A two year distance learning, practical course to train and equip evangelists

The Evangelist Training Course is facilitated by New Wine Ireland, in collaboration with St John’s College, Nottingham.  It was developed by Through Faith Missions with the aim of producing evangelists who combine a credible level of learning, with an ability to actually ‘do the work of an evangelist’.

The course is open to adults of any age who have a heart for reaching others with the gospel, but it would suit best those who are currently involved as volunteers or workers in some form of outreach ministry.

The theological units are provided by St John’s Nottingham’s Extension Studies department, which has a good track record over many years in distance learning.  Students who successfully complete these units along with the practical portfolio will receive the Certificate of Christian Studies, awarded by St John’s.

It also includes an exciting ‘Life of the Evangelist’ core unit, which is skills based, with 12 learning outcomes on practical ways in which faith can be shared with others. This unit will not only teach and encourage you in a variety of skills but also help you to discover those areas of evangelism in which you are most suited for your future ministry.

The course runs over a period of two years, starting in January 2018 and finishing in December 2019. There are key dates throughout the two years to ensure academic modules are being completed on schedule. On average the commitment is 8 to 10 hours a week split between studying/assignments and doing evangelism.

 

Here are some quotes from some of the students that have undertaken the course:

 

“ETC was an opportunity to train and develop as an evangelist. Through it God challenged my preoccupation with the status quo of church life, and equipped me better to reach out and share the good news of Jesus with those beyond the four walls.  Life will never be the same again.”

“The ETC gave me a greater confidence to share my faith to a wider spectrum of society. It helped me to see a bigger picture of what God is doing and how my role fits into that. ”

“Quite frankly the Evangelism Training Course was a Godsend. I had been doing evangelism for a number of years, mainly through volunteer work with Christians Against Poverty but really needed proper equipping, training and direction. That is what I got through the ETC and more. In fact the quality training has played a massive role in me being offered a full time job as an Evangelist”

 

St John’s Theological Study Units

There are four prescribed modules with the fifth module to be agreed between you and the course facilitator.

New Testament Introduction (ES4102)

This unit covers Jesus’ life & message in the Gospels along with Acts & Paul’s theology.

Old Testament Introduction    (ES4101)

This unit hives a good overview of the Old Testament story and themes.

Church and Ministry    (ES4404)

This unit includes a practical project & aims to consider important issues in how contemporary church is changing.

Evangelism (ES4405)

This unit will help you to locate ministry in relationship with personal experience, God’s mission and your local context.

The Life of the Evangelist unit

Though there are five academic units and only one practical unit, the Life of the Evangelist unit takes up much more than a sixth of the course.

This should not be a burden to you if you are involved in evangelism. It is a matter of collecting evidence of the work you are doing each week in your local church or on a mission team.

This is made up of the following elements:

  • A portfolio
  • Training weekends
  • An assessed mission

The Portfolio

This is the main element. Students gather evidence of the evangelism they are doing during the course and submit it for assessment against 12 Learning Outcomes.  You will be given all the resources for this at the induction weekend.

Learning outcomes are a list of what you ought to be able to do by the end of this training.  Each learning outcome will be assessed by the gathering of evidence and graded as a fail, pass, or distinction. In order to fulfil the criteria for each learning outcome, you build up a folder (or “portfolio”) of evidence.  This will come in many forms, including reports written by you, your mentor, team leader or team members from a mission or your minister.

 

What are the learning outcomes?

  • LO1    Be able to lead someone to Christ when they are ready, conveying the gospel facts and challenges appropriately.
  • LO2    To preach, with or without notice, the gospel facts evangelistically, and in a manner appropriate to the recipients’ setting and background so that those who are ready are drawn to Christ.
  • LO3    To attain a level of skill in a range of techniques for communicating the gospel evangelistically.
  • LO4    Exercise leadership skills in a team situation.
  • LO5    Assess the mission strategy required for different church environments.
  • LO6    The ability to turn mission strategy into appropriate mission activity.
  • LO7    Sustain their own spiritual life in demanding situations.
  • LO8    Teach others how to make their lives an effective witness for Christ.
  • LO9    Reach a particular group (social, culture, age) with the Christian message in a particularly effective way.
  • LO10    Relate sensitively to a wide spectrum of personalities and cultural backgrounds and ages.
  • LO11    To be able to make an appropriate response to people who are suffering psychologically, spiritually or physically.
  • LO12    To be able to nurture new Christians.

