Stories of Degree Students

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Christian College Degree Pursuit

My Pursuit of a College Degree Led Me to CLI and CLC

Hi, my name is Lawrence Nkandu of Lusaka, Zambia, and I would like to get a Christian Read how free ministry training at Christian Leaders Institute has been crucial for this man’s ministry dream and his pursuit of a college degree.college degree from Christian Leaders College. I was born in the early 70s. Two years after my birth, my parents divorced. Later, my mother remarried, and so I grew up with a stepfather who had children from a previous marriage. I was not the favorite of the house and felt somewhat neglected. I was like an outsider to the family.

My stepdad wanted nothing to do with my schooling. Therefore, the burden of my education fell on my poor mother. She was not employed but was diligent enough to raise money for my school fees, books, and uniforms. After much struggle, I managed to complete my grade 12. Despite getting good grades at my final exams, I could not go to college for a college degree. Instead, I opted to get a job to relieve my mother of the enormous burden of college fees.

Spiritual Journey

I was born again in 1988 after some Bible school students witnessed to me. It was for the first time I heard the gospel message. My heart filled with such joy that I knew I had finally found what I was missing. I had attended Sunday mass at a nearby Catholic Church but left with an emptiness inside me. So, I kept wondering whether that was all there was to religion?

Then, that Saturday afternoon came when those three college students explained the Word of God more thoroughly to me. I was so happy inside. They invited me to attend church the following day at the Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church. It was my first time to enter a Pentecostal church. After the service, I knew I had found a home, and I never wanted to leave. I felt the presence of God there. Afterward, I vowed to remain a Christian for the rest of my life.

My Call to Serve the Lord

I fell in love with God and wanted was to be in His presence all the time and serve Him. After approaching and talking to my pastor, he confirmed my calling to serve the Lord. So after completing my secondary education, I wanted to go to Bible college to get a Christian college degree, but the availability of funds was a challenge.

Hence, I opted for employment. Every morning, going to work was a struggle. Inside me, there was no interest in this job I was doing. So after about a year, I had enough and quit. I pushed myself into Bible school. I sold my cell phone plus the little cash I had saved paid for my first semester at school.

In my second year, I dropped out due to a shortage of funds and decided to launch into ministry. I started and planted a church for the first time in 1997. Later, I tried again to pursue my theological studies. However, the usual hindrance of money was there, so I gave up on college and concentrated on doing the work of God. To date, I’m still pastoring, though, with very little training. The Holy Spirit has been faithful in His work.

Finding CLC and My Pursuit of a College Degree at CLC

I stumbled upon the Christian Leaders College as I was browsing the internet about nine days ago. Before this, I had never heard of or even thought that anyone could be so generous as to offer high-quality spiritual education for FREE! I immediately enrolled to give it a try. Wow!!!! It’s so unbelievable and so good. I intend to go through all the classes that CLI is offering and one day lay my hands on the Bachelor of Divinity Degree from Christian Leaders College.

Life-Changing Learning Opportunity

Growing up as the son of a pastor, Austin Triplett admits that while he knew the Gospel, he did not always fully understand what Christ had done for him. However, as a recent graduate of the Associate’s of Divinity Degree program at Christian Leaders College, Austin has developed a deeper understanding of the God who loves him beyond compare. This portion of his story tells of the life-changing learning opportunity that CLC provided him with, as well as the faith lessons he has learned along the way.

Call to Ministry

In 2018, I felt a strong call from God to pursue pastoral ministry. Upon receiving this call, I felt a variety of emotions: joy, excitement, and a sense of purpose – but also, fear of complete inadequacy. How could I expect to pastor people if I didn’t have a college degree? How could I expect to lead when I still have so much to learn? Through prayer and the council of my wife, it became clear that I needed to pursue a theological education. Upon making this decision came the question of cost: can I even afford a degree? My search for a reasonably-priced, online, theological education began. At first my search seemed hopeless, until one day I stumbled upon Christian Leader’s Institute. Could this be the place I find the training needed to pursue the call I believe that God has placed on my life? My wife and I prayerfully decided that this was the right path to take. In December of 2018, I began my journey towards an Associates of Divinity Degree with Christian Leader’s College.

