Why does my church need elder and deacon training?
“… able to teach …” 2 Timothy 2:24
There is a great need within the Reformed community for church officers who meet the qualifications for elders outlined in Scripture. Most of these qualifications have to do with character and must be evaluated in the context of the local church. One qualification, however, is the ability to teach, and in order to teach in a Reformed church, an elder must be knowledgeable and articulate about the Reformed faith. He must be knowledgeable enough to teach and defend the truths of Scripture as well as recognize false teaching when and if it arises.
Because each individual officer candidate is unique, there is no “one-size-fits-all” program that is suitable for everyone. Different men will have different levels of knowledge on various topics. Some will need further instruction on the content of Scripture. Others will need further instruction in theology or history. Furthermore, each denomination and local church will require specific areas of study not required by others. The leadership of each local church must determine what level of knowledge each of its officer candidates do have and what level they should have.
After a local church identifies an officer candidate with the requisite character and determines what subject(s) and level of study each man needs, Ligonier Academy can then come alongside the church to assist in the training of the candidate. Ligonier Academy offers the Introductory, Intermediate, and Advanced programs a church can use in any combination to assist in the training of its officer candidates.
Ligonier Academy also offers a suggested reading list on a number of subjects important for church officers to know. If a local church determines that an individual candidate needs supplemental study on a particular topic, the books on this list may be of use. This list is provided as a resource for local churches to assist them as they prepare their own officer candidates and to be used in whatever way suits their specific needs.