Pastor and Christian Leadership Resources

GPN Equips Pastors Worldwide with New Online University

  • Published Feb 27, 2004
GPN Equips Pastors Worldwide with New Online University

Pastors all over the world now have the opportunity to learn from top Christian leaders – in their own homes. Global Pastor’s Network (GPN), an international ministry to pastors, has announced a new online university that will equip pastors from America to Zimbabwe with the best teaching from today’s top Christian leaders through the use of the most current technology available.

“This is a global effort and the first time that groups from many different denominations have collaborated to bring the best training possible to pastors in order to build the church worldwide,” said Dr. James O. Davis, president/CEO and co-founder of GPN. Building on a core of 16 classes in four key categories – spiritual formations, biblical knowledge, pastoral skills and pastoral practices – more than 100 courses are being designed and taught by today’s top theologians, evangelists and bible teachers from across the denominational spectrum.

The church worldwide is going to need five million pastors in ten years to shepherd one billion new converts to the faith, according to The Barna Research Group.  Davis said it is unrealistic to believe that the current number of seminaries and bible schools will be able to support such an explosion in church growth.  He said the online university is going to fill a much-needed gap in the training and equipping of pastors.

“Today, 93 percent of the world’s pastors do not have formal training.  GPN is offering the best teaching from the best teachers and anyone can access this resource from anywhere in the world,” said Elmer Towns, cofounder of Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA, and Dean of GPN U. “We believe that not only pastors, but all Christian leaders, and people simply wanting to grow personally, will enjoy this incredible teaching series.”

The curriculum is flexible and courses progress from simple to difficult so students can begin at their desired level of difficulty.  Although each course is 90 minutes long, each is taught in 15 six-minute segments corresponding to international online viewing standards.  Students complete 116 core courses and can choose from an additional 24 electives focusing on marriage, parenting, family, and ministry.  Continuing Education Credits are available.

Students access the training through GPN’s Website, for a nominal fee of $5.95 per month.  However, scholarships are available for those who request it. Moreover, GPN has loaded the curriculum onto the site in such a way that students with limited or the latest bandwidth can access the training at appropriate speeds.

“We didn’t want everything Walter Kaiser knows about the Bible,” said Davis.  “We only wanted his best golden nuggets presented in a 90 minute format.”  Kaiser, who is teaching a course called Bible Survey, is the president of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  “Others, for example, are giving us their best on Bible knowledge, Bible doctrine, spiritual warfare, and the history of Christianity,” Davis continued.

Besides Kaiser, those sharing their knowledge to train others through GPN include Kay Arthur, Precepts Ministries; Robert Reccord, North American Mission Board; Luis Palau, Luis Palau Evangelistic Association; Ron Blake, Nazarene Missions International; Dallas Willard, University Park Campus; Haddon Robinson, Gordon-Conwell University; Mark Bailey, Dallas Theological Seminary; Byron Klaus, Assembly of God Theological Seminary; Gary McIntosh, Talbot School of Theology; Craig Keener, Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary; Joseph Stowell, Moody Bible Institute; Jon Ruthven, Regent University; Roger Stromstad, Oral Roberts University; Jerry Falwell, Liberty University; D. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church; Kenneth Ulmer, Faithful Central Bible Church; Greg Laurie, Harvest Christian Fellowship; Sunday Adelaja, Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations; Robert Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Ministries; and many, many more. 

David noted that it is unusual for such a variety of denominations and ministries to work together on the training project.

“Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and representatives from other denominations and ministries are setting aside differences and laying aside agendas, to come together to train the next generation of Christian leaders,” Davis said. “They’re participating because it’s an extremely big world, but it’s reachable if we serve together.”

GPN officials are hoping churches and donors will help produce the remaining courses.  Church groups can fund an entire course for just $6,000. Davis believes the entire curriculum will be completed by the end of the year; and, he anticipates expanding the curriculum in future years and translating it into 50 major languages.

Co-founded by the late Dr. Bill Bright and current president/CEO Dr. James Davis just two years ago, GPN is positioned to help unite the body of Christ behind a strategy to fulfill the Great Commission - Jesus’ commandment to preach the gospel throughout all the world -- by training five million new leaders and planting five million new churches around the world in the next ten years.

Just last month, GPN brought together some of the biggest names in Christendom to participate in an international conference, screen Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of The Christ and discuss strategies for working together to fulfill the Great Commission.

Visit GPN  here