"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
The reality that the mercy of God is new every morning confirms that we are benefactors of the unbelievable love of God. It also reveals that every morning is the dawn of a new opportunity to know our King. It is with this exciting reality that we introduce Vineyard Institute Canada.
What is Vineyard Institute?
Vineyard Institute (V.I.) is an educational provider for the Vineyard movement, formed to develop leaders at all levels of church life through high quality theological training.
If you are leading in a Vineyard church, or in the early stages of your leadership development, and are interested in developing your theological, biblical and leadership theory and practical application, then V.I. is for you.
V. I. seeks to provide student-to-student and student-to-mentor interactions. Students are grouped into 3-5 student groupings called Learning Communities (LC). Where possible, this is done geographically at a site (church or physical location), but it can also be done virtually (online) as well. Each LC is led by a mentor, who engages the students in dialogue about the courses they’re taking and assists them in getting their written assignments completed.
When LCs are hosted at a local church, the site pastor is invited to collaborate with V.I. to shape both the curriculum and ministry mentoring opportunities around their particular church and community.
Students of V.I. can expect to spend (on average) about 4 to 5 hours a week reading, writing, collaborating, and studying for exams. It is important to note that though you will spend some time interacting with other students and mentors, much of the content can be worked around your schedule, taking advantage of times when you’re available. The visual/audio content of the class can typically be taken in online during 30-45 minute bites over 10 weeks.
So What's our Time frame?
The easiest way for us to learn V.I. is to take it for a test drive. So we are going to be rolling out V.I. Canada in two phases.
Phase One: Soft Launch
We are looking at recruiting up to 10 students to begin V.I. Canada starting March 31st, 2014. Where possible I would encourage pastors/leaders to take the course along with the students. It will help you get a better feel for the material, expectations, and ways in which the course can connect in your local church setting.
Courses (Spring 2014)
Students would have the option of taking one or both of the following V.I. core courses:
At the end of the Spring session we will gather feedback from students and their local church leaders/mentors to help us build on that for the Fall. Most importantly it gives us a chance to work out the bugs before we reach the full launch in the Fall 2014.
Key Dates in Phase One:
March 10th, 2014 - Course Registration deadline
March 31st, 2014 - Spring 2014 session begins
Phase Two: Hard Launch
In May of this year we will be begin the push to promote V.I. Canada nationally. The V.I. Canada website will be added to the V.I. international page with connections to Vineyard Canada's website.
In Fall 2014 we will be offering certificates (For example, see V. I. USA) that allow students to focus their training in specific areas of ministry training.
Key Dates in Phase Two:
May 2014 - V.I. promotional campaign begins
July 2014 - V.I. Canada introduced at National Celebration
August 2014 - V.I. Canada webinar for leaders/students
September 2014 - V.I. Canada begins first Fall session
Phase Three: On the Horizon
Here are some exciting things we're working on that you can be praying about:
Most (if not all) of Vineyard Canada Church communities are deeply engaged in social justice issues in their own backyard. It is for this reason we are looking to develop curriculum that is uniquely centered on framing a context for Biblical social justice. Once this course is complete, this curriculum would be available to Vineyard Institute students from around the world through the V.I. website!
Local churches: One of the most important elements of V.I. is praxis. All of the V.I. Canada students are required to be engaged in local church ministry. This means they will be mentored with local church pastors or leaders while they work out their ministry craft. If you are a pastor or leader, consider how you can be involved in this process. Also, begin to investigate if your church would like to establish a learning community at your site. This adds a potentially very exciting new element to leadership training within the local church community.
Developing Young Leaders: As a movement we are committed to developing young leaders to further the Kingdom of God. Continue to pray for more church planters, pastors, teachers, missionaries, and more.
A little bit about me... I've been married to my much cooler wife Melissa for 12 incredible years. After some adventures overseas during our first few years of marriage, we ended up in Kitchener, ON to pursue further education. Over the next several years we both worked away part-time on degrees. I finished my Masters of Theological Studies through McMaster School of Divinity in Hamilton and Melissa completed two post-graduate degrees in Social Work - first her BSW through the University of Waterloo and then her MSW through Laurier University. During these years of study (and some work in there to keep us fed), our family also grew! In 2008 we welcomed our first two children (Emebet and Tarikua) into our family through the incredible gift of adoption, and our third child (Eli) made his entrance into the world in 2012.
In the fall of 2012 we came on staff with Ahren and Anna Summach at Ottawa Valley Vineyard in Carleton Place Ontario (near Ottawa) as Community Life Pastors. We feel so blessed to be serving this community, as well as joining the broader Vineyard family!
I'm so excited to be a part of the first steps of V. I. Canada. As someone who values developing and growing leaders, I appreciate how V. I. Canada provides local practical training alongside a global Vineyard framework.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.
Jeremy Burke Administrator Vineyard Institute Canada