2010 - 2011
EPIC SCHOOL OF MINISTRY STUDENT HANDBOOK
I. EPIC School of Ministry Anagram
II. The Faculty/Instructors of EPIC School of Ministry
III. Information and Guidelines
C. Course Schedule and Class Times
F. Class Selection
G. Non-Discrimination Guidelines
H. Class Format
I. General Information
J. Dress Code and Conduct
K. Grading Guidelines
L. Attendance Guidelines
M. Student Discipline
N. Visitors in Class
O. Final Exams/Class Assignment Papers
P. Course Credit
Q. Graduation Requirements
R. School Year Calendar
S. Statement of Faith
I. THE HEART BEHIND EPIC
The EPIC School of Ministry philosophy is summed up in the word: EPIC
E-evangelistic heart - This stands for our passion to reach out to those who are lost, far from God and
who have not yet experienced the joy of a dynamic relationship with Jesus.
P-pioneer spirit - This stands for the entreprenerial, trail-blazing, "we can do this" attitude of faith that
trusts God and goes after the impossible.
I-innovative edge - This stands for doing church and ministry in creative, innovative, "unpredictable", out-
of-the-box ways and to utilize all of the teaching, media, musical, technological and creative tools God
has given us for sharing His Word.
C-cultural relevance - This stands for simply connecting with today's culture and answering questions
they are asking with the relevant truth of God's Word.
II. THE FACULTY & INSTRUCTORS OF EPIC SCHOOL OF MINISTRY
The EPIC School of Ministry is made up of a diverse staff of instructors who have a proven track record in
ministry or their specific field of training. Many instructors have been called to the five-fold ministry as
listed in Ephesians 4:11 or called to be leaders in the marketplace. The EPIC classes are taught by an ex-
cellent team of dedicated pastors and VFC staff members, who desire to help you integrate knowledge
and service into a lifestyle.
The vision of EPIC School of Ministry instructors is to equip believers for the work of the ministry. We ex-
pect EPIC graduates to serve as God directs and send them in pastoral, worship, children, youth and
helps ministries. While equipping and preparing you for the work of the ministry, it is our desire to help
you fulfill the plans that God has for you (Jeremiah 33:3).
As instructors, it is their desire that you grow in your walk and calling. As a student, we pray you develop a
faithful servant’s heart and a teachable spirit. We trust you will grow closer to the Lord, be more sensitive
to the leadings and promptings of the Holy Spirit, and that you will run your race for the prize of the high
calling of God in Christ. On that final day we want you to hear, “Well done good and faithful servant”.
JEFF JONES his call to the ministry. Jeff and his wife Beth
Pastor Jeff is a pastor, hus- founded and serve as the senior pastors of Valley
band and father of four Family Church.
children who teaches the
Word in a conversational
way that connects with the BETH JONES
listener. Jeff studied at Beth Jones is a Bible
Spring Arbor College in teacher, author, wife and
Spring Arbor, MI and re- mother of four children, who
ceived his ministry training ministers the Word in a rele-
at Rhema Bible Training vant, humorous and inspiring
Center in Tulsa, OK. He is way by sharing down-to-
liscensed and ordained through the Rhema Min- earth insights.
isterial Association International. Prior to being
called into the pastorate, Jeff’s professional She is the author of the
background includes working as a commercial popular “Getting A Grip On
pilot and flight instructor, as well as a principal The Basics” series, which is
partner in an industrial lighting agency for 14 being used by thousands of churches in America
years. In 1986, he left the business world to follow and abroad and has been translated into over a
dozen foreign languages. She’s also written the national restaurant chain. In 1994, Richard began
“Bite Sized Bible Study” series and “The Question serving on staff at Rhema Bible Church, where he
Series” of minibooks. Beth writes the free, daily served as assistant children’s minister, assistant
JumpStart eDevo for over 5000 subscribers and to the pastoral staff & as an instructor at Rhema
hosts the www.bethjones.org website. Bible Training Center for 10 years. He & his wife
Tori have two children.