Life-Changing Learning Opportunity

The beginning stages of my degree program were filled with excitement and intrigue as I engaged in training to pursue God’s call on my life. I became captivated by the work of God when going through Dr. Ted Hildebrandt’s Old Testament Literature and Theology class. Also, I grew to appreciate the larger body of Christ when going through Church History with Dr. Feddes. My eyes were opened to so many new possibilities for the expansion of the church in the Marketing Applied – Church Planting class. I felt as if theological education was something I was always missing in my life. Christian Leaders College was truly a life-changing learning opportunity for me. I fell in love with school, and the more I loved it, the more I learned. I couldn’t get enough information and I craved growth.

Love for the Lord

I found that the more I learned, the more I loved God. The more I learned, the more I wanted to keep learning. The more I learned, the more I wanted to become a pastor: to pursue God’s call. The world became an inexhaustible well of knowledge that I could drink from daily. All of this kindled a love for God that I never thought possible: a humility that I had always dreamed of, but never was able to attain. God used this life-changing learning opportunity to help me understand His glory. The more I learned, the more I continued to ask: “Oh Lord, what is man that you are mindful of Him?” (Psalm 8). I will always have more to learn, yet He knows all. I will always keep growing, yet he remains the same. Though I continue to change, He is without change. Though I might fail a quiz, He never fails. Christian Leaders College helped me to experience God in new ways every day.

Struggling to Succeed

However, feelings come and go. In July of 2019, I had just begun my Economics class and my schedule seemed to allow no time for school. I was busy preparing to move from India back home to El Paso, Texas, and school seemed less interesting to me. I began to struggle to keep up my pace with school and in struggling to keep up, my love for education seemed to dwindle. After weeks of attempting to work through the assignments for the first economics section, I felt ready to take the quiz. Immediately after seeing the first question, I knew I wasn’t prepared, but I stubbornly continued on. I anxiously submitted my answers to the quiz and prepared myself for the results. I failed the first quiz in economics and received the first failing grade of my college career. Feelings of anger, frustration, and a lack of motivation to continue my degree program consumed me.

Overcoming Obstacles

For about a week, I couldn’t even think about doing school. Everything was so busy, so where would I find the time? I met with my mentor at the end of that week and he challenged me to work harder at my next quiz. With his encouragement and a fresh wind of motivation, I dove into the second section of economics. Within a week I felt ready to take the next quiz. This time I had been diligent in my note-taking, and I was much more confident. I submitted my answers to the quiz, and with a sigh of relief I saw my grade: 19 out of 20 questions correct! Economics was by far the most difficult course for me, specifically because of the season of life I was in. However, with encouragement from my mentor and a more intentional approach to my education, I was able to finish the class with an A minus.

Looking Ahead

In every class, I have been so thankful for CLC’s work to apply knowledge to a ministry context. In reflection, I am so grateful for my time at Christian Leader’s College, and I look forward to continuing to learn through the Bachelor’s Degree program here. I am grateful for this life-changing learning opportunity and believe that the more I learn, the better pastor I will be. Also, I believe that the work Christian Leader’s College is doing to make education affordable and accessible for ministry leaders around the world is something that will transform the church. I look forward to seeing what the Lord continues to do in and through me as I continue my education with CLC!

Do you feel led to pursue the call for ministry God has placed on your life? Christian Leaders College could be the life-changing learning opportunity you have been searching for! Are you looking for a reasonably-priced theological education? Be sure to check out the Christian Leaders College and the degree programs that are offered!

Low Cost College Degree at CLC

Christian, Minister, Woman, Wife, and Mother. The core of these monikers always remains with me, clear and precise in my mind. My identity on a DNA level, so to speak. My name is Azelda Joubert, and I am getting a low-cost college degree at the Christian Leaders College . I am a born again Christian, ordained minister, and live with my husband and three children in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs in South Africa.

In many ways, and by many definitions of the word, I have lived a “charmed” life. I grew up in poverty but was noticed as early as in grade school for my sharp mind, creativity, eloquence, and drive. This remained a defining characteristic of my school years. I was recognized for many achievements, most considered extraordinary due to or despite my family’s financial hardship, spiritual bankruptcy, and moral ambiguity.

