Acts 20:28 says, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” If you are considering training for ministry, you understand what a huge calling this is. The position of “overseer” is an undertaking that is not to be taken lightly. Fortunately, you’re not in this alone!
Grace College Online offers training for ministry for those wanting to grow in their career as a pastor, children’s ministry director, missionary, outreach coordinator, or even a nonprofit founder. Regardless of the shape or size of your ministry, Grace’s ministry leadership degree program will equip you with a solid understanding of God’s word and clear vision of how to live it out through your ministry.
Richard Hancock and Scott Highberger share their unique paths which led them to pursue online training for ministry at Grace.
A Perfect Path to Pastoring
Richard Hancock is a current part-time student for the bachelor’s in Ministry Leadership program at Grace. After working as a Physical Therapist Assistant and serving as the Life Groups Pastor at his church on the side, God made it clear that His plan for Hancock was to go “all in” on ministry.
“The Lord opened the door for me to go into full-time ministry at our church and I have been serving here for the past three years. Working on staff as a pastor is one of the reasons why I am pursuing training for ministry.”
But it wasn’t the only reason. Hancock saw the training as an opportunity to develop himself personally as well.
“I chose this degree because I am very interested in leadership development, and I was at the stage in my life where I was ready to stretch my own leadership capabilities,” he shared. “After reading about the Ministry Leadership degree at Grace College, I thought it would be a great avenue to further develop leadership skills.”
Although only halfway through the program, Hancock has already seen how this degree has impacted his work in the church.
“This degree has supported and strengthened my ministry,” he shared. “I have already learned several biblical and leadership principles that have strengthened my thought processes and leadership style.”
And beyond that, Hancock has gotten to witness God working through his ministry in some pretty unique ways!
“Covid brought about several challenges to the local church,” said Hancock. “The life groups ministry became a critical component of our church, especially when we were unable to gather together. The groups gave us the ability to stay connected and meet needs during a very challenging time.”
And while Hancock has his hands full with overseeing these life groups, thanks to Grace, there was no added stress when it came to transitioning back to school after 20 years.
“My degree is fully online so at first I was unsure that I would have the support that a traditional student has. However, that has not been the case. My instructors have been engaging and available when needed which has been super helpful. Also, Jodi Baker has been such a blessing in my transition back to school.”
Hancock is not the only one to share about how Grace’s training for ministry opened up doors for them.
A Foundation for Organizational Ministry
Scott Highberger is another student in the program who has reaped the benefits of the program, but his training has led him down a slightly different path.
Highberger will graduate from the program in July, but he is already using his training for ministry to start a nonprofit organization called Behind the Wire.
“I have received the tools I needed to start a prison organization that provides regular ministry to our incarcerated population, weekly chapel services at our base of operations, and transitional housing for men that are returning home from incarceration,” Scott shared.
As he begins this new chapter of his life at Behind the Wire, he is quick to credit his education at Grace for supporting him in his calling.
“Through this training for ministry, I have learned how to lead a nonprofit organization. This degree has already given me the operational and management education I needed. I have not only been strengthened in my theology and equipped to understand the Word of God but also prepared for navigating nonprofit administration,” said Highberger.
And one of the best perks of all for Highberger was the flexibility that came with online coursework.
“It is an excellent opportunity to get a quality education that you can balance with a full-time schedule. Since you only take two classes at a time, it makes it possible to have time for family, work, ministry, and school,” he said.
Are you considering strengthening leadership skills, training for ministry, or preparing for service? Whether you’re hoping to work for a church, start your own nonprofit ministry or anything in between, an online Bachelor of Ministry Leadership degree may be a great fit for you!