At the MCNet Intl. Consultation in August of 2019, a presentation was made by Doug Friesen (ICM board member and Exec. Dir of CLIMB, MCNet Canadian affiliate), regarding the need for a new model for theological education in the 21st Century. This seemed to be the next step for MCNet and so since then steps have been taken by Doug and Phil to develop a new program for leaders wanting more specific ministerial training.
In Africa in the early 1990’s ICM was instrumental in pioneering an “in-service” model for pastors and leaders needing on-the-job theological training. For the last three decades, ICM Seminaries in Africa have provided the opportunity for pastors to receive a theological training at a degree level through a non-residential model.
Though this was innovative at the time and met a need for ramping up training of leaders in Africa, this model is becoming increasingly unsustainable locally due to the high cost for both the institution and the students. So much has changed in the last decades, creating a need for a new model to provide theological training. Through our Network we are now developing a new model based on Competency Centered training. Rather than a cookie-cutter approach each candidate’s proficiency in various competency is assessed and a development plan created for them.
What is truly unique about this program will be that it will be based on a mentorship model, as with our other materials. So while implementing an online “high-tech” component, it also is based a “high touch” mentoring model.
In 2019 we developed our Discipling thru Intentional Relationships Guides (1&2), which are intended to help a believer disciple a new follower of Jesus through a one-on-one relationship over a one year period. Over the last seventeen years thousands of leaders have also been trained through our relational model, Mentoring thru Intentional Relationships Guides (1&2).
Coaching thru Intentional Relationships will be a Competency Based Mentorship for Christian Ministers. It will be somewhat more formalized that our other programs, but will still be a relational mentoring approach to training church leaders. Much has also changed in the accrediting world over the last years and so we are excited about the possibility of providing an accredited degree (ATS) to all those in our Network around the world through a partnership with a Canadian Seminary .
The curriculum is currently in development with the goal of having the majority of it completed by the end of this year. When completed we will have the Discipling series to help believers develop, the Mentoring series to help leaders develop, and now the Coaching program to provide theological training at a degree level, but within an apprentice/relational model. We believe that this is the new way that training will be delivered in the next decades – keeping up with the new technology, but at the same time based on Jesus’ model of mentoring his disciples two thousand years ago.