Burned Potatoes

A woman I loved very dearly and, to this day, she influences me though only in memory. She once told me that we choose how we define the things that happen to us and through us in life. She told me the following:

For some people, a pot of burned potatoes is just that, burned potatoes. To be laughed at and to try again. They see no hardship or tragedy, just the reality of a failed pot of mashed potatoes. They try again and move on.

For others, a pot of burned potatoes is a tragedy that has the potential to derail their world with regret, reproach, and recriminations. These are the people who allow life to overtake them with the inertia of insignificant details, often stuck with a pot of potatoes beyond use.

The third group sees every tragedy in life as burnt potatoes, never understanding consequence, accountability, or impact. They treat their own participation in or cause heartache and tragedy as nothing more than others would a pot of burned potatoes.

Her adamant demand of me? See your life for what it is, learn your lessons, grow when you can, and always remember to check the potatoes!

Why do I tell this story? Because the next part of my story is hard to tell. I do not share my early childhood’s hurt as it has no value beyond the lessons it taught and the empathy I am gifted with.

Derailed

In my early teenage years, my faith in God, tiny as it was at the time, was harmed by the callous unthinking words of a minister. I had no grounding in faith or biblical literacy to refute his statement. So, I decided to turn my back on the Christian faith. I could not serve or believe in a God capable of cruelty. So, I carried someone else’s pot of burned potatoes as my personal tragedy for more than a decade.

I turned to a modern form of paganism, Wicca, as a solitary Wiccan practitioner. I soon caught the attention of a coven and moved through the ranks rapidly to the office of a high priestess. Again, I believed my life to be quite literally “charmed.” It was a time in which I gradually became intimately familiar with the darkness, the trappings of sin, and the fear that resides in the abject absence of God in one’s life.

The details serve no purpose in my testimony other than to demonstrate the enormity of God’s Grace. Often, one act of defiance or sin leads you down a path that grows in darkness and regrets. It seems almost impossible to turn around and seek the light your soul so desperately needs. My new “charmed life” had me proclaiming my spiritual tragedy as nothing but burned potatoes masquerading as the uninformed opinion of others.

Changed

In 2003, I was pregnant with my daughter. By this time, the religious practices of my pagan faith had me fearful and stressed. Therefore, I believed the only way this precious baby would be safe was for me to denounce all belief and to go through life alone. Ironically, I was too afraid to stay home alone on Sunday mornings. So, I tagged along with my parents as they attended a local church. It was in this church that the Love of Christ confronted me! It came through scripture and testimony, and mostly, an outpouring of love by Christ’s body. By the time my daughter was born in early 2004, I was a believer though not yet saved.

The church I attended participated in an Easter Camp that year. It was during this camp, in a humble prayer room without much in the way of comforts or furnishings, I came to know Christ – not only as God but as my Savior. I surrendered my life with all its ugliness and beauty, all the sin and goodness, to the One who died for my sin, conquered death, and reigns with the Father for all eternity.

My Calling

With this salvation, this miracle of forgiveness, I also received my calling: Preach the Word!
2 Timothy 4:1-5:  I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

In 2005, I enrolled at Theological College and started the most remarkable journey of my life. I met my husband, a Godly man with a solid Christian faith. I married him, had two more children (boys), and completed my National Diploma in Theology. Then, I did my practical training in a local church with an excellent mentor.  In January 2011, I received my ordination.

Remembering that I have a calling, I continued my corporate management career. I still served where I could, learning and growing in Christ. I served as a youth pastor, assistant pastor, private school principal, and guest teacher for undergrad students during my bi-vocational ministry years and am grateful for each experience.

Purpose Through a Promise In 2009

The Greatest Commandment for us was Deuteronomy 6:1-12.  Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and your gates.” (Deut. 6:4-9)

We have taught our children the ways of God, loved God above all else, and witnessed this in our everyday life through words and actions and behavior. In our 15 years of marriage, we have faced many storms and mountains. It has been an amazing journey of growth, discovery, and divine provision from God to fulfill his remarkable promise to us. We have made some mistakes along the way, but always the grace of God has been sufficient for us. We endure, grow closer to each other and God, raise a family, and serve where we can. Today by Grace, I see burned potatoes simply as burnt potatoes.

