School of Practical Theology

Central Institute

School of Practical Theology

Central Institute

At Central Institute, we offer classes in Bible, marriage & family, and practical ministry skills. Our goal is to equip believers in Jesus Christ to grow deeper into transformed disciples who display the life and character of Christ in both their public and private lives.

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2020 Schedule

Round Table Discussions
2020 Schedule
CLOSED
Tabernacle Worship
2020 Schedule
CLOSED
Saved
2020 Schedule
CLOSED
Anxiety and Depression
2020 Schedule
CLOSED
A Culture of Care
2020 Schedule
Pursuing the Heart of God
2020 Schedule

Core Classes

Complete at least four of these classes for your certificate:

The Story
TBA
Old Testament
TBA
New Testament
TBA
Belief: A Deeper Look
TBA
Be Transformed!
TBA
Get More out of Scripture
TBA
Share Your Faith!
TBA

Theology

These courses are electives, and count toward your certificate:

False Belief Systems
TBA
Early Christian History: From Persecution to Power
TBA
Faith Basics
TBA
The Gospel of Luke
TBA
The Book of Acts
TBA
The Reformation
TBA
How did we get the Bible?
TBA
Why are the Questions so Important?
TBA
A Closer Walk with God
TBA

Marriage and Family

These courses are electives, and count toward your certificate:

Parenting Teenagers
TBA
Biblical Parenting
TBA
Marriage 101: Back to the Basics
TBA
Teens & Technology
TBA
Parenting Teenagers
TBA

Practical Ministry Skills

These courses are electives, and count toward your certificate:

Coffee Cup Counseling
TBA
Grieving with Hope
TBA
Making Disciples Along-the-Way
TBA

Our Teachers

Mike Bowersock

Elder

Mike serves Central Ministries as an elder and on the Finance Team. He and his wife Roberta have been attending Central for 6 years. Mike earned a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technology and an MBA from Bowling Green State University. He has studied Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Islam extensively. His study has included numerous discussions with leaders in those faiths and visits to their services.

Don Delagrange

Care Pastor

Don is a long-time pastor at Central Ministries, currently serving as Care Pastor. He has a B.S. in Education from IPFW and attended seminary. Don led Central Ministries as Senior Pastor from 1984-2010. He and his wife Gloria currently give leadership to the care ministry at Central. They have two grown children and 5 grandchildren. Don enjoys farming, golf, and walking. Don and Gloria reside in Fort Wayne, and his life verse is Isaiah 30:21.

Vicki Gatchell

Director of Central Institute

Vicki has a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University, and Master’s Degree in Ministry Studies and Women’s Leadership Studies from Grace College and Theological Seminary. She is a long-time teacher and ministry leader and has taught Scripture and discipleship in a variety of settings for over 25 years. She works for Central Ministries as Director of Central Institute.

Ben Gates

Guest Teacher

Ben has been ministering to college age youth for over thirty years. For the past twenty years, he has directed the Campus Ministry program at Indiana IPFW and at IIT. Ben has earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in History, University of Tennessee—Knoxville, Ben has also taught in the IPFW History Department for past twenty years. He teaches courses in European history, American history, the History of American Sports, and American Constitutional History. Ben is married to Janet, a fourth grade teacher at Aboite Elementary School, and together the have two sons, Alex (wife, Morgan) and Benjamin. The Gates’ are members of Sonrise Church in southwest Fort Wayne.

Jeremy Helmuth

Senior Pastor

Jeremy serves as Senior Pastor of Central Ministries. He received his BA in Biblical Studies from Grace College and Theological Seminary and went on to complete his Masters in Divinity. He received his Doctorate in Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. His main responsibilities at Central Ministries include preaching, teaching, and vision casting. He is married to Amy and together they have four daughters, Lily, Ellie, Charlotte and Annalise.

Troy Jester

Counseling & Assimilation Pastor

Troy is Central's Counseling and Assimilation Pastor. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry at Huntington University and his Master’s in Marriage and Family Counseling from Liberty University. He served at Central Ministries as Youth Pastor and Marriage and Family Counselor for eighteen years. Troy is Married to Michelle and has three daughters, Aubrey, Kaitlyn, and Kylie.

Melissa Soldner

Women's Counselor

Melissa has a B.S. in Psychology from Campbellsville University and Master of Divinity from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She served in Kentucky as a church minister to youth and children. She later has worked outside the church in Fort Wayne as a therapist to adults and children. Her main responsibility at Central is as Women’s Counselor, however, she is involved in teaching and leading small groups with women’s ministry. She serves as point person in several other areas of ministry at Central.

Jim Welch

Guest Teacher

Jim earned a B.A. in Ministry at Anaheim (CA) Christian College and a Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has been teaching for many years in various settings, including in churches on both coasts, as well as in the Midwest. He has also taught over thirty classes on a collegiate level at Taylor University, Fort Wayne and Huntington University. Most recently, he has been blessed by teaching Sunday School classes at Central Ministries.

Mitch Maibach

Worship Pastor (Leo)

Worship ministry is where Mitch believes God has and continues to equip and empower him to lead and Shepherd. His passion and heart is to create a space where people acknowledge and exalt God, encounter His presence and respond accordingly. Mitch and his wife Ashley have two daughters Emerson and Parker. They structure their lives around service, hospitality and discipleship. Being a musician is his career and hobby. He loves honing his craft and learning new instruments. He also loves to read and travel. He’s a sock enthusiast and has been known to drive a tractor on occasion.

FAQS

What is Central Institute?

Central Institute is a church-based school of practical theology based in Fort Wayne, IN. We serve those wanting to grow in Biblical knowledge and to acquire practical ministry skills. Our goals are personal spiritual growth and transformation and the application of biblical truth to daily life.

Who can attend?

Central Institute is open to adults and teens who are willing to learn at an adult level.

Where will classes be held?

Classes will be held at Central Ministries Chapel Ridge, 5801 Schwartz Rd. and at Central Ministries Leo, 14717 Amstutz Rd. Consideration will be given to other locations as opportunities arise. Some class content is available via this website and also on Central Institute’s YouTube channel.

Who are the teachers?

God has brought together a team of qualified teachers including members of our church family and some from outside who will teach from their areas of expertise. Each teacher adheres to Central Ministries’ Statement of Beliefs in his or her teaching.

What do we believe?

We are rooted in the Biblical and historic Christian Faith. We teach God’s Word as fully inspired, inerrant in it’s original writings, and defer to it as our final authority in faith and practice.

For a more detailed statement of beliefs visit our beliefs page.