Teaching Ministry of the ICOC

equipping the saints for works of ministry

First Teachers Appointed in South Africa

By Vida Li Sik - Johannesburg, South Africa

On a historic weekend, the first teachers in South Africa were recently appointed in Johannesburg, South Africa. Neil Trollip, Werner Reyneke, Solly Kganyago, Paul Smith and Raj Chandra were tasked with the responsibility of teaching God's word to his people. Their appointment was met with great excitement by their families and the church in Joburg, and all five are inspired by their new roles.

Here's a closer look at who they are:

Neil Trollip on the right with his wife Noeleen

Neil Trollip on the right with his wife Noeleen

Neil Trollip was baptized in Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape) in 1997 and has been leading the church in that city on a voluntary basis for 12 years with his wife Noeleen. The couple has been married for 37 years and have three children. Neil worked at a large research organization until his retirement from his secular job in December last year. A keen Bible scholar, Neil was one of the first graduates of the Ministry Training Academy (MTA) in South Africa in 2017. He is currently pursuing a Master's degree at the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology (RMSMT). "I am now genuinely in the full-time ministry and enjoying it immensely. I'm also excited to study further and deepen my Bible knowledge to be better-equipped to teach," he shared.

Werner Reyneke

Werner Reyneke

Werner Reyneke's appointment as a teacher was an early present as he celebrated his birthday this week. Baptized in 1994 while a student at the University of Johannesburg, Werner married Madelyn 23 years ago and they have a son, Martin. A civil engineer by profession, Werner also serves as a children’s ministry teacher, as a deacon of the benevolence fund and as the chairman of the church board. Werner graduated from MTA in 2017 and earned an MA in Bible and Theology from Lincoln Christian University in May this year. "I'd love to help the church grow in their love for the Bible and am humbled by this opportunity to serve my brothers and sisters" he said.

Solly Kganyago

Solly Kganyago

Solly Kganyago says he's always had a passion for self-improvement and that applies to spirituality too. Baptized in the the East Region in 2003 and married since 2005, Solly works as a commercial manager and serves as a family group and worship leader. He is also on the property and financial committees of the Johannesburg congregation.

Solly said this about his new responsibilities: "For me, discipleship is all or nothing. I believe in using my gifts for the benefit of others. My family was extremely excited and encouraged by my appointment as a teacher. My peers are proud and encouraged by the growth they've seen in me over the years, and my love for God and his church.

He says the scripture that sums up how he feels about the task ahead is James 3:1 "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." (NIV)

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

Paul Smith has been a disciple for 20 years and currently oversees the East Region of the church in Johannesburg. He also graduated from MTA in 2017 and is also currently pursuing a Master's degree through the RMSMT.

Paul is married to Jacqui and the father of two girls. He summed up his thoughts about the role of a teacher. "As a young Christian I was always drawn more to the 'deeper' side of things. God put on my heart the dream to see a teaching ministry established in South Africa, and it amazes me how God has brought that to fruition this year. I'm indebted to Mike Taliaferro, Michael Burns, Dave Pocta, Douglas Jacoby, Duncan Comrie and Justin Renton for their training over the years to realize this goal," he said.

His encouragement to anyone thinking of becoming a Bible teacher is this: "Pursue humility always (Philippians 2), gain a sober view of yourself (Romans 12:3) by inviting honest input into your life with regards to your character, strengths and weaknesses. Engage in the ministry; a good practical knowledge of working with people keeps you grounded; develop yourself through further study but don't be eager to teach too soon. There's a burden of responsibility that comes with this role, for which you'll be held to a higher level of accountability. Lastly, persevere. God's timing is always right," Paul added.

Raj Chandra

Raj Chandra

Raj Chandra has taken a long route to finally end up in Africa. Born in India, he was baptized in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US in 2001. He is also an MTA graduate and is currently serving the campus and singles ministries in the Tshwane Church of Christ in Pretoria. He is married to Angie and the father of a young boy.

Raj feels humbled by his appointment. "It's surreal even now to think I was formerly Hindu-born and would never have imagined I would submit to Jesus as King and be added into his family. He blessed me with the gift of teaching and I'm very grateful to God and all the people who poured into me. I'm looking forward to seeing how God will use this new role to help many connect with him and each other, and to build healthy communities rooted and built up in Christ."

Congratulations to all five brothers. We look forward to learning from you!

Originally published on www.disciplestoday.org, August 26, 2019

Spring 2019 Teachers Service Team Report

by Dr. G. Steve Kinnard, Tammy Fleming

Fourteen members* of the International Church of Christ Teachers Service Team met in San Antonio on March 31 and April 1, 2019, for the second Teachers Service Team Meeting of 2019. The first took place in Orange County, California, in conjunction with the innovative Hackathon conference (www.icochackathon.org), organized by members of the Teachers Service Team, February 21 – 24, 2019. 

Starting our days together with worship and prayer.In San Antonio, Dave Pocta hosted us at Oblate School of Theology, where he is currently pursuing a PHD in Contemporary Christian Spirituality. Dave opened our time together with a devotional based on the story of the Samaritan woman from John 4. We sang some old hymns, written in the 1800s. It was a very inspiring morning together.  On the second morning of meetings, Ron Rolheiser (President of the Oblate School of Theology)  led an amazing devotional on some principles of pedagogy.  


Addressing questions related to women’s roles in churches today. Together we composed a letter which informs the fellowship of the fact that the Teachers Service Team is diligently working on a paper on the woman’s role in ministry. That letter was completed and was posted on the ICOC Teachers’ website, www.teachicoc.org on April 2, on Disciples Today, and on various social media platforms. We hope that disciples will continue to share and forward this letter as they see fit. 

Valdur Koha chairs the subcommittee of teachers and others who are actively working on this paper, researching the difficult passages relating to the public role of women in the bible. The group meets monthly online and is working together to produce a scholarly paper exegeting scriptures relevant to discussions about the women’s role in the church today. Steady progress is being made, despite the fact that none of the contributors are available to devote themselves on a full-time basis to the project. The target date for completion is 2020. 

     It was proposed that the Women’s Ministry Task Force (formerly known as the Women’s Service Team) could work under the supervision of the Teachers Service Team to create an online survey of our 32 regional families of churches, to learn what specific questions are being asked concerning the public role of women in our churches around the world. Steve Staten agreed to advise and help to design a survey which would ensure a properly representative sampling with appropriate questions. This proposal was given approval in the assembly of the Regional Family Chairs. The Women’s Ministry Task Force will proceed with this fact-finding effort. 

Strategizing to Host and Attend Various Conferences and Meetings.We agreed that the following events would be priorities for us in an annual calendar, understanding that Service Team members would pick and choose what they are able to attend. 

         (a) The ICOC Spring Meeting of our 32 Regional Church Family Chairs and Service Team members.  

         (b) The ICOC Autumn Leadership Meeting of the delegates from each Regional Family of Churches. We agreed that the Teachers Service Team would meet for two days this autumn immediately before the delegates meeting and would plan to bring younger and Next Generation teachers to that Service Team meeting. 

         (c)  A New Annual Teachers Meeting/Conference for those interested in the Teaching Ministry. We would hope that everyone on the Service Team could attend this event: two days of meetings as a Teachers Service Team, followed by a Teaching Ministry conference. Possibly August 13-17, 2019, in San Antonio. 

         (d) Hackathon – type conferences — We would like to see these begin to take place in our regional families of churches. Steve Staten and Shane Engle will be working on this idea. 

