The Emerging Leader Network was launched with a very intentional vision: to empower, train and release an emerging generation of young leaders. A commitment to the next generation runs through The Foursquare Church, from the national to the local level. Across the country, pastors and leaders have enthusiastically captured the vision of ELN, and have developed dynamic schools of ministry set within local church communities. These ELN programs have become catalytic environments in which hundreds of young men and women are being encouraged and equipped to step out in their giftings and abilities.
We invite you to learn more about the Emerging Leader Network, our affiliated schools of ministry, and how engaging in the process of immersion discipleship might fit into your student’s future. Please explore the website and contact the ELN office or a specific school of ministry with any of your questions.
What about College?
For many parents it’s almost unthinkable that their kids might do something other than college immediately after high school — including spending a year in an ELN school of ministry! This sentiment is understandable. Our culture has placed such a high value on college education that it is viewed by many as a primary pathway to personal success.
With that reality serving as a backdrop to how we view our kids moving forward in life, where does ELN fit? Or does it? Following are a number of “talking points” related to ELN that might help you consider your child’s developmental pathway.
1. ELN is a starting point, not an ending point
Rather than being the “terminal” point of education, ELN provides a healthy environment for young leaders to prepare for all that will come next. While in an ELN school of ministry, students develop the kinds of things that will serve them well in their futures:
- Head – knowledge and wisdom shaped by God’s Word
- Hands – skills and abilities to serve and lead
- Heart – character development and personal maturity
Experiencing this level of personal and spiritual formation is critical for young adults. Research has shown (http://bit NULL.ly/rbC5Sj) that over 60% of college-age students disengage from their spiritual roots. An ELN experience is not the only means for students to keep their faith alive — but it is a strong way, and will help them prepare for college and an increasingly challenging cultural landscape.
2. Many students could benefit from a gap between high school and college
The concept of a “gap year (http://ti NULL.me/nfddZq)” has been popular around the world, and is now gaining traction in the US. A gap year is an intentional season between high school and college for students to experience the kinds of things that aren’t traditionally found in the classroom: travel, service projects, leadership opportunities, the development of meaningful and diverse relationships, etc. These kinds of experiences, which happen to be at the core of ELN, help students to grow into more well-rounded, globally minded leaders.
These kinds of experiences also help students to focus their future educational plans. This is important in an era when many students tend to meander through college, compiling huge amounts of debt (http://fxn NULL.ws/mP9TWK) as they switch their educational goals over and over again, trying to figure out where they’re headed. For some, ELN can provide that extra perspective that will help them to walk more confidently into their futures.
3. ELN can provide a jump start to college
A number of our ELN schools of ministry utilize curriculum that has direct transferability to various colleges. By using our Program Finder you can identify which ELN programs offer transferable credit, allowing students to build their college transcripts while in ELN.
And all ELN students and graduates are eligible for scholarships offered by Life Pacific College and New Hope Christian College. Click here to learn more about these generous offerings that can be accessed even after students have completed their ELN experiences. These scholarships can save students THOUSANDS of college tuition dollars.
4. Bottom line
Every student is unique, and some are completely ready to step straight into college or the work-force after high school, as they’ve already demonstrated a high level of character, calling, and commitment to Jesus. For many others, however, taking a year prior to (or in the midst of) college to have an ELN experience can be transformational, helping them expand their potential for success — not just academically, but in every critical area of life.
If you have any general questions about ELN, please use our Contact Page to send us a note. And for any specific questions regarding a particular ELN school of ministry, please connect with them directly. You can find their contact information by clicking the links on our Programs Page.
One Parent’s Story
“Our daughter, Kaylee, was ready to graduate high school and was set to go to a local college when a team from an ELN program came to our church to do work and ministry. She was challenged by the students and challenged by the Lord to take a step of faith and consider taking a year off to engage in the school of ministry dynamic. This was a big step as it meant being several states away from family and friends and it involved raising the money to pay for the program and her expenses for a year. As I reflect back on her experience, it was a tremendous growth time for her and it allowed her to sprout her wings and be involved in something amazing and life changing. She learned independence, she learned how to walk more closely with Jesus, she learned how to hear His voice more clearly, she learned how to get along with other people not like herself, she learned how to deal with loneliness and frustration and she gained life-long friends through the process. It was so impacting that she decided to put off college for another year and return for a second year in the ELN program. Now, she has graduated from college with her teaching credentials and is ready to become an elementary school teacher.” Rita Wolf, Simi Valley, California
One Pastor’s Story
Watch the video below to hear Sr. Pastor, David Eddy, talk about the fruit he’s seen in the lives of students he’s sent to different ELN programs over the past number of years.