Upcoming Semester Courses

Minor Prophets (Dr. James Littles): From the lives of these Old Testament prophets, you will see how God can use people from any background. They demonstrate how depth of obedience to God measures true success. The goal is to understand that God can use anyone in His service, as long as there is a willing and obedient heart.

The Twelve Apostles (Steve Schobert): Through a close look at the strengths and weaknesses of Jesus’ closest followers, you will learn how God used each Apostle’s unique personality in an effective ministry. The goal is to become acquainted with the various personalities and ministries of the twelve Apostles and Paul, and to understand how God uses each person in the Church uniquely.

Water Baptism/The Name (John Hargrove): The doctrine of Jesus’ name baptism sets us apart, and this course shows from the scriptures how vital and powerful the name of Jesus is in our lives. The goal is to give students an understanding of the importance of baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and of the power that is found in the name of Jesus Christ.

Leadership (Frank Starkey): The goal of this course is to prepare students for the challenges of serving in any type of leadership role.

Enroll in one or more course hosted at North Cities.

Purpose Institute Spring Semester 2018

This article was featured in Purpose Institute’s annual magazine, On Target. Used by permission. Click here to learn more about what Purpose Institute has to offer.

Purpose Institute makes ministry training accessible and affordable by offering a local opportunity to grow in Biblical knowledge and leadership skills. Enrollment is open for the Spring Semester at the North Cities campus. You can grow in your effectiveness and build the skills to accompany your calling.

For more information or to enroll click here.

Purpose Institute’s Field Experience program finds its foundation in Jesus’ example of developing ministry leaders. Jesus’ ministry loosely followed the rabbinical model of disciple development. Students would learn from the teacher’s words and actions. The teacher would give opportunities for students to practice their learning and offer correction where it was needed.

In Luke 10 we find one of those field experience sessions in progress. Even the introduction of the narrative tells of the relationship between field experience and other parts of the curriculum. “After these things” signifies the previous experiences set the stage for the current adventure. A review of Luke 9 is almost breathtaking in its scope!

  • The 12 had a field experience.
  • Herod beheaded John the Baptist and sought to see this new prophet with a growing reputation.
  • Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish.
  • Peter expressed the revelation of Jesus’ identity.
  • Jesus foretold His suffering and death.
  • Three disciples experienced the transfiguration with Jesus.
  • Jesus cast out a devil from a boy, settled a fight for supremacy among the disciples, and rejected their fire and brimstone method of removing obstacles.
  • Jesus discouraged halfhearted followers from joining Him.

Luke used this context to tell the story of sending the 70. Jesus gave clear directions for their experiences. His directions set the limits and provided guidelines. They should only concern themselves with going as lambs among wolves to any place that was ready to hear the words of peace. Once they were there, they had two tasks: heal the sick and teach about the soon coming kingdom.

The 70 were not finished when the field assignment concluded. They reported back to Jesus. Jesus then did two things: 1) He celebrated their efforts and their experiences, and, 2) He corrected some of their misconceptions. This tradition of receiving teaching, engaging in practice, and returning for an after-action session with the Teacher is repeated many times in the Gospels. In fact, Luke relates the church’s reaction to its first major crisis in the same way. They left Pentecost by working in the field. They healed a lame man in Jesus’ name, suffered persecution, went to God in prayer to better understand what happened, received direction, and went back into the field again! Purpose Institute’s Field Experience program follows this key Apostolic method. Students learn from dynamic Apostolic instructions in the classroom, go to serve in the church and world, and return to gain much needed insight from mentors to further prepare them for classroom learning and serving in the field. As with the early Church, PI students can only succeed as they move back and forth between classroom and the field.

The Role of Mentoring

Every day faithful Christians celebrate the many gifts that God sends their way. James told his Church that all good and perfect gifts come from the Father above (James 1:17). We give thanks to God for life, spiritual gifts of salvation and service, and for the leaders He has placed in our lives. The Apostolic model of leadership gifts will differ from the surrounding culture in a number of significant ways. For example, Jesus taught leadership as service and becoming the least in the kingdom rather than for power and position (see Luke 22:24-27). Peter challenged some false leadership motivations that still exist today also. The apostle rejected leadership based on obligation, financial reward, and hierarchical understanding of lordship (I Peter 5:2-3).

The Apostle Paul reinforced this Apostolic method. Leadership gifts serve as very specific purpose in the church. They exist “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). For PI students to grow in maturity and ministry, they will need mentoring guidance from leaders in their lives. In a real sense, these leadership gifts exist to fulfill this mentoring purpose. While our modern society has tried to mass produce and mechanize the process, the Apostolic model reminds us that teaching the multitudes does not remove the need for mentoring individual leaders.

PI Field Experience provides the opportunity for leaders to mentor students across their eight semesters of study. Students use mentoring sessions to both plan for and reflect on their field experiences. Mentoring sessions provide a framework for developing skills in ministry as well as spiritual maturity. Mentors and their students will have a chance to clarify callings, goals, and steps to serve as stewards of those gifts.

One of PI’s defining characteristics is local adaptability.  Some churches will have formal mentoring systems already in place while other churches use a more informal process. Campus deans and administrators will help students follow local procedures or policies where they exist.

Field Experience Upgrades

PI is in the process of improving the intentionality of the Field Experience program. Over the past couple of years global staff, directors, and a sampling of PI campus leaders have explored ways to include reflection and mentoring in the Field Experience program. Four PI campuses are serving to pilot test the upgraded elements during the 2015-2016 school year. Feedback from students, deans, administrators, pastors, church mentors, and district administrators at the end of both semesters will powerfully refine the process. With the help of those campuses, PI will make upgrades available to all of its students in the near future. As with all PI efforts, the end goal is to participate in answering Jesus’ prayer request for more laborers in the harvest-laden field.

by Dr. James Littles

This article was featured in Purpose Institute’s annual magazine, On Target. Used by permission. Click here to learn more about what Purpose Institute has to offer.