         (e) ICOC Scholars Conference. To be held a day or two before the Annual Meetings hosted by the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion.  The Annual Meetings this year are scheduled for November 23- 26, 2019 in San Diego.



Strengthening our churches for the future.We as a group of teachers in the ICOC are deeply concerned with the question of how we, as a movement, plan to “feed” our people long term (Hebrews 5:12). We discussed the need for further development in theological education for our ministers, in order to grow both theologically and spiritually.  We want to ensure that in ten to twenty years’ time, we are doing an excellent job of educating our people. 

         We discussed the importance of Ministry Training Academies (MTAs), which exist in several regional families of churches. We see a need to raise the standards of our MTAs. We agree that in addition to continuing to improve the MTA programs, we want to continue to encourage our ministers and other members of our churches to complete graduate study programs.

         Most of our churches employ internships to educate young ministers. We want to do everything we can to develop academic as well as practical training for ministers in all our 32 regions of churches around the world. To that end, we created a subcommittee Task Force to consider Ministry Education, comprised of Gregg Marutzky (Chair), Jeremy Lefler, Robert Carrillo, Steve Kinnard, and Ed Anton. 

         We discussed several ways in which we could amplify the Teachers’ voice in our fellowship and improve the ways in which we currently contribute to the strengthening of our churches. We discussed live streaming of teachers’ lessons and events; videos; creating an online webinar and an online theological journal.

         Steve Staten presented a paper that speaks to ensuring that appropriate spiritual and other necessary qualifications for leadership positions are met in the ICOC. The group gave Steve feedback on this paper. He is making a few changes, then he will forward the paper to the teachers for a last review before publication and distribution. 

         We discussed ways in which we could develop Teachers Service Teams in each of the 32 regional families of churches around the world. We agreed that Steve Kinnard would compile information from the regional church families, namely, where we have recognized teachers and where we do not. 

         We believe it’s very important to accurately document our movement’s history over the past forty years. Many of us agreed to write a portion of our history, so that we can begin to collect eyewitness accounts. These could be presented at the various meetings and conferences listed above, and published online.                                         

In Summary.These are the “Big Bucket” Items that we believe deserve our consistent focus. Please pray for us to make consistent progress pleasing to God, as we work together to accomplish these goals: 

         a. Regional Teacher Service Teams.

         b. Credentialing a program for ministry education.

         c. Producing position papers. An online journal. Recording our history. 

         d. Work on our hermeneutic. 

         e. Provide congregational teaching.

         f. Provide resources for ministry training.


* Present on the 31st: Steve Kinnard, Steve Staten, James Becknell, Tammy Fleming, Andy Fleming, Kay McKean, Joey Harris, Diane Brown, Steve Brown, Dave Pocta


Present on the 1st: Steve Kinnard, Steve Staten, James Becknell, Kay McKean, Joey Harris, Diane Brown, Steve Brown, Dave Pocta, Ed Anton, Deb Anton, Robert C., Valdur Koha. 




Letter from the Teachers Service Team

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

In the past the Teachers Service Team has written papers on biblical viewpoints addressing controversial topics that we are faced with in our contemporary society. At this time the Teachers Service Team is collaborating on a project discussing the role of women in the church. We know that many have pressing questions, for example, on the difficult Bible passages relating to the public role of women in the church. We are conducting in-depth biblical exegesis on the pertinent passages.


Some of the scriptures on this topic are difficult to interpret and the volume of scholarly literature on these passages is massive. We want to explore the topic carefully, so we are hopeful that the completion of this project will occur in 2020. 

We recognize that there are many discussions happening on this subject in various places. The best of today’s scholars have not been able to reach consensus, therefore we would caution any who believe they can determine a global and definitive practice on this culturally sensitive issue. 

We want to encourage healthy dialogue. While we don’t expect to have a definitive position on this delicate subject, we plan to identify biblically sound principles and provide culturally sensitive resources for you to continue to study and discuss this topic from an informed perspective. 

We are excited about the possibilities that this discussion will generate. We look for the Spirit’s guidance in this process. We ask for your prayers. 

In the meantime, the goal for all of us is to be considerate of each other as we express our opinions and convictions. As Paul notes, 

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister… If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat [i.e., practice], you are no longer acting in love… Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. (Romans 14:13,15,19)

The Teachers Service Team

March 31, 2019

Year-End Good News from ICOC Teachers

L-R: Arturo Elizarraras presents newly appointed congregational teachers, Jose Carlos Alaniz, Oscar & Carolina Figueroa

L-R: Arturo Elizarraras presents newly appointed congregational teachers, Jose Carlos Alaniz, Oscar & Carolina Figueroa

MEXICO CITY: the Latin American School of Missions was initiated in February of 2018 with 10 young interns being paid and trained full-time.

On April 29, 2018 an historical congregational event was held. Over 7,500 were in attendance to witness the appointment of the first elders ever in the Mexico City Church, as well as the recognition of three new teachers for the congregation — the first since the appointment of Arturo Elizarraras in 2003: Jose Carlos Alaniz, and a married couple, Oscar and Carolina Figueroa, were all three appointed congregational teachers (photo at right), Maestros de la Biblia! What a glorious day of celebration of the power of God and the power of becoming one!

Arturo Elizarraras introduces the ten new students in the Latin American School of Missions

Arturo Elizarraras introduces the ten new students in the Latin American School of Missions


LAGOS, NIGERIA — On Sunday, August 19, 2018, the first brothers appointed to the role of Teacher on the continent of Africa by our movement of churches were recognized in the church in Lagos. These three men are Fred George, Emmanuel Emeh, and Gilbert Kimeng.


For the last several years, New Jersey-based Teacher Steve Kinnard has been an active part of their training and mentoring. “It’s been a thrill to work with them,” says Kinnard. “I want to personally thank Dr. Douglas Jacoby for his work in West Africa. Douglas initiated the first Ministry Training Program which helped equip Fred, Emmanuel, and Gilbert to rise up and become teachers. Also, thanks to Joey Harris and other teachers who taught in the training program. I also want to thank the Rocky Mountain School Of Ministry and Theology for their work in training ministry leaders in our churches. All three of these teachers have taken courses at the RMSMT, and two of them are pursing degrees there. The RMSMT specializes in helping students in developing countries work toward advanced degrees in theology. Also, a big thanks to the Beam Fund for sponsoring a program that allowed me to focus on training and mentoring potential teachers in West Africa, French West Africa, and East Africa. The appointment/recognition of Fred, Emmanuel, and Gilbert is the direct result of their investment in the teaching ministry. Thanks to the Board of Directors of the Beam Fund for your partnership in this endeavor. Thanks too, to Chris and Rolayo Ogbonnaya and to the elders in Lagos for your warm invitation to me to help train and mentor teachers in West Africa. Your partnership has meant much to me over the years. My time spent in Africa training teachers has been one of the most satisfying tasks of my life. I appreciate your allowing me to use my gifts to help the disciples in Africa.” 

Prayer over newly-appointed teachers, Lagos, August 19, 2018

Prayer over newly-appointed teachers, Lagos, August 19, 2018


TORONTO, CANADA — We are experiencing exciting times in the congregation in Toronto, Canada, as God continues to raise up men and women to serve his church. On November 11, the whole church gathered together to witness the appointment of Kevin Robbins and Darrel Shaw as elders. They are recognized as shepherds, men of faith and maturity who have been called by the Holy Spirit to fulfill the role of overseers. They join Ed Bahula in this noble task.