She received her BA in Communications from
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts and her
post-graduate Bible training & ordination through BRAD SPANGLER
Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pastor Brad Spangler oversees the IT and Web
She and her husband Jeff founded and serve as ministry at VFC. Brad re-
the senior pastors of Valley Family Church. ceived his B.S. in Computer
Science from Purdue Univer-
sity and worked in the infor-
APRIL WEDEL mation technology field for
Pastor April Wedel over- fourteen years before enter-
sees the Communications ing full time ministry. He re-
Division and Connections ceived his ministerial training
Division at VFC. Communi- at RHEMA Bible Training Cen-
cations includes all of the ter in Tulsa, OK. Brad consid-
internal and external Adver- ers himself a professional
tising, Marketing, Publica- people-helper and is pas-
tions and the Web site. sionate about using technology to make church
Connections includes As- better. He and his wife Karen have two children.
similation, Guest Services,
Retail Services, Food Ser- PAM ROE-VANDERBERG
vices, and Events. April is ordained through Faith Pastor Pam Roe-Vanderberg oversees the Spiri-
Christian Fellowship International based in Tulsa, tual Growth Division at VFC.
OK. Prior to serving in ministry, Pastor April This includes EPIC School
served as a store manager in a national restau- of Ministry, Prayer School,
rant chain. She has also written the book, Healing School, Groups
“Effective Small Group Ministry Customized for Ministry and Internship Pro-
Your Church.” April and her husband Chuck have gram. Pam received her
three children. ministerial training at Mount
Hope Bible Training Institute
in Lansing, MI and is or-
RICHARD PILGER dained through Faith Chris-
Richard Pilger joined the VFC staff in 2004 and tian Fellowship International,
has served in a variety of based in Tulsa, OK. Prior to
pastoral and leadership joining the VFC staff in
roles. He currently serves as 2000, Pam was the Owner, Manager and Hair
the Chief of Staff and Execu- Stylist of New Reflections Hair Salon for 30 years
tive Pastor. Richard attended here in Kalamazoo. She left the VFC staff in 2003
Northeastern State University to finish her Ministry Studies. During this time she
in Tahlequah, Oklahoma worked as an Administrator for Gilead Healing
where he majored in Busi- Center in Lansing for 3 years before coming
ness Administration and re- back on staff here at VFC in June 2007. Pam and
ceived his ministry training at Terry have one child.
Rhema Bible Training Center
in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is
ordained through Rhema
Ministerial Association International. Prior to min-
istry, Richard worked as a corporate trainer for a
MATT MCCARTY Outreach at VFC including Project 1:27 and Mis-
Matt oversees both the High School and Middle sions. Eric received his ministerial training at
School student ministries and serves as the Mid- Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa, OK, and is
dle School Youth Pastor for licensed through Rhema Ministerial Association
Valley Family Church. In 2003 International. Prior to his ministry training, he re-
Matt felt the call of God on ceived his bachelor’s degree at Northwood Uni-
his life and chose to leave a versity in Midland, MI for Business Management
successful career as a Man- and Marketing.
ager with Best Buy to attend
RHEMA Bible Training Center
in Tulsa OK. After graduating ERICA GIESOW
RHEMA in 2006 Matt re- Erica Giesow, along with her husband Eric Gi-
turned to Michigan to serve esow, serve as the College &
his church and has been do- Outreach Pastors at VFC.
ing so as a staff member with They are the pastors of
VFC since 2006. Threshold College Ministry
and the directors of the Epic
God has given Matt a heart to serve his Pastors Commission discipleship pro-
and the mandate they have been given as well as gram at VFC. They also over-
a heart to impact future generations by investing see all Outreach at VFC in-
in the lives of young people. Matt is licensed cluding Project 1:27 and Mis-
through RHEMA Ministerial Association Interna- sions. Erica received her min-
tional and lives in Portage. isterial training at Rhema Bi-
ble Training Center in Tulsa,
OK, and is licensed through
ERIC GIESOW Rhema Ministerial Association International. Prior
Eric Giesow, along with his to her ministry training, Erica received her B.A. at
wife Erica Giesow, serve as Spring Arbor University in Spring Arbor, MI for
the College & Outreach Pas- English and Secondary Education.
tors at VFC. They are the
pastors of Threshold Col-
lege Ministry and the direc-
tors of the Epic Commission
discipleship program at
VFC. They also oversee all
III. INFORMATION AND GUIDELINES
The EPIC School of Ministry is open to those who are ready to go to the next level in God and those who
sense some type of “calling” for ministry. EPIC is for those who are committed and ready to invest their
time and life into something eternal. The registration process is as follows:
• Complete the Application for Admissions located at the Info Centers or online at
• Fill out the top portion, sign and date the Recommendation Forms and give to your references for
them to complete and return to the EPIC mailbox in the volunteer lounge.