Study at CLI and a Low-Cost College Degree at CLC

Three years ago, when full-time ministry seemed far out of my reach, and financial demands kept both my husband and me working full time far from home, I was diagnosed with FMS. It forced me to become a stay-at-home mother for the first time in our married life. We decided to find the God-centric purpose of this also. I started home-schooling our children. We went from a double income family to a single income family almost overnight. This change had real implications. Now I had the time, but not the means, to complete my studies, realize my calling, and complete the task so keenly placed on my heart. Once more, without a low-cost college degree option, my study was on hold. My dream of impacting the spiritual health and growth of the body of Christ, in truth, had to wait for another season.

Three years of prayers and faith have now placed this dream within reach. I have the possibility to complete my studies through the generous and inclusive opportunity of the Christian Leaders Institute. A low-cost college degree at the Christian Leaders College is perfect. I will not only grow in readiness and preparedness but also fulfill my calling.

Doctrinally sound apologetic teaching is the church’s armor against heresy, apostasy, and false teachers. My life and my salvation stand as proof that the word of God does not return upon itself empty. My calling demands that I reproduce and teach this to a world lost and broken.

“Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47

 

 

nterested in a low-cost college degree? Check out the Christian Leaders College.

Life Coach Ministry at CLC

Hi, my name is Rich Esparza and I live in southern California with my wife of nearly 30 years. I am currently pursuing Life Coach training at CLC.  My son recently got engaged to his fiancé and is planning to be married next year. To my surprise, the two of them came to me and asked if I would officiate at their wedding. My first reaction inside was, “I’m not qualified to officiate any wedding, let alone my own son and future daughter in law”. Besides, I pictured myself sitting in the front row with my wife taking it all in and just enjoying the whole day. But it became clear to me that they want me to do it because they see something in me that originally piqued their desire.

After I got over the slight fear and anxiety of picturing myself officiating at my son’s wedding I began to search for what is required to take on such an important role. You see, as I’ve gotten older and nearing retirement I’ve started to seriously consider what roles I would take on to serve God in ministry. I have decided that I now need to give back all of my skills, abilities, gifts, talents, and experiences to any and all people who can benefit from them. I have a strong desire to mentor the next generation and equip young people for life in any way I can, but specifically in relationships and marriage, parenting, finances, and career. I know through experience and observation that these are key areas in life that a lot of people have their greatest difficulties. After a very short search on the internet, it was clear that a simple transaction would allow anyone to be “eligible” to officiate a wedding. I was so disappointed. Knowing and trusting that God created, planned, and defined what marriage is in the Bible, and to think that the world makes it that easy to be “qualified” is troubling. And then I found Christian Leadership Institute.

Once I began to check out CLC, I was confident that this Christ centered organization would prepare me to officiate my son’s wedding and any other couple who’s desire it is to put Jesus at the center of their marriage. In fact, I’ve decided to pursue the path of becoming a licensed Life Coach Minister through CLC. This will further prepare me and stretch my faith to serve in other areas as well.

I’ve since completed the Connections class, an introductory class that is the prerequisite for additional classes and training at CLC. In updating my story now, it’s clear that God continues to pull me closer and lead me in this journey. He seems to reveal to me with each lesson His will and desire for me to continue with Him on this path. What started as my desire to become a wedding officiant, is now blossoming into more of a pursuit of something bigger. In reviewing the requirements for Life Coach and the specific skills, talents, and experiences I’ve been blessed with, my goals have grown and I see this God given opportunity to stretch, learn, and minister all for His glory.

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

Free Theology Classes at CLC

My name is Mark Lawrenson and I’m from a small rural town in Eastern Ontario, Canada. I am a current student at CLC  taking free theology classes and this is my story.

Background and Childhood

I was born into a wonderful Christian family. I the eldest of three, along with my siblings were raised up in the ways of God. Both my father and grandfather had full-time careers as ordained ministers, working as Pastor’s of churches they had planted. My father felt a calling to the mission field and with the help of his biggest supporter (my mom) packed up our family and moved to Jamaica. This was in 1965.