Also, at this historic service, Dr. Scott Warlow was appointed a teacher. Scott is known for his deep love of the scriptures and desire to use his gifts to serve the church. We request your prayers as we build by faith and the help of the Holy Spirit, a teaching ministry that will provide opportunities for deep Bible teaching, practical application and enriched faith for the maturing of the saints and ultimately, for the glory of God!

Read the full article by Ed Bahula on Disciples Today

Dr. Scott Warlow, appointed congregational Teacher in Toronto on November 11, 2018

Dr. Scott Warlow, appointed congregational Teacher in Toronto on November 11, 2018


Watch this space for more year end updates from the Teachers Service Team

ICOC Teachers' Summer Update

"On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." 2 Corinthians 1:11 NIV

In the Northern Hemisphere,  this weekend marks the end of the summer season. Most kids are back at school on Monday, many colleges and universities are starting back up, and most all of those lucky enough to have had time to surf, loaf, bake on a beach, maybe chill at a cottage somewhere, are getting ready for September and autumn. What have the ICOC Teachers been up to this summer? Here's a smattering of a few of our ICOC Teachers' recent endeavors:  


After 34 years teaching Chemistry and Physics, Dr. John Oakes (San Diego, California, USA) officially retired in June 2018. So what does retirement look like for a disciple of Jesus Christ who is also a recognized Biblical author and Teacher? John kicked off his retirement with a self-funded three- week missionary teaching trip to Russia, Japan, Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan. Read about what he learned and what he taught on this trip here, at www.evidenceforchristianity.org. 

John Oakes (3rd from left)  about to depart from Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, after several days of teaching and fellowship with Central Asian disciples.  L-R: Sasha Tsoi of Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Lina Morozova, women's minister from Moscow, Russia, with her daughter (4th from left) and husband, Evangelist Nikolai Morozov of Moscow on the far right; John Oakes; Dima Mungalov of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; Vladimir Abdullayev of Almaty, Kazakhstan; Andy Fleming of Kiev, Ukraine.

John Oakes (3rd from left)  about to depart from Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan, after several days of teaching and fellowship with Central Asian disciples. L-R: Sasha Tsoi of Tashkent, Uzbekistan; Lina Morozova, women's minister from Moscow, Russia, with her daughter (4th from left) and husband, Evangelist Nikolai Morozov of Moscow on the far right; John Oakes; Dima Mungalov of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; Vladimir Abdullayev of Almaty, Kazakhstan; Andy Fleming of Kiev, Ukraine.

John Oakes will be teaching a series of lessons on the Book of Luke at the Inspire Singles Conference in Phoenix Aug 31-Sept 1.  Notes, power point and audio will be posted at evidenceforchristianity.org  In addition, he will be teaching a four part series on Daniel in September and October, as well as a six-part series on the Book of Acts. Be looking for all materials at the web site, or if you live in the San Diego area contact him for information so you can attend. john.oakes@gcccd.edu  Also, John is teaching a class on the Book of Hebrews with Robert Carrillo for the Los Angeles School of Ministry and Missions September 13-14.  If you are interested in this class, go to https://www.laschoolofministry.com  Lastly, John and Jan will be traveling to Israel, Amman Jordan (10/30-11/3), Beirut Lebanon (11/3-11/6) and Cairo, Egypt (11/6-11/12) for a missionary teaching trip October 22-Nov 12. If you can attend any of these meetings or want more information, contact John about these meetings.


August 2018 found Dr. G. Steve Kinnard (New Jersey, USA) teaching a dynamic group of about 25 ministry interns in Lagos, Nigeria,  on the topic of church history. 


Douglas Jacoby also taught in Lagos in August,  a series of MTA / AIM lessons on Biblical Interpretation to 60 West African leaders, "powerful Christian men and women who want to make a difference in the world," says Jacoby. He then traveled to several locations in Congo, and taught on Acts Chapter Two, Biblical Interpretation, and Prosperity Theology (or the "health and wealth" gospel). After a few weeks at home,  he plans to return for another teaching tour in  South Africa, Botswana, and Malawi in September.  See his notes from the month of August, below: 

Disciples of Christ say hello, Victoria Island, Nigeria

Disciples of Christ say hello, Victoria Island, Nigeria

With preacher Moses & Honorine, Kinshasa, D.R. Congo

With preacher Moses & Honorine, Kinshasa, D.R. Congo

  • Co-teaching with Gilbert Kimeng.
  • Learning that Gilbert, along with Nigerians Emmanuel Emeh (my former AIM student), and Fred George (one of my M.A. students at Lincoln Christian. University), will be officially recognized as teachers this coming Sunday
  • This parallels the good news in Latin America a few months back, when colleague Arturo Elizarrarás appointed three teachers in Mexico.
  • Spending time with Geoffroy Gankoue-Dzon, church leader in Congo. (Brazzaville) and presidential advisor (his full-time job). 
  • Not having to worry about Ebola, as the previous outbreak had officially died out, and the latest outbreak is still in the far east of the country.
  • Talking theology with Moses.
  • Spending fellowship time with cheerful and grateful Congolese -- after all they have been through (civil war, pillaging, rape, murder, malnutrition, corruption, and grinding poverty)."

To read more from Douglas Jacoby, you can subscribe to his newsletter at www.douglasjacoby.com. 

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Gordon Ferguson (Dallas, Texas, USA), beloved author of 15 books, continues a prolific writing ministry at the wizened age of 75. Keep up with his new blog on racial issues at www.blacktaxandwhitebenefits.com

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Dr. Glenn Giles at the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology (Denver, Colorado, USA)  reports that, "perhaps the highlight of this summer is the extent and quality of growth God has given us at RMSMT. We now have 74 RMSMT students worldwide. We have ICOC students from more and more nations applying to take courses. These students reside in the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya, Burundi, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Mongolia, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Haiti, Bangladesh, Trinidad, UK, Northern Ireland, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, and the United States.  We now offer 4 Master of Arts Degrees: MA in Biblical Studies, MA in Biblical Studies with Languages (we are beginning a year of Biblical Hebrew this semester, Greek next year), MA in Christian Ministry, and MA in Christian Counseling (this degree just officially began this fall). It was so heartening to hear of three of our students just being appointed Teachers in Lagos this last week. In addition, we are planning to have our first graduation ceremonies this coming May, 2019!"


Andy and Tammy Fleming (Kiev, Ukraine),  have been in Kyrgyzstan this summer, for a serendipitous overlap with John Oakes, teaching at the largest gathering of disciples from the five churches in Central Asia in fifteen years -- 65 adults plus 43 teens and preteens came together for the first ever Central Asian Youth Corps. Some of these churches -- all in mostly Muslim nations --  are very small and isolated; only one of the five has a legal right to assemble. 

Andy has recently published two significant papers, "Let Each One Be Careful How He Builds," an investigation into the circumstances that led up to the crisis of 2003 in the ICOC, focusing mostly on church-building strategies and leadership organization; and "Giving Thought to One's Ways," an introduction to practical theology and a survey of sociological literature regarding new religious movements and the effect of charismatic leadership.

Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan: Andy and Tammy Fleming with a group of parents from the five Central Asian churches. 

Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan: Andy and Tammy Fleming with a group of parents from the five Central Asian churches. 


