Church of the Brethren
Virlina District
3402 Plantation Road, NE
Roanoke, Virginia  24012
(800) 847-5462
(540) 362-1816
Virlina District

Church of the Brethren
Continuing the Work of Jesus.  Peacefully. Simply. Together.
Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.









Music and Worship Resources


Have a great Music and Worship resource that you want others to know about?  Email and share it!

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Continuing Education for Ministers  (and people who just like to learn!)

"Ventures in Christian Discipleship" - Online Classes by McPherson College

The “Ventures in Christian Discipleship” program at McPherson (Kan.) College is moving into its sixth year of providing useful, affordable education to small church congregations.  Ventures courses, while not for college credit, offer high-quality instruction. The goal of the program is to empower lay people, especially in smaller congregations, to more effectively carry out the work of discipleship, following in Jesus’ footsteps to transform ourselves and the world. 
Technology Requirements for Live Courses: If you can surf the web, you will be able to participate in our online courses! For the best experience, we recommend that you have a computer with high-speed internet connection and external powered speakers. We encourage several people to share a computer to participate in a course together! No camera or microphone needed for most courses.
Classes are held on their appointed days from 9 am - 12 pm CST.  All classes are donation-based and continuing education credit is available for $10 per course. To learn more about Ventures in Christian Discipleship and to register for courses, visit

Brethren Academy Classes and Information

The Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership (BAML) now has the ability to accept online registrations and payments for many of our programs. Students may register for English-language courses as well as make payments through the Bethany website. In addition to course fees, Directed Independent Study Unit fees, TRIM/EFSM enrollment fees and TRIM student yearly fees, are accepted online.

At this time, district fees, congregational fees, and Spanish-language program fees still need to be made by mailing a check to the Brethren Academy office.

To register or pay online, please visit Look for the green Registration/Payment button on our home page or course listings page.


Engaging Pastoral Care
January 14-16, 2019
Bethany Theological Seminary
Course Brochure

Christianity in the Early-Modern and Modern Worlds
Instructor: H. Kendall Rogers
January 23-March 12, 2019
Registration Deadline: December 10, 2018
Course Brochure

Race and the Congregation
Instructor: Eric Bishop
February 21-24, 2019
COB Offices, Elgin, Illinois
Registration Deadline: January 17, 2019
Revised Course Brochure

Survey of the Bible
Instructor: Steven Schweitzer
March 1-3, 2019
Miami Haitian Church of the Brethren
Miami, FL
Registration Deadline: January 25, 2019
Course Brochure

How to Think Theologically

Instructor:  Nathanael Inglis
March 13-May 7, 2019
Registration Deadline: February 6, 2019
Course Brochure

Church of the Brethren Polity

Instructor:  Torin Eikler
April 3-May 28, 2019
Registration Deadline: February 27, 2019
Course Brochure


Lombard Mennonite Peace Center

Check out for all sorts of classes and "clergy clinics" on various topics:


Conflict is an inevitable part of life, whether in the home, school, community, church, or workplace. Having the skills to function effectively in emotionally intense, conflicted situations is important for all of us, especially those of us who are leaders.  Lombard Mennonite Peace Center has trained thousands of church leaders from a wide range of denominations in the skills that are needed to deal with conflict in the church setting through its Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders.    READ MORE


The Advanced Clergy Clinic in Family Emotional Process is designed to enhance the ability of participants to function as self-differentiated leaders within their own ministry setting.  It will provide a safe forum for processing challenging situations in one’s ministry, while also facilitating reflection on a way of thinking about the human condition that has implications for all aspects of life.  This clinic is especially geared towards pastors, interim pastors, judicatory officials, church consultants, and leaders of other religious organizations.    READ MORE


The Clergy Clinic in Family Emotional Process is designed to enhance the ability of participants to function as self-differentiated leaders within their own ministry setting.  It will provide a safe forum for processing challenging situations in one’s ministry, while also facilitating reflection on a way of thinking about the human condition which has implications for all aspects of life.   READ MORE


The Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches workshop teaches some basic skills that will help participants manage conflicts within their congregations in a healthier manner.   READ MORE


The Healthy Congregations workshop is designed to equip leaders to respond to the presence or potential threat of anxiety in a congregational system in ways that prevent destructive conflict and help the church stay focused on its unique mission and purpose.   READ MORE


