Twelve-week course seeks to equip and deploy students for mission-minded discipleship.
Published on: 02-02-2024
A new program equipping, empowering, and deploying participants for mission-minded discipleship is now offering places for 2024 after graduating its first cohort in late 2023.
Catalyst is an initiative of the South Pacific Division (SPD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in partnership with Avondale University. Promoted as a discipleship adventure, the 12-week, non-accredited course is for those who have “a burning desire for their lives to matter for God, regardless of age and circumstance, but need the knowledge and skills to become disciple-makers,” Gilbert Cangy, director of SPD’s Institute of Discipleship, said.
Seven participants completed the inaugural course in November 2023. They have now returned to their local churches where, according to Cangy, they will work in their relational streams and Indigenous cultures and contexts for the long term with no short-term end date and at no ongoing cost. “The graduates felt invigorated in their spiritual walk,” he said.
Equipped to serve in a diversity of leadership positions, including as elders, small group leaders or home-based church planters, graduates of the course will work with their pastor, local church, and conference to help grow the church, SPD president Glenn Townend said.
Catalyst “lays a knowledge foundation that gives participants a Christ-centered confidence in the Adventist Church and in their beliefs,” Cangy said. “They learn the disciple-making principles exemplified by Jesus. They gain an understanding and appreciation of His ministry strategy and the phases in the disciple-making journey. And they are introduced to guideposts and key tools for prophetic understanding of Daniel and Revelation.”
More importantly, Cangy added, participants “experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit as they put discipleship principles into practice, as they study God’s Word, and as they learn to pray for and recognize people of peace, sow gospel seeds, and make a gospel presentation.”
The participants say Catalyst has helped clarify life purpose and direction. Six of the seven, for example, are interested in continuing their study at Avondale — in teaching, ministry, business, outdoor leadership, and individual support.
According to the program’s official brochure, Catalyst is suited for those who are completing their secondary education and seeking to get clarity about what a life of significance for God looks like. The program is designed to equip, empower, and deploy radical disciple-makers. The brochure also states that Catalyst is grounded in the teachings of Jesus on Kingdom, Spirit, Community, and Mission, and is embedded within the unique calling of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.