• Return the Application for Admissions with the application/registration fee of $50 to the EPIC School of
Ministry Director along with a current 2x2 facial photo.
Students are expected to meet their financial obligations in a manner that exemplifies Christian standards
of honesty and ethics.
Payments: Payments can be made at the Info Centers in the Atrium with cash, check, cashier’s
check, money order or credit card. Payments can be made online at valleyfamilychurch.org with a
credit card or e-check. Please refrain from mailing checks or handing them to any staff member.
Full-time Students: $800 per year
Option A: Payments of $200/term, due as listed here: Term 1—1st day of classes, Term 2—
October 31, Term 3—January 16, Term 4—March 13
Option B: Payments of $100, due on the first day of each month: September (1st day of
classes), October, November, January, February, March, April and May.
Part-time Students: $90 per class. If student starts as a full-time student and decides to go to part
-time status at the beginning of the following term they will pay the “ala carte” fees rather then the
full-time fees. Students may not switch from full-time to part-time in the middle of a term. No stu-
dent is permitted to enroll in any class after the second class session.
Married Couples: Couples applying together for full-time classes receive 50% discount on
spouse’s tuition. To receive this discount use the word Spouse in the Promo Code box when pay-
Non-Payment: Students that do not meet their payment deadline will be asked to drop from EPIC
and then must reapply at a later time.
Returned Checks: There is a $25 charge for all returned checks.
Late Fees: An automatic late fee of $20 will be added for payments received after the due date.
Refund Policy: Registration, tuition and graduation fees are non-refundable.
C. COURSE SCHEDULE AND CLASS TIMES
• 2010-2011 School Year: September - May
Orientation: September 12 (5:30 – 9pm) – All students attending
Term 1: Sept 19 - Nov 7
Term 2: Nov 14 - Jan 23
Term 3: Jan 30 - Mar 20
Term 4: Mar 27 - May 22
Graduation: June 5
• Sunday Night Schedule: 5:30 - 9:00pm
First Hour: 5:30 - 6:20pm
Break: 6:20– 6:30pm (10 Minutes)
Second Hour: 6:30 - 7:20pm
Break: 7:20 - 7:30pm (10 Minutes)
Assembly: 7:30 - 8:00pm
Third Hour: 8:10 - 9:00pm
Courses may be dropped without penalty during the first week of each term. After the second week, re-
funds for dropped classes will not be given.
To withdraw from EPIC or drop a class, the student must contact the EPIC Director to process this trans-
action. This will complete the withdrawal or drop process, and will enable you to return to EPIC in the fu-
Re-admission: Any student who has enrolled in EPIC and has discontinued studies for more than one aca-
demic year must reapply for admission. A non-refundable $50.00 readmission fee is required.
E. DEADLINES /EXTENSIONS
Students must have all homework turned in on/or before week 7 of class and final exams are due by the
last day of class. Any assignments not turned in on the last day of class will receive a grade of zero.
(In the event of an extreme emergency such as a death of a family member or serious illness, a student
may be granted an extension period of up to one week to complete coursework. The student must ar-
range for the extension through the EPIC Director.)
Remember, deadlines help develop discipline and responsibility, two elements that are “tools of the
trade” for anyone desiring to be successful in ministry.
F. CLASS SELECTION
It is required that each student must have completed the “Get a Grip: 101 Basics” class as well as “Get a
Grip: 201 Serving God” class prior to attending the EPIC School of Ministry.
1st Year Foundational Biblical Studies:
Foundations of Faith – 101 and 102
The Holy Spirit – 101
Old Testament Survey
New Testament Survey
Health and Healing
Submission & Authority
In Him Realities
Authority of the Believer
Life of Christ
2nd Year Leadership Studies:
Culturally Relevant Ministry
Family & Ministry
Life of Christ
Church Organization & Administration
Holy Spirit 102
3rd Year Specialty Programs:
Pastoral Care/Small Group
Campus Pastor/Satellite Church Development
G. NON-DISCRIMINATION GUIDELINES
The EPIC School of Ministry admits students of any race, color, nationality and ethnic origin to all rights,
privileges, programs and activities available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the ba-
sis of gender, race, color, national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational guidelines, admis-
sions guidelines and other school administered programs.
