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

For all students and auditors: ICL courses no longer require a subscription but will be on a “pay as you learn” system. ICL students and auditors will pay a one-time fee per class of $250 and $50, respectively. If you are taking a course as part of your training towards credentialing, you must register as a student.

You are not required to Login to register and pay for an ICL course.

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

Upcoming Spring 2024 Classes:

Preaching: Tuesdays, February 13 – March 26, 6:30-9:15 p.m.

The ICL Preaching course will explore the principles of biblical preaching, with an emphasis on the expository method. Biblical foundations for the preaching task are examined, the components of a sermon are discussed and opportunities for implementation are provided. Topical preaching will also be introduced. Throughout the course, students will study and practice the skills, tools, principles and resources necessary for sound biblical proclamation. 

Theology 1: Tuesdays, April 2 – May 7, 7-9:30 p.m.

The ICL Theology 1 course will equip students to understand and practice the doctrines of our faith by presenting a Gospel-centered theology that is robust, accessible and grounded. Students will engage with key doctrines of evangelical faith including the EC Articles of Faith.

Instructor Bios

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 https://timandsonya.net.

Dan Blank is a native of the Pittsburgh area and is an “avid Steelers fan.” He enjoys football, music, playing the piano, going to Dollywood, riding roller coasters, collecting presidential memorabilia, vacationing in the Smoky Mountains and Country Music. Pastor Dan is a graduate of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, where he earned a B.S. degree in Pastoral Ministries, and he received his MDiv Degree from Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown. He also received training at the Billy Graham School of Evangelism and was taught by Franklin Graham, George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows. He served for several years as an Area Coordinator, along with his wife Kim, for Operation Christmas Child and had the opportunity to travel to Uganda to distribute shoeboxes to the children there. He was licensed in the E.C. ministry in 1988 and was ordained as an Itinerant Elder in 1992. He has been in full pastoral service since 1989 and has served his present church for nearly 23 years.   In addition to serving as the pastor of Reich’s E.C. Church, he also serves the denomination as a stationing elder, a member of the Board of Examiners, an assessor at the Pastoral Assessment Center, a member of the Global Ministries Community Board and Pastoral Representative to the National Ministry Team.   Pastor Dan has been married to his wife Kim since 1992.

Tanner Cosgrave is the pastor at California EC Church in Morgantown, PA, where he began serving in September of 2022. He is a graduate of Penn State University and is currently pursuing his MDiv through Kairos University. He is passionate about making disciples who make disciples and lives by the motto, “Be with Jesus, Become like Jesus, Do what Jesus did.” He enjoys dad jokes, board games, hiking, thrift shopping and spending time with his wife, Natalie, and his son, Bowen.

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