Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning

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NNU Learning Commons in spring

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Lifelong

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Learning

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One Week | Online Courses | 10 Lifelong Learning Hours

Because Lifelong Learning shouldn't be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Enhance your life and ministry with Northwest Nazarene University's low cost, fully online catalog of continuing education courses and fulfill your denomination's lifelong learning requirements.

You are dedicated to improving your ministry. And we're committed to your leadership growth. Taught by NNU's gifted faculty and leading-edge practitioners in the field, our easy-to-navigate online courses feature a fresh design that is also mobile-friendly for those on the go.

Explore our expanding catalog of ministry courses: each one carrying ten lifelong learning hours for just $29 per course. Expand your biblical and theological knowledge. Enhance your ministry skills. Log in at whatever time of day works for you using your desktop, tablet, laptop, or smartphone. Do it all in a week, just a couple of hours per day. All content is embedded in each course, with no textbooks required. Courses are limited to 15 adults to maximize interactive learning.

Courses are intended for continuing education and are not designed to satisfy requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene. For more information or to register for a course, please contact Michele Emerson at lifelonglearning@nnu.edu.

Lifelong Learning Course Catalog

Updated 8/18/21

NOTE: Successful students will earn ten lifelong learning units (1.0) and are expected to invest ten hours in each five-day course. Courses are intended for continuing education and are not designed to satisfy requirements for ordination in the Church of the Nazarene.

THE ART OF FORGIVENESS, Dr. Joe Bankard

This class is designed to answer three basic questions. First, what is forgiveness? Without a clear definition of forgiveness, it is near impossible to actually practice forgiveness. Second, what are some common misconceptions surrounding forgiveness? Often, forgiveness gets mistaken for mercy or reconciliation. This course will help correct some of these common misconceptions. Finally, the course will give practical tips for learning how to forgive more consistently and effectively. Many of us want to forgive, but simply don't know how. This course will offer some very practical steps for moving through the process of forgiveness.

BEING AN EFFECTIVE AND FAITHFUL BOARD MEMBER, Dave Peterson

Being a member of the Local Church Board may be in your future. This class will provide you with insights, responsibilities of local church boards, and interpersonal suggestions to help you become an effective board member.

CHURCH BOARD DEVELOPMENT & CHURCH FINANCE, Dr. Stephen Borger

An overview of principles, procedures and best practices relating to the leadership and development of the local church board. The course will explore ways to create functionally effective church boards and the personal development of board members. The goal is that every church board will fulfill its fiduciary responsibility and give spiritual leadership.

DEVELOPING MISSIONAL DISCIPLESHIP, Dr. Mark Maddix

An exploration of how pastors and church leaders can engage in what God is doing in their local communities through missional engagement. The course will explore how missional engagement includes both discipleship and evangelism and how it forms and shapes faithful disciples.

DISCERNING YOUR CALL, Dr. Michael Kipp

This course is designed for high school students and recent college graduates.
Ever wonder if God has a special call for your life.... for your job.... for your future? Join me in this short 1-week course to listen to what God may be quietly calling you to do and be.

DISCIPLESHIP & FORMATION THROUGH THE FOUR-FOLD PATTERN OF WORSHIP, Andrew Lucas

Did you know the order of services at your church are shaping your people? It isn’t just the content of worship services that matter, the order itself is formational. In this course, we’ll explore the merits of the four-fold pattern of worship for Christian formation and strategies for implementing it in your church. Course will include discussion on the meaning of liturgy, discovery of the four-fold pattern of worship, and shaping our rhythms of worship to tell the Gospel story.

DISCOVERING HOLINESS, Dr. Diane Leclerc

This course will provide the opportunity to review the tenets of a theology of holiness and sanctification, as well as explore some key areas of confusion that can still linger when presenting and preaching the doctrine today. Attention will be given particularly in how to communicate the theology to laity.

EXPLORING PREACHING TODAY, Dr. Jay Akkerman

An exploratory study of preaching and worship trends for those in ministry, including various methodologies for communicating the gospel in contemporary contexts.

EXPLORING RELATIONAL THEOLOGY, Dr. Thomas Jay Oord

Many Christians in the Wesley tradition are attracted to relational theology. But a number of relational theologies exist. This course begins with the core notions of relational theology and then explores some implications and directions these core ideas might take for understanding God, God's interaction with humans, and the natural world.

THE GOAL OF YOUTH MINISTRY, Dr. Michael Kipp

What is the purpose of ministry to and with young persons? What exactly does the Church hope to accomplish? In this course, we will explore a biblical and theological purpose for ministry that will set the trajectory for youth ministry to stem the tide of young people leaving the Church (40-60%) after high school graduation.

