The Australian Union Conference (AUC) Training Centre has celebrated its fifth year and graduated its 100th student.
Held each year in February at Jumbunna Lodge, just outside of Melbourne, the centre offers two study streams—lay pastoral assistant and youth Bible worker.
This year’s 12 graduates have completed two six-subject, three-week intensive blocks, with at least eight months practicum in between and bring the total to 108 graduates since 2010.
Centre director Roger Govender said the course is very much hands on. “Our key focus is to make all that we teach as practical as possible,” he said. “That is intentional. It is a three-step process. Sharing the information, making it applicable and creating an environment where change can take place, where the Holy Spirit can work and discipleship can happen.”
The school’s purpose is to offer church members an opportunity to gain theory and practical skills that will aid them in local church ministry and community service, according to the Training Centre Handbook.
The courses cover topics such as how to preach and develop Bible studies, Adventist identity, discipleship and door-to-door evangelism.
The courses are accredited through Andrews University’s Lay Adventist Seminary and upon completion students receive two semester graduate credits as well as a certificate and transcript.
Lecturers are very active in their field, like Pastor Loren Pratt or well-regarded as experts, like Dr Allan Lindsay.
“We’re eager to equip you for active ministry and outreach, to encourage you to work together, empower you in your area of giftedness, and to engage you in fulfilling service and leadership,” AUC president, Pastor Chester Stanley, writes in the handbook’s welcome message.
Many of the participants are sponsored or recommended by their local conference or the AUC and pastors report that they are returning to their churches and making a fantastic contribution to the mission of the Church.
“The quality of individuals who go through these courses and their level of commitment is absolutely huge,” Pastor Govender said. “They are passionate about their church and want to make a difference. They go home as active, dynamic members, making a difference in their communities.”
More information at <www.auctrainingcentre.org.au>.
Beryl Landers receiving certificate.