Six graduates of the Academy for Christian Education Discipler Program were recognized at the 2016 Iowa Annual Conference. The intensive 18-month study was created by Discipleship Ministries, a general agency of the United Methodist Church. The program provide a sound foundation for laity and clergy just entering professional ministry or looking to renew skills and knowledge about contemporary Christian education techniques.
Students study six developmental modules individually at their own pace. An accountability partner works alongside each student for support and encouragement. Periodically throughout the process, students also gather together for group discussion and interaction as they integrate what they are learning into their ministry contexts.
This year’s graduates include Jeff Flagg, Nancy Anton-Jensen, Renee Masters, Betty Pierschbacher, Brenda Willis, and Coreen Witke. They studied a variety of topics together, including call and vocation, God and the Bible, and faith formation practices in Christian education. They also explored administration and leadership in the United Methodist Church and learned about designing ministry specifically for their particular community’s needs.
The Iowa Conference Board of Discipleship underwrites some of the costs for the Discipler Program from its $6,964 budget in 2016. These funds are made possible through the apportionment gifts of United Methodist churches throughout the state.