The Teaching Church is a collaborative learning environment that exists between CCU and select teaching churches. The purpose is to facilitate real-world practice and application of in-depth learning. Instead of sitting in a classroom and hearing people talk about ministry, you can learn ministry while you do it.
Students entering the TC program will begin in a class entitled Calling and Spiritual Formation. We want to explore the work God has done leading us to this point as well as dream about where we believe He will be leading us. At CCU, we believe that it’s about who you’re becoming, so, we start by figuring out where you are. Once that’s established, we take some time to learn about becoming more like Jesus. In addition to classes, TC students will travel to a dozen or so local churches (depending on the Fall schedule) and get to “peek behind the curtain” of their ministry. In addition to a tour of their ministry, students will have the opportunity to ask questions of one of their potential resident churches.
In the Spring of the Freshman year, we will partner a student up with one of our Teaching Churches based on their calling and the church’s staff and expertise. Each decision is made tailored to the individual student – with the purpose of growth. Students will begin volunteering on Sunday mornings, getting to know the church, staff, and systems more in depth. Students will take an Introduction to Ministry or Introduction to Urban and Intercultural class together this semester that focuses in on concepts that they’ll put to practical use at their Teaching Church.
At this point, students will begin to specialize in one of five areas:
-Youth and Childrens Ministry
-Preaching and Congregational
-Music and Worship
-Urban and Intercultural*
Students will take classes specifically designed for that ministry focus. While working to apply the concepts learned in the field at their TC. We’ll work to have at least one project or assignment done inside the teaching church with real people, in real ministry, to make a real difference. Students will work 10 hours/week, usually volunteering on Sunday plus one other block of time depending on their ministry area.
This year will look very similar to year two in continued specialized classes and projects “labbed” (practiced) in the local church. In addition to their studies, students will now be working 15 hours per week in the local church, usually volunteering on Sunday plus two other blocks of time. They are taking on more responsibility and longer-term projects for the church. At the end of this year, students will participate in an interview with the teaching church to gain experience and to lay out expectations for the senior year.
This year will look very different than most as most classes will be done as early week classes or intensives on one or two days per week. This will allow the student to have a much more open schedule and work at the church up to 20 hours per week. The church will hire the student for the senior year so that they can devote their full energies to school and the teaching church as well as graduate with less debt. In addition, the student will already have been hired by a church, have received three and a half years of experience, and have a portfolio of actual ministry experience to share. This will position them to interview with confidence with the next ministry position if the teaching church is unable to hire them.
For more information on the Teaching Church program at Cincinnati Christian University, contact the program’s director- Bobby Jackson.
Interested in hearing from some students involved in the Teaching Church Program? Check out the videos below.