Institute for Church Leadership

The Institute for Church Leadership (ICL) offers a series of courses in Bible, theology, spiritual formation, the mission of the Kingdom, church history and more. See our scope and sequence below. Anyone can benefit from these opportunities for spiritual enrichment and leadership development. You need not be a part of a local EC Church.  The EC Church is pleased to offer ICL classes as a resource for building the Kingdom of God.

These non-credit courses are open to all, without any educational prerequisites. They are not seminary level courses and do not earn credit from any seminary. The courses comprise the required training for those seeking the Local Elder’s License or Lay Preacher’s Certification in the Evangelical Congregational Church and may be applicable to pastoral credentials for other denominations as well.

TermFormative CourseInformative Course
Fall 1Intro to MinistryHermeneutics
Spring 1Pastoral LeadershipOT Survey
Fall 2Personal Spiritual FormationNT Survey
Spring 2PreachingTheology 1
Fall 3Healthy Worship & MinistryTheology 2
Spring 3Developing a Contextual Missional MindsetChurch History

New students: If you wish to enroll, please subscribe to the $50/month plan on this page. The link will take you to Kairos University’s registration page. We partner with Kairos to deliver our classes. On that page, you will be prompted to create a Kairos Pathwright account. Pathwright is the learning management system where your learning material and course interactions will be based. The cost of the program will be $50/month for as long as you are enrolled. Students who wish to audit courses and not receive ICL credit can do so for $50 per course. 

For more information about the ICL or for instructions about auditing classes, please complete our contact form.

Upcoming Fall 2023 Classes:

Personal Spiritual Formation: Tuesdays, September 5 – October 17, 6:30-9:15 p.m.

Spiritual formation is the process of opening ourselves to God and allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us into the likeness of Christ. It is purposely living our lives in a way that deepens our relationship with God. Together we will look at this beautiful joy-filled journey we have been called to. We will find out how a rule of life (rhythms) can be a framework that keeps us ever growing into what God has created us to be. We will also be discussing spiritual practices that can breathe new life into our relationship with the Father and sustain us when times are difficult. 

Hear the invitation: “…Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG

New Testament Survey: Tuesdays, October 31 – December 12, 6:30-9:15 p.m.

In this course the student will explore the central meaning and message of the New Testament, showing how Jesus fulfills Old Testament expectations. Attention will be given to the background, setting structure, and major themes of the New Testament as a whole. The course will serve as a general introduction to this part of Scripture and provide a list of suggested resources for further study as the course unfolds.

Instructor Bios

Glenda Dunbar is simply a sinner saved by grace, welcomed into the beloved (Eph.1:3-6) by the triune God. Her passion is for people to know and live daily in the deep love of God. That passion led her to Evangelical Seminary where she completed her studies to become a spiritual director. She is married to Pastor Robert Dunbar, and they have four children and three amazing grandchildren. Besides studying the Word and reading, she also enjoys being in nature and creating art with different types of media.

Tim Valentino has been a professor at Evangelical Seminary since 2007, teaching a variety of Bible, theology, pastoral ministry and student writing courses. He presently teaches in the Doctor of Theology and Master of Divinity programs at Kairos University. Tim received his MDiv from Evangelical Seminary and his D.Min. from Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. He is now finishing his Th.D. degree at Evangelical Seminary. Tim has served in pastoral ministry since 1992 and currently serves as Pastor of Christ Community Church in Myerstown, PA. Tim and his wife, Sonya, reside in Myerstown as well. They have two children and two grandchildren. He blogs at