At the time, as a young child, I had no idea how this move to a foreign country (which at times seemed hostile towards us) would have such a profound affect on my life as a whole. I accepted the reasons my parents gave me for the move, and although I never told them, I did have a bit of resentment for awhile in having to leave our home, friends, cousins and other family behind. I, however, quickly adapted and became a part of what they were trying to do in furthering the gospel to this nation.

My parents had enrolled me at a young age (prior to going to Jamaica) into music lessons, first piano and then I moved into guitar. I practiced diligently and a year or two after we arrived in Jamaica my dad felt I was proficient enough and asked me to start participating in the church services with my musical talents. I enjoyed this so much that the sting of resentment quickly faded. I gained new friends, became an integral part of my father’s ministry which in turn gave me the realization of God’s grace and the gift of his salvation through His son Jesus Christ. I was 13 years old at the time, and was baptized in the river that ran beside the church along with some other converts in early 1967.

I stayed in Jamaica with my parents until 1969 at which time they felt it necessary to send me back to Canada for schooling. I would live with an Aunt and Uncle in Montreal and attend school along with their 6 children. It was another dramatic change in my life, and while at the time I found it exciting, there were a lot more distractions and I started to experience “spiritual warfare” in my life.

Also, being a teenager, such an impressionable time in one’s life, I was introduced to a whole host of “other” things that I had been shielded from at home with my parents in Jamaica. I never really got into any trouble, although I did run away once, trying to get to my grandparent’s place in Toronto. When I finished the school year everybody thought it best if I return to my parents in Jamaica. I was 16 years of age at this time.

Returning to Jamaica was like going back home…but it was short lived, the following year my parents felt a calling to minister in Mexico. We would move to McAllen, Texas where we would live as a family, go to school and church, allowing for my parents to cross the border into Mexico to minister frequently. I graduated from high school there in 1972, and that summer we returned to Canada to visit family who we hadn’t seen for some time. While there, I had an uncle who had a construction company who I started working for. This was my introduction to what my career would eventually become, and at the same time I met a girl at the local church I was attending, who I would marry 2 years later.

Life Challenges

My immediate family, parents and siblings, all assumed that like my father and grandfather, I would continue their work in the ministry. I had always felt that way too, but it was not to be. I did return to Texas for a year, where once again I got a job in construction. I returned to Canada in late 1973 and started my apprenticeship for carpentry. I got married in 1974 and had my 1st daughter in 1976. It was around this time that my “walk with God” started a slow downhill decline.

My wife, who also came from a good Christian family and was grounded in God’s word, felt that “we as a couple” would be called into the ministry also. She had attended Bible College in Saskatchewan for a year prior to us getting married, and agreed to go on a mission trip with me (which was also going to be our honeymoon) delivering Bible’s to Cuba. I look back on this experience now and “WOW”, probably not the wisest thing to do on your honeymoon. But we accomplished what we set out to do, with the Lord’s help, and had some very “hair raising stories” to talk about when we returned to Canada.

Over a period of time, after the return from Cuba, our lives began to go through a tumultuous time. We got caught up in life, working, starting and raising a family, so busy all the time. We started skipping church attendance. The walk and relationship we had with God, and each other started to fail…and the spiritual dream we had always thought would be a part of our future went by the wayside too. Our marriage failed ultimately and we divorced in 1981, after 7 years of marriage.

Calling to Ministry

The next 37 years of my life are a bit of a blur. Another failed relationship after 20 years of marriage with 2 more children. In 2008, I married for the 3rd time…to a wonderful Christian lady named Mary, who I lost to metastasized breast cancer in September of 2018. In my grief I determined to raise money for cancer, started a website (www.remembermary.com) and rode my bicycle around all the Great Lakes in Ontario and then to Florida. A total of 5,800 kms (3,600 miles).

While on my cycling journey I had a lot of time to think about my life. I came to the realization that life is about choices. If we truly seek God and establish a walk with him he will give us guidance and he will show us the choice we must make. If we choose not to walk with God (as I did), I consider that a poor choice. I never stopped believing what I was taught from a young age, and I am eternally grateful to God for giving me the parents I have, who instilled in me the basic values which I was able to pass on to my children.

