, and pastors throughout the course of my studies. One of my favorites was Francis Schaeffer. His series called “How Should We Then Live” was wonderful. I plan to watch this series of videos many times over. I enjoyed the way he approached Christian history and philosophy in a way that anyone can grasp. There was a lot of information to benefit any minister, evangelist, and apologist.

A Favorite Class on My Online Bible College Journey

Another of my favorite classes was “Prayer”. Too often prayer is overlooked and becomes the last resort when it comes to having a relationship with our Lord. Prayer needs to be an everyday occurrence. Pray when we get up, before we eat, while driving to work, and before we lay our heads down to sleep. An aspect the I really enjoyed learning and have kept is how to pray. Dr. Feddes described a good rule of thumb in using the acronym ACTS, which stands for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. This acronym has really helped my private and public prayer life.

Challenges Faced on My Online Bible College Journey

One of the most challenging aspects over the past four years has been to stay committed, positive, and dedicated. Many of the classes have been quite challenging and to stay motived each day and press on was not always easy.  What I kept reminding myself was that I was not doing it for me, but I was doing it to better myself and grow. Then I will be better equipped to help others and fulfill God’s calling on my life. Knowing this truth made the times when I did not feel like studying more manageable.

A New Journey Begins

As you can already tell from above, completing this degree is the beginning of a journey that has been in the works for quite some time. So, it has had and will have a dramatic impact on my family.

My prayer is that with this new journey of being a full-time Chaplain I can make my kids and my wife proud. I pray that as my kids grow older, they will understand why Daddy made this significant change in their lives (I am actually crying while writing this). It was a change that made things more difficult, but one that reflects what it means to follow and believe in Christ no matter what and allow His Will to rule over my own. I am putting my faith in God more than I ever have with this change – financially, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. However, with the knowledge I have gained with this degree, I have grown into a more godly man. I know that I am ready, and my family supports me and my walk with the Lord.

Thank you all! Know that each and every one of you is loved and appreciated. May God bless and keep you!

 

Learn more about ordination at the Christian Leaders Alliance. Interested in a low-cost degree? Check out the Christian Leaders College.