We live in an age of increased anxiety, which impacts church systems and leaders. Family systems theory offers a way of understanding congregational dynamics and anxiety. This seminar looks at the challenge presented by the rising levels of anxiety being experienced in churches today, as well as the role that self-differentiated leadership can play in calming such anxiety.   READ MORE


The Facilitating Healthy Pastor-Congregation Relations workshop is intended to help congregations design systems for enhancing the relationship between churches and their pastoral leadership. Currently the church is experiencing something of a crisis in the pastorate system. Clergy morale is at an all-time low, with pastors under attack like never before. The net result is an increasing incidence of involuntary pastoral terminations, which leave a lasting legacy of pain in congregations. Such a trend can only be reversed if the church is willing to reexamine some of the ways that the pastorate system has functioned in recent years. Facilitating Healthy Pastor-Congregation Relations would be an appropriate workshop for pastors, lay leaders and other church members, or judicatory staff and committees.   READ MORE 


To learn more about the Christian Growth Institute, check out it's page here


Church of the Brethren office of Ministry

Documents and Announcements regarding placement, events, employment guidelines, etc.  (Click the text.)


Know of other Continuing Education classes or opportunities that you want others to know about?  Email and share it!

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Christian Education / Bible Study Resources



Young Adults:

Older Adults:



 Have a great Christian education or Bible Study resource that you want others to know about?  Email and share it!

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 Resources for our Life Together as the COB


Know of other resources that might be helpful for your fellow Brethren in Virlina?  Email and share them!

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Books and periodicals located at the District Resource Center

Coming soon!    And, if you're interested in helping....


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 Resources on Disabilities and Accessibility

Alzheimer’s Disease,  other Dementias and Cognitive disorders:

Alzheimer’s Association:

Alzheimer’s Disease Educations and Resource Center (ADEAR): Provides fact sheets on various disorders and assistance – from the National Institutes of Health.   Type in the disorder you want information about

Medical information:

Examples of information:

Senior Navigator:  Provides links to local support groups, caregiving resources, etc. You must type in your locale.

Developmental Disabilities:

American Association on Developmental Disabilities - AAIDD website

Gleanings, from Bill Gaventa (Religion and Spirituality Division):  Gleanings is a resource compilation, available as a free subscription from the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) Religion and Spirituality Division. This newsletter is edited by the Rev. Bill Gaventa:; Gleanings, 

Summer Institute on Theology and Disability

SITD Facebook:

National Collaborative on Faith and Disability

Welcoming People with Developmental Disabilities and Their Families: A Practical Guide for Congregations: from the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, a resource to equip congregations with ideas and steps to strengthen the invitation, supports and hospitality offered to people with disabilities and their families.

Adapting Sunday School materials – Five ways to make curriculum more inclusive:

Disabilities and Inclusion:   

(Includes information on many types of disabilities)

Anabaptist Disabilities Network,  ADNet:  newsletter provides tips and success stories.

  • Kathleen Nofziger Yeakey, Executive Director, 3145 Benham Avenue, Suite 5, Elkhart, IN 46517-1970, Office 574-343-1362, Toll free/Fax 877-214-9838, Cell 574-349-7719
  • Church of the Brethren contacts with ADNET:
    • Debbie Eisenbise - Anabaptist Disabilities Network Field Associate and disabilities Advocate for the Church of the Brethren:
    • Rebekah Flores - Anabaptist Disabilities Network Field Associate and disabilities Advocate for the Church of the Brethren:  847-977-0795

Other Church of the Brethren Links:

Multiple Chemical Sensitivities in Church:  (Anabaptist Disabilities Network) Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS, also known as Environmental Illness) is a condition in which persons are unable to adapt to synthetic chemicals pervading our environment, including church buildings. This may be to cleaning materials, perfumes, candles, building components.


Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA): 7910 Woodmont Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814, Phone: 301-657-2248, Fax: 301-913-9413,

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA), formerly known as SHHH (Self-Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc.) can be a key resource for congregations in the area of communication accessibility. Particularly useful is the “Accessibility” section on its website,

Hearing Loop Systems for Churches: A hearing loop system in a church  (also known as an induction loop) is a wireless device technology that works with telecoil hearing aids (almost all new hearing aids now have telecoils) and all cochlear implants to produce clear sound without feedback or background noise.  Consisting of only three parts – an amplifier, microphone and very thin loop wire – hearing loops create a magnetic field that is picked up by any t-coil equipped hearing aid and converted to audible sound.

