New approach to learning and space creates new opportunities
HORIZON COLLEGE AND Seminary in Saskatoon (www.Horizon.edu) is taking a Canadian approach to ministry training by becoming a hub for multidenominational education. Far from a melting pot, this hub will be a mosaic of ministries with each denomination retaining its own distinctives.
Jeromey Martini, president of Horizon, says the idea was born out of necessity and a desire to break down walls among denominations. "The idea came from the harsh reality that we can’t do this all on our own. We need others in order to be able to do the kind of Kingdom work that we want to do," Martini explains.
The focus of the hub is two-fold. On the educational side Horizon has moved to competency-based theological education, which takes a very practical approach based on collaboration and partnership with denominations and ministry organizations where students might eventually work.
Denominations can tailor-make their own educational stream for students by inputting their specific educational requirements into the program. The new model will also include conferences and speakers from which all the partners can benefit.
Already three denominations have signed on including Mennonite Brethren, Christian and Missionary Alliance and Church of God (Cleveland), in addition to Horizon’s original denomination, The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.
In July 2020 Horizon will move to a brand-new facility adjacent to the largest Mennonite Brethren church in Saskatchewan. "We’re trying to be a centre of resources for churches on the Canadian Prairies, and the new facility will help with that," says Martini.
The four partner denominations will share the new space. "All of these denominations have basically the same goals – church planting, global work, work with youth and young adults, work with Indigenous communities – but independently they all have very limited resources.
"If we can collaboratively get behind each other with the same goals, then everybody benefits and there are more resources left over. So we’re that hub that allows that collaboration to take place so everybody is coming out ahead," says Martini.
Other ministries have also approached Martini about joining the shared platform. "I was ready for some challenges, for some pushback from the town hall meetings that we did, but surprisingly the overwhelming answer has been, ‘It’s about time.’"