Online Church Leadership Course

The R.E.A.L. Approach to Spiritual Transformation

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Revitalize your ministry using the unique and innovative R.E.A.L. approach to spiritual transformation.

Enrollment Fee
$198 value
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Course Overview

You’re called to help people grow in their relationship with Jesus. But the truth is, conventional ministry approaches often have little or no impact on spiritual growth...and that’s discouraging. Well, get ready to be delighted because this church leader training helps you explore how to create spiritual transformation in any ministry setting. You’ll master Group’s pioneering R.E.A.L. strategy (Relational, Experiential, Applicable, and Learner-based) to build and deepen spiritual growth in children, youth, and adults. You’ll gain practical tools in this online course to create a highly engaging, transformational ministry that leads to deeper spiritual growth and discipleship.

Course Outline

Getting Started

Discover how to navigate your online course, get connected to our ministry network, and download a copy of the Course Notes.


Thom and Joani Schultz welcome you as you begin your journey to make your ministry R.E.A.L. Gain from their wisdom and learn practical tools to be a more effective church leader.

Getting R.E.A.L.

Take a pre-course ministry assessment to better understand your current ministry practices. After the church leader training online course, and once you’ve implemented R.E.A.L. strategies, retake the assessment and notice greater ministry impact.

Module 1. Relational

God created us to learn within the context of relationships. Understand how people learn best and the importance of relationships for personal transformation and deepening faith.

Module 2. Experiential

What we experience through discussion and action sticks with us longer than what we hear or read. In this church leadership training curriculum, discover how to create a ministry experience to increase retention and draw people closer to Jesus. You’ll receive an experience to practice with your ministry group and then learn how to create your own.

Module 3. Applicable

Knowing about God isn’t an end in itself. What really matters is how that knowledge changes everyday lives. Learn how to make your ministry applicable to those you lead.

Module 4. Learner-Based

We measure success not by how much information we present but by how much people learn. Through this church leadership training course, you’ll understand what learner-based ministry looks like and the characteristics of 21st century learners that define how we do ministry.

Module 5. Ready?

You’ll be challenged to step out of your comfort zone and review action steps to move your ministry forward.

Course Outcomes

U Discover

The concept of R.E.A.L. learning and how it contributes to deeper spiritual transformation.

How the learning environment impacts student engagement.

The formula for developing meaningful questions that cause critical thinking.

Biblical examples of how Jesus taught his followers.

U Will

Revitalize your ministry using the unique and innovative R.E.A.L. approach to spiritual transformation.

About the Instructors

Thom Schultz

When Thom Schultz isn’t running Group Publishing (he founded it 40+ years ago and still shows up at work most days), he’s a hard-to-track-down globetrotter who’s also an accomplished photographer, filmmaker, speaker, author, and the voice of Group’s lobby ambassador, Bruce the Moose. Thom has served in practically every church volunteer role this side of nursery duty and has a reputation for building teams that are both effective and efficient. Plus, he’s created an award-winning organizational culture at Group. How does he do it? Relational ministry, that’s he cooks a mean omelet and invites his team over for breakfast every month.

Joani Schultz

Joani Schultz is Group’s Chief Creative Officer only because “Chief Relational Guru” isn’t a real title. She’s an author, editor, speaker, product developer, and co-conspirator on every cool Group resource (like the world’s number one vacation Bible school) you’ve seen in the past 30 years. Having served as a fulltime youth, children’s, and every-other-kind-of-ministry leader, Joani long ago discovered the power of relational ministry and has infused those morale-boosting, focus-sharpening values into Group’s culture. She’s also a grandmother—you won’t have to ask twice to see the pictures.

Group U Ministry Certification

Enroll now and you’ll be on your way to achieving Ministry Certification.