Church Leadership Institute (CLI)

A ministry of ABC-IN/KY in cooperation with ABC-Greater Indianapolis for growing, equipping & enriching Christians for ministry in their home churches, communities and associations.

Would you like to go deeper and mature in your faith journey?  Would you like to grow in your knowledge and skills for leadership and investing into others?  Do you desire further education for leadership in the church, but seminary is not possible?  Then, Church Leadership Institute was designed for YOU!

CLI is an ABC Region Ministry growing, equipping & enriching Christians for ministry to their home churches, communities and associations.  It is for Christians wanting to deepen their discipleship journey, develop their gifts and skills, and/or invest their lives to serving Christ, the church, and the world.

MISSION                                                                                                                                                                 The Church Leadership Institute shall assist the churches of the American Baptist Churches of Indiana-Kentucky & Greater Indianapolis and to identify, educate, and encourage lay persons as they respond to God’s call into new areas of church leadership.



  • Enrichment Participation for class credit for class topics of interest
  • Continuing Education for class credit (Continuing Education Units available upon request)
  • Program Participation for credit towards the program of your choice
  • Auditing a class and forfeiting your eligibility to earn class credit
  • Spouses of a registered student may join classes free of charge, if space is available
  • Any of the above with the option to participate electronically via Zoom Live Video Streaming

You are welcome to select & enroll in “classes of interest” which we call our personal enrichment course of study, but in order to be awarded the credentials for the Certificate of Christian Leadership and Diploma of Pastoral Studies you must meet those program guidelines.

The Certificate of Christian Leadership program includes eight (8) introduction level class topics that introduce you to the core subjects that you might find in many seminary curricula.  In addition, you will receive practical instruction in leadership and teaching skills. It is highly recommended (but not required) that each certificate student work with a mentor such as a pastor or respected layperson.

You would also include classes that introduce you to some of the practical areas of pastoral ministry, if you sense God’s call to any or all of the following:

• serve in a leadership position in your church–Officer, Deacon or Leadership Board, Bible Study Leader, Sunday School Teacher, Ministry Leader, Youth Ministry Volunteer, etc

• support your pastor in ministry

• supply for your pastor in the pulpit

• serve as a bi-vocational pastor

• seek “local church ordination” or “ordination by association standards”

A majority of our lay leaders participating in CLI enroll in these six (6) class topics as well, because they are practical growing opportunities for every Christian leader and not limited for those interested or serving in pastoral leadership.  When completing both the Certificate of Christian Leadership and the ministry class topics, students earn CLI’s Diploma of Pastoral Studies.

You must complete your course work within five (5) years to earn your credentials in either program.

You can enroll in CLI anytime!

CLI Brochure-In Color to print, use legal paper 8 1/2 x 14)

CLI Brochure-In grayscale (to print, use legal paper 8 1/2 x 14)

For more information please contact Jennifer Greene at or 317-635-3552, ext. 221