Division of Education Holds Virtual MIP Commencement

For the first time in its history, the Ministerial Internship Program (MIP) conducted a virtual commencement ceremony. Held on Saturday, May 16, the event was a huge success with over 20,000 people tuning into the service. While the large number tuning in was phenomenal, the Commencement itself was extraordinary.

Thirty-four administrative bishops congratulated their candidates by video, making the service personal, meaningful to the candidates, and helped them see the denomination’s interest in them. Rev. Steve Allen led a team from Westmore Church of God in praise and worship.

As keynote speaker, Church of God General Overseer Dr. Tim Hill preached on having a message from God for these times. His sermon didn’t look back to past days of revival. Instead, he urged the MIP candidates to wholeheartedly seek God for His message for this generation. He called for the candidates to live in the present, understand the current times, and be like John the Baptist preaching that the kingdom of God is at hand.

Members of the International Executive Committee pray over the certificates of the MIP graduates (l-r) Tim Hill, J. David Stephens, David E. Ramirez and John D. Childers (click photo to enlarge)

The service concluded with the International Executive Committee laying hands on the MIP candidates’ certificates and praying for God to commission the 522 candidates and spouses to move into the world with God’s message of redemption. The benediction concluded by charging the candidates to move forward with the confidence of their calling from God, demonstrating the deep love that Christ has for all people, and in the power of the Holy Spirit to expand the kingdom of God.

Another special feature about the MIP Virtual Commencement was the participation of both the Hispanic Regions and the English-speaking state/regional offices. This is the first time in several years that the groups came together to celebrate with the candidates completion of the MIP.

“MIP, itself, would not have been so successful without the commitment of the supervising pastors,” stated Dr. Don Bennett who coordinates MIP in the United States. “More than 250 supervising pastors invested weekly into the candidates and their spouses, emphasizing in their teaching and coaching the ten commitments to the mission and vision of the Church of God.”

“The hope is that the MIP Commissioning Celebration in Cleveland next May will be renewed,” Bennett continued. “However, after recognizing the opportunities with Livestream and Facebook Live, these resources will continue to be utilized.”

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