by Bryant Erickson

Since the Central Territory’s Caseworker Certification Program (CCP) launched in January 2019, more than 950 personnel have enrolled in the online course. Starting last October, the nine-module course is being hosted by Olivet Nazarene University (ONU) on their learning management system. In partnership with the Territorial Social Services Department, Olivet monitors registrations and provides real time insight on student progress and continuing education credits upon completion.

The certification program has been added as an approved course option for The Salvation Army Continuing Education Program (SACEP) for officers and the Distance Learning Program for auxiliary captains. The partnership not only opens the door for officer participation and academic credit, but positive feedback from course participants indicates the recently established ONU-CCP platform provides enhanced visualization of the course content and has improved the online learning experience.

There is value for even seasoned frontline personnel to complete the course as seen in the experience of Russell Gutsche, service coordinator for the Minneapolis, Minn., Booth Manor, an affordable senior housing facility.

“I consider my job a ministry,” said Russell. “Seniors deal with many issues in their lives, and I feel privileged to assist them. Sometimes residents will ask for prayer. Sometimes residents will see me, wanting to discuss end-of-life issues.”

He continued, “The Caseworker Certification Program has given me many tools and a framework to walk alongside the seniors here at Booth Manor. My biggest takeaways would be the Faith in Action textbook, a resource for practically any situation that I may come across, and the videos and readings that were specifically selected to go with each of the modules. The Caseworker Certification Program has given me the knowledge, wisdom and confidence to do my job excellently. To a new employee, I would say the training is so worth the time. It will equip you for service in The Salvation Army.”

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