Nazarene Theological Seminary became the birthplace of the Rogers-Cunningham-Bowman Ministerial Institute on January 21, 2002, marking a historical pivotal point in the development of black American leadership, prophetic witness, social action, and theological and academic excellence in the Church of the Nazarene.
The virtual institute has since been conducted at Nazarene Bible College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and at Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, Massachusetts. This year the RCBMI returned to NTS, June 20-24, with the support of Nazarene Mission Support USA/Canada.
Thirty pastors and leaders representing congregational ministry to the black community gathered at the NTS Commons for intense leadership development seminars on various aspects of the black church.
The Institute was workshop-inspired by three exceptional leaders in the black church:
- Dr. Cleophus LaRue is the Princeton Seminary's Francis Landey Patton associate professor of homiletics, and he specializes in the theory and method of African American preaching and worship.
- Rev. Sharon Bowers, president, Student Christian League, Interdenominational Theological Center; CEO, Character Based Leadership Institute Inc. Bowers led the revitalization of the Black Methodist for Church Renewal - Holston Conference Chapter. Sharon’s seminar was Conflict Resolution in the Black Church.
- Rev. H. Carlye Church, pastor, Chapel Grove United Church of Christ. Contributor to the African American Heritage Hymnal edited by Dr. Delores Carpenter. Carlyle’s seminar was The Role of the Preacher in the African Community.
Presentations also were made by Don Walter with Nazarene Pensions & Benefits, Bill Wiesman, Nazarene Evangelism Ministries, and Althea Taylor, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.