Vineyard Leadership Institiute
The Vineyard Leadership Institute (VLI) was founded in September 1994, when Rich Nathan, pastor of the rapidly growing Vineyard Church of Columbus and Regional Overseer of approximately 80 Vineyard Christian Fellowship churches in the Great Lakes Region, responded to the need to multiply Vineyard church leaders, pastors, and church planters. Pastor Rich Nathan recruited Steve Robbins, a veteran church planter, pastor, Vineyard National Educational Task Force Leader, and Ph.D. candidate, to direct the school in 1996. Dr. Robbins recruited 60 students for the Fall of 1996 and grew to a 730 student enrollment with over 180 local church sites in the 2005-2006 academic year. VLI currently has approximately 80 churches and 400 students for the 2010-2011 academic year.
The aim of VLI is to train emerging leaders of empowered evangelical churches to become effective leaders of Christian ministries. In 2002, the governing board of Vineyard USA, an association of over 600 churches, invited VLI into a nationalizing process whereby VLI became the preferred instrument of training emerging Vineyard leaders. A growing trend over the last several years is the enrollment of students and local church sites from churches outside the Vineyard movement who share many of the same core values.
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