Dave Pocta (San Antonio, Texas, USA)  has just finished a teaching tour, speaking at the NorthWest Churches' Conference and teaching nine days for the church in South Korea.


Michael Burns (Roseville, Minnesota, USA),  following on the heels of his timely and much-appreciated work, "Crossing the Line: Culture, Race and Kingdom,"  has published an introductory article for a new book soon to be published, "The Power of Story to Divide or Unite Us."

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Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology 2018 World Wide Update: Growth and Review

by Glenn Giles, PhD, RMSMT Director -- Denver, Colorado, USA


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 In this report, we at RMSMT wish to share with you what God has been doing in our school. Since offering our first course in the fall of 2015 with a total of 7 students, RMSMT has grown to an enrolment of 61 students. More and more students continue to apply for admission. In the spring of 2016 RMSMT adopted an online format and went worldwide. That spring we doubled our enrollment and matriculated students from Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the US. Today the number of countries with students taking classes at RMSMT has increased 300%. We now have students from Singapore, Philippines, Haiti, South Korea, Mongolia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, UK, Canada, India, Columbia, and the US. A total of 30 students are from outside the United States with 26 of these from majority world countries.

Our school has also grown academically in program offerings from offering two masters degrees at our inception to now offering four masters degrees. We now have Master of Arts Degrees in Biblical Studies, Biblical Studies with Languages, Christian Ministry, and Christian Counseling.

Our Faculty has also grown from eight faculty with doctorates at our inception to a total of eleven faculty with doctorates. We have just recently added Drs. Mike Shapiro, Mary Shapiro, and Jennifer Konzen. In addition we have just appointed two deans, Drs. Timothy Sumerlin and Steve Kinnard.


Dr. Steve Kinnard is now our Dean of the School of Biblical Studies and Ministry. Dr. Kinnard received his Bachelor’s Degree in Bible and English from Freed-Hardeman College, his Master of Divinity Degree in New Testament and Languages from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Drew University. In addition to being Professor of Bible and Spiritual Formation at RMSMT, Dr. Kinnard also serves as Adjunct Professor of Bible at Lincoln Christian University. Dr. Kinnard will continue in those positions while also serving in his new role as Dean here at RMSMT. Welcome Dr. Kinnard!


Dr. Timothy Sumerlin is now our Dean of the School of Christian Counseling. Dr. Sumerlin received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Indiana University, his Master of Arts in Secondary Counseling from the University of Missouri, and his PhD in Education and Counseling from Colorado State University. He is the creator and director of Disciples-In-Motion Ministry. 

We have also been blessed to set up international hubs with hub directors to initiate contact with other parts of the world and to encourage students to be trained on the graduate level in ways to help increase their effectiveness as ministers and servants of Jesus. We now have a hub in India overseen by Roger Mathew, a hub in Kenya overseen by William Siwa, a hub in the Philippines and SE Asia overseen by Dr. Rolan Monje, a hub for Korea overseen by Jaeho Park, and a developing hub for South America in Spanish overseen by Sebastian Serra with the help of one of our students Pedro Figueroa. We are working to develop a hub in China in Chinese.

In our desire to help majority world students be trained, we have provided 75% or greater tuition scholarships for their training. This has made it possible for those students to not only afford graduate level training in Bible, Ministry, and Counseling, but to also be able to remain in their ministry settings to take the gospel to their part of the world.

If you would like to help with scholarships for majority world students or perhaps take graduate level courses yourself to better equip yourself for ministry and service to Jesus, please do contact me at glenn@rmsmt.org.

Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology Continues to Innovate

Dr. Glenn Giles -- Denver, Colorado, USA

We at the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology (RMSMT) in Denver, Colorado are excited to share with you in this video some of the exciting things God has been doing with our school as well as some of our vision for the future. As part of the worldwide International Church of Christ (ICOC) fellowship of churches, it is our heart's desire to help equip disciples to serve Jesus all over the world.

To accomplish this endeavor, we are providing online classes in Bible, Bible languages, theology, apologetics, church history, Christian counseling, Christian spirituality/formation, and Christian ministry that lead to Masters Degrees in Biblical Studies, Biblical Studies with languages (Greek and Hebrew), Christian Ministry, and Christian Counseling.

Although we do have opportunities for students to come to Denver for some face-to-face classes as part of online courses, all our classes are provided in a fully online format with no residency required. This has allowed many students worldwide to take our courses, including students in the UK, Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast, India, Haiti, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, and the United States.

Our distinguished ICOC faculty include Dr. Steve Kinnard, Dr. Douglas Jacoby, Dr. Timothy Sumerlin, Dr. Jennifer Konzen, Dr. Gregg Marutzky, Dr. Rolan Monje, Dr. Bill Moulden, Dr. Mary Shapiro, Dr. Mike Shapiro, Dr. Robert Ferry, Dr. Glenn Giles, John Lusk, and Robert Carrillo.

Two New Masters of Arts Degrees at Rocky Mountain School of Ministry

by Glenn Giles -- Denver, Colorado, USA

We at the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology are excited to announce that beginning this Fall Semester 2018 we will start two new Master’s Programs to meet the needs of our ICOC students, leaders, and churches. These two Programs are:


1.     Master of Arts in Biblical Studies with Languages (48 semester hours) and


2.     Master of Arts in Christian Counseling (36 semester hours)


The Master of Arts in Biblical Studies with Languages degree will have the same core courses as the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies except that in addition it will also require 6 semester hours in NT Greek and 6 semester hours in OT Hebrew. It equips the Christian Minister or other Christian worker for deeper study of the Bible through the use of its original languages. Old Testament Hebrew will be offered beginning this Fall Semester 2018 and will be taught by Dr. Rolan Monje. New Testament Greek will be taught by Dr. Steve Kinnard and is slated to begin in the Fall Semester of 2019.


The Master of Arts in Christian Counseling is our newest MA program. It equips Christian leaders and other Christian workers to be able to counsel and minister to disciples in their church setting from a Biblical World View.  This program will be overseen by Dr. Timothy Sumerlin. It will consist of 4 biblical courses and 8 counseling courses. This degree does not lead to Colorado State certification. Below are the details of this new degree:


Prerequisite: Approved Bachelor’s Degree in Any Discipline


Required Courses:

            From the Biblical Field (4 Courses)

1.  GB501 Introduction to the Bible

2.  CT611 Introduction to Christian Theology

3.  NT653The Sermon on the Mount and Beyond

4.  GB615 Biblical Hermeneutics and Exegesis


            From the Christian Counseling and Christian Spirituality Fields (8 Courses)

1. PC600 Pastoral Care and Counseling

2. CS601 Introduction to Christian Spirituality/Formation

3. PC603 Marriage and the Family Counseling

4. PC622 Counseling Adolescents

5. PC645 Christian Sexuality Counseling

6. PC680 Depression, Anxiety, and Mental Health Counseling

7. PC655 Grief Counseling

8. PC690 Biblical Counseling Practicum


     PC695/CM695 Disciples In Motion Ministry Practicum


Each course in both programs has a tuition rate of $600 for First World Students and $150 for Third World Students. Although these two new courses do not officially begin until next fall, we are offering courses this 2018 Spring Semester which can be credited toward one or the other of these degrees including Biblical Hermeneutics, Pastoral Care and Counseling, The Book of Acts, and The Life and Teachings of Jesus the Messiah.


If you are interested in applying for one of these MA degree programs or have any questions, please email Dr. Glenn Giles (glenn@rmsmt.org).  Please click here for an application form or visit our website at www.rmsmt.org.



