Academy for Children’s Ministry empowers local church leaders


Laura Sisson, Director of Church Relations, and Jeanne Jackson, Director of Leadership Studies, from Birmingham-Southern College were the faculty for the April 2010 session of the Academy for Children’s Ministry.

The Academy for Ministry with Children is a partnership between the North Alabama Conference and the Alabama-West Florida Conference and offers local church workers paraprofessional certification through a two-year cycle of courses. The courses are developed to affirm and strengthen the passion and love for ministry through a holistic and theological understanding of children and children’s ministry.

During the April 9-10, 2010 session Sisson and Jackson provided a presentation of concepts of effective leadership.

Jeanne Jackson took the lead through a creative outlet of identifying the individual participant’s leadership style through a personality assessment called True Colors.

North Alabama Conference Coordinator of Children’s Ministries Rev. Elizabeth Nall says, “We explored who we are as leaders and how that can benefit us and hinder us as we work with teams and others.”

Laura Sisson then focuses on how to discern and recruit leaders and help church volunteers bring out their leadership skills!

As part of this learning process, Academy members read the book The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner.

Beth Burden, children’s director at Trussville UMC, and a recent graduate of the Academy said, “This is a great class because it was beneficial to help you become more self-aware of who you are as a leader and empower others into leadership. The Academy for Children’s ministry equips you to become an effective Christian Educator by providing foundational classes for growth. I think anyone who works in children’s ministry should take these classes!”

Academy students read books and prepare assignments prior to each weekend course. There are four courses offered each year of a two-year cycle and participants must complete all eight courses for certification. However, individual courses may be taken.

More Academy for Children’s Ministry classes will begin next fall.

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