When Northwoods Community Church in Peoria, Illinois, began in 1990, they envisioned reaching the 150,000 people in the greater Peoria area who did not attend church. Today, that vision has come to life in the surrounding areas of Galesburg, Chillicothe, Canton, and Princeton. As their outreach continues to grow, so has their desire to plant more churches and train young men who want to lead them. To accomplish that vision, Northwoods will launch their 2-year ministry training program this fall.

The ministry training school will equip students through graduate-level classes that encompass theology, leadership, and pastoral training. In addition to classroom settings, students will also participate in a residency program at Northwoods. During their second year of study, each student will explore church planting opportunities with FEC.

For more than a decade, founding pastor Cal Rychener has desired to train young pastors to plant and lead churches. By 2030, Northwoods plans to plant churches in 20 key Illinois cities; however, their desire to plant churches extends beyond Illinois to include anywhere in the world where God opens the door.

In the future, Northwoods hopes to expand the ministry training school to include creative arts, children’s ministry, student ministry, and an administrative track.