H. CLASS FORMAT
We believe that taking classes in the EPIC School of Ministry will be an enjoyable experience as revelation
fills your heart! For students to receive the maximum benefit from the school, two things will be essential
– the instructors part and the students part!
Instructor Part: The instructor has a responsibility to study the Word of God, to meditate and to
pray over the material they will be sharing. The instructor has a responsibility to follow the unction
of the Holy Spirit and yield to Him as the teacher. On occasion, this will mean that they may deviate
from their notes and follow “rabbit trails” that seem good to them and to the Holy Spirit. At times
the teaching will be more line-upon-line, precept-upon-precept and at other times it may be done
in more of a preaching, exhortation style. Instructors are responsible to do their best to yield to the
Holy Spirit, as He is truly the teacher.
Student Part: The student, must purpose in their heart to come to class with the following attrib-
utes: expectancy, esteem for the Word of God and for the teaching gift in each instructor, humility,
teachability and a willingness to be a doer of the Word.
They must be sensitive to listen to what the Spirit is saying to their heart in class. If students will be
disciplined in their attendance, thought life, participation in class and if they will resist an overly
casual, apathetic attitude, we believe that God will fulfill His promise to students as found in Prov-
erbs 2:1-5 “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that
you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for
discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search
for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the
knowledge of God.”
Many of the instructors will be teaching out of the New King James Version of the Bible. Please be sure to
bring a Bible to class each week, along with a notebook.
The EPIC School of Ministry is a ministry training school; therefore, more is required of a student than sim-
ply sitting in classes and listening to teachers lecture. This is by design, because we are convinced that
the discipline and respect you give the Word of God will come back to bless you many fold and will be
what you draw upon in ministry for many years to come. The class format will be lecture style.
There are eight hours of class time per term (50 minutes/class). Therefore, there will be a time commit-
ment outside of class for reading and writing assignments as part of the training. The time required for
each student will be dependant upon the student and the pace at which they work.
In addition to the class time and homework, important character development will occur as students par-
ticipate in EPIC. Students will develop disciplines, enlarge their spiritual capacity, experience God
“stretching” them as they fulfill attendance requirements, demonstrate faithfulness in many areas and
learn to comply with codes of conduct. We are confident that for those that are called and ready for the
EPIC challenge, these requirements are all doable!
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
Name Badges: Student will be responsible to check-in at the Kiosk each week by swiping there
VFC barcode keycard tag. The kiosk printer will print out a name badge. For student safety we
require that this name badge be worn in sight at ALL times during EPIC.
Information and Questions: The EPIC School of Ministry reserves the right to make changes in
courses and guidelines in support of its purposes and objectives. We ask that all questions per-
taining to the EPIC School of Ministry and its guidelines be brought to the attention of the EPIC Di-
rector, Pastor Pam Roe-Vanderberg at email@example.com and cc: Pastor
Richard Pilger at firstname.lastname@example.org. This will result in better communication and
will assist the staff in remaining aware of the concerns of the student body.
Student Records: All student files are the property of the EPIC School of Ministry. All information
contained in them is personal and confidential. Telephone numbers, addresses and other student
information will not be released.
Change of Status: Students must email the EPIC School of Ministry Director whenever there is a
change of name, marital status, address, e-mail address or telephone number.
Class Cancellations: Due to inclement weather, classes may be cancelled. Please check the VFC
website and/or the EPIC online program (Moodle) for details.
Cell Phones: Please turn off cell phones or shift them to vibrate mode during all class sessions.
Food in Class: Drinks and snacks are allowed in class. Students may also purchase drinks and
snacks during break.
Recording: No personal recording of classes will be allowed at any time.
Wireless Internet Access: Wireless internet access is available at our 995 Romence location for
your use during classes. Here are some guidelines for usage:
• Refrain from heavy internet usage immediately before the start of
class, as our kiosk check in system relies on the internet connection to operate.
