Mark Wessner, Ph.D.

Portrait by Ellen Marello

I traveled across Canada for the past three years, exploring a vision of MB Biblical Seminary coming alongside local churches to train new and emerging leaders. The idea was to do this in the churches’ own contexts. The response was consistently positive. But, as with most seminaries, our activities had been dramatically constrained by the pandemic. Eventually I wondered if we could make the changes necessary to actually do it.

As it turned out, the restrictions caused by the pandemic actually helped to accelerate the changes. We launched an innovative church-based certificate program for training and equipping leaders. The Teaching Church Initiative (TCI) is for current and emerging ministry leaders for whom traditional classroom-based education is not a viable option, due to location, cost, or the time commitment. We believe we are meeting a growing need for pastors and leaders in our churches.

TCI connects local churches with the seminary and creates church-based learning hubs for graduate courses and continuing education training. Each church that participates focuses on a specific four-course certificate in either Ministry Foundations or Ministry Transformation; a third is being planned.

As we look to our future, we are excited about our trajectory. We anticipate seeing an even greater Kingdom impact in both churches and communities.

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