Training Weekends

There will be six weekends through the course, including the induction weekend.  We encourage students to attend all of them but five is the minimum.  They cover specific themes in evangelism and provide practical opportunities, including preaching.

19 – 21 January 2018    Induction Weekend

A full introduction to the course plus a preaching workshop.

20 – 22 April 2018    Healing Ministry

A practical introduction to healing.

19 – 21 October 2018    Doing Mission

Principles and practicalities to prepare evangelistic events and a full week of mission.

8 – 10 March 2019    Missional Expressions of Church

Taking a fresh look at different expressions of church to reach and transform a community.

17 – 19 May 2019    Ministry in Different Religious and Cultural Contexts

Learning from Christians ministering in a cross-cultural setting.

15 – 17 November 2019    Youth & Children

Learning good models of evangelism with children & youth.

The weekends run from 7.00pm on Friday night and end about 3.00pm on Sunday afternoon. If accommodation is required this will most frequently be sleeping in church halls, but occasionally there will be beds available. All food for the weekend is included from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch.

Assessed Mission

We encourage all students to undertake one assessed mission during the course.

Aims:

  • to enable the student
  • to learn by theological reflection
  • to give the student a practical setting in which to hone his/her evangelistic gifts
  • to enable (most) students to function in a leadership role
  • to relate to local churches other than your own in mission

Support

Your church

As part of the application process, we ask you for a letter of reference from your church leader. We suggest you discuss it with him / her at an early stage and seek their support for the duration of the course.  You will need some good opportunities in your home church to engage in practical evangelism to complete your portfolio. It would be good to see if you can present what you’ll be doing to your church’s governing body to seek their prayer, support, and financial help.

Support group

We would encourage you in a more informal way to draw together a support group of 2-4 trusted friends who will pray for you but also keep you accountable.  You could meet with them every couple of months.  Confidentiality will be important and you also want people who can gently challenge you.

Monthly Gatherings

Each month we gather all the students together for an evening of worship, ministry and teaching. These have proven to be a great time of support and provide an opportunity for students to share their experiences with each other. These are also opportunities to check progress with the academic work and the Learning Outcomes.

Learning Support

There are several sources of support for students on this course:

St John’s Units

For each unit you receive, St John’s will assign you a tutor and give you full contact information (address, phone, email). Tutors are trained to give helpful feedback and will usually contact you at the outset to introduce themselves.  The first assignment you submit on any unit is not formally assessed, but rather is used to help you get the measure of the subject.  You can contact them if you have queries about the unit content or how to approach an assignment.

Portfolio Assessors

These are the people to whom you send evidence of the practical evangelism you have been doing. As with St John’s tutors, they will attempt to give you constructive feedback to help you to make progress and you will be given contact details so that you can keep in touch.

Study Skills

At the induction weekend we run a study skills session because we realise that it can be difficult to enter the world of study again if you have not done this for a number of years.

Finance

The total cost of the course is £2,496 (or euro equivalent).

This covers all the costs for the six weekends (including food) and the academic modules (including books).

A payment scheme is set up to pay monthly for the course over the two years, which works out as 24 payments of £104 (or euro equivalent).

We encourage applicants to seek financial support from their local church and, if applicable, from a central church body.

The Church of Ireland Diocese of Down & Dromore use the course to training Diocesan Evangelists. They provide part funding (33%) for the course.

The Application Process

Once you decide you want to apply to do the course you need to send the following:

  1. A letter of reference from your church leader that outlines your experience in evangelism and suitability for this course
  2. Details of another referee we could contact
  3. A CV outlining your experience and role in ministering to others.

To info@newwineireland.org, or

New Wine Ireland

103-113 Ravenhill Road, Belfast BT6 8DR

The deadline for applications is Friday 3rd November 2017