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Brothers and Sisters at ACAC,

Are you, or someone you know, at a place where you:

  • Need challenged to play more a significant role in church leadership?
  • Would profit from ministry leadership training that is peculiarly Alliance?
  • Need a season of theological and practical preparation to fulfill their calling?

If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, would you please consider reaching out to personally discuss with me the possibility of joining the new Thursday evening cohort of PBI, which will begin meeting via Zoom in early 2021.

You may not be aware that PBI classes have met regularly and in-person in recent years at Allegheny Center Alliance (Pittsburgh) and occasionally in other area Alliance churches as well. However, this year, the covid crisis compelled us to move the PBI learning experience on-line, and that transition met with great success. As a result, moving forward, we plan to retain the benefit of having a local cohort of supportive students and instructors, but move nearly all the classroom instruction online (Zoom).  We also plan to supplement that instruction with bi-annual cohort retreats to help build the relational camaraderie among students and instructors. Bottom line- travelling to ACAC for in-person classes on Thursday evenings is no longer an obstacle.

Recent PBI learning cohorts have included students from many different W Pa. District churches, and we hope to see this trend increase in the new Zoom format. On-line classes will meet on Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 pm throughout the three-year program. (Students can expect to spend about 30 evenings per year in these on-line classrooms.)

By way of background, PBI is a ministerial training program designed by the national office of the Alliance and administered by the Western PA District. In essence, PBI offers students the opportunity to participate in the C&MA’s Ministerial Study Program (MSP), but to do so in a more successful local cohort learning environment.

PBI is an Alliance alternative to a full-time Bible-school or seminary education, and it provides graduates with the theological background they need to pursue ministry credentials in the C&MA. Of course, nearly half of the men and women who go through PBI do so with no intention of becoming pastors, but, rather, only to be better prepared to serve and teach in their local Alliance church.

Obviously, the design of the PBI program is intentionally friendly to working adults and parents who can’t devote years to a full-time education. And the cost is also very affordable- just $500 per year along with a $100 initial one-time application fee. Also, an undergraduate degree, while helpful, is not required to participate.  

Prospective students can visit here to learn more about the PBI program and courses, or to find an application.

Individuals with questions are welcome to contact Deb Wolfe at the Alliance Western PA District office, Pastor Blaine Workman, ([email protected] , 412-321-4333 ext.333), or Pastor Ross Owens ([email protected], 412-321-4333 ext. 336), both at ACAC.