Written by: Pastor Raymond Lombard
Article source: JOY! Magazine

With this year of service to Jesus, the Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy in Mossel Bay offers an exciting opportunity for young people to grow in their faith and build practical skills and self-knowledge to deal with life’s challenges. They will be empowered to make a difference in their communities and to make choices that will positively impact the direction that their lives take.

What was the catalyst for this academy?
The driving force behind the founding of Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy is from research showing that among other things there is a great decline in Biblical literacy among believers, and discipleship is often lacking in congregations. The vision of Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy was born out of the postmodern cry for truth.

This is our vision:
“Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy is designed to be a life-transformational training academy where students embrace their true identity in Christ, learn the inherent values of the Kingdom and walk in authority and power of the one true King, Jesus Christ, within a safe environment.”

What does the academy aim to achieve?
• To grow students as disciples of the Lord and deepen their theological understanding.
• To equip students with useful ministry skills to be applied in evangelistic and church settings.
• To teach, train, mentor, equip, and to send them back to their families and communities with a wealth of Biblical knowledge and understanding specific life skills.

Who is the program aimed at?
It is aimed at young adults aged 18-25 who are independent. Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy is for Christian students who are looking for a deeper relationship with God and who are serious about learning God’s purpose and love for all the nations. Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy is for students wishing to find their purpose and calling in their walk with God. In addition to excellent academic content and interesting extracurricular activities, the course also includes the following:
• Gospel music
• praise and worship
• applicable movies
• community work
• outreach.

How does this program differ from other gap year programs?
This is not a typical “gap year”, but a year of service to Jesus – the student gives a year of his/her life in the service of the Kingdom. There are daily outreaches where students will serve and minister to people in nursing homes, schools, etc. There is a very strong emphasis on discipleship and spiritual growth with a very deep theological foundation.
A bonus is that the student will receive “recognition of prior learning” from the Church of God Bible College for many of the subjects completed during the year – those subjects are therefore deemed completed for future theological studies.

Koinonia is a place where pebbles are polished and diamonds are shaped.

What are the prerequisites for admission?
Students must be proficient in English – being able to understand, read, and write English.

What does the course entail?
Koinonia Discipleship Training is a ten-month discipleship internship, presented and managed by Raymond Lombard Ministries. It is designed to help students learn and experience what it means to embody the love of Jesus and become Christ-honouring leaders.

The students will:
• receive one-on-one discipleship mentoring,
• face challenges in the wilderness,
• experience new cultures (both domestically and abroad),
• devote significant time to personal and spiritual growth,
• be given a sense of identity,
• be taught leadership skills,
• strive to follow Jesus and to live out the Gospel,
• experience spiritual formation.

The leadership team
We have a visionary and dedicated team of leaders, who are experts in their particular field – not only in the academic field, but also have years of pastoral experience. They are leaders who think outside the box and have a missiological approach to adding holistic value to the lives of others. They are a team with a sincere passion for training and place a high standard on leadership.

Committed mentors
The team’s aim is to guide students in discovering their individual, special calling and to develop their true potential within the Kingdom of God. The mentors stimulate and develop the true character of each student and unlock his/her potential. Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy creates an environment where each student can discover who they are and what their unique calling is.

Koinonia Curriculum
Koinonia’s curriculum is developed with this motto in mind: Discover. Identity. Purpose. The program offers a holistic balanced approach with indoor and outdoor activities.

The curriculum includes:
• Spiritual formation
• Personal development
• Adventure leadership
• Saved to serve

What Is Meant With ‘Spiritual Formation’?
Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy is a safe place where students are encouraged to ask hard questions and wrestle with doubts, to spend time with mature Christians, learning how to read the Bible for themselves and to establish Biblical foundations and understand God’s unconditional love for them.
Discipleship is a primary focus and students should leave the campus knowing how to testify about their faith and teach others to follow Jesus as well.

What Is Meant With ‘Personal Development’?
Students will establish an identity rooted in Jesus and discover a life-changing purpose. Students will learn about personality types, individual strengths, and what it means to find one’s identity in Christ. This is done with the help of psychometric evaluation. Staff members will work alongside students to develop personal mission statements, identify core values, and learn practical life skills as a foundation for their future life’s journey.

Koinonia includes dynamic personal coaching that effectively transforms lives.

What Is ‘Adventure Leadership’?
The adventure leadership and other team-building activities will be used to develop both hard and soft skills. Some of these skills include understanding group dynamics, planning adventure experiences, risk management, and adapting to cultural differences.

What Does ‘Saved To Serve’ Mean?
Students will have many opportunities to serve at the Koinonia Campus and in the local community as true leaders practice humility and serve others. Serving during outreaches in the community and abroad (missions) will develop the skill to serve with excellence.

When is the application deadline?
Applications will close after 34 successful enrolments. Once a student submits their application, a Koinonia staff member will reach out to schedule a meet-and-greet. If the Koinonia directors agree that this program aligns with the student’s personal goals, all that will be left will be for the student to send in the deposit to reserve their place for the 2023 Koinonia discipleship year!

Is accommodation available?
Students will live on-site, share rooms, and join the campus community while learning what it means to live in the body of Christ. The facility where the students will be accommodated is one of the modern complexes in Mossel Bay, Garden Route.

The apartments:
• have self-catering facilities
• are fully furnished with good quality furniture
• have bedrooms and fully equipped bathrooms
• have fully equipped kitchens
• have plenty of storage and packing space
• have Wi-Fi internet access

The Campus consists of:
• Apartments that can accommodate 34 students
• Laundry facilities
• Lecture halls
• A chapel
• A dining room with a communal kitchen
• Safety is a priority, therefore the complex is equipped with an electric fence and an 24 hour armed response alarm system.
• The complex is within walking distance of a mall.

Are You Called?
Are you willing to qualify as a disciple of the Most High? If your answer is “Yes” then Koinonia Discipleship Training Academy is definitely for you! Apply for admission without delay.

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Date published: 22/06/2022

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