Blessings and Joy from RMSMT!



Glenn Giles, PhD

RMSMT Director

Denver, CO  USA

2017 Teachers Service Team Meeting Report

The Teachers Service Team met in early April in Dallas of 2017.

Here are the items we discussed:

The Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology (RMSMT) 

We began with a report from Glenn Giles, the director of the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology in Denver. The school offers both online and hybrid (online and face-to-face) classroom courses toward three state authorized Master’s degrees, one in Christian Ministry and one in Biblical Studies and now a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies with Languages (Greek and Hebrew). The school also in its relationship with Lincoln Christian University provides for students to transfer up to half of the credits taken at RMSMT toward LCU accredited Masters degrees in ministry and theology, including specifically the Master of Arts in Bible and Theology and the Master of Divinity degrees. We have just had our first RMSMT student (Jan Louie Uy) transfer graduate credits into the LCU Master of Arts in Bible and Theology program.


Many students are taking advantage of this affordable means of getting training in Bible study. Third World students are taking courses for one-fourth the tuition or less than first world students pay. It is one of our main mission goals to provide affordable graduate Bible and Ministry education to third world students. Students from the third world are very grateful for the online courses. They can have online discussions and learn from one another.

The school has been asked to create a Bachelors program. The certificate program is on hold right now as we look more at the Bachelor’s degree program for worldwide students. We had two students who began our trial certificate program but neither one has completed their first course successfully so we have discontinued the certificate program. What we are looking at doing is creating a regular MTA program here in Denver separate from the graduate or undergraduate programs of RMSMT. It would be for those students who may not be able to do graduate study or who do not want to do the full blown graduate or undergraduate level programs. But this has to be developed and would not be in our RMSMT catalog. It would be a separate entity.

Rolan Monje commented, “There has been an increase in interest for Bible knowledge in the last few years. This is especially true for older Disciples. The international component gives extra ‘sinews’ for connecting the worldwide moment. The students appreciate the teachers being active ministers.”

Steve Kinnard commented, “The school allows students to get a degree for a much reduced price before getting into Lincoln Christian University accredited degree program. The international fellowships brings a great dynamic to the online discussion. It is mutually beneficial for 1st and 3rd world partners.”

Dr. Glenn Giles is to be commended for the work he has put into the school. It was his dream to launch a theological school among our movement of churches, and the dream has become a reality.

Some of the accomplishments this year:

  1. Student enrollment has now increased to 46 students, half of which are first world students and half of which are third world students. We now have students in the Philippines, Singapore, Kenya, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, UK, Haiti, and the US.
  2. We had our first transfer of credits of one of our students to LCU validating the quality of our programs are on a level equivalent with regional accreditation standards.

Ministry Training Academies (MTA)

The Teachers Service Team completed a core curriculum of twelve classes for our MTAs across the world.  The curriculum was approved by the Evangelists and Elders teams. Many MTAs have been started in various regions of the world. 

Most recently a MTA was started in Lagos, Nigeria to train and educate interns throughout English-speaking West Africa. Fred George is directing this school. 

Also, Steve Brown reports from Ecuador:

This year we started teaching the MTA curriculum online in Spanish for the South American churches (with the help of Sebastian Sierra and the help of a number of other teachers). We are talking with Glenn Giles about becoming the Spanish arm of the Denver school. We had over 200 students sign up for the first course.

We plan on making a directory of the schools in the near future. We also plan on making a directory of the recognized teachers across our churches. 

Committee Reports

  • Women’s Committee
    • A committee has been formed to research the women’s role from a biblical perspective and to discuss ways that the gifts of women can be utilized in a greater way to glorify God and strengthen our churches.
    • Although we have spent time discussing this issue, no paper has been started. Some of the teachers in the Chicago church and the US Midwest churches have been working on a paper.  We need to spend more focused and directed time on this important topic.
  • Technology
    • We continue to use various teaching platforms like Blackboard to get classes to our people.
  • Teacher Development
    • Valdur Koha encouraged us to take a fresh look at what we want to accomplish here. Some congregations, like Boston, do have programs where teachers are being trained. Steve Kinnard asked us to take a look globally. Steve has been training teachers in Africa and the Caribbean.
    • We should ask:
      • What goals can be set for regional families?
      • What are the regional needs?
      • What are best practices?
      • What are the best models?
    • Also, we must have local buy-in for this to be effective. It is crucial that we work with regional chairmen for this to make progress.
  • Disputable Matters & Hermeneutics
    • Although this has been a committee for years, we aren’t any closer to working on a paper than we were years ago. Although we understand the importance of the topic and some of us have written individually on the topic, it is difficult to get momentum as a group here. This is where a lack of resources hurts us. Most of us are working as full time staff in the ministry and doing the teaching ministry. If we could only focus on teaching, then these projects would be easier.
  • International Teachers Seminar/Biblical Study Tour
    • In October of 2016 Douglas Jacoby, Steve Kinnard, and Joey Harris co-led the 2016 Biblical Study Tour to the Holy Land. Everyone had a great time walking in the steps of Jesus. The highlight for most people was the Sunday church service with prayer time in the Garden of Gethsemane.
    • In August of 2017 Jacoby and Kinnard will lead another tour. 85 people from 20 different countries are attending.  The weather will be hot, but that will not not squelch the spirit of the participants.
    • Another tour is scheduled for late October of 2018. Information can be found at https://www.douglasjacoby.com/2018-biblical-study-tour/
    • We are discussing hosting a Teachers Conference alongside one of our upcoming Teachers Service Team meeting in 2018 or 2019. Be on the lookout for more information concerning this Teachers Conference.
  • Divorce and Remarriage: A paper on marriage, divorce, and remarriage has been completed. It has been sent to the evangelists and elders service teams for review.  After they review the paper, it will be posted for everyone to read and use.
  • Congregational Teaching: We want to capture and highlight what is going on currently in many of our churches. Some churches are doing an excellent job here. Resources are being created, but we need a way to advertise and distribute these resources.
  • Church Discipline Taskforce: A template and some background has been generated. We must figure out a way to disseminate this material to other people.
  • The Teachers Corner: The Teachers Service team has a presence on Disciples Today. It is called The Teachers Corner. Tammy Fleming has done an amazing job on this project. The material can also be found at teachicoc.org. We want to continue to add material to these sites.

ICOC 3.0

A big part of the April meeting was the discussion ICOC 3.0. Ed Anton opened our discussion with a couple of questions: Why is it needed for us to do this rethink for ICOC 3.0? How can we do a better job of bringing Jesus to the entire world? Then Ed suggested, “We must try to forge something very different from what we have done in the past–The cooperation of hierarchy with the benefits of autonomy.”

Here are a few points that were made by various people during our discussion:

  • Is the delegates system working?
  • We must ask the question–Is what we are doing working well? 1.5% growth is low with no plan or expectation for change.
  • We have lost a mantra as a movement. Our problem is not leadership. In Boston, discipleship was fantastic and simple. In ’86 to ’88 we grew fastest when we were assimilating as a movement. In ’97 Europe, Africa and the Middle East got stretched. We must revive the moment. That is more important than the structure. We must be clear about what our problem is. It takes 25 disciples to make a disciple now.
  • We don’t seem to be united on a global vision. What is the best global vision for us as a movement. Is there better wording that inspires us. What is our ethos and mantra?
  • We have set structure for the solution, but many people in our churches don’t understand what the problem really is. We have a concern about understanding the structure versus the mission. We are missing the component of diversity, younger people, and women in this meeting
  • We need cooperation and purpose. We must be cooperative with a structure that has a clear function.


