Students learn ministry-building strategies

The Center for Church Advancement (CCA) hosted a Church Planting Simulation to create an experiential learning opportunity for students in the Montview Alumni Ballroom on Sat., Feb. 18.

Students from a variety of majors unified in a common goal for this event. Participants collaborated to develop plans to plant a church in an assigned zip code, including Norfolk, Virginia, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

First, students learned from experienced presenters from the field of church planting. Then, students developed methods of evangelization and discipleship for their specific region, using what they learned.

Photo by Juan Cardenas

Finally, over lunch, teams of six to 10 students synthesized their learning experience by presenting their findings and strategies to a panel of church planters and organizations from across the nation. Panel speakers helped students develop and hone their ideas to brainstorm effective ways of implementation.

Pursuing the mission of partnering with existing local churches in the Great Commission, the CCA focuses on three main areas: church planting, resources and revitalization. The Church Planting Simulation this past weekend was one step toward advancing this goal.

Christopher Dowd, the director of the CCA, said, “The Center for Church Advancement exists to try and help students surrender their vocational calling for the glory of God. All 16,000 residential students who are walking around Liberty’s campus are potential church planting team members.”

Photo by Juan Cardenas

Offering more than weekend simulations, the CCA has recently launched a new minor in church planting, an M.A. in church planting and a D. Min. in church revitalization. These programs are specifically designed for students desiring to grow a deeper knowledge of church planting and develop critical leadership skills to share the gospel in a different geographical setting. Classes are taught by experienced professors within the School of Divinity, who are dedicated to advancing local church ministry and gospel advancement across the nation.

“We believe Champions of Christ should be champions of the church,” Dowd said.

Later this month, the CCA is mobilizing a team of students to come alongside Hyland Heights Baptist Church (HHBC) in Rustburg, Virginia. Students will have the opportunity to serve in HHBC’s food pantry ministry, build friendships with guests and share the gospel.

The CCA is continually looks for opportunities to partner with local churches and labor for Christ in the Great Commission. Other partner organizations include the North American Mission Board, Liberty Church Network and Family Church Network.

To learn more about partnering with the CCA, visit this website or email

Sahid is a news reporter for the Liberty Champion

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