An exciting new one-year program to help young people gain in-depth biblical knowledge and leadership experience is set to open in two locations this September.
Entitled “The 4:12 Commission,” named for 1 Timothy 4:12 which encourages not looking down on young people because of their youth, the program is a local church-based ministry which was originated under the leadership of CE National in consultation with Grace Brethren International Missions and other FGBC leadership.
Jeff Bogue, executive pastor at the Norton, OH, Grace Church north campus location, is national director of the project. On-site coordinator at the Sebring, Florida, site will be Dr. Randy Smith, pastor of the Sebring church, and on-site coordinators in the Akron, Ohio, location will be Ryan and Lori Rodeman.
The combined students from both locations are currently undergoing several weeks of orientation in Winona Lake, IN, before classes begin in Florida and Akron. The Akron model places students in the homes of church members, while the Florida model utilizes a dormitory-type facility for housing and classes which was donated to the Sebring church.
The two groups of students will again be together in November for a cross-cultural urban tour to Philadelphia and new York City. After Christmas break students will return to their academic sites to be trained in cross-cultural ministries in preparation for a two-week foreign missions trip. At the end of February students will go to Israel for two weeks of study under Dr. Randy Smith, who lived and taught in Israel for more than a decade.
Classes conclude in mid-May, with a two-month church-based internship. Students will minister to children, youth, in camping settings, and will be in both urban and cross-cultural ministry situations. Graduation will be July 16.
Students in the program, who must have graduated from high school to be admitted, will study all 66 books of the Bible. They will memorize a cumulative total of 150 verses of scripture, and will experience leading small-group Bible studies. They will have weekly character evaluation and verbal learning assessments, and will participate in the cross-cultural and Holy Land trips, as well as interning with a local church.
Moody Bible Institute, under the direction of Dr. Richard Fisher of Moody’s distance-learning faculty, is offering 26 hours of college credit to those who wish it. Students may attend either as non-credit participants or as credit-earning learners. Cost for the entire twelve-month program, including housing, food, travel, and allowances is $10,500 per student for non-credit, or $16,000 to receive the academic credit.
In introducing the program, Bogue said it is an effort to counteract the lack of biblical knowledge and lack of experience in leading outreach and Bible studies on the part of many young people. Dr. David Plaster, academic vice president at Grace College and Seminary, said his schools welcome the program. Plaster says, “The program is a good option for students who want to take a year out before college. They will come to college with a lot more experience in studying away from home and a greater depth in their understanding of the Bible.”
More information is available online at www.FourTwelveCommission.org. For specific information about the Akron program contact Ryan Rodeman at firstname.lastname@example.org and for information on the Sebring site contact Dr. Randy Smith at email@example.com.