The Kern Family Foundation, Inc., in Waukesha, Wisconsin, has awarded a grant of $194,100 to the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Evangel University to promote the integration of faith, work and economics (FWE) into a holistic discipleship model within the Assemblies of God and other Pentecostal and Charismatic communities. It is the third consecutive annual grant from this foundation to promote FWE in strategic ways.
Dr. Charlie Self, AGTS professor of church history and co-lead investigator on this project, explained AGTS' commitment to FWE as being "anchored in our belief that the Holy Spirit has been poured out on 'all flesh,' whether they serve as vocational ministers or as mechanics or doctors. All meaningful and moral activity is in service of the kingdom of God."
Self continued, "The Great Commission compels 'making disciples' who understand that God values their work and participation in the local and global economy as a benefit to their local and global communities."
Dr. Johan Mostert, AGTS professor of community psychology and another co-lead investigator on the project, explained that previous FWE grants have been used to develop a questionnaire designed to help the disciple identify areas for development in five key discipleship domains, including the level to which their faith is displayed in their work and participation in the economy.
Mostert said, "This new grant will empower a team of AGTS professors to provide six regional workshops to promote discipleship as a process that includes spirituality, personal wholeness, relational integrity, vocational clarity and workplace impact. The grant will also allow AGTS to research, develop and promote courses that focus on FWE at the master's and doctoral level as well as continuing education credits for pastors and chaplains."
The FWE team at AGTS will seek to build a broad network that will educate existing pastors and lay leaders within churches. The core of this strategy will include, in addition to regional workshops, a weekly blog that will tie FWE and whole-life discipleship principles to current events, news and popular culture.
"This grant allows AGTS to fulfill its commitment to revitalize the church through more effective strategies that take most seriously Christ's command to disciple all nations," said AGTS President Byron D. Klaus.