The Training Center is designed to enable any local church, committed to the authority of the Word of God, to fulfill and put into practice 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.”
The Training Center desires to fulfill 2 Timothy 2:2 by training men as future pastors, elders, missionaries, church planters, and strong lay leaders who will be used of God in local churches for God’s glory. The target is to not make men into something, but to draw out what God has already made them, following the goal of Ephesians 2:10, Acts 13:36, and emphasizing Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
The Training Center began at the birth of The Master’s Seminary. Chris Mueller was asked to teach senior theology, an ordination preparation class that covered the entire Bible, theology and practical theology. To graduate, students were required to pass this class [a class which prepared each student to be ordained].
The basics of this seminary course became the foundation for training men in the local church. The senior theology class has been refined and improved over 30 years and is what makes up the first year of the Training Center.
Though functioning periodically for two decades, in 2002, the Training Center was officially implemented at East Valley Bible Church, Arizona with an inaugural class of 24 students from a variety of ministries within the church and churches in the area. Over the next 5 years, over 120 men completed the first year and over 70 men completed all three years, with most serving in significant ministries now spread across the country.
In 2008, we began the Training Center at Faith Bible Church. Each class has begun with around 30 men and concluded with about 15 men graduating from the 3rd year. By God’s grace, those graduates are now serving at FBC, in other local churches and even overseas, ministering in vital roles as they use their gifts for the health of the Church. It remains the passionate desire of the elders of Faith Bible Church to use the Training Center [along with The Master’s Seminary] to train men of God for ministry around the world.
Chris Charles Mueller has served in pastoral ministry since 1975. He served as a youth staff member under Chuck Swindoll at Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton, California. At Grace Community Church in California, he served as a pastor to junior high, college, and as a pastoral assistant to John MacArthur. He has functioned as a senior pastor for eleven years in Washington state and in conjunction with his other ministry involvement, has served as an adjunct professor at Talbot, Master’s, and Phoenix Seminaries over the past 25 years. Chris’s strongest passion is to preach God’s Word, lead Christ’s Church and to train men for ministry and is fulfilling this calling as the teaching pastor of Faith Bible Church and point leader of the Training Center. He and his wife, Jean, have two grown sons, Matthew and Daniel and two amazing daughters-in-law, Danielle and Breanna. They reside in Wildomar, California.
John Pleasnick came to California from Spokane, Washington where he served as college pastor at another Faith Bible Church (unaffiliated). Upon relocating to this area, John served as the equipping pastor at Las Brisas Bible Fellowship in Murrieta. In the Fall of 2003, a team of men (including John) planted Faith Bible Church, and he’s been serving here as a pastor ever since. John is a graduate of The Master’s Seminary and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. John and his wife, Beth, first met in the 90′s in Spokane. Their relationship officially started on the last day of a short-term missions trip to Venezuela, and they have been married since 2001. God has blessed them with three sweet children: Abby, Izzy, and LJ, who bring a lot of laughter to their lives. In contrast to most Californians – they like rainy days more than sunny ones.
Nigel Shailer serves as Associate Pastor at Faith Bible Church in Murrieta, CA. His passion is to train and equip believers to serve in the local church as pastors, elders, missionaries, and in significant lay ministries. He is a discipler of men having been involved in ministry for over 25 years. Previously, Nigel served as Vice-Principal, Academic Dean, and Head of Bible Exposition at The Shepherd’s Bible College (a TMAI training institute) in New Zealand. Nigel earned a Bachelor of Applied Theology from Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand. He graduated in 2000 from The Master’s Seminary in Los Angeles with a Master of Divinity degree. And in 2013, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from The Master’s Seminary. Nigel married Sereena in 1991. They are both “Kiwis” (born and raised in New Zealand). Nigel loves to watch the “All Blacks” playing rugby. He cycles 2-3 times a week.
A three-year program, students meet for a single three-hour classroom gathering per week. Classes are primarily scheduled from 6-9pm so that men can attend after work hours. Homework, study, reading, writing, and class preparation may involve an additional 3 to 20 hours/week depending on class requirements and the student’s abilities.
The weekly three-hour gathering is more than just class time, it is a life-on-life mentoring process involving every student as they share with each other and help shape one other’s lives. The learning process is integrated, harmonizing the teaching topics with the reading topics to formulate discussion over key issues of ministry. The training is church-based, led by a pastor, and uses other pastors to give input at every level of the training process. It is a Hebrew approach [versus a Greek approach] to learning. Those familiar with graduate level courses, where students work outside of class, and form convictions and discussion and presentation inside of class will see similarities in the Training Center.
The Training Center recognizes the value of a seminary education and yet, many men cannot attend seminary. Therefore, the Training Center focuses on equipping the man of God with the various tools he will repeatedly use in everyday ministry. For example, the Training Center begins with exegetical Greek and moves toward a grammatical study of Greek. This enables the student to learn how to determine the author’s intended meaning of any text using the many Greek tools available today.
The Training Center focuses on developing;
Since Jesus said, “… everyone, after Me has been fully trained, will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40b), the Training Center believes that future pastors and elders are best trained by experienced pastors and elders who serve in local churches.
The Training Center of Faith Bible Church is committed to coming alongside churches and provide pastor/elder training to “elder-approved and elder-sent” men. Our desire is not to train men solely for Faith Bible Church, or to function in FBC-like churches alone, but to train men for usefulness in any solid church. We require each man sent from a local church to have an elder or pastor accompany him to his training day at least one time per month. This assures that the training process becomes an extension of each church, assisting each body to fulfill 2 Timothy 2:2.
A man who desires to go through the Training Center process must have:
The Training Center requires a great deal of time spent in class, in study, in special Saturday Training Days [up to 4 times per year] and attending an annual pastor’s conference (up to a week long). It also involves the direct involvement of a pastor or elder from the sending church. Students with demanding jobs or uncertain travel schedules, those who know they will miss more than three class sessions a semester, or those not affirmed by their pastoral leadership need not apply. Leadership teams who are not able to have an elder or pastor attend with their student at least once per month also need not apply.
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