The Christian Growth Institute is an accredited education program designed with those in mind who have been called into the set-apart ministry but are not able to pursue a seminary or TRIM degree. Together with the Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren, Virlina works to equip ministers with the best training. Those who are passionate about the ministry, and who do not want to become a licensed or ordained minister, are encouraged to also enroll in the program or take classes that one finds interesting. For more information, contact the District Resource Center. Keep reading for program requirements and upcoming classes.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM The Institute's program of study is designed to be completed in four years. Here are the required components:
Orientation: This is a one day event to introduce the program to students. Required Courses:
Old Testament Survey
New Testament Survey
Introduction to Theology
Ministerial Leadership and Administration
History of the Church
Beliefs and Practices of the Church of the Brethren
Introduction to Pastoral Care
Teaching and Learning in the Church
Written Communication (Writing)
Portfolio: This is designed to help studetns with their ministry goals. Quarterly meetings with a mentor will aid in this. Practice of Ministry Days: Students are required to participate in 3 Practice of Ministry Days, which are held annually, and cover a wide range of topics spoken on by guest speakers.
Ministry Formation: 3 spiritual formation retreats are required to help students develop and learn about the spiritual disciplines.
Supervised Ministry Experience: This is still in the works, but the goal of this will be to allow a student to benefit from an on-site ministry experience under the direction of an experienced pastor.
Broader Church: Students ae required to attend at least one Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, one district conference, and a significant ecumenical, interfaith or intercultural event.
CGI SCHEDULE CHRISTIAN GROWTH INSTITUTE
All instructors for classes have at least a M.Div. and/or a Master's degree.
Location of Classes:
Roanoke Center courses are often taught at the Virlina District Resource Center or Roanoke, First Church. Classes are usually held on Saturday. Donna Hornsby is the Center Coordinator.
Shenandoah Center classes are held at the Shenandoah District Office at Weyers Cave, VA. Classes will be held on Saturdays usually from 9:00 a.m. to 3 :00 p.m. Sarah Long is the Center Coordinator.
Required Components of the CGI Program The thirteen ( 13) classes and three (3) Spiritual Formation Retreats, one ( 1) orientation day, and three (3) Practice of Ministry Days are required to complete the program.
One orientation day is REQUlRED for all CGI students for completion of CGI program: •June 1, 2024 -Stone COB -Buena Vista, VA •June 7, 2025 -Stone COB -Buena Vista, VA •June 6, 2026 -Stone COB -Buena Vista, VA •June 5, 2027 -Stone COB -Buena Vista, VA
Three Practice of Ministry days are REQUIRED for completion of CGI program: •August 3, 2024 -TBA -Shenandoah District facility •August 2, 2025 -TBA -Virlina District facility •August I, 2026 -TBA -Shenandoah District facility •August 7, 2027 -TBD -Virlina District facility
Three Ministry Formation Spiritual Retreats are REQUIRED for completion of CGI program: •March 1-2, 2024 -Camp Bethel •March 7-8, 2025 -Camp Brethren Woods •March 6-7, 2026 -Camp Bethel •March 5-6, 2027 -Camp Brethren Woods
Other required components of the program include a portfolio of ministry experiences and report on attendance at oneannual conference, onedistrict conference and one significant ecumenical, interfaith or inter-cultural type event.