I have been very blessed in life even with all the hardships I had to endure because of my poor choices. I am even more grateful to God for sending his only son, Jesus Christ into this world, to live as a man and to die on a cross to save us from our sins. I am so grateful for the grace he has bestowed on mankind, that even though we may turn away from him, he will always take us back.

While on that cycling journey, I re-established that walk and relationship with God. My spiritual dream is to continue this walk him and seek his guidance for my ministry. He is developing a plan, which at sometime in the future I will share, and I hope will take fruition in a few years.

In the meantime, I want to thank Christian Leaders Institute for what they are doing. I am learning so much and I plan on getting my degree in Theology. Because they are offering these free theology classes to me, I will endeavor to support them as a Vision Partner so that they can continue to provide this for those who can’t afford it. I believe God’s Word should be available to everyone at no cost.

Thank-you,

Mark Lawrenson

 

 

Interested in a low-cost degree? Check out the Christian Leaders College.

Christian Life Coaching at CLC

My name is Lucky Aghom and I am from Nigeria in West Africa. I am a graduate of Philosophy, a Christian and I am married with children. I want to pursue life coaching through Christian Leaders College. I live in Lagos, Nigeria with my family.

I grew up in Lagos with my parents and younger siblings. Growing up was kind of challenging. My dad was a military man and my mom a pretty petty seller. Due to my dad being a military officer, we attended the protestant church in the barrack. We were just a regular family that attended church only on Sundays. Although I was a member of the choir then, I never had any encounter with Jesus.

Growing up in the barracks was tough. I made lots of wrong choices that pushed me away from Jesus Christ. When I left the barrack in my teen years and started staying on my own outside the barrack, I started attending Pentecostal church. During a miracle service in the year 2001, I gave my life to God, but yet I was never truly committed to Jesus, for I still continued in my worldly lifestyle.

When I got married in 2012, I fully became born again, I started attending Christian worker’s training, in the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). From there the zeal to know Jesus grew. I became a house fellowship leader.

In 2018, my current pastor prayed and spoke to me about ministering in Church. At first I didn’t want to accept it because I was scared. So I avoided my pastor for some months until he called me again saying that God said he should choose me for ministering in church. I remembered what the Bible said that God has not giving me the spirit of fear but of sound mind, so I accepted and I started working in the vineyard of God. My pastor allowed me to preach on some days and I handled the church workers, every Sundays I exhort and handle the workers meeting.

Due to financial constraint I have not been able to register for a bible college to understand the gospel well and also to earn a certificate. So I went searching for free Christian teaching and the Lord directed me to the Christian Leaders College. I am grateful for these free online courses for it will give me an edge and also make me to accomplish my dream of obtaining a degree/certification, and above all to know God more and better.

I want to be trained as a certified life coach to be able to preach and motivate the younger ones. I want them to know that when they seek first the kingdom of God all their hopelessness will turn to hope.

I need all your support and prayers at CLC for me to be able to achieve my dreams in Christian ministration. God bless CLC.

 

 

 

Learn more about Life Coaching at the CLC. Interested in a low-cost degree? Check out the Christian Leaders College.

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.

one of the best journeys

One of the Best Journeys

Our very own staff member, Abigail Reyenga-Dominiak, recently finished her Associate of Divinity degree with Christian Leaders College! Her story speaks to how her studies the last several years have been one of the best journeys of her life.

One of the Best Journeys

In reflection of my Associate studies at Christian Leaders College, it becomes clear that this training was one of the best journeys of my life. In the first place, this is because it has further prepared me for my ministry work. I thank God for the opportunity to take free online college courses where I have the honor of working. In addition to this, each course has enriched my life emotionally and spiritually. Not only that, but they have also equipped me with more knowledge in ministry. As I continue working as the Vision Partner Advocate and Christian Leaders Institute Director, I see how these courses have trained me to better assist and encourage fellow students and graduates.

