Going the distance for ministry

by Major Beth Petrie
Distance Learning Coordinator

Distance learners spent a week at the College for Officer Training (CFOT) in an intensive Doctrine II
course taught by Captain Blake Fewell. Four of the students participated virtually, while the rest enjoyed the on-campus benefits of personal interaction with each other, staff and cadets and the interesting sites of the city surrounding the college. Captain Blake taught the Doctrine I class last spring and will complete the three-course class in spring 2023 with Doctrine III.

Students spent time in the classroom, chapel and other gathering spaces while at the CFOT. On Wednesday, they presented the morning prayers session for the campus. Time also was made for fellowship and fun both on campus and at a nearby restaurant.

“It was great being on campus for the distance learning program,” said A/Captain Marcarius Coakley.  We were able to focus solely on our course work while also being in community with the cadets and the other learners who are on the field. It was good to be surrounded by the other officers who are going through the same thing as me, to be able to catch up and talk about the classes and discuss our ministry on the field, too. It let me know that I have people who I can call on for advice for class work and ministry ideas. I’m looking forward to going back in the spring!”

There are currently 22 participants in the Distance Learning (DL) program which include 14 auxiliary
captains, seven envoys and one corps administrator. Each has an individualized training plan of personal and professional development while they serve in an appointment. Classes are taught through the CFOT, Olivet Nazarene University, Nazarene Bible College and several other venues in
both in-person and online formats.

Courses include the areas of doctrine, Bible, leadership, preaching, social work, pastoral counseling,
church and Salvation Army history, and missional living.

Seven auxiliary captains will complete their training in the current academic year and may soon be ready for commissioning and confirmation of their officership and promotion to the substantive rank of captain. Over the years, dozens of officers have entered the ranks through this alternate means of training. Generally, they have been in second, third or fourth careers and bring a wealth of life experience and knowledge to the role.

If you are interested in pursuing officership through such a path, talk to your corps officer and divisional candidates’ secretary.

Envoys and corps administrators are employed in corps and institutional leadership under the direction of their divisional commander; if this is a better fit, begin talking to your corps officer about it.

It’s not too late to answer a call to ministry in The Salvation Army.

For more information, contact your divisional candidates’ secretary.

 

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