North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Certificate in Congregational Vitality

Earn a Certificate in Congregational Vitality

Congregational vitality is a journey of life, energy, passion, discovery, and hope for churches of all sizes. Through exploring its own vitality, a congregation acknowledges its desire to grow, thrive, and depend on God to be led deeper in Christ and further in mission. Pastors who lead congregations exploring vitality must be equipped with theological preparation, courage, and the ability to manage change in complex systems.

Responding to the movement of congregations within the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) and beyond, North Park Theological Seminary has partnered with the denomination to develop a 12-credit-hour graduate certificate in congregational vitality. This program, designed for current and future pastors, will equip leaders to effectively shepherd their congregations by developing critical leadership and pastoral skills.

Requirements

Faculty Spotlight:
Dr. Dwight Perry

Prior to joining NPTS, Rev. Dr. Perry served as regional president/executive minister of Converge Great Lakes where he was known for his straight-talk approach to ministry. He has spoken across the country in the area of diversity and inclusion, homiletics, organizational and systems development especially within a not for profit setting along with strategic planning and leadership development.

More About Dr. Dwight Perry

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Practical Understanding

Students who complete the certificate in congregational vitality will develop a biblical, theological, and historical perspective on congregational development. They’ll come away with an ability to analyze congregational culture, including factors that foster both health and decay. Pastors with training in congregational vitality will understand congregational dynamics, be prepared to lead healthy missional change, and know how to operate as a non-anxious presence through turbulent times.

Course Schedule

This program is offered as a 12 credit hour, stand-alone certificate or can be completed as part of a full degree program, including the master of divinity (MDiv). It is open to leaders with any denominational affiliation, and is designed to be completed in two years.

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About the Program

The program has been designed by Dr. John Wenrich, director of congregational vitality for the ECC; Dr. Paul de Neui, professor of missiology and intercultural studies; and Dr. Linda Cannell, former academic dean and adjunct professor of Christian formation. This team will teach the core courses in this certificate program and work together to bring both the academic and practitioner sides of the discipline into the classroom and practice of congregational vitality ministry.