These experiences have molded me as I refine how to seek the Lord’s will in each decision I make. Upon the completion of this academic achievement, it is my hope and prayer that my family and friends can see the transformation these studies have had on my life. My husband, Mitchell, has been one source of encouragement on the spiritual growth I have experienced with CLI. As I have progressed through this degree, he has observed the positive effects it has had on my personal walk with God. I pray the Holy Spirit will continue to lead me to use what I have learned in my studies to advance His Kingdom as I continue to serve at Christian Leaders Ministries.

Classes That Resonate

As I reflect on studies, many of the classes have personally resonated with and impacted me. Those required for the Associate of Divinity degree include People Smart for Ministry, Old Testament and New Testament Survey, College Algebra, and Management by the Book. People Smart for Ministry will always stand out to me. Apart from the Biblical Greek and beginner courses, it was one of the first classes I took that made me realize how much I value taking classes with CLI.  One example where I practically applied this course’s content was in high school.

At the time, I remember trying to put into practice the people smart skills I was learning to those around me. One thing I will always remember from that class is the importance of listening and smiling. A heartfelt smile can go a long way in brightening someone’s day and coming across as someone full of the joy of the Lord. Also, there were a lot of vital tips on how to make a good first impression. This is important as I meet many fellow brothers and sisters at CLI.

I loved the Old Testament and New Testament Survey, because it practically walked me through the whole Bible. Not to mention, the courses provided a lot of insight into the authors of various books of the Bible. In addition to this, the background and illuminated many of the messages that were shared in various Bible stories. Growing up as a Pastor’s daughter, I read and knew a lot of the Bible stories. However, taking this course highlighted and shed new light on many of the truths and stories of the Bible.

Appreciation and Challenges

My love for College Algebra stems from my previous appreciation for mathematics. My passion for math fueled my rate at which I completed the class. As a matter of fact, it was the fastest I ever completed a course. I enjoyed being reminded, as well as learning new principles of Algebra. Overall, I did appreciate many of the other core required courses too. I enjoyed Management by the Book as Pastor Steve Elzinga reflected and demonstrated management principles from Philemon 1. Prior to enrollment, I wouldn’t have thought I could learn so much from one chapter of the Bible. I love how the word of God has so many different truths we can obtain from just one chapter. I am praying that God continues to guide me in management at CLI.

Some of the most challenging classes I took were Advanced English Comprehension, Philosophy 101, and Biblical Greek. For me personally, Advanced English Comprehension and Philosophy 101 contained the most challenging and thought-provoking content in all my training at CLI. I found the material difficult at various times. Both courses provided me with an educational growth opportunity. I had to work hard to pass with a grade that was reflective of the dedication I put into my studies. The Biblical Greek courses were tricky as well. Learning a new language is very time-consuming, but definitely worth it. From this class, It was revealed to me how reading the New Testament in its original written language is such a rewarding experience. I definitely need to touch-up on my biblical Greek as that was the first couple of courses I did at CLI in 2011.

A Blessing to Many

The past nine years of studying at CLI have brought times of testing, and even more times of growth in my relationship with my heavenly Father. My studies have opened the eyes of my heart in many areas of my life. I have learned ministry skills about the history of the church as well as how to communicate. I have learned about church planting, pastoral care, and ultimately, I have furthered my biblical knowledge. God has been so faithful to me throughout all my studies. My family, friends, and CLI family has been so encouraging to me. They have spurred me onto receiving this degree. God has blessed me with such a beautiful support system. I cannot thank God enough for all he has given me!

Christian Leaders Ministries is a blessing to so many Christians worldwide. It is providing debt-free, high-quality college degrees. I am so thankful to be finishing my Associate of Divinity degree and very close to finishing my Bachelor of Divinity too! What I have learned has been life-changing. It has molded me into more of a Christian leader – reaching the world for Christ. I have much more to learn, and I am excited to embark on finishing my Bachelor’s degree.

Thank you Christian Leaders College for all you have taught me over the past nine years. They have greatly blessed me! Studying at CLC is truly a gift from God. May I always glorify, honor, and trust God in all I do in Jesus’ name. Because this was one of the best journeys, I am very excited to continue onto the next part of my journey at CLC!