Mental Health:

No Letting Go:   ; moving story of a family’s struggle and their child’s mental illness

The Mental Health Access Pack for Churches: (From the UK) This is a ‘microsite’ –a website of just 20 pages, giving succinct information on common mental health problems, treatments and theological conundrums aimed at carers and leaders in the average local church.

Seven Reasons Why Church is So Difficult for Families Touched by Mental Illness:


Make Your Church Handicapped Accessible -

National Center on Accessibility (NCA) - University Research Park, 501 North Morton Street, Suite 109, Bloomington, IN 47404, Phone (voice): 812-856-4422; (TTY): 812-856-4421, Fax: 812-856-4480,

The National Center on Accessibility (NCA) was established in 1992 through a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service. Based at Indiana University, NCA provides information, training, and technical assistance related to inclusion of persons with disabilities in parks, recreation, and tourism, focusing on universal design and practical accessibility solutions.

Accessibility Resources for Churches:  pdf with information on a variety of resources and providers to assist churches in accommodating a variety of needs, from drinking fountains, hearing assistance, elevators, signage, attitudes and much more. From the United Methodist Church; part of a larger document. Page 66 notes points for awareness and attitudes when dealing with those who are otherly-abled.


Living with Low vision: 
The National Eye Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has posted Living with Low Vision, a five-part video series featuring people with low vision and vision professionals. Videos cover how low vision is diagnosed, technologies and modifications people can make to support independence, and reaching out to the community and to family for support. Each video is less than two minutes long. The series is available in English and Spanish.

Special Needs – Visual Impairment – Seventh Day Adventist – Provides tips and suggestions to make church more accessible for persons with visual impairments; covering large print bulletins to rides to church.


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Click for more information:




New Church Development

Children's Cabinet

Jr. & Sr. High Youth

Young Adults

 Spiritual Development

Women's Fellowship Groups


Disaster Response

Ministry & Mission in Virlina

Peace Affairs

Project WARM

Ecumenical Groups

Christian Growth Institute

Calling the Called


Retreat Information

Interested in Church Planting?



Children's Cabinet

Join us at District Conference!  


Jr. & Sr. High Youth

Senior high youth and IYC retreat - February 3-4, 2018 at Henry Fork COB

Click for more information!

Junior High Youth Retreat - March 2-3, 2018 at Camp Bethel

Click for more information!

senior high youth - faithquest retreat 

The FaithQuest retreat is for high school youth in grades 9-12 who want to explore their relationship with God. FaithQuest is an opportunity for youth to share and learn with others and journey together on the road to a deeper spirituality and commitment. Be on the lookout for the next one.


Camp Bethel has a variety of camping options for youth in grades 6-12.  Adventure camps, Resident camps, and volunteer opportunities at 540-992-2940 or at <>.

Young Adults

Virlina Events are organized by CONNECT!  Check out the Facebook page to stay up to date on upcoming events.


Spiritual Development

SEPTEMBER 30, 2017 --- SAVE-THE-DATE!!!  The annual spiritual retreat will be held at Camp Bethel in the House of Pillars on Saturday, September 30. Additional information will be available in April including theme, leadership, and activities. The Spiritual Development Retreat Committee will be sponsoring this retreat.


 Women's Fellowship Groups

Stay tuned!



Pilgrimage XXII will be held March 16-18, 2018, at Camp Bethel. Pilgrimage is a spiritual retreat for adults of all ages, and God is working through this ministry in wonderful ways. The structure of the weekend includes talks, small groups, fun times, inspiring worship services, and much more. God knows where we are on our spiritual journey, and He meets us right there. Whether you need peace, or joy, or forgiveness, or encouragement, or hope, or revival, or a little extra time with Him...He gives more than we even desire. It is difficult to put into words how wonderful the weekend is. The only way to truly understand what Pilgrimage has to offer is to experience it! Prayerfully consider if this is your year to attend. If you would like more information, go to <> or contact Karen Haynes at (336) 765-5263 or <>.


