Pastors and lay people seeking to expand the breadth of knowledge they obtained from Niagara University's ministerial leadership development program will now have the opportunity to do so. The university announced today that its Office of Continuing Education will offer an advanced certificate program in applied urban ministry, beginning this fall.
The advanced certificate program, funded in part by the Riefler Ministry Enablement Fund of the Network of Religious Communities, is designed to enhance participants' abilities to think theologically, assess urban conditions and formulate ministry solutions. The program builds on skills gained in the basic certificate program in applied urban ministry.
"Niagara University is proud to sponsor our new advanced certificate program in urban ministry," said the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., university president. "The book of Proverbs tells us that, 'The people perish where there is no vision.' Our advanced program boldly wishes to empower the people of our local community by providing vision and hope for our community through the thesis projects that will be carefully developed. May God bless all the efforts of this program, which can provide vitality, vision and hope for all our people through faith and leadership efforts."
Designed by representatives of faith communities in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, in cooperation with Niagara University, the interdenominational programs are intended to help pastors and lay people become more effective leaders in their respective churches and communities.
As part of the advanced program, students develop and present an advanced action plan to implement in their community or church. Start-up funding for the project will be competitive and will be awarded after a community presentation and committee decision.
Classes will be instructed by Niagara University professors and local clergy leaders, including the program's co-founders, Dr. David Taylor and Rev. Jimmy Rowe.
Candidates must have successfully completed the basic applied urban ministry program (or its equivalent) to be eligible to apply for the advanced course. Only 15 students will be admitted to the first cohort. If accepted, there is a $150 fee to participate.