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John Richardson

New Curriculum for Life Challenge

By March 25, 20132 Comments

DSCF3716-1After half a year of careful deliberation, expertly guided by a friend of the ministry, Dr. Rob Burkhart; and another six months of painstaking implementation, we have now launched a new curriculum at Life Challenge. The purpose of this new curriculum is simple. We want to better serve our students.

Ken Keene, Director of Education, wants to assure everyone who knows and loves the Life Challenge Ministry: “In no sense does this new curriculum represent an abandonment of our firm belief in the sufficiency of the gospel to save, nor in the expository presentation of the biblical story as the best ways to communicate the gospel.”

With the help of Dr. Burkhart in the role of curriculum advisor, Life Challenge came to understand that we needed to make a more deliberate and focused effort to equip our graduating students for life after graduation. We call the new curriculum “Transition to Life.” It consists of a group of courses for the final quarter and closing phase of a student’s educational training at Life Challenge. According to Ken, “We understood that our approach was not complete, that we needed to ask the Lord how we could address the students’ need for practical training to address the issues that would inevitably face them immediately upon graduation.

While nine months of the program are still dedicated to Bible exposition, the last three months are now dedicated to practical applications.

Neither Christ nor the apostles merely taught their disciples systmatically. The Gospel message also speaks to how people should live and what attitudes they should have as Christians.

In this final phase, Level 4, of our program, eight new classes have been added, including:

Healthy Living Taught by Jeff Bonzelaar, this class emphasizes a biblical approach to the healthy development of the whole person, body, soul and spirit.

Marriage, Parenting and Singleness Taught by Jeff Bonzelaar, this course offers biblical teaching on the important relationships of our lives.

Family Systems Communication Taught by Sheila Burrell, this class focuses on how family communication can become more successful, productive and beneficial.

Spiritual Formation Taught by Paul Wilson, this class is designed to equip the student to pursue continued spiritual growth and maturation.

Transformational Community Taught by Gus Flaherty, this class helps the graduate understand the importance of participation in the local church for spiritual life.

Sacred Work Tom Smart – this course looks to help students discover biblical principles for work and how to conduct oneself as an employee or employer in a productive and God-honoring manner.

Monetary Maturity Taught by Steve Swaggerty this course explores a biblical approach to handling finances.

Experiencing God Taught by Becky Gentry from the book by Henry Blackaby.

The first nine months of the program remain the same as it has been since David Ytterock put our core curriculum together. He imprinted each of us who are now among the leadership of this ministry with his Christ-centeredness and his radical commitment to the biblical text. The core curriculum includes classes such as:

LEVEL 1 Christianity taught by Steve Swaggerty covers learning the names of the books of the Bible, the Ten Commandments, the Apostles Creed, etc.

The book of Proverbs taught by John Richardson

The Gospel of John taught by Adam Simnowitz

The book of Genesis taught by Jeff Bonzelaar

The Gospel of Mark taught by Ken Keene – this course is repeated over the first nine months in a way compatible with the students advancement through the first three levels of the program.


General Epistles (New Testament letters not written by Paul) taught by Dave Pace

The Psalms taught by John Richardson

Ephesians taught by Cody Pelham Spiritual Disciplines taught by Norm Frechette – exposes students to those practices that stimulate the soul into deeper communion with God.

The Blazing Center – video curriculum from John Piper. LEVEL 3 Christian Heritage taught by Eric Barkham – an overview of Church history.

Romans taught by Dave Chatel

Paul’s Letters taught by Ken Keene – a review of those New Testament letters written by Paul.

Doctrines and Practices – taught by Cody Pelham, this is a primer on Systematic Theology; studying topics such as Ordinances and Eschatology; Existence and Nature of God/ Life and Work of Christ; The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)/ The Doctrine of Scripture


  • Cari Smith-Gammicchia says:

    Fabulous. My son although blessed, young and able to return to his parents’ home, still struggled with the transition. From a safe brotherhood, spirit-filled routine to home – mom dad rules, find a job, get a car, filter friends, new worship … These 3 months will help them to proficiently use the first nine months in their new life. Love you guys! Thank JC for LC! <3

  • Janet Fuller says:

    I congratulate you on the added curriculum. As these men and women graduate they will be living in the real world and will need the tools of life, family, employment, budgeting, and living the Christian life outside the confines of LC. Praise be to God for the discernment. My hope for Gregg is not just that he got off the drugs and alcohol but even more that he learned how to live the Christian life on a day to day basis. Also to be a servant for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to bring honor and glory to Him who is worthy of our praise. Blessings to each of you, students and staff. You are constantly in my prayers.

    Janet Fuller

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