Disaster Response

The Church of the Brethren has long valued the practice of serving others.  If you are interested in helping with local projects, or traveling with others to work on rebuilding projects, contact our district's coordinator, Jim Kropff at <> or 540-761-8671.

Projects vary from rebuilding/repairing homes and other buildings, to assisting with childcare in shelters where displaced persons are living.  Skilled and unskilled volunteers are all welcome!


Ministry & Mission in Virlina

This event is held yearly on the first Saturday in May. In 2017 that will be May 6. The District Board Commissions provide workships for this annual gathering.  Contact the District Resource Center with questions.


Peace Affairs

As one of the Historic Peace Churches, the Church of the Brethren seeks to build community based on peace rather than violence.  Our district holds yearly events to draw attention to how people are working for peace in our local communities.

Check back for more information regarding events and how we can work together to share God's peace with others!


Project WARM

When it gets cold outside, many folks in the Roanoke Valley are not able to heat their homes.  Project WARM seeks to help folks out by providing firewood to families in need.  Interested in helping?  Volunteers are always needed to help cut, split, load and deliver firewood to families in the Roanoke area.  Contact Marc Wilson at <> for information about deliveries and scheduling.

Read the article that was featured in the Salem Newspaper here!


Ecumenical Groups

The Virlina District seeks to build and maintain relationships with other denominations on a regular basis.  For more information about these opportunities, see the following links:

    The Virginia Council of Churches

    The West Virginia Council of Churches


Christian Growth Institute

Together with the Shenandoah District Church of the Brethren, Virlina works to equip ministers with the best training.  The Christian Growth Institute (CGI) is accredited by the Brethren Acadamy and provides those who are pursuing the set apart ministry with a training option when seminary or TRIM is not possible.  For more information, contact the District Resource Center.

calendar.png Find the Class Schedule here!

Download the most recent brochure here!  pdf


About the Program 

The Institute's program of study is designed to be completed in four years.  Here are the required components:

Orientation: This is a one day event to introduce the program to students.

Required Courses:

  1. Old Testament Survey
  2. New Testament Survey
  3. Introduction to Theology
  4. Ministerial Leadership and Administration
  5. History of the Church
  6. Beliefs and Practices of the Church of the Brethren
  7. Preaching
  8. Worship
  9. Introduction to Pastoral Care
  10. Biblical Interpretation
  11. Teaching and Learning in the Church
  12. Evangelism/Outreach
  13. Written Communication (Writing)

Portfolio: This is designed to help studetns with their minitry goals.  Quarterly meetings with a mentor will aid in this.  

Practice of Ministry Days: Students are required to participate in 3 Practice of Ministry Days, which are held annually, and cover a wide range of topics spoken on by guest speakers.

Ministry Formation: 3 spiritual formation retreats are required to help students develop and learnd about the spiritual disciplines.

Supervised Ministry Experience:  This is still in the works, but the goal of this will be to allow a student to benefit from an on-site ministry experience under the direction of an experienced pastor. 

Broader Church: Students ae required to attend at least one Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, one district conference, and a significatn ecumenical, interfaith or intercultural event.  


Calling the Called

Calling the Called is held every so many years by the Virlina District.  During this event people gather to hear the call stories of many pastors and other church leaders.  Participants are challenged to seek God's call for their own lives in ministry as God's servants.   

To watch the video from the previous event and get more information, click here: Calling the Called 2012 Promotional Video


Calling the Called: Discernment – Discipleship - Direction, is an event jointly organized by the Shenandoah and Virlina Districts. It is an intentional time away from the routine of life for persons to discern what it means to be called by God to the set-apart ministry. 

Whether you are someone actively exploring the possibility of ministry or someone unsure of God’s calling this will be a helpful time of discernment and discovery.

Come and hear personal call stories, come and wrestle with biblical call stories, come and learn about the process of entering the set-apart ministry in the Church of the Brethren. Come for worship and fellowship; come and discover what it means to be a people called by God.

Calling the Called: Discernment - Discipleship – Direction will be held beginning at 5 p.m. with registration on Friday, April 20, 2018 through closing at 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at Camp Bethel. The cost of registration is $50 per person which includes lodging at Camp Bethel, meals, classes and materials. CEU’s will be available for ordained ministers at $10 extra.

