Leaders are made, not born. And while every person has a specific set of personality traits, unique qualities, and skills, no one automatically becomes the best leader or pastor they can be. It can even take years of experience and potentially enrolling in courses to learn what it means to lead, serve, and guide people toward their greater purpose. For many pastors and congregational members alike, obtaining a certificate in church leadership can make a significant difference in better leading and serving their local church. Whether you’re interested in serving your local congregation as a leader or have shepherded churches for years, ACU Online’s undergraduate dual certificates in Church Leadership: Foundations and Church Leadership: Praxis can be helpful tools in deepening your professional and spiritual development.
Interested in learning more? Read the five benefits of why you should consider a certificate in church leadership.
1. Enhance your understanding of theology and foundational biblical principles.
Renowned theologian and pastor James Pedlar once said, “Theology is faith seeking understanding,” meaning that when we seek to understand theology better, we are seeking to understand our faith better. Why do we believe what we believe? What is the truth? How can we be sure of what we profess? Through our undergraduate Certificate in Church Leadership: Foundations, you will be taught by renowned professors who aim to help you answer those questions by providing an enriching focus on interpreting biblical truths and principles via courses like The Synoptic Gospel of Mark and The Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament. During these courses, church leaders will learn about the fundamental biblical and theological concepts necessary to answer philosophical questions related to Christian theology.
2. Learn new ways to re-engage with scripture.
According to the American Bible Society, nearly 26 million people stopped reading their Bibles in 2021 due to the pandemic. Because of this, experts agree that Christians need to re-engage with scripture – and that starts with better-equipped church leaders. With nearly one in four Americans being a practicing christian, research indicates that more Christians are leaving the faith due to a lack of engagement within their faith, including studying scripture. With many churches offering Sunday school classes and weekday studies, more leaders are taking responsibility for the spiritual growth of their congregations in efforts to attract new and retain current believers. Through the Certificate in Church Leadership: Praxis, you will be enrolled in classes like Biblical Interpretation and Living the Mission, where you will be provided valuable tools that can help you guide and foster insightful scripturally-based studies within the contexts of your specific ministry. With over 60% of Christians feeling spiritually stagnant, you can encourage your church’s love and focus on reading Scripture for a deeper relationship with Christ and fellow believers.
3. Gain a deeper perspective on your church’s needs.
Every church has needs beyond the spiritual. Perhaps your church needs a dedicated mental health center, food pantry, or new single parents ministry to better serve your congregation members and surrounding community. Whatever the need may be, church leaders should seek a deeper perspective on their church’s current physical, financial, and emotional needs. Through the undergraduate Certificate in Church Leadership: Praxis, you will put your knowledge and skills to the test by working with professors and church counselors to learn some best practices for optimal servitude, how to find lingering needs in your local church, and, more importantly, how to address them without causing issues in people’s faith.
4. Expand your knowledge to answer your congregation’s tough questions.
In a 2020 study conducted by Barna Research, nearly 50% of pastors agree there is a “declining or inconsistent outreach and evangelism” among their congregants. And one in four pastors believe that most of this decline stems from a “lack of leadership training and development,” many pastors wonder what is next for the church. It’s crucial for church leaders to be well-equipped to answer difficult questions asked by congregation members every day. By taking on these dual certificates, you will expand your knowledge of scripture and how to address questions and conflicts in today’s divided cultural climate. Through classes like Contemporary Ecclesiology and Gospel in a Multicultural World, you will exercise your understanding of what it means to live out the gospel as well as know what to answer when a believer has genuine questions and thoughts concerning their faith. Exploring various methods of biblical interpretation, you will gain insight into why it’s essential to ask serious questions and learn how to be open to undefined answers.
5. Expand your ministerial ability without losing sight of your higher calling.
There are many types of leaders within the church. Some work in the children and youth ministry, while others may lead massive congregations in metroplexes. Regardless of your title, obtaining a certificate in church leadership can help you grow in your understanding of how you fit into the church body without losing sight of serving others and your personal calling. A certificate can also help you move into new roles within the congregation should you feel like you’re being led elsewhere. Through our certificates in church leadership (Foundations or Praxis), you can level up your current position and salary in order to match your skills, talents, and pay grade simultaneously. Earning a certificate can put some new skills on your resume, including basic research, interpersonal communications, and curriculum development, to name a few.
If you are someone who has a deep yearning to serve and impact your local church, earning a certificate in church leadership could be one of the best decisions you make. With an exclusive scholarship available for interested individuals, you can start taking courses taught by excellent scholars aiming to teach you what it means to lead and put others above yourself; and isn’t that what we’re called to do every day?
Begin the exciting journey toward learning more about church leadership today. With ACU Online’s Undergraduate Certificate in Church Leadership: Foundations and Certificate in Church Leadership: Praxis, you will be provided an in-depth and comprehensive curriculum centered on further preparing you to guide and mentor other Christians within your local church body.
Give us a call at 855-219-7300 or visit acu.edu/online to learn more.