By David Lloyd
director, Center for Innovation in Mission and Ministry
Since the Center for Innovation in Ministry and Mission began an online-education program in August 2022, more than 500 students have taken classes in four certificate areas.
As our faith community continues to evolve and expand, so must our opportunities to learn and grow. Online learning began about twelve years ago at Community of Christ International Headquarters. Now, the church through CIMM and Graceland University/Community of Christ Seminary, it reaches an even larger audience.
A Legacy of Excellence
Founded on the principles of faith, service, and education, Graceland University Seminary long has been a center for theological inquiry and ministerial training. Our institution has a rich history of fostering spiritual growth and preparing leaders for diverse ministries. Similarly, the church has a long legacy of the importance of education as represented in the Temple School program.
CIMM builds on this legacy by offering CEU non-degree credit to students regardless of educational background. The center infuses education with a contemporary approach, addressing pressing issues and emerging trends in our global society.
The curriculum was designed in partnership with the church to equip individuals and communities for more impactful ministry and mission work. So far, classes in these areas have been offered:
- Ministry and Priesthood Certificate: This features courses required for ordination. All students progress together one week at a time. Certification is awarded for completion of three classes: Introduction to Priesthood Ministry, Introduction to Scripture, and one priesthood office-specific class.
- Christian Ministries Certificate: This develops innovative practitioners of theology in a ministry field/context. Each class lasts eight weeks, has required texts and assignments, and includes weekly online meetings. The class covers scripture, theology, and practical application. Students receive the certificate after taking ten classes, which can be accomplished in two years.
- Discernment Facilitation Certificate: This includes six eight-week online courses with one live session per course during the first year. Live online sessions are offered every two months. Each course includes required readings, group discussions, and one praxis assignment.
- Year two includes peer-supported practicum groups that meet every two months for one year. Both the courses and the practicum year are required for certification.
- Spiritual Formation and Companion Program Certificate: Enrollment is limited through an application process. Classes are hybrid (in-person and online) for this three-year certificate program led by Community of Christ and hosted by CIMM.
- The program is designed for those who desire to learn more about spiritual formation and develop resources, gifts, and skills for spiritual companionship and leadership in local contexts.
Among the most exciting aspects of CIMM is its commitment to creating community, even through online experiences. CIMM fosters a vibrant exchange of ideas and experiences and provides a platform for scholars and students to gather, learn from one another, and explore innovative approaches to ministry and mission.
Explore Center for Innovation in Ministry and Mission courses and register today.
In 2024, CIMM looks toward another educational venture designed to introduce relevant topics of faith in “bite-sized” pieces called CIMM Sessions. These live classes will feature a presentation by a church leader or topic expert and opportunities for question-and-answer sessions and discussion. Each session will last one to one-and-a-half hours and will stream from the Temple in Independence, Missouri, USA. Watch for announcements about CIMM Sessions in-person or online.
CIMM also is looking forward to presenting some Ministry and Priesthood classes in French in the next year. Moving our educational opportunities into the larger global community is a key goal. Watch for more announcements.
Join Us on the Journey
At CIMM, we believe our work should be as dynamic as evolving culture. CIMM is at the forefront of this transformative journey, and we invite you to be part of it. Whether you are a student, priesthood member, or simply someone with a passion for service, there is a place for you in this vibrant community of learners.
Explore www.Graceland.edu/CIMM to consider enrolling. There now is a place for learning, no matter your educational background. We look forward to embarking on this exciting journey of innovation and exploration with you.