A heart for bi-vocational ministers

Bi-vocational ministry is currently on the rise across our nation.

A recent article in Christianity Today contained this statement: “According to the 2015 Faith Communities Today survey, fewer than two-thirds (62.2 percent) of U.S. churches have a full-time pastor. That’s down from 71.4 percent in 2010.”

This statistic is not unique to Southern Baptist life as it spans many denominations. Personally, I served for six and a half years as a bi-vocational pastor. The days were long and many weeks there was simply not enough hours in the day, until God seemingly stopped the clock and everything was accomplished that had to be completed.

Now as I travel across Kentucky and other states, I am encountering countless men of God who are serving in bi-vocational ministry. These wonderful men of God are giving everything they have to serve the local church while working another job and leading their families. They are dedicated to serving the Lord but yearn for support and training in order to be better equipped for the calling God has placed on their lives.

Since Dr. L.C. Kelly founded our school in 1926, Clear Creek Baptist Bible College has had a heart for bi-vocational ministers. As we celebrate our years of ministry training, we still feel clearly called and commissioned to pursue the vision God gave Dr. Kelly to give ministers of Kentucky an opportunity to pursue and obtain a ministerial education.

It is with this passion in mind that we wish to offer our Bi-Vocational Ministry certificate again in January. We understand because of their calling, ministers may or may not be able to endure the rigorous course load of being a full-time college student. This is one of the reasons Clear Creek developed the Bi-Vocational Ministry certificate. The Bi-Vocational certificate consists of 18 credit hours. Coursework includes 8 hours in Bible, 6 hours in doctrine and theology, and classes in Church Revitalization and Spiritual Formation.

The certificate will be completed across three semesters, by taking seven hours per semester in the first two semesters and then four hours the last semester. The entire certificate will be delivered online to accommodate the busy schedule of the Bi-Vocational pastor. The online group will begin together and take every class together.

If interested contact Douglas Saunders, director of admissions, at 606-337-1103, or via email at douglas.saunders@ccbbc.edu.

In addition to the need for training, Clear Creek also realizes that pastors, whether bi-vocational or not, need a time of respite and recharging.

Clear Creek Baptist Bible College has two wonderful houses available for Minister Retreat Housing. The Minister’s Retreat Housing is at no cost. Enjoy a relaxing and peaceful stay in one of our Minister’s Retreat Houses. Nestled on Clear Creek Baptist Bible College’s beautifully wooded campus, the Minister’s Retreat Housing offers a quiet restful place for you to be refreshed and renewed in your walk with Christ.

If you would like to reserve a spot in one of our houses, please contact our offices at 606-337-3196, extension 105, or via email collegerelations@ccbbc.edu.

Matthew Black serves as the dean of institutional advancement at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Clear Creek is the Bible College of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has been joined in a covenant partnership agreement since 1946.