A new national program is helping congregations strengthen their educational ministry.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) supports excellence in this ministry through certifying its professional educators. The certification process establishes standards that an educator must achieve through a rigorous program of study and evaluation.
The certified Christian educator program, however, is not easily accessible to many who do educational work in congregations, especially as volunteers or part-timers. For one, it requires applicants to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree. And two, it involves a substantial investment of funds and time.
But what about those volunteers and part-timers who may not have the college degree or may have limited funds and time for the full-fledged Certified Christian Educator program? How can they draw upon advanced training to improve on their excellence in ministry?
To meet this precise need, the denomination has recently revamped the process that leads to endorsement as a Christian education associate (CEA).
People enrolled in the CEA program are linked with an advisor. Together they work out a particular course of study to enhance the applicant’s knowledge and practice of Christian education. That course of study may involve online training and resources as well as in-person courses or workshops. At the end of the process, the candidate completes assessments in all the fields of study.
The great advantage of the program is its easy accessibility for volunteers in churches who feel called to an educational ministry and have limited funds or time.