The praying, dreaming, and planning for the development of a fully-accredited, online program to train individuals for a life of ministry to children began in 2001 when Jason Rhode felt a burden to find a way to take cutting-edge children’s ministry training to individuals serving children who don’t have access to a Bible college or seminary education. As a children’s pastor and online learning expert, he continually made every effort in his local church to fulfill the commission found in Ephesians 4:12 to, “prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” (NIV) Yet, he realized that many churches across the U.S. and around the world have no children’s pastor to “prepare the saints” to reach children. Somehow, there needed to be a way to provide any individual with a heart to reach kids for Jesus Christ with the theological and children’s ministry pragmatics training to help them succeed in their desire to see children accept Christ as savior and grow in their knowledge of Him. For those children’s ministry workers who felt a call to children’s ministry, there needed to be a way in which they could receive the ministry training that they need without having to travel to a seminary or Bible college to take on-campus courses. While several correspondence courses existed which provided general ministry training, there was no truly online training program to provide contemporary children’s minsitry training in an engaging and interative way.
In discussions with his close friend and children’s ministries specialist, Dick Gruber, Jason & Dick began to dream together of the potential for utilizing online learning technology as a means to take children’s ministry training. They presented this vision to Valley Forge Christian College administration in early 2004 and the college made the decision to partner with Jason & Dick with their endeavor to develop a fully-accredited, 30-credit certificate program in children’s ministries which could be completed completely online. Select courses from VFCC’s B.A. degree in Children’s Ministries would be offered in an online. Thus, Children’s Ministries University Online was born!
On-campus meetings were held in September, 2004 where college administration and faculty met to discuss specifics of course offerings and development time table. A plan was set in place to move forward with the development of CMUO, with an intial course launch date of September, 2005.
Individuals began applying to CMUO in August, 2005 with the first three courses (Children’s Ministries, Pastoring Children, Technology in Children’s Ministry) launched in September, 2005.
To date, the first 15 online courses have been released with additional courses under development.
To remain up-to-date with the program development efforts of CMUO and receive monthly email updates, join the CMUO email list.