• Refrain from personal use of the internet during class sessions. The internet
can be an awesome research tool, but can also be very distracting to the student
and those around them. For example: watching YouTube videos and checking
email while instructors are teaching would be counter-productive to our reason
for being here.
• No technical support for wireless internet access will be provided.
• No password required.
J. DRESS CODE AND CONDUCT
The EPIC School of Ministry dress code is culturally casual. No tight fitting or immodest clothing is permit-
ted. Hair should be kept neat, clean and well groomed at all times.
All evaluation of the dress code shall be at the discretion of the Instructor. The EPIC School of Ministry will
not allow any student to violate the dress code. Any violation of the dress code will result in a request for
the student to leave class and return in appropriate attire.
K. GRADING GUIDELINES
Although the EPIC School of Ministry is not an “academic” institution, each student must demonstrate a
certain level of mastery of the materials presented in their course study.
Grades should be treated as a measure of achievement, not as a matter of ranking, competence or com-
parison. The purpose of the grading system is to assure students, and us, that they have done the best
they can do.
• The grading system will be pass or fail
• Each student’s grade will be comprised of the following:
• Final Exam – 50% (Each student must receive a 72% or higher to pass their final exam – 18
correct out of 25).
• CD and/or Reading Assignments – 25% each
L. ATTENDANCE GUIDELINES
The attendance guidelines upheld in EPIC courses are as follows:
• Attend all class sessions unless prior approval by the EPIC Director has been given. (If an
emergency comes up, please be sure to leave a message at 324-5599 ext. 139 or email the
EPIC School of Ministry Director at email@example.com. stating the rea-
son you will be absent before the start of class)
• If you are a part-time student, please only attend the class(es) you are currently enrolled in.
• It is the students responsibility to swipe their attendance keycard each week. If the card is
NOT swiped at a kiosk, the student will be considered absent.
• Each student is expected to be prompt and attend all class sessions. If an emergency comes
up that forces the student to leave during a class session, the security personnel will have a
sign-out sheet to fill out before leaving the class. Do NOT just leave w/o filling this form out.
• For every eight class sessions one absence for emergencies is allowed. Once the student
has missed two classes, a credit for the class won’t be received. The student may NOT “make
up” the class missed the next time the class is offered. Students will have to repeat the class
in its entirety.
• For each class that is missed you will be required to listen to the CD from that class session
and write a one-page summary report. This summary report is due by the last day of class.
Please put your completed summary report in the EPIC mailbox in the EPIC Resource Room
or volunteer lounge at the Vincent facility.
• Tardiness: Class will begin promptly at the scheduled time. If the student is not in the class-
room within three minutes, he or she is tardy. (2 tardies = 1 absence).
M. STUDENT DISCIPLINE
EPIC students are expected to live in a manner that will, at all times, display good taste and strong Chris-
tian character. All ministerial students are expected to refrain from using tobacco, intoxicants (including
beer and/or wine) and habit-forming or illegal drugs. This also includes living in a way that violates the
Biblical standards for a Christian – living together with a member of the opposite sex, and/or immoral
living in any form (Ephesians 5:5). Any student found acting in a manner that would bring discredit to the
Lord, VFC or the EPIC School of Ministry will be disciplined even to the extent of expulsion from the
Step One: If an EPIC student appears to be out of step with EPIC expectations, the first step to
remedy the situation would be a meeting with a member of the EPIC staff focused on truth, love,
agreement and restoration. The student will be advised in writing regarding the agreement
reached and then asked to sign the agreement that specifies the unacceptable behavior, the
expected behavior, and the student’s willingness to comply with the resolutions.
Step Two: Should the desired result not be achieved, the following may occur: Disciplinary Sus-
pension. The student may be suspended from EPIC. Absence from class at this time will be un-
Disciplinary Dismissal: In severe situations, the student may be immediately dismissed from
EPIC. The student forfeits all privileges and is not eligible for readmission for one full year.
N. VISITORS IN CLASS
Visitors are not allowed in class. We understand that occasionally you may have family or friends visiting
from out of town and you would like to bring them to class with you, but this is not allowed due to the pur-
pose and nature of these classes. We will offer a Get Acquainted with EPIC on April 17h, 2011 for anyone
interested in attending.
