AZUSA, Calif. —Azusa Pacific University has joined forces with the San Clemente, Calif.-based Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) to form a new center dedicated to providing relevant, accessible training on Christian nonprofit leadership for churches, parachurches, and other nonprofit organizations, effective July 1, 2010.

"For the past few years, APU has been exploring means to broaden the university’s reach in both formal and informal learning opportunities,” said APU President Jon R. Wallace, DBA. “Together with CLA, our vision is to provide ministries and nonprofit groups with professional, applied, and principled development in leadership, management, and other key areas of organizational effectiveness."

For more than 35 years, CLA (formerly Christian Management Association/Christian Stewardship Association) has equipped leaders of Christian nonprofits in leadership, governance, management, and resource development. Drawing upon the strengths of APU and CLA, currently 10,000 members strong, will help bring additional resources and while also expanding the center’s reach.

Beginning January 2011, the new center plans to offer online certificate courses in 10 areas encompassing fields of Christian nonprofit leadership such as Executive Leadership, Managing and Leading, Resource Development, Financial Management, Legal and Tax Issues, Board Governance, People Management and Care, Mission and Strategy, Spiritual Dimensions of Effectiveness, and Communications and Marketing.

Additional resources, including an annual conference, seminars, and publications, help build further connections and assist ministry and nonprofit organizations in improving organizational effectiveness.

"Joining forces with APU, one of America’s preeminent Christian universities, allows CLA to impact an even wider audience of Christian leaders,” said Frank Lofaro, CLA president and CEO. “APU’s outstanding faculty, excellent resources, and growing online learning programs elevate CLA’s ability to impact the leadership of Christian ministries nationwide."

As a center subsidiary, the Engstrom Institute, named for a founding member of the CLA and prominent past board member and interim president at APU, is dedicated to scholarly research and resources to support innovation, and best leadership practice. Access to academic scholars for research and writing and other contributions to nonprofit leadership and management will be delivered through the EI.

"This alliance with CLA enables APU to meet their membership’s learning needs in specific competencies, knowledge, and skills through seminars, workshops, certificates, and diplomas in several forms of delivery, including online," said John Reynolds, NH Dip: Comp Sys, APU executive vice president. "We’re excited to offer leaders and organizations programs and resources that are flexible and meet market need, while retaining APU’s reputable, Bible-based education."

Christian Leadership Alliance
Christian Leadership Alliance (CLA) is a national association, based in San Clemente, Calif., representing more than 10,000 individuals, from more than 4,500 Christian nonprofit organizations nationwide. The mission of CLA is to exhort, equip and empower Christian leaders to think biblically and lead effectively as faithful stewards in the service of Jesus Christ. For more information, visit www.ChristianLeadershipAlliance.org.