“It’s not just about money,” said Bruce Barkhauer, minister for faith and giving for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “The vision of the Center for Faith and Giving is to create a culture of generosity across the life of the church. To that end, our mission is to educate, equip, encourage and inspire leaders to teach and preach stewardship as a spiritual discipline that encompasses the entirety of life. The care for the earth, the care for self, the
observance of the Sabbath, the care for the Gospel and the faithful management of our resources comprise a comprehensive understanding of stewardship.”
“Our goal is to enable those seeking substantive continuing education to grow and mature in their ministry,” said LTS President Dr. Charisse L. Gillett. “We look forward to working with the Center in this regard.”
The partnership with LTS enables CFG and the seminary to deliver relevant and transformative learning experiences that can influence attitudes and practices about generosity, preparing them for resource mission and ministry and to enhance the lifestyle of individuals and communities.
Completion of the series of three classes – all taught online – qualifies a student to be certified by the CFG as a part of its teaching academy to serve as a resource for the church. It may also meet specific requirements for some regional commissions on ministry for those seeking ordination via the apprentice track for ordination.
The first class, which is a prerequisite to the other two courses, focuses on biblical and theological understandings of stewardship to create a foundation for understanding the nature of God’s abundance as cultural norm. This perspective enables individuals and organizations to move from the fear of scarcity to the freedom of faith. The holistic understanding of stewardship allows us to move the conversation away from stewardship being solely about money.
The class will be offered beginning February 4th via the online learning community of LTS. Registration is required. Registration applications can be found at www.centerforfaithandgiving.org or www.lextheo.edu. Registration deadline is January 28th. Class size is limited to 15 people. The cost is $99, plus the cost of books. The active class time lasts for four weeks, with two additional weeks to complete a final project that will demonstrate that the student has mastered the material presented. The course is open to both clergy and laity. This course is taught by Barkhauer, Rev. Dr. Richard Lowery, and Rev. Dr. Ronald Allen – all of whom appear via video lecture. The second and third courses in the series will focus on congregational best practices, and personal and congregational finance.