GROWING THE HEART OF THE PASTOR, Rev. J. Scott Shaw

Howard Hendricks has written that the 'effective teacher teaches out of the overflow of a full heart'. I believe the same could be said for the ministry of pastors. In a culture where many pastors are tempted to be discouraged, we want to consider how the 'growing of our hearts' can enable us to lean into the call God has placed upon us and experience greater joy, satisfaction, and effectiveness in ministry. During the week we will be assessing those things that stimulate growth in our hearts, expanding our pastoral 'self-awareness' and seeking to reenergize our pastoral imagination and dreams.

GROWING THE SMALL CHURCH IN A CONSUMER CULTURE, Debra White Smith

The small church exists in a consumer culture where many people are influenced to shop for a church that offers the best selection of ministry services. Therefore, a small-church pastor may feel as if his or her church cannot compete in the “church market.” This course encourages small-church minsters to recognize the advantages of small churches and to develop a foundational plan for long-term, sustainable church growth, even in a consumer culture.

HEALTHY, HAPPY, WHOLE LEADERS, Dr. Joe Gorman

This course explores the various personal and spiritual issues that confront Christian leaders in ministry. Topics include strategies for finishing well in life and ministry, managing stress and burnout, addressing sexuality in ministry, re-imagining success in ministry, and developing a healthy life-ministry rhythm.

INTERPRETING PROPHETIC TEXTS IN CHAOTIC TIMES, Dr. Stephen Riley

Interpreted Prophetic Texts: Many of us know some of the Old Testament prophetic texts like Isaiah 7, the Immanuel passage, which we hear at Advent or “Let justice roll down like a waterfall,” which comes from Amos and was quoted in one of Martin Luther King Jr’s famous speeches. This course will look at a variety of prophetic texts and attempt to answer three basic questions, “What were the circumstances of these ancient texts?,” “What messages were those prophets trying to convey?,” and “How should we interpret these texts in our current contexts?”

NAVIGATING EVANGELISM, Rev. Bob Luhn

Designed for anyone who is open to a more relational, more conversational approach to evangelism in contrast to the presentational styles of evangelism most often used in the past century. Jesus promised that we would be His witnesses to those close to us as well as those far, far away. And yet, evangelism is more often talked about than done; more often criticized than welcomed; and more often feared than enjoyed. Participants will be exposed to methods and activities that show promise for sharing the good news of Christ with inhabitants of the 21st century.

PREACHING CREATION: AN INTRODUCTION TO ECOTHEOLOGY, Rev. Brit Bolerjack

How does a creation that reveals God shape our preaching? In this class, we will explore the theological and environmental roots of Ecotheology and examine the ways creation reveals the nature of God. This course will culminate in a sermon constructed with these principles in mind.

THE PSALMS FOR LIFE: A WESLEYAN WAY, Dr. Stephen Riley

Many people will recognize "The Lord is my Shepherd...." as the first line of Psalm 23. However, less are as acquainted with the rest of the 150 prayers of ancient Israel and the richness of their reflections on all matters of life. This course will offer the opportunity to engage with the full variety of psalms and think about how their form and content can help us in our own spiritual journey as well as our practice of ministry.

THE PASTOR AS COUNSELOR: AN EXPLORATION OF FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS, Jeff Edmiston

People in our communities often struggle with emotional, relational, and mental health concerns. These struggles come in a variety of forms such as the loss of a loved one, marital infidelity, addiction, or depression, to name a few. Often the pastor is on the front line, offering support to community members before other support resources are available. In this course, we will discuss foundational skills to assist pastors in this valuable role as pastoral counselors. The course will include an optional live question-and-answer time where we will address specific questions about students' settings and concerns.

THEOLOGY OF WORK, Rich Shockey

Is work the result of the fall of humankind or is it part of God's original plan? This course considers the ways the biblical narratives bring meaning and context to the idea of work. It will explore a range of issues from whether work is the result of The Fall, laity/clergy dynamics, the secular/sacred "divide," and how the vocation of all Christians begins at baptism.

READING NEW TESTAMENT LETTERS TODAY, Dr. Dick Thompson

Reading a New Testament letter can be like reading someone else's mail.... but centuries old! And these letters often deal with issues very different from what we face today. This course will explore how we can read these letters so that they speak in fresh ways in our day. Each offering of this course will examine a different letter.

SACRAMENTS AS DIVINE HEALING ENCOUNTERS, Dr. Brent Peterson

The sacraments are God's gift to creation, that through the Church, God is healing and redeeming creation to be more fully what God created the World to be. Both the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord's Supper will be explored, including theological, liturgical and practical issues for ministry.

SPIRITUAL FORMATION, RHYTHMS OF GRACE FOR LIFE IN CHRIST, Dr. Rhonda Carrim

An exploration of foundational biblical, theological and historical understandings of Christian spiritual formation. This course particularly explores the reflective discipline of one's own journey with God, highlighting a variety of spiritual practices as a means of grace in one's life.