Since even before the closing of Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) at the end of 2019, many have been working to ensure Christian education and resources would continue to be available to people of the Greater Cincinnati area.
Key to that effort was continuing three important features of CCU: the Russell School of Ministry, the Center for Church Leadership (since renamed the Christian Church Leadership Network), and the George Mark Elliott Library.
Central Christian College of the Bible (CCCB), Moberly, Mo., stepped forward to lead these efforts. One of the first steps was creation of the Christian Church Leadership Foundation (CCLF) to steward those three CCU legacy ministries. David Fincher serves as president of both CCCB and CCLF. A key milestone during 2020 was opening the Christian Church Leadership Center in Northern Kentucky.
The CCL Center, located at 8095 Connector Drive in Florence, Ky.—just south of Cincinnati—is a 14,500-square-foot facility that now houses the three key ministries and serves as hub of ministry education and church support in the region. Classes began there in the fall.
Much has been accomplished during the past year. CCLF provided this listing of achievements during 2020:
• The Christian Church Leadership Foundation was legally registered in Ohio and Kentucky by Central Christian College of the Bible to continue ministry education in the Greater Cincinnati area through the Christian Church Leadership Network, the Elliott Library, and the Russell School of Ministry.
• Russell School of Ministry (RSM) was established in Northern Kentucky as a full-scholarship, zero-cost Christian higher education program for almost 20 new students who are now able to train for ministry. In addition to Bible, theology, and practical ministry courses taught through RSM, each student engages in a rigorous program of discipleship and spends 15-20 hours weekly in supervised ministry training in a local church. The RSM ministry certificate is a two-year program (three terms per year), and each new term brings in a new cohort of ministry students.
• CCCB was approved by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) and the state of Kentucky to run an accredited ministry education extension site, starting in 2021. To complement courses taught through RSM, students can complete accredited degree programs through both Central Christian College of the Bible and Hope International University (Fullerton, Calif.). In addition, CCCB will bring its Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership degree program to the center this coming spring.
• The CCL Center—housing RSM, the CCL Network, and the Elliott Library—provides a gathering place for Bible students and researchers and offers space for group gatherings and seminars.
• Arrangements have been made to acquire, preserve, and relocate library materials to Northern Kentucky and to make these important resources available. Rooms have been set aside at the CCL Center to house specific collections from the former CCU library: (1) the Bible and Theology collection, (2) the Practical Ministries collection, and (3) the Church History collection. A Rare Books and Artifacts room will house and protect rare books pertinent to Restoration Movement history, as well as archaeological artifacts and other historical items.
• The CCL Network launched “The Church Working Right” in cities around the country. This teaching, coaching, and mentoring ministry helps churches discover five key shifts designed to reposition the local church for maximum health and growth.
• CCLF’s list of ministry partners has grown exponentially; nearly 70 churches and more than 200 individuals have given financially to support the work.
For more information or to become a partner in this work, go to www.ccleadership.org.