The pioneering of free online learning for Christian ministry

(Photo: Getty/iStock)

Rev Henry Reyenga, a trailblazing advocate for online learning for ministry preparation, recently delivered an inspiring faith message in Watford, north of London, as part of a series of motivational speaking engagements held during the autumn.

The vision he brings with him is “to ignite the passion and purpose of the next generation of kingdom builders in the United Kingdom by equipping all who seek it with accessible education” provided free by the Christian Leaders Institute (CLI).

In early November, Reyenga, along with Pamela, his beloved wife of nearly 40 years, addressed a gathering of enthusiastic Bible study students in Watford. They shared a series of key insights into the pivotal role of free education in shaping a new generation of Christian leaders. This visit, following a short stopover in Italy with speaking engagements in Rome, was dedicated to fostering opportunities for aspiring ministry leaders here in the UK.

Participation is particularly welcomed from deprived communities or backgrounds that might have previously excluded individuals from access to formal education. This is grounded in the belief that enthusiastic and dedicated workers are often found within communities where the poor, disadvantaged, and forgotten have been sidelined by secular society. Christian Leaders Institute believes “no background, age, race, or gender should be excluded from the call to servant leadership.”

Based near Spring Lake in Michigan, USA, both Rev Henry Reyenga and his wife Pamela are American citizens with Dutch roots, infusing their unwavering dedication to education with a distinctive cultural blend. In 2001, the tech-savvy reverend founded CLI, an institution that operates on a “freemium model” of ministry training. This innovative approach breaks down financial barriers, providing access to over 180 credits of religious training.

Under Reyenga’s leadership, CLI fast became a pioneer of digital online learning, using platforms such as Moodle and WordPress to provide a robust education experience. The institute’s commitment to accessible education is underscored by Reyenga’s words, “I love to help mobilise strong and bold Christian leaders to reach more people for Christ. I have a heart for every called Christian leader, including the unlikely ones who would ordinarily never get ministry training but still need it and want it.”

Reyenga, who himself struggles with dyslexia, is especially keen to help others who may have struggled or are struggling with their learning and education potential. He emphasises the institute’s commitment to quality education through quality teaching. He states, “These courses are taught by accredited professors with expertise in their study area.” The correspondence courses allow students to study at their own pace, reflecting Reyenga’s belief in the importance of mentorship for those new to their calling.

The CLI curriculum spans various facets of Christian education, offering over 150 courses, from Theology and Old Testament Survey to Life Coaching Ministry, Enterprise and Business, Prayer, Youth Ministry, Discipleship, General Education, and Philosophy. CLI envisions a well-rounded education accessible to all, regardless of their calling.

For those contemplating CLI, Reyenga outlines diverse options tailored to individual paths, ranging from Christian growth for spiritual development to obtaining college credentials and local clergy ordination with global recognition. The institute also accommodates individuals already in ministry, providing training and credentials for various roles. Within African nations, this access to a valuable free education together with Christian studies has been particularly welcomed.

Christian Leaders Alliance (CLA), CLI’s sister organisation, introduced a programme of minister ordination in 2014. Reyenga details the process, requiring training at CLI and three local endorsements. This distinctive system ordains both men and women to the office of deacon minister.

Reyenga’s extensive experience, including planting churches and working with the Bible League, informs CLI’s approach to accessible education. His journey, marked by speaking engagements at various conferences worldwide, underscores CLI’s commitment to making quality education accessible for all aspiring Christian leaders.

Christian Leaders Institute, boasting over 175,000 students enrolled since its inception, stands as a testament to Reyenga’s vision for widespread access to ministry education.

In their farewell comments before leaving the UK, Henry Reyenga and his wife Pamela stated that, “We loved meeting you and are excited about what God is doing in your country,” encapsulating the spirit of inspiration and hope that CLI strives to instil in its students.

As a pioneer of digital learning for Bible studies and ministry preparation, Reyenga’s early vision for an empowered and educated generation of Christian leaders continues to unfold, not just in areas in the UK but across the entire world.

Find out more about free CLI courses here:

Leave a Comment