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Grace Community Church has partnered with The Master’s Seminary for a quarter century for the express purpose of providing a context where men can learn the requisite skills for pastoral ministry. The recent explosion of developing churches, however, has created a demand for an additional level of preparation and training for men to lead these local assemblies. Through Grace Advance Academy, it is our desire to serve the obvious moving of the Holy Spirit in this endeavor. Our passion is to prepare men to become pastors of a new wave of churches that the Lord is raising up around the world. He has promised to build His church (Matt 16:18), and it is our responsibility to remain sensitive to His leading. Grace Church desires to serve developing churches in the body of Christ by providing leadership committed to biblical principles of ministry. Grace Advance Academy has been formed for the purpose of meeting this need.
Grace Advance Academy will seek to enhance the skills acquired during seminary by conducting an intensive, two-week summer training program. Selected pastoral candidates will attend the Academy during the summer before or after graduation and continue to train until they are sent out. The program is designed to include dynamic instruction, rich dialogical interaction, and extensive reading assignments.
Seasoned elders and lay leaders from Grace Church will also work to match Grace Advance Academy students with interested groups who are seeking a pastor. These groups could include struggling churches that need revitalization, or committed groups of believers who are looking to establish a church for their own edification. Once a match has been made, Grace Church will confirm the candidate’s ordination to gospel ministry and conduct a public worship service where the man will receive the laying on of hands and be commissioned to begin ministering in this newly formed local church.
As the church begins to develop, the new pastor will work in conjunction with a specific council of elders from Grace Church to provide counsel to the local assembly. As soon as local leadership has been developed and installed, the new church will become entirely autonomous. It is the purpose of Grace Advance to provide encouragement and counsel through the initial stages of church formulation, and then long-term assistance as is needed.