Diploma in Christian Ministry
ACCM was designed to meet the needs of our transforming fellowship. It provides a denominationally recognised ministry qualification.
ACCM's Diploma Program is created and maintained by Ambassador College of Christian Ministry, which is owned and operated by Grace Communion International in Australia. It is the church's primary focus for equipping its members through education for their contribution in the ministry of all believers.
ACCM exists for the following major purposes:
- Equipping for Ministry (Ephesians 4:12: “equip his people for works of service”)
- Providing a unifying and clarifying educational experience, reflecting GCI’s doctrinal understanding (v 13); teaching the Triune nature of God and the life of the New Creation
- Building up the body of Christ (v 12: “so that the body of Christ may be built up”)
- Growing and maturing into Jesus Christ (v13); spiritual formation of individuals and communities
- Building relationships, connections and shared learning experiences
- Equipping members for our mission of “Living and Sharing the Gospel”
- Communion with God
Hence our motto, “Equipping for Ministry”. Since our focus is on equipping, we have a balance of cognition and action, of theology and action (Christian living). So we don’t require academically perfect papers, for example. Rather, most of the assessments are designed to be practically usable in your congregational settings. Our desire is not to add to students’ burdens, but to help and equip them for their ministry and mission.
There are no entry requirements for ACCM. Anyone can take the courses. Not everyone wants to do advanced academic work – although those who would like to are most definitely encouraged to do so. But those without any formal training in ministry, and without a Bachelor’s degree, may find ACCM ideally suited to their needs. Members, lay pastors, pastoral team members, and pastors without prior formal training will all profit from ACCM.
Our focus on equipping also means that we try to be more flexible with class and assignment schedules, rather than strict adherence to time lines. Generally, students are encouraged to finish any one course within six months, but if life or ministry circumstances require longer, we are happy to grant extensions to anyone who wants and requests them.
The online environment encourages colleague dialog between fellow Christians from many countries and cultures and puts education opportunities within the reach of many scattered people whose circumstances preclude face-to-face attendance in a classroom. We are keen that this should develop over time and are hopeful that the Ambassador experience will continue to enhance people's individual walk with God, as well as nurture those precious international relationships that have for so long been a special hallmark of this fellowship.
More information can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions of the ACCM website.
We were asked to use the name ACCM (Ambassador College of Christian Ministry) by our denomination. The term of course comes from 2 Corinthians 5 – that magnificent passage about the New Creation of the New Covenant. Because of the love of Christ, we are a new creation in him. His love transforms us and compels us to love others. We no longer see God the way we used to – in the revelation of God in Jesus, we see the love and communion of the Triune God. Because we no longer see God the way we used to, we now no longer see ourselves or others the way we used to. We see ourselves as much loved children of God, adopted by him in Jesus through the Spirit. We call God “Abba, Father”, as Jesus does. And we now see others as made in God’s image – created by God in love to share in the same loving relationship. This means evangelism is about introducing people to Jesus; it is about sharing with them who they are (their real identity) in Christ.
Paul says that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself. And we are given this mission – to share in Christ’s reconciliation of the world to the Father. To be an “ambassador for Christ” is to be an ambassador of the love of God, an ambassador for reconciliation and communion.