Check out the Calling the Called Facebook Page!


New Church Development

Of the Church of the Brethren districts, Virlina has been the most successful in church planting.  We currently have four fellowships that continue to be nurtured by the district:  Blacksburg, Iglesia del Buen Pastor; Floyd, Iglesia Cristiana Renacer; Moneta, Lake Side; and Roanoke, Iglesia Cristiana Renacer.  Find our Roanoke City fellowship, Iglesia Cristiana Renacer, on Facebook!

MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR A SPECIAL RETREAT:  New Church Development Committee Intercultural Retreat will be held at the Smith Mountain Lake 4-H Educational Conference Center on October 20-22, 2017.  Details will be forthcoming.

Interested in Church Planting?



For more information, check out

Brethren Colleges

An education at a Brethren college or university encourages free inquiry, intellectual curiosity, academic achievement, and offers programs that foster maturity, leadership, and service. Brethren institutions of higher education focus on the whole person and the worth of an individual. Ultimately, a Brethren education joins the world of work with the world of the spirit. Cornerstones of a Brethren education include values of peace, justice, and human dignity. Upon this foundation, students develop the qualities essential for intellectual growth, personal integrity, and service to their community. A Brethren education gives students a system of values which they will carry throughout their lives.

Camps / Outdoor Ministries Association2773574.png

The experience of God in the outdoors has long been an important aspect of Church of the Brethren ministries.  Located throughout the United States, Brethren camps and other outdoor ministry facilities offer time for renewal and learning for children and adults in the nature and peace of God’s creation.


Disaster Response

Inspired by Jesus, Brethren Disaster Ministries focuses on rebuilding homes, caring for children, and providing international relief by engaging our volunteers, supporters, and partners to serve communities recovering from disaster.

Children's Disaster Services

Since 1980 Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has been meeting the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers across the nation. Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, volunteers provide a calm, safe and reassuring presence in the midst of the chaos created by tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires any natural or human caused disaster.

Global Mission and Service

In addition to many places worldwide where Brethren are active with volunteer work or emergency assistance, the Church of the Brethren carries out mission projects in a number of countries. Some of these projects are the fruits of long relationships that span generations. Others are newer efforts in places where we have sensed God leading us today. In all cases, we work in mutual relationship with individuals and organizations in the local setting—seeking both to give and to learn.

Haiti Logo - Final-01.pngHaiti Medical Project

Persons living in most communities in Haiti have almost no opportunity to see a physician and cannot afford hospital care. As a result, health care needs in Haiti are acute. Beginning in 2011 the Church of the Brethren has been sponsoring the Haiti Medical Project as a way to begin to meet these needs in some of the communities where new Haitian Brethren congregations are located.

Peace Witness

The Church of the Brethren seeks to become a living peace church. Christians are called by God to witness to the gospel of peace with such intensity that nations repent and history is changed. Less than a radical witness can only lead us to accept idols of materialism, blind nationalism, the glorification of military strength, dependence on technological solutions for human problems, and personal and national security at the expense of justice.

Death Row Support Project

A person confined to death row often spends up to 23 hours each day alone in a small cell—for years and sometimes decades. Letters can bring a ray of hope to the darkness of death row. For those on the outside, learning to know just one prisoner can dispel some of the misconceptions and fears about prisons and the people locked away inside of them.


Brethren Volunteer Service

Brethren Volunteer Service is a full time volunteer program that places volunteers in a one or two year long assignment in the United States and some locations around the world.  This ministry of the Church of the Brethren has been a major program in this Christian denomination since 1948.

Material Resources

In order to collect and ship material resources to war-torn Europe after World War II, the Church of the Brethren established the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Maryland. Over the years, staff at the Brethren Service Center have worked with denominational and private nonprofit organizations to help meet needs of people in the U.S. and around the globe.

Office of Public Witness

Our public witness is larger than legislative advocacy. Public witness points to working to find coherence between congregation life, service, advocating on policy, and questioning the values that undergird our politics.

Work Camps

The Church of the Brethren provides a variety of work camp opportunities each summer for persons as young as Jr. High and older.  These work camps are held across the country and world.