This discussion was healthy and vibrant. The next couple of days were spend in small group discussions on the topic.

To help prepare everyone for the ICOC 3.0 discussions, the Teachers Service Team was tasked with developing a few video lessons. The following brothers did an excellent job with their presentations:

  • Ed Anton – Cooperation in the New Testament 
  • Steve Staten – Cooperation, A Look Through the Church History
  • Gordon Ferguson – Cooperation and Autonomy, a Comparison
  • Valdur Koha – Organizing For the Future

Teachers Service Team Subcommittees:

  • Teacher Development. Valdur Koha, chair
    •        Steve Kinnard, Joey Harris, Rolan Monje
  • Congregational Teaching. Ed Anton, chair
    •        Fred Faller, Douglas Jacoby, Joey Harris
  • Technology. Arturo Elizarraras, chair
    •        Joey Harris
  • Accreditation/RMSMT: Glenn Giles, chair
    •        Steve Kinnard
  • Disputable Matters and Hermeneutics: Steve Staten, chair
    •        Douglas Jacoby, Joey Harris, Kay McKean, Steve Kinnard
  • Women’s Teaching Ministry. Kay McKean, Deb Anton, co-chair
    •        Suzette Lewis
  • International Teachers Seminar: Douglas Jacoby, chair
    •        Steve Kinnard
  • Divorce and Remarriage, a re-examination. Valdur Koha, chair
    •        Steve Kinnard, Suzette Lewis, Courtney Bailey
  • Church Discipline: Steve Staten, chair
    •        Deb Anton, Glenn Giles
  • Women’s Role
    •        Deb Anton, Suzette Lewis, Kay McKean, Steve Kinnard, Courtney Bailey
  • Teachers' Corner
    •        Tammy Fleming

Members of the Teachers Service Team:

Ed Anton, chair, Virginia Beach

Dr. Deb Anton, Virginia Beach

Kay McKean, Northern Virginia

Steve Brown, Buenos Aries

Steve Staten, Chicago 

Dr. Douglas Jacoby, Atlanta

Joey Harris, Augusta

Andy Fleming, Kiev

Tammy Fleming, Kiev 

Dr. Glenn Giles, Denver

Fred Faller, Boston

Valdur Koha, Boston

Courtney Bailey, Kingston

Arturo Elizarraras, Mexico City

Suzette Lewis, Toronto

Dr. Rolan Monje, Manila

Dave Pocta, San Antonio 

Dr. Steve Kinnard, New York

Teachers' Corner Logo

The Teachers Service Team would like to thank Daniel Berk, for his creative expertise and service, in producing our current Teachers' Corner Logo. Thank you so much, Daniel! 

Teachers' Corner BerkLOGO.jpeg [360x360] [288x288].jpg

Daniel is an author and blogger at his website, www.danielcberk.com. His latest book, 31 Days of Prayer was written to mature Christians and first-time seekers alike to urge all to a life of more faithful and consistent prayer. He has a B.A. in History with a minor in Philosophy, and he is in the middle of studying to receive his Master’s in Theology. During the week, Daniel is the Marketing Strategist and Web Designer at Therafin Corporation in Frankfort, Illinois.

DBerk Self Portrait Edit.jpeg [480x360].jpg

Worldwide Update from the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology

February 2017

This has been a great year so far for our Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology (www.rmsmt.org) . Last year (January 2016) we expanded our outreach globally with the initiation of our online program to train ICOC students and staff around the world. Since beginning our first class in September 2015 with 7 students, our student population (not counting auditors) has now grown over 500% to 37 students. Of the 37 students we now have enrolled in the school 16 are first world students and 21 are third world students. We now have students from India, Nigeria, Kenya, the UK, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Granada, Bangladesh, as well as the USA. Many of these (especially those in the third world) are evangelists, church staff members, and even HOPE Worldwide workers.

At this time we have three world hubs in addition to our Denver base. These include our hub in India monitored by Roger Mathew, our hub in Africa monitored by Fred George, and our hub in the Philippines and SE Asia monitored by Dr. Rolan Monje.  At this time we are also working with Sebastian Serra in Argentina and others to develop a Latin American Hub for which we plan to have our courses translated into Spanish.
The number of our courses continues to grow. For the remainder of this year we plan to offer Church History taught by Dr. Steve Kinnard beginning next month and Biblical Archaeology in the Summer with Dr. Bill Moulden. This Fall we are planning to offer The Theology and Practice of Family Ministry (professors TBA) in conjunction with our Denver All Generations Conference over Labor Day weekend. We also plan to offer Christian Theology and World Religions taught by Dr. Douglas Jacoby this September through December. Future new classes include Biblical Hermeneutics, Jesus and Spiritual Formation, Biblical Discipleship, NT Greek and Exegesis, OT Hebrew and Exegesis, and more.


RMSMT Psalms class, Summer 2016: Dr. Glenn Giles (4th from left), Dr. Rolan Monje (5th from left) with students

RMSMT Psalms class, Summer 2016: Dr. Glenn Giles (4th from left), Dr. Rolan Monje (5th from left) with students

We are continuing to work to strengthen our relationship with Lincoln Christian University. As of right now we have 6 graduate courses that we have received solid verbal approval for transfer into their accredited programs should students decide they wish to transfer there to receive a fully accredited degree. Lincoln Christian University is continuing to working with us on this to help us maximize the number of courses that we are able to transfer to them. 
Beginning this fall (2017) we are planning to create a new Master's Degree Program: Master of Arts in Biblical Studies with Languages. This new degree will be a 48 semester hour degree which will require 6 hours of Hebrew language as well as 6 hours of New Testament Greek in addition to the 36 hours already required for the Master of Arts in Biblical Studies degree we now offer. Once students have taken these languages we will then also be able to develop Bible courses that study the books in their original languages. We believe that it is very important that our future (and present) leaders have a good understanding of the original biblical languages to help deepen their understanding of the Bible, ministry, and service for our Lord.
In order to support all of these programs, we are developing a 5 year financial plan. Since one of our major goals is to provide affordable online third world church leadership training, we hope, as part of the 5 year plan, to secure monetary help from churches and individuals in this missionary effort. We wish to be able to continue to give Third World students at least a 75% discount on tuition. If you know of churches or individuals or other entities who may want to help support us in this endeavor, please let us know (glenn@rmsmt.org).
Blessings and Joy to you all!
Glenn Giles, M.Div., Th.M., Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor of Bible, Lincoln Christian University
Director of the Rocky Mountain School of Ministry and Theology

2016 Teachers Service Team Meeting Reports

March 2016 Meeting

The first service team meeting of 2016 was in March. The primary discussion for this meeting was the women’s role. The teachers are studying the biblical role of women and how we can better utilize the gifts of women in our churches. The Women’s Service Team asked us to consider this topic.

March 22, 2016

First day discussion: How can we best utilize the gifts of women in our ministries?

The following are various thoughts that were expressed by various sisters and brothers during this discussion:

•   The prophet Joel says the Spirit will be poured out on sons and daughters. We need to bring Jesus to the forefront and see how Jesus was with women. It’s not about women empowerment; it’s about how we can further the cause of Jesus.