O. FINAL EXAMS | CLASS ASSIGNMENTS | SYLLABI’S
All students will be required to take a final exam. Exams will consist of 25 questions: true/false, multiple
choice and/or essay. All exams will be open book and open notes. To take final exams students will need
to log into http://vfcmoodle/. Each student will be given a log-in and password to access the EPIC School
of Ministry online module. Students will be required to log on after week 7 to complete their final exam
prior to week 8’s class time. This system will grade your final exam immediately. Any student that fails to
complete this transaction during this timeframe will not receive credit for completing the class.
The student will be required to complete all book and/or CD assignments by answering the questions
online at http://vfcmoodle/ by the deadline of week 7.
Class syllabi will be located online at http://vfcmoodle/ and it is the students responsibility to download a
syllabus for each class that they are attending. The student will also be responsible for checking online
each week to see if the instructor has posted any new class handouts and/or materials. EPIC will provide
several extra copies each week for that occasional time when your printer, ink or computer is not working.
You will find the extra copies in the back of the classroom each week. If there are no handouts/syllabi
available please go to the Resource Room and use the computer located there to download and print the
needed material from your Moodle account.
P. COURSE CREDIT
To obtain credit for completing a course in the EPIC School of Ministry, you must do the following:
• Attend all class sessions.
• Complete all required book and CD assignments online by week 7 of the term that you are at-
• Complete the final exam online by the last day of class and receive a passing grade.
R. GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS
• Successfully complete all 12 courses with a passing grade for each school year program.
• Successfully complete all requirements for your Specialty Program 3rd Year.
• Meet all financial obligations to EPIC.
• A graduation fee of $30 for 1st & 2nd year students & $50 for 3rd year students is due in May
2011 , which can be paid online or at the Info Center.
S. SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR
Term 1 registration/application deadline August 30
Orientation September 12
Term 1 classes begin September 19
All assignment papers are due (weekly) October 31
Term 1 final exam available online October 31
Term 1 final exam completed November 7
Term 2 registration/application deadline October 31
Term 2 classes begin November 14
Thanksgiving break November 28
Christmas break December 19—26
All assignment papers are due January 16
Term 2 final exams available online January 16
Term 2 final exams completed January 23
Term 3 registration/application deadline January 16
Term 3 classes begin January 30
Super Bowl Sunday | Class times 1:30-5:00pm February 6
All assignment papers are due March 13
Term 3 final exams available online March 13
Term 3 final exams completed March 20
Term 4 registration/application deadline March 13
Term 4 classes begin March 27
Spring break/Easter April 4
Get Acquainted with EPIC April 17
All assignment papers are due May 15
Term 4 final exams available online May 15
Term 4 final exams completed May 22
Memorial Day break May 29
EPIC School of Ministry Graduation June 5
U. STATEMENT OF FAITH
Our Standard - The Scriptures
We believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God and the product of God-
appointed men who spoke and wrote as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit. The New
Covenant, as recorded in the New Testament, we accept as our infallible guide in matters pertain-
ing to conduct. (2 Timothy 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 2:13, 2 Peter 1:21)
God - The Godhead
We believe our God is One, but manifested in three persons -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy
Spirit, being co-equal. God the Father is greater than all. The Son Jesus, is the Word made flesh,
the only begotten son of the Father and He has existed with the Father from the beginning. The
Holy Spirit proceeds forth from both the Father and the Son and is our Helper, Comforter,
Strengthener, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Standby. (Philippians 2:6, John 14:28, John 16:28,
John 1:14, John 1:1, John 1:18, John 15:26)
Our Need - Man's Fall And Redemption
We believe man is a created being, made in the likeness and image of God. Through Adam's
transgression and fall, sin came into the world, and death was the result. Therefore, man is spiritu-
ally dead and separated from God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was sent to give His life, shed His
blood to redeem and restore man back to God by providing us with salvation. Salvation is the gift
of God to man, separate from works and the law, and it is by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ
that we are saved. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father but by
Him. (Romans 5:14, Romans 3:10, Romans 3:23, 1 John 3:8, Ephesians 2:8, John 14:6)
Eternal Life - Being Born of the Spirit
