WILKES-BARRE, Pa.—Restored Church is passionate about multiplying leaders for church ministry. Knowing that higher education is costly and time consuming, the church created Restored University, where church members and leaders throughout Northeast Pennsylvania can attend Bible and ministry classes. Already, since the university’s beginning in January, 110 men and women from 25 churches have signed up for classes.
“While Christian higher education is a phenomenal option for some people, it is not realistic or feasible for most,” says Restored Church. “Restored University is the perfect fit for followers of Jesus who want more depth and competency in their spiritual development but are not able to commit the time, energy, or finances to accredited institutions.”
Experts in their fields teach the classes in person one evening a week at Restored Church for five or 10 weeks. So far Restored University has offered classes on youth ministry, spiritual formation, conflict resolution, mentoring women, the Holy Spirit, church planting, basic sign language, and historical theology. Currently Lead Pastor Tim Walker is teaching a class on outreach and discipleship. And in May, instructors will begin teaching persuasive preaching, children’s ministry, introduction to philosophy, and introduction to faith and reason.
Two students live more than an hour away from Restored Church but say their classes were worth the drive. Another student says, “I’ve taken ministry courses in college; this single five-week course was arguably more productive.” This student and others describe the classes as practical and applicable, with valuable discussions taking place.
“At Restored Church, we believe that we don’t go to church; instead, we are the church,” says Dan Nichols, multiplication pastor. “And what God wants for His church is the entire body mobilized, trained, and equipped to go out and represent Him well to this world that desperately needs hope.” Every single member of a church, not just leaders, can gain a deeper knowledge of God and be trained for ministry, he says.