Church Based Training (CBT) is the maturation process by which the local church provides for the establishing, equipping, and encouragement of a believer’s faith, hope, and love. It is driven by the biblical mandate to make disciples and send them into the “harvest field” as workers who will “not be ashamed”. While the church has remained strong in developing the heart of the disciple it has grown dependent (on “schools”) and weak where ministry skills and biblical education are concerned.
CCBT is committed to the idea that maturation (not education) should be the KEY Pass/Fail evaluation of ministry readiness and preparedness and that the church (not the school) is uniquely gifted and organized to do such development. Our belief is that if the Church would return to it’s rightful place at the center of the growth process and use it’s natural focus on mature service and spiritual vitality and would unite that focus with serious academic discipline.
I am a “poster child” for Church based training! From the week of my “Damascus road type” conversion to Christ, through my days as an intern and pastor at Fellowship Bible Church North (under Dr. Gene Getz), to working on staff in the early years of the Center for Church Based Training in curriculum development, networking, and consulting, my history is a story of CBT. “Training” in the local Church grounded me, grew me, and gave me a vision for the Church that changed me forever. But it was through consulting for CCBT that I learned how rare a thing it is that a church takes on the full responsibility to train and mentor a person from new born in Christ to ordained minister.
I currently live in Wichita Kansas with my lovely wife Teresa and our son Andrew. I have also helped raise two step-daughters, Tiffany, and Amanda both of whom are happily married and have given us 3 awesome grandchildren with a 4th on the way. In my “spare time” I enjoy playing with the “grands”, reading, studying, teaching, coaching parents, serving in the church, and floating in the pool.
I am blessed that I was “grafted in” to Christ, I am blessed that I was intentionally disciple from “day one” of my Christian life, I am blessed that I was the recipient of a robust and healthy church that re-parented and redeemed my brokenness and gave me a model of leadership, I am blessed in work and ministry that whatever I put my hand too has flourished, I am blessed in wife and family… I live a blessed life.
Dave and Judy Buckert
Dave and Judy Buckert have been in ministry since 1978 in South America, Mexico and the US. Dave has trained facilitators across denominational lines, taught theological education via extension courses in Venezuela, taken part in planting several Hispanic churches in the US and was a member of the national EFCA church planting team. In the early 2000’s Dave and Judy founded El Puente, a ministry which encouraged church to church partnership and cross-cultural ministry between churches in the US and Mexico. Dave has worked extensively with pastors and lay leaders in Latin America and other countries, particularly focusing on church based training principles. He has served with CCBT since 2007 and Executive Director since 2010. Judy serves as Art Director for Confia Publishers, a ministry of CCBT. Dave and Judy have two grown children and five grandchildren.
Don and Deanne Closson
Don and Deanne Closson have been in ministry since 1986, first with Probe Ministries International, a Christian apologetics and biblical worldview ministry, and then joining CCBT in 2013. Don is the Director of Administration and a research associate with the Centers of Church Based Training. Deanne serves as the Office Administrator for CCBT. Don has taught apologetics throughout North America, in Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. He has been an elder at Christ Fellowship church in McKinney, Texas since 2000 and has been the equipping pastor since 2013. Don has a Masters in Educational Administration from IL State and a Masters of Biblical Studies from DTS. He and Deanne have both led a small group ministry in their church since 1989. They have been married for 40 years and have two grown sons.
Jay Whitten has been in ministry alongside his wife, Teri, and three daughters since 2007. They served cross-culturally in East Asia for over eleven years until 2019, after which Jay joined CCBT as the Network Director in 2020. Jay has been familiar with CCBT’s philosophy ever since participating in his first Discovery series over 20 years ago. While serving overseas, he was blessed to be part of a multi-year effort to introduce CBT methodology, including the WISDOM Process, to a local church in their city. The team adapted it to the local culture and context, and needless to say, it was difficult at first. But after many lessons learned, the program has taken off and grown significantly, now run completely by the local church. It has even expanded to other churches in that city.