Dear GATEWAY students and facilitators,
We welcome you to GATEWAY Phase I where you will become a learning community, interacting with and helping each other understand and be able to defend the EFCA Statement of Faith. We at GATEWAY are driven by a passion: to help prepare pastors and leaders, men and women, including ethnic, urban and other non-traditional students, take their part in leading the national evangelical church of God now and in the future. We do this through training that is designed for leaders who need theological and pastoral training but lack the time and resources to access traditional seminary education.
GATEWAY Phase I began in 2006 in Spanish to meet the training needs of gifted and called Hispanic pastors, many of whom had congregations but lacked training. GATEWAY quickly added English to help meet the need for English speakers, many of whom were nontraditional students. GATEWAY Phase II began in 2009 (English and Spanish), partnering with The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI) to use their seminary level curriculum to meet the needs of the GATEWAY sites that desired more theological education, especially for the needs of those students who had a desire to be ordained by the EFCA.
GATEWAY does not credential students of Phases I and/or Phase II; it provides the training to help them be prepared for the EFCA credentialing process. All GATEWAY students are held to the same requirements regardless of their plans about credentialing. Students interested in EFCA credentialing should contact the credentialing department of their EFCA district.
One of the most important things we hope to create in this endeavor is learning communities. Leaders should no longer serve alone. Our desire is that this process will not only help you develop tools to build up the church and begin a viral movement of church planting but also develop learning, serving and loving communities.
God bless you and let the community begin.
EFCA GATEWAY Directional Team:
Dr. Alejandro (Alex) Mandes, Director
Rev. Ricardo Palmerín, Assistant GATEWAY Director for Spanish sites
Dr. David Martin, GATEWAY Director for the Eastern District
Kris Driscoll, Missionary and Administration
Julie Mandes, Administrative Assistant
Required Reading Rationale
The assigned reading for GATEWAY Phase I deals with basic theology and writing a licensing paper (whether students are interested in EFCA credentialing or not). We plan to provide a basic overview of theology and enable students to write his or her position on the EFCA Statement of Faith, one document at a time, dealing with one article at a time.
- GATEWAY Phase I uses two required textbooks that are the basic references.
a. Evangelical Convictions, an EFCA publication
b. Bible Doctrine, by Wayne Grudem (condensed from the larger Systematic Theology)
- Students are expected to read all the chapters assigned for each class as well as the assigned Scriptures. The reading is broader than the article of the Statement of Faith that is covered in the class; breadth to the reading has been added purposely.
- The practical application of the reading assignments:
a. Students should read all the assigned chapters, not just scan the page for the answers to the questions in the GATEWAY manual.
b. Facilitators should take time to review the reading material; this is generally accomplished best toward the end of the class to cover areas that may not have been addressed in the student’s papers. Doing this
emphasizes to the student the importance of the assigned reading.
- This provides students who are planning for the credentialing process additional knowledge if they are asked by a licensing council for more information than the narrow scope that is covered in their paper.
Dear students and facilitators, we want to challenge you to do everything with excellence. For many of you this may be your only attempt at formal biblical and theological training. We encourage you to enter into these studies with due diligence for your sake and for the sake of those you will minister to in your sphere of influence.
Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
(1 Timothy 4:14-16)