Preparing people for ordained ministry and specialized ministries through postgraduate research
Describe the need affecting community
The ministry & mission of the Methodist Church in India (MCI) requires Pastors & Deaconesses for its varied ministries ranging from preacher to Christian educators, evangelists, counselors, care-givers, children, elderly people, and youth directors. Since 1922, Leonard Theological College is the only Methodist theological college where almost (80%) of the pastors and deaconesses for MCI are sent to be trained through their Board of Ministry & Regional Deaconess Conferences. When LTC is falling on the bad times such as now, one saying is taking rounds- “No LTC means No MCI”. LTC is the sole training ground where the pastors and deaconesses of MCI are trained with theological education and ministerial formation. So LTC provides that crucial need of the Methodist Church in India at large to prepare ministers for the ministries of the Church in both rural as well as urban settings. For the pulpit, Christian education, evangelism, administration, and the care/ counseling of the youth, children and elderly people. LTC is providing to the Methodist Church and several other churches in India training facilities. For its ministers who come from their native communities, to get trained, transformed and return back to their communities. To provide a leadership of empowering to those socially marginal and economically weaker sections of the society. The ministry of Leonard is fulfilling a crucial need of the Indian society to reach out to the needy and suffering communities to uplift them.
How will this Advance project help to address the need?
Though the studies at Leonard are linked with the University’s academic programme (Bachelor of Divinity with Senate of Serampore College- University), but the training is not limited to the class room teaching. Beside attending regular theory classes, the students are involved in leadership training through various Students’ organizations, learning management and finance handling skills by running College Cafeteria (Mess). By joining various local churches for week-end practical work, going out to nearby towns in Mid-Semester Research Exposure to get first hand information about the communities living on the edges of the society. Getting involved in the Summer Practical work for 5 weeks. Several Churches, organizations, and NGO’s are responding positively to provide avenues for our students to do practical work, and research exposure trips through them. We thankfully accept their invitations where our students work along with their staff members, and are exposed to on-the-job training of working with the local communities for their empowerment.
Describe the primary goal of the project
The primary goal of this project is to provide the churches an avenue of training its candidates for the pastoral ministry and deaconess ministry. In the longer term, these pastors and deaconess when they return back to their communities will help the churches to be a catalyst of change and transformation of the wider communities, their neighbors. Our graduates create an impact to bring about empowerment and growth to their communities as a reality.
Describe the change you would like to see in the community as a result of this Advance project
We do our work with a hope and a prayer that our graduates will impact the churches with their lives and ministry in such a way that the churches will become an agent of change and transformation for the wider community around them. Reaching out to the lost and the least with the Gospel of love of God for all.