If you have been a part of West London Alliance Church the past 5 years or so, you will be aware of our 10 Year Plan and have heard me speak of it in various ways and at various times. for example, our Jacqueline Street church plant, launching on Easter Sunday, is an integral part of that plan. The 10 year plan is most easily conisidered under three headings: Mission, Health, and Leadership. Under those 3 headings there are 10 initiatives which we believe are required as we pursue being a faithful church.
The exciting initiative that the title of this blog points to falls under the heading of Leadership. The three initiatives in the category of "Leadership" pertain to our development of our elders ministry, our deacon ministry, and our pastoral apprenticeship. And the exciting initiative that this blog announces will help in all three of those initiatives and many more.
Lord willing, this coming September, West London Alliance Church will be a host for a Learning Community of the Union School of Theology. Union School of Theology is a broadly reformed educational institution in Bryntirion in Bridgend, South Wales. The School is part of the wider Christian ministry of Union which also involves church planting and the production of theological resources. A Learning Community is one way UST aims to serve the church in that they are providing an affordable, flexible, accessible option for theological education for those in a distance education context. Our Learning Community, called Union in Ontario is the first of its kind in Ontario with other Learning Communities being hosted in Alberta, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island.
At a Learning Community, students are embedded in a spiritually formative Learning Community and are supported locally by an experienced Lead Mentor or Mentors. Andrew Hall, lead pastor of Community Bible Church Ilderton, and I will be the mentors for this Learning Community which will be hosted at West London Alliance Church.
Union states, "Learning alongside others is vital to gospel-hearted theological education. Meeting weekly as a community, students not only grow together theologically but also personally and spiritually and so are equipped for all-round gospel ministry ... Our state-of-the-art online platform makes this possible as never before, and with excellent mentors and local tutors provides an enhanced way of learning in the context of the local church."
I will be discussing this initiative at our Annual General Meeting on Sunday, March 6 but if this is of interest to you, you should definitely let us know by contacting the church or Union School of Theology.