By: Rod Light
One of the greatest gifts we can give to students is the opportunity to apply their learning in real life settings.
The world of a college student is full of new experiences. New people. New challenges. New discoveries. With these new experiences comes new vision about God’s direction for their lives. One of the greatest gifts we can give to students is the opportunity to apply their learning in real life settings, with people and situations that help them develop their relationship with Christ and God’s call on their lives.
Director of Ministry Formation Tom Molloy does everything possible to help students maximize their personal transformation while attending LPC. Students participate in opportunities that integrate practical service with the sound theology, solid academics, and the personal transformation they encounter at LPC.
As students learn to serve Christ in practical ways, they first embrace the discipleship process. Students are encouraged to be disciplers of others as well as to be discipled themselves. Tom says the goal of the Ministry Formation emphasis at LPC is that students be equipped to serve and lead others in The Foursquare Church, the Church in general, and the world.
Through varied Ministry Formation opportunities, LPC students respond to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives by reaching out to others. They participate in community outreach events and personal ministry to neighbors near the college. In addition, students focus on internship, personal spiritual growth, and interaction with influential mentors.
The ministry formation process at LPC involves placement and supervision of students in practical internship situations. Tom says students can intern at churches, districts, the Foursquare national church office, Foursquare Missions International, businesses, counseling centers, and many other types of service organizations.
Intern duties vary widely based on the type of ministry or business, but in every case, students are given structure and supervision to guarantee that they experience meaningful work under the guidance of an experienced mentor.
“We have over 60 approved internship host sites where students may serve—host sites that have been vetted for academic suitability,” Tom says. “They have a stable internship structure, they are committed to meeting with the students weekly to mentor and train, and they involve the students in supervised, significant projects.”
All student interns enroll in a class with Tom to help them focus their learning. During class, students learn from the personal evaluations by their host supervisors, assigned reading, and specific projects while serving as an intern.
They critically reflect upon their internship experience and the cultural factors present at the host site. Tom believes one of the benefits of the experience is that students learn to contextualize the Gospel to different cultures.
Students can participate in vocational mentoring and spiritual development groups as part of the Ministry Formation program. For students who want to pursue Foursquare licensing, LPC offers a licensing class that helps prepare students for the application process.
“We value our students and their commitment to train for ministry here at LPC and so we provide the framework necessary for that growth to occur,”
He coordinates speakers for the Life Pacific College chapel services that take place twice each week on campus. Chapels connect students with leading authors, practitioners, and leaders within Foursquare and the Church at large and some of these speakers have lunch with students where they can experience extended discussion, interacting with our speakers and asking advice for life and ministry.
During the Fall 2014 semester, students were privileged to interact with several chapel speakers including, Rev. Juan Vallejo, newly appointed district supervisor for the Foursquare Hispanic District, Dr. Juan Martinez, vice provost of Fuller Seminary and director of the Center for Study of Hispanic Church and Community, Rev. Kimberly Dirmann, district supervisor for the Southwest District, Dr. Robert Flores, past president of LPC, and Rev. Ted Olbrich, Foursquare missionary to Cambodia.
In addition, one of the highlights for students in the fall semester was having lunch with a panel of three Christian judges.
“Ministry skills and a ministry network don’t happen through osmosis,” Tom concludes. “They require a constant commitment to a personal walk with the Lord, to ministry and community service, to connecting with other ministers and leaders in the field, and to supervision and correction.”
He says it is easy to put such priorities on the backburner because of the busyness of college. The Ministry Formation program at LPC helps ensure that the structures are provided to maintain the necessary ministry development throughout a student’s education.
Rod Light, M.A. is an ordained Foursquare minister, LPC adjunct professor, and Communications Coordinator for Foursquare Missions International.