•   This topic is a crucial topic that deserves our attention.

•   There’s not an active elevation of the women’s role happening in our churches. We’ve articulated the path to become a Bible talk leader, evangelist, elder, but not a woman who wants to pursue a role in the church. Girls grow up in the church, and they see the role of men elevated. What about our women? The hope is to learn together and have a wider discussion, not in pockets so we’re not repeating each other.

•   It would help if we came up with a consistent hermeneutic before we move to pastoral concerns.

•   Our biggest challenge is gender as it relates to the church or being a millennial in the church. If we ask our kids what they think about this topic, they will speak their mind.

•   We need to discover a biblical, Christ-centered path for women to use their gifts in the church. We’ve inherited a viewpoint and taught it all over the world.

•   The majority of the members of our churches are female. Often discussions about women’s role are about what they cannot do. We need to change the conversation.

•   We need to ask a respectful, humble question: What did God intend? We’re brothers and sisters in Christ first and foremost. The call to lead and the call to follow are equally challenging.


Hot issues on the topic:

•   Women speaking in the church

•   Women teaching in the assembly

•   Multi-cultural sensitivity

•   Discipling – women discipling brothers  

•   Offices in the church; church polity

•   Role of the women’s ministry leader

•   Positions in the world; secular authority

•   Women leading in worship

•   Disintegration of family impacting women in the church

•   Mutual respect between women and men

•   OT heroines who had offices and authority

•   Abigail who discipled a king

•   Cross-cultural assessment of our church culture

•   Generational concerns

•   Social trends and women’s role

•   Cultural values and women’s role

•   How we often reflect what’s going on in society in the church

•   Church in the Bible is often counter-cultural. How does this play in the counter-cultural trends in the Bible regarding treatment of women? 

The various passages that need to be studied:

•   Luke 8

•   1 Corinthians 11

•   Priscilla & Aquila

•   Acts 21:9, Philip’s 4 daughters

•   Acts 16, Lydia

•   Samaritan woman, John 4

•   Mary Magdalene

•   Marys of the resurrection

•   Mary of Bethany, Luke 10

•   Poor widow and her two mites

•   Anna prophetess

•   Mary the mother of God

•   Matt 12:49, disciples including women

•   Romans 16, 40% of Paul’s greetings in a male-dominated society are to women

•   1 Corinthians 9

•   Rhoda

•   Euodia & Syntyche

•   1 Thessalonians 2

•   Proverbs 8

•   Revelation 12

•   Covenant of circumcision was for men only, but baptism was for men and women.

What are the big questions in the ICOC fellowship that we need to answer?

•   Can a woman be an elder?

•   Can a woman be an evangelist?

•   Can a woman speak in church in a mixed company in a mixed audience?

•   Can a woman pray in the assembly?

Assignment of passages to be studies to various people:

•   1 Cor 11 – Andy Fleming

•   1 Tim 2  – Kay McKean, Gordon Ferguson, Courtney Bailey

•   1 Cor 14 – Courtney Bailey, SteveKinnard

•   Titus 2 – Suzette Lewis

•   Write two-page papers on these scriptures

Wednesday March 23, 2016


•   At the Southwest Ministry retreat the leaders decided to begin a MTA program for the Southwest family of churches.

•   Gabe Santos who was the Dean of Sociology at Lynchburg College is leaving to be on the full time staff in Richmond, VA.


•   Teachers’ Blog on Disciples Today

◦                   Roger Lamb has invited us to set up a teachers’ blog on Disciples Today. This would be a centralized teachers’ blog that all teachers can contribute to.

◦                   Director/Editor: Tammy Fleming

◦                   Vetting – Joey Harris, Steve Kinnard, Andy Fleming

◦                   Everyone on the teachers team should send 2-3 articles.

•   Teacher Development:

◦                   We need a catalogue of teachers. This catalogue would be a roster of teachers’ locations and their specialty. We should track people who want to be recognized as teachers.

◦                   Andy Fleming volunteered to help with this.

◦                   Everyone should send Andy the names, locations, and the speciality of teachers in your church family.

◦                   Let’s find out where we have Schools of Ministry/Missions, MTAs, who’s the director, and what work is being done in those MTAs.

◦                   Teachers need to be recognized by their local ministry.  This was discussed in teachers’ paper. Congregations recognize teachers in different ways and that’s fine. We want the local ministry to recognize the person.

•   Teachers Working with Local Ministries:

◦                   How can we as teachers help with local churches to accomplishing their mission? What are ways we are trying to influence people. How can we help people grow and mature?

◦                   How can we help grow leaders and mature members?

▪                                     Dave Pocta answered, we can begin with our children. How do we build faith in our teens? We use character studies, but is that best? The problem with some of our kids is that they grow up in the church, and they already have an inbred performance theology. When we do character studies, they have this idea that I have to become perfect or good enough before I am allowed to do the real studies. This creates a huge gap. Unfortunately, in our local ministries our youngest, least experienced interns are often feeding content to our teens. We need to write new material that is more God-oriented.

▪                                     Ed Anton mentioned, in our local ministries we need to develop a hermeneutic of grace to make sure we don’t create these performance hurdles.We need to create church growth resources. The ACR has the Body Builders, Meat Eaters, and Cross Bearers classes on their Commonwealth Academy. We should collect personal ministry victories of teachers and post on the blog, Teachicoc.org website. Share on the blog something that is going on in your church where teachers are being used to grow the church. 

Back Row, L-R: Valdur Koha, Joey Harris, Courtney Bailey, Rolan Monje, Steve Staten, Steve Brown, Douglas Jacoby, Andy Fleming, Glen Giles, Ed Anton (chair), Dave Pocta, Steve Kinnard; Front Row, L-R: Kay McKean, Suzette Lewis, Tammy Fleming, Debra Anton. 

Back Row, L-R: Valdur Koha, Joey Harris, Courtney Bailey, Rolan Monje, Steve Staten, Steve Brown, Douglas Jacoby, Andy Fleming, Glen Giles, Ed Anton (chair), Dave Pocta, Steve Kinnard; Front Row, L-R: Kay McKean, Suzette Lewis, Tammy Fleming, Debra Anton. 

July 2016 Meeting in St. Louis

We invited several young prospective teachers to be a part of the meeting in St. Louis. The Teachers Service Team wanted to get the perspective of Millennials.

•   Daniel Burke – Charleston, SC

•   TJ Parisi – New York

•   Bobby Ritter – St. Louis

•   Matt Fisk – Virginia Beach

•   Katie Fisk – Virginia Beach

•   Talia Laing – Raleigh, NC

The Teachers Service Team, an explanation

We want to train more teachers. We want to be a service team that not only looks at difficult passages but also meets needs in the ministry. We want to teach our teachers how to develop more teachers. We want to build relationships globally with the teaching ministry and share resources with one another. We want to establish Ministry Training Academies in every region of our movement. We want to help those who have the gift of teaching to use it in a great way for God

James 3:1 reads, “Not many of you should be teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” We recognize that the teaching ministry is not for everyone. Teaching is a gift. Jesus was a rabbi, Paul spoke of himself as a teacher. The teaching role is a great role in the church, but it’s not not for everyone. There is a stricter, greater judgment. Criticism comes your way. James gives a stern warning to be careful when you teach. Speech has the ability to bless and the potential to encourage and build up. There is also the potential for false teaching.

In our context today with social media, what you say is out there forever and judgment goes on and on.

