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


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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

The classes being offered include the following:

September 8, 2018, Debbie Roberts, “The Why and How of Conflict Engagement”
Explore the theory and practice of conflict engagement. Using the expertise of John Paul Lederach, Parker Palmer, and Tom Porter, we will explore various models of engagement, the importance of spiritual preparation when we are asked to help facilitate conversations between others who are in conflict, and some tools that can assist us in listening and responding in helpful and healing ways.
October 13, 2018, Tim Grove, “Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) - Part 1”
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) - Part 1 The science of the past 30 years is painting a clear picture - when kids are exposed to overwhelming, unsupported adversity, there is profound effect for them and for all of us. This class will introduce the ACE findings, briefly discuss the neurobiology of stress and propose simple solutions that promote hope and healing. There will also be time at the end of the presentation for a dialogue regarding the implications for Ventures participants.
November 17, 2018, Tim Grove, “Trauma Informed Care (TIC) - Part 2”
We will briefly review and highlight the ACEs findings and dig deeper into the core concepts of TIC. We will focus specifically on the core concepts of regulation, relationship and reason to be as critical components of a connected and healthy world. We will also discuss how response to overwhelming adversity and trauma tends to create dysregulation, relational skepticism and pursuit of purpose that is often superficial and absent of meaning. The strategies discussed that create regulation, relationship and reason to be are also relevant for managing conflict and other relevant challenges of modern life.
(Part 1 not required to take Part 2)

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.


Bivocational Ministry
Instructor: Sandra Jenkins
August 8 – October 2, 2018 (online)
Registration Deadline July 3, 2018
Course Brochure

Bivocational Ministry
Instructor: Sandra Jenkins
August 8 – October 2, 2018 (online)
Registration Deadline July 3, 2018
Course Brochure

Introduction To Hebrew Scriptures
Instructor:  Matt Boersma
October 17-December 11, 2018 (online)
Registration deadline: September 12, 2018
Course Brochure

Narrative Theology
Instructor: Scott Holland
November 1-4, 2018 (Bethany Theological Seminary)
Registration Deadline September 27, 2018
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 



The next class to be held at the Roanoke Center will be PREACHING, taught by J. Stuart Kelly. Textbooks for the class are: Taylor, Barbara Brown. The Preaching Life. Cowley Publications, 7th printing, copyright 1993. Long, Thomas G. The Witness of Preaching. Published by Westminster John Knox Press, Second Edition, copyright 2005. These are both available on Amazon. The Sunday afternoon classes will be held on July 29, August 5, August 26, and September 9, 2018 from 2 – 6 p.m. at the District Resource Center, 3402 Plantation Road, NE, Roanoke, VA. Tuition for the class will be $75.00 and students are responsible for purchasing the necessary textbooks. For more information or to obtain an application please contact Judy Mills, Center Coordinator. Phone: (540) 992-1980, E-mail: <>;.  Make checks payable to VIRLINA DISTRICT and mail with registration form by July 20, to: Judy Mills, Roanoke Center Coordinator, 2805 Nace Rd, Fincastle, VA 24090-4515. CEU credit is available for ordained ministers taking the class.


The 2018 Practice of Ministry Day will be Saturday, August 5, 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Stone Church of the Brethren, 2162 Forest Avenue, Buena Vista, VA 24416-2734. The focus this year is “Communication with Pastor and Parish.” Marty Barlow, John Jantzi, Tabitha Rudy and David Shumate will be presenters on subjects such as “Anger Management”, “Social Media”, and “Politics and the Church.” CEU credit is available for ordained ministers.

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:



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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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