The Commissioned Pastor pathway of CLC exists to come alongside individuals within the local church who are seeking to grow as leaders in their congregation while also being recognized by their denomination as having been properly equipped for their call.



At CLC we focus on raising missional leaders.  What’s the best way to raise the missional impact of churches?   Raise the missional effectiveness and capacities of their leaders.  We work directly with leaders in churches for the purpose of equipping them for missional outreach and church renewal. 



The unique contribution that CLC makes into the church planting movement is a focus on reaching people with the Good News of Jesus Christ through church planting by aligning our training with 5 big cultural and demographic trends facing the Church in the United States and Canada.



CLC Participant Spotlight


“It’s enough foundation, enough knowledge, enough training without sacrificing that ministry is to be done, not just talked about.”

Eric Peterson was in the thick of ministry by the time he entered the Commissioned Pastor program. He’d been a youth pastor at a West Michigan church and had spent several years doing mission work in Swaziland. After returning to the States, he was a pastor of discipleship. He was doing ministry, but not to the fullest extent. His church wanted him to be able to lead people in the sacraments, so he went to the Church Leadership Center (CLC) and they developed an educational and training plan for him. A year and a half later, Eric was fully credentialed.

His class in the sacraments was the most powerful because of its focus on practice: “I’m leading people in communion, in baptizing babies and adults. In a seminary setting, it’s more theoretical. In this, it’s more practical, we deal with it as a practice.” He appreciated the opportunity to sharpen his thinking on the sacraments, even down to “practically working out the theology of passing the elements.”

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A Revitalized Church

This is an unusual place. A Reformed church with a rich RCA history within its white, Dutch heritage, which is now a multi-racial, multi-generational faith community. A church that experienced significant decline over several decades that has now reversed that trajectory and has added 110 new members in the past five years, only ten of whom came to the church by transfer from another church. A church whose worship features a traditional bell choir blended with the more modern sound of guitars and drums. A church established in the mid-1800s whose current pastor was hired, at least in part, because he was a new church planter.

A short time ago, the picture was not so bright.

After giving birth to two new churches in the 1950s, Faith Church of South Holland, Illinois, grew to its attendance peak over 1000 people in the 1970s. But when Pastor Matt Waterstone arrived in 2008, he was welcomed by a church of 170 people. As they assessed their situation, they determined that they had three choices: sell their church building and move to the suburbs, die, or make changes to thrive where they were. They made a conscious decision to pursue the third option, willing to make whatever changes were needed to follow God’s will for them.

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What Church Leaders Have To Say About CLC

As I’ve spent more time in the pastorate, I’ve become more and more convicted of the importance of leadership development within the church, both for current and emerging leaders.  CLC has been a huge help to Community Reformed Church (CRC) and me as we’ve partnered together in training and equipping leaders, especially through the Commissioned Pastor program.

Chip Sauer, Pastor, Community Reformed Church, Charlevoix

The Church Leadership Center has been a great partner in helping achieve our goals of developing commissioned pastors and informational leaders.  I appreciate how they take the time to understand our mission, vision values and Church culture and then build a plan that helps us raise up more leaders to help us establish the kingdom of God in our hearts, church neighborhood, and region.

Rev. Todd VanEk, President, Mission India

CLC has been a tremendous blessing to the ministry of Faith Church.  They get to know our Commissioned Pastor candidates and customize a learning plan for each one based on who they are. CLC serves as an impartial partner to providing the best training and preparation for our candidates. Easy to work with, provide excellent service, and keep us all on track!

Jason DeVries

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