Standing: Merle Zimmerman, Edward Sellick, Harry Mellish, Preston Beck, Floyd MacKinnon, William Weale
Seated: Donald Stewart, Ian MacLeod (MCC Lawyer), Malcolm Beck, Charles Herndon, Kenneth Norris
Maritime Christian College (MCC) is headquartered in Charlottetown, the capital city of the province of Prince Edward Island in Canada. Maritime Christian College was established on January 19, 1960 when the government of Prince Edward Island granted Letters Patent to the incorporators, a group of individuals who were interested in the Lord’s work in the Canadian Maritimes. From its inception, MCC has been affiliated with and supported by independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ that are part of the Restoration Movement, which began in the 19th century in the USA under the leadership of people such as Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone. This Movement is based on a plea for unity among God’s people by restoring the essential elements of Biblical Christianity.
Since its founding in 1960, Maritime Christian College has graduated 379 people in various graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs. MCC students have come from Canada, the United States, as well as Europe, Africa and Asia.
In 2019 the College began transitioning some of its programming focus to address the issue of strengthening the vitality of local congregations by developing leaders who are focused on making disciples who in turn make more disciples. This specific focus on “disciple making” is founded on the command Jesus gave his small group of disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19- 20) and also relies on using the methods of disciple making Jesus used with his core disciples (intentional leader, relational environment, reproduceable process). This focus involves training and equipping lay leaders to work as part of a team with paid Pastors. The demographic of these students (mature, with families, and settled with marketplace jobs) required a new approach to delivering MCC’s higher education offerings. The College began developing asynchronous online courses to support its new focus on disciple making in local congregations. The College also built partnerships with organizations known for their strong emphasis on disciple making, such as Real Life Ministries Texas (www.reallifetexas.org), Discipleship.org (www.discipleship.org), and Renew.org (www.renew.org).
In September 2020 MCC launched its first fully online courses. The courses are “asynchronous” (work is completed based on the student’s weekly availability), but also feature digital engagement via discussion forums with other students and Professors built into the weekly assignments. The class size is limited to a maximum of 12 students per course cohort in order to facilitate the development of a relational environment among the students. MCC uses qualified academic resources from across North America to both develop and teach the online courses with a practical application of the knowledge as part of the learning outcomes using the “digital engagement” format.
Class of 1993-1994
As of the Fall 2022 semester, all of MCC’s programming (two undergraduate degrees and several one-year certificate programs) are using this online asynchronous learning format. Three of these certificate programs are focused on strengthening disciple making at a local congregation level: leadership (Disciple Making Church Leadership Certificate), youth leaders (Youth Disciple Making Ministry Certificate), and the individual member wanting to be a better disciple maker (Disciple Maker Certificate). A fourth certificate program is designed for leaders who are starting new ministries or new churches with a non-traditional funding model by working in a “covocational” format (CoVocational Certificate) and uses “lean business modeling” tools and methods from the IT startup world.
In keeping with its new approach of meeting the theological education of non-traditional students, MCC is now launching a Master of Arts in Disciple Making & Ministry Leadership degree (MA). This Master’s Program is targeted for students who have an undergraduate degree (often from a secular university) and who are working full-time or part-time in leading churches or ministries. The first students in this MA Program will be enrolled in January 2023.
The work Maritime Christian College has done in the past three years has identified a deep need inside small-to-medium sized congregations for help with developing intentional disciple makers. MCC’s unique online program offerings, focusing on disciple making in a local congregation, is filling this gap.
This same need for training and equipping disciple makers is even more urgent for new churches that are just starting. The College feels that a deeper understanding of how to launch a new church or new ministry using a covocational model offers promise in the USA and Canada as a way to help catalyze a Disciple Making Movement.
Disciple Making Culture Experience – May 2022
Maritime Christian College has not ventured from the mission it was founded upon in 1960, but over the years the methods of equipping students with Christian higher education knowledge and application have certainly evolved.
Today, MCC is uniquely positioned to help catalyze a Disciple Making Movement in the United States, Canada, and around the world by training and equipping disciple makers in small-to-medium sized churches using its innovative online learning model.