Teachers have influence in our churches. Our own Douglas J probably has traveled to more churches in our movement of churches than anyone else. And he has traveled as a teacher. Teaching opens door for us to share with people. There is a respect that is given to teachers, therefore, we have a great responsibility.

We want to create an atmosphere of admiration for one another in the teaching ministry and encourage one another to use our gifts to the utmost for God. There is no competition within this service team. We want the best for each other.

We encourage you to think about what you can do as a teacher. What you can teach? Then, get about doing that. Write a blog, teach a small group, develop a course for the church.

Some good news

•   Dave Pocta – the MTAs in Africa are on a six-year cycle. They conduct two programs per year, and are just coming into their first graduates. They are working on a college credit accreditation program in South Africa. Many of the church leaders have to have some kind of formal training in Africa, so these courses help to meet that requirement.

•   Ed  Anton – we’ve put our 70th person into the full time ministry out of Commonwealth Academy. Many of them are middle-aged secular folks who decided to re-evaluate their lives and serve in a full time way.

•   Joey Harris – The North River church started the Atlanta School of Ministry in conjunction with AIM. Many young leaders in their 20s are attending. Columbia South Carolina started a Columbia School of Ministry. They’ve had 3 sessions for their staff. They are inviting teachers from other parts of the Southeast to attend.

•   Steve K – in NY we have a ministry training program for college students. It’s a three-year program. The students do two courses at the Hope camp with students from the ACR. Teachers are Ed Anton, Dr. Deb Anton, Dr. Steve Kinnard, Dr. Gabe Santos ,Brett Miller, and others. If a student joins the program at beginning of their sophomore year, they can graduate the MTA the same time as they graduate college.

•   Joey Harris reported for Courtney Bailey — the Damien Jean Baptiste Caribbean School of Ministry is now in the second year of classes. They have two campuses, the Eastern and the Western Caribbean. The entire ministry staff, plus many members, elders, and deacons are involved. The classes are held in Trinidad and Jamaica. Courtney is a full time lawyer with young children, and he helps out with church. Then, he directs the school of ministry, and if that’s not enough, he’s a PhD student in biblical studies.

Discussion on Women Using their Gifts for God

We want to continue to explore the most effective ways women can use their gifts in the church. Also, how can we as a TST help to facilitate women using their gifts? We want to promote Biblical literacy for women and help women continue to increase their love for the Bible. We know that women need to have their voices heard. We all agree that men and women are equal in God’s sight. However their roles are not interchangeable. The boundaries set by God are intended to enhance us.

The goal is to decide what we agree upon and what we will practice across all our churches.

Monday, July 4 2017 – Day 2 Teachers Service Team

We discussed possible topics to be studied in the future:

•   Teachers Directory which focuses on people who are teachers, up and coming teachers, programs in existence, and developing online resources for people to use.

•   How to reach the younger generation.

•   The tithe, offering, and stewardship. Ed and Andy are interested in this.

•   Our church as a movement. An Evaluation. Steve Staten – renaissance thinking and things we need to look at within our movement of churches, different topics that need to be addressed.

•   Imputed or imparted righteousness – Ed is interested in this.

•   How to reach people who are miles away from any church.

•   How to discuss political matters spiritually.

•   Homosexuality. Expanding Guy Hammond’s work for campuses and teens.


•   Marriage Divorce Remarriage Paper (MDR) presented by Valdur Koha

 We’ve been looking at the following categories in this paper:

1     What does the Bible teach/not teach, and where are we not sure of what the Bible is teaching? We should be unified as much as possible on this and have a shared hermeneutic.

2     Counseling: what advice do we give? In specific situations, there is room for differences. It is impossible to say that everybody gets the same counseling. The paper ought to help guide the counseling sessions.

3     Where do we exert church discipline? Ideally we are united on this.

4    Church discipline should hold from church to church.

•   Church Discipline paper presented by Steve Staten

◦                   Since 2003 there have been some prominent church discipline malfunctions throughout our churches. There are some recurring dynamics. Most of the problems have occurred because of carelessness. We need to realize that one bad misfire can effect a whole colony of churches and now the whole world. We are creating templates of how to handle these situations. Many people who mishandled things have commented, “I wish I had had these templates before.”

◦                   The idea of “tell it to the church” should be based on proximity and influence, namely, the person’s sphere of influence. We don’t want to bring members’ sins before our visitors. And, we don’t need to discipline our former members. If they have left our fellowship, they are no longer members. We are working on a road map for helping people to come back from being disfellowshipped.

•   Three other important notes:

◦           Gordon Ferguson resigned from being an active member of the service team. He will be a team member emeritus.

◦            Steve Kinnard stepped down from chairing the group. His term was up.

◦            Ed Anton will be the new chair.

•   Personal note from Dr. Kinnard:

I want to express my respect for all of you who serve and have served on the Teachers Service Team. It’s been a joy to chair this team for the past several years. You guys are easy to work with. We laugh, have fun, and get work done.

Some of you pay your own way to get to our meetings. You take time away from your secular jobs to be on the team. All of you volunteer your time to work on the team. You use your gifts of scholarship and teaching to benefit our churches. You spend time writing and rewriting papers, and your name doesn’t appear on the final copy. Your sacrifice often goes unnoticed by our larger fellowship, but I’ve noticed and greatly appreciate the work you are doing. More importantly, God has noticed.

I believe we’ve done good work in the years that I’ve been with you. And, I believe that we will continue to do good in the years to come.

Much love,


Teachers Service Team Subcommittees

•   Teacher Development. Valdur Koha, chair

◦                   Steve Kinnard, Joey Harris, Rolan Monje

•   Congregational Teaching. Ed Anton, chair

◦                   Fred Faller, Douglas Jacoby, Joey Harris

•   Technology. Arturo Elizarraras, chair

◦                   Joey Harris

•   Accreditation/RMSMT: Glenn Giles, chair

◦                   Steve Kinnard

•   Disputable Matters and Hermeneutics: Steve Staten, chair

◦                   Douglas Jacoby, Joey Harris, Kay McKean, Steve Kinnard

•   Women’s Teaching Ministry. Kay McKean, Deb Anton, co-chair

◦                   Suzette Lewis

•   International Teachers Seminar: Douglas Jacoby, chair

◦                   Steve Kinnard

•   Divorce and Remarriage, a re-examination. Valdur Koha, chair

◦                   Steve Kinnard, Suzette Lewis, Courtney Bailey, Joey Harris

•   Church Discipline: Steve Staten, chair

◦                   Deb Anton, Glenn Giles

•   Women’s Role

◦                   Deb Anton, Suzette Lewis, Kay McKean, Steve Kinnard, Courtney Bailey, Joey Harris

•   Teacher’s Corner

◦                   Tammy Fleming

Members of the Teachers Service Team:

Ed Anton, chair, Virginia Beach

Dr. Deb Anton, Virginia Beach

Kay McKean, Northern Virginia

Steve Brown, Buenos Aries

Steve Staten, Chicago

Dr. Douglas Jacoby, Atlanta

Joey Harris, Augusta

Andy Fleming, Kiev 

Tammy Fleming, Kiev 

Dr. Glenn Giles, Denver

Fred Faller, Boston

Valdur Koha, Boston

Courtney Bailey, Kingston

Arturo Elizarraras, Mexico City

Suzette Lewis, Toronto

Dr. Rolan Monje, Manila

Dave Pocta, San Antonio

Dr. Steve Kinnard, New York