2019 Summer Institute of Theology (SIT)
August 5 - August 9
Theme: “Church Planting and Revitalization”
The Summer Institute of Theology (SIT) provides an opportunity for continuing education for pastors and lay people. A variety of abbreviated courses and workshops are offered, taught by AFLC Schools faculty members and guest instructors.
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – Session 1 | Small AND Significant (Karl Vaters)
“Small churches make up 80% – 90% of the known churches in the world, but are the subject of probably less than 1% of the books and blogs about how to do church ministry. Small Churches are no better and no worse than churches of any other size. But they have been the most neglected, especially when it comes to pastoral training.” – newsmallchurch.com
In this session Karl will discuss the Biblical definition of success in ministry, principles of effectiveness, vision-casting, church health, and leadership development in the context of a small church.
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Session 2 | Principles of Church Planting and Revitalization (Andy Coyle & Matthew Ballmann)
The ministry landscape in America has shifted drastically over the last 25 years, leaving many congregations struggling to reach their communities. The question burning in every pastor’s heart is this – How do we reach our communities with the precious news of the gospel? And how do we do that without comprising our theology? In this class students will gain a high level view of planting and revitalizing principles as well as an understanding of specific systems to put in place, learn why having a clear congregational identity and purpose is necessary, and explore how to exegete local culture for maximum effectiveness. No matter where you are in your ministry, this class will equip you to theologically and compassionately evaluate your congregation’s culture and convictions and develop ways to strengthen its ministry.
1:15 p.m. -3:00 p.m. – Session 3 | Ecclesiology and the Fundamental Principles of the AFLC (Stephen Mundfrom)
Any effort to plant a church needs a clear, Biblical vision, of the church that will be planted. This course in ecclesiology will answer the question, “What is the church?” Care will be taken to honor our Lutheran and congregational heritage in this endeavor.
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Session 4 | Challenges and Opportunities (Coyle, Jim Johnson, Ballmann, James Molstre)
The final session of each day will feature a different teacher and topic including the call of the church planter, church revitalization, loving your neighbor, and starting a church from scratch.
Featured guest – Karl Vaters is the author of Small Church Essentials and founder of NewSmallChurch.com, a ministry that encourages, connects and equips innovative small church leaders. Karl is also the teaching pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship, a healthy small church in Orange County, California, where he has ministered for over 25 years with his wife, Shelley.
Pastor Andy Coyle serves as pastor of Shiloh Free Lutheran Church, Rapid City, SD, a new church plant in the AFLC. Before coming to plant Shiloh in 2015, he previously served as a full-time missionary in Ukraine from 2011-2015 where he helped start, and teach at a Bible school. Before his time in Ukraine, he served in pastoral ministry from 2008-2011. As well as being an AFLBS graduate, he holds a B.S. in Intercultural Studies from Northwestern University, St. Paul, MN and an M.Div. from the Association Free Lutheran Theological Seminary, Plymouth, MN. Pastor Andy and his wife, Monica, enjoy life with their five children, Moriah, Isaiah, Josiah, Levi and Daniel.
Matthew, his wife Natalie, and their four children live in San Antonio, TX where they are one year into planting a new congregation called Trinity San Antonio. Prior to church planting, Matthew served 5 years in Sioux Falls, SD at Abiding Savior Free Lutheran Church. Matthew has a BSBA in International Business from Thomas Edison State College, a Th.M in Historical Theology and Cross-Cultural Ministry from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a MA in Theology form Concordia University Irvine.
Pastor Mundfrom has taught systematic theology at the Free Lutheran Bible School and Seminary since 2016. He has served AFLC Churches in Sebeka, MN (Bethany), Arlington, SD (Calvary), and Valley City, ND (Grace & Zion). Zion). Pastor Mundfrom and his wife, JoAnne, have four children, the youngest of whom is a junior at AFLBS.
Dr. James Molstre began serving Association Free Lutheran Theological Seminary as Dean in June of 2017. A graduate of AFLTS, he previously pastored churches in Zumbrota, MN, Bethel Park, PA and Newark, IL. Married to Kristin, the Molstres are parents to three grown children and enjoy being grandparents to two.
Pastor James Lyell Johnson is a graduate of both the AFLC Bible School and Seminary. He has served congregations in Fosston, MN and Camarillo, CA. He spent the ten years between those calls as Dean of the Bible School. He recently returned to campus and is serving as AFLC Home Missions Director. Along with his wife Linda, the Johnsons are parents to nine children and are enjoying grandparenthood, as well.
Sunday – Welcome to SIT – Ice cream social (Sponsored and served by AFLC Home Missions)
Tuesday–Twins/Braves game (group tickets available, Home Plate View for $27)
Thursday – SIT Family BBQ followed by testimonies and music