We believe man's first step toward salvation is godly sorrow that works repentance. In order to be
saved and receive eternal life, Jesus said every person must be born again. The New Birth is nec-
essary to all men, and when experienced, produces eternal life. For God so loved the world, He
gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting
life. (2 Corinthians 7:10, 1 John 5:12, John 3:3-5, John 3:16)
Divine Power - Being Filled with the Spirit
We believe every believer should be "born of" the Spirit and subsequently "filled with" the Holy
Spirit. This is also known as: the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, receiving the Spirit or being filled with
the Spirit. This is a gift from God as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to all believers and is re-
ceived by faith, subsequent to the New Birth. Being filled with the Spirit gives a believer power to
be a witness for Christ, and is the entry point for the supernatural, victorious life. The Bible teaches
that this experience is received by faith and is often evidenced by the accompanying supernatural
gifts of the Spirit, including speaking in tongues. (Matt. 3:11, John 14:16,17, Acts 1:8, 2:4,38, 19:1-7, Eph
Going Public - Water Baptism
We believe Jesus commanded all believers to go public with their faith through water baptism, by
immersion. Water baptism is a public declaration of the internal work of God in the heart and life of
a believer. This is a symbol of the Christian's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and res-
urrection. (Matthew 28:19, Romans 6:4, Colossians 2:12, Acts 8:36-39)
Real Growth - Sanctification
We believe the true Christian life is evidenced by the godly fruit of the Spirit that is developed and
produced in the life of a believer. This process of sanctification leads to a genuine, holy, Christ-
like life and is a definite, yet progressive work of grace. This process begins at the time of the new
birth and continues throughout our Christian life. (Hebrews 12:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, 2 Peter 3:18,
2 Corinthians 3:18, Philippians 3:12-14, 1 Corinthians 1:30)
Blessings - Divine Healing
We believe that Jesus desires the abundant life for all believers who walk in the light of His
Word. This includes many blessings - spirit, soul and body. God promises to forgive all our sins
and to heal all our diseases. Therefore, we believe that health and healing for the mental, emo-
tional and physical ills of the human mind and body is available by the power of God. The Bible
teaches us several pathways by which to access God's divine help and healing power and this in-
cludes: the prayer of faith, the laying on of hands, being led by the Spirit and/or by the supernatu-
ral gifts of the Spirit. Healing has been provided for in the atonement of Christ, and is the privilege
of every member of the Church today. (John 10:10, Ps `103:3, Mark 16:18, James 5:14-25, 1 Peter 2:24,
Matthew 8:17, Isaiah 53:4-5)
Things To Come - The Return Of Our Lord
We believe in the physical, bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe His coming is immi-
nent. When He comes, the dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive will be caught up to-
gether with them in the clouds (what we refer to as the Rapture), to meet the Lord in the air. After
this rapture event, we believe the Tribulation, a period of 7 years, will take place on earth. Following
the Tribulation, Jesus shall return to the Earth as King of kings, the Lord of lords. Believers will re-
turn with Him will reign with Christ on earth for a thousand years during what is known as the Mil-
lenial Reign of Christ. (Acts 1:11, 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17, Revelation 20:6)
Final Destination - Hell And Eternal Retribution
We believe that a person who physically dies without accepting and confessing Jesus Christ as
Lord is hopelessly and eternally lost. This person will spend eternity in hell and the Lake of Fire,
and therefore, has no further opportunity of hearing the Gospel and repenting. The Lake of Fire is
literal. The terms "eternal" and "everlasting" used in describing the duration of punishment in the
Lake of Fire carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in denoting the
duration of joy and ecstasy of believers in the presence of God. (Hebrews 9:27, Revelation 19:20)
Dear EPIC School of Ministry Student,
Welcome to Valley Family Church’s EPIC School of Ministry!
Attached you will find a copy of the EPIC School of Ministry Student Handbook. Please read it thor-
oughly and once you agree to what is written therein, please sign this cover letter and turn in tonight.
This form will become a part of your student file and will verify that you have read and agreed to what is
written in the Handbook. Please keep the Handbook for your reference.
We look forward to a mutually beneficial and eternally fruitful student relationship with you, and we are
excited about what God will do in these next few years.
Pastors Jeff and Beth Jones
I _____________________ have read and agree to comply with all that is written in the
Valley Family Church, EPIC School of Ministry Handbook.
Your Signature Today's Date