Seven Ways a Partnership with the John Leland Center for Theological Studies Can Help Your Church
1. Supply Preaching
Leland offers to pastors and churches supply preachers at no cost. All we ask is that you give us the opportunity to say 3 minutes about Leland before we preach. Our approach is to say “thank you” for your support of Leland Seminary. Whenever people give their regular offerings, a portion goes to the NorthStar Church Network, and a portion in most cases goes to the BGAV. Leland receives support from both, so your church is a “Friend of Leland.” We want to thank you.
2. Supply Teaching
Our professors are eager to teach in the churches. If you would like one of the Leland professors to teach a doctrinal study, historical study, or Bible study, please, contact us in the office at Leland or call the professor directly.
3. A Class on Calling
This help to churches fits in the category of teaching, but it is made a third help because fewer people today are responding to a call to vocational ministry. God is still calling people, but it may be that folks do not see a practical way to fulfill that calling and thus believe that they have “misheard” the call. Leland is happy to provide a Sunday school class on vocation or to teach a Wednesday night session on “Hearing Your Call.” This kind of study helps the church, and it may help Leland discover students who believe they are called but don’t exactly see how they can fulfill that call.
Finding staff is a challenge for churches. Leland has provided a number of staff people for churches in the NorthStar Network. One of the best ways for this placement to happen is through supervised ministry experiences or through internships.
5. Continuing Education for Pastors
In some denominations continuing education is a requirement. For Baptists, of course, there is no education requirement, but Baptists put a high value on education. There are more Baptist seminarians than any other kind in the U.S. Lay people can participate in “Leland Local.” Pastors can audit regular courses or intensive offerings at Leland.
6. Opportunity to Teach
Students benefit from a class taught by someone who serves in the church as his or her primary ministry. Leland turns to adjunct professors for many courses. An M.Div. degree qualifies one to teach in the School of Ministry. Teaching strengthens the ministry of a pastor and consequently blesses the church.
7. Theological Enrichment
Some people in the church have a longing for theological exploration. Most pastors do not have the time — and it is not an appropriate priority — to join in extended theological education with zealous members. However, without help the zeal can lead the curious into approaches to the Bible and theology that are inadequate and harmful. Seminary professors have the time, interest, and background to affirm the zeal and to correct misunderstandings so that these church members find better resources and approaches to fulfill their longing for more knowledge.
William Smith is the President of The John Leland Center for Theological Studies and a former pastor. Learn more about Leland here: https://www.leland.edu/