Photo left to right: Dr. James Hudnut-Beumler, dean of Vanderbilt Divinity School; M. Douglas Meeks, director of the Turner Center, Cal Turner Jr., and J. Thomas Laney, associate director of Turner programs.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. –– The Nashville-based Turner Center for Church Leadership and Congregational Development will help certify future men’s ministry specialists for the General Commission on United Methodist Men.
In cooperation with Vanderbilt Divinity School and the Nashville Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church, the Turner Center serves the development of clergy and lay leadership in the regional church.
“These difficult times in the church are compounded by disruptions in the civil society, the economy, and the culture,” said Dr. M. Douglas Meeks, director of the center. “The current generation of leadership in the church is often not prepared to deal with these changes or to lead the congregation in new ways of being the faithful church of Jesus Christ.”
“The center’s goal of bringing the best possible resources of academy and church to the task of creating new leadership in the church fits well with the commission’s goal to develop leaders of men who will ‘help men grow in Christ so others can know Christ,’” said Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the men’s commission.
“The Turner Center will give us some new eyes to look over our certification requirements and evaluate the overall program,” said Hanke. “Included in this partnership will be a men’s ministry event, staffed by the commission for the churches in Tennessee and Memphis annual conferences. In addition there will be some sharing of online courses and other materials to promote dynamic men’s ministry and leadership development at the local church level.”
"This is a welcomed opportunity for us at the Turner Center to affirm and participate in the good work being done through our UM Men to develop faithful and effective lay leaders in our churches,” said Dr. J. Thomas Laney, associate director of Turner programs. “We look forward to working with Gil Hanke and his leadership team to equip these men's ministry specialists for their important ministries.”
Begun four years ago, a total of 18 men have completed the requirements and been certified as men’s ministry specialists; 28 are now engaged in the certification process.