In the mid-nineties, Ken and Donna Kessler started going on short-term mission trips to train and equip pastors. During these trips, they realized that many pastors in third-world nations did not understand the foundational truths of the gospel, few knew how to hear God’s voice for themselves and minister in the power of the Holy Spirit, and most of their worship services consisted of religious ritual rather than an encounter with God’s life-changing presence. As a result, many of these untrained leaders preached condemning messages that hindered their church members from living in the freedom, grace, and joy that is available in Christ, and their worship services lacked the presence of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Seeing these problems motivated Ken to start Lifeschool, which as the name suggests, trains pastors in third-world nations with the life-giving truths of the gospel.
Ken didn’t realize it back then, but the lack of proper training is one of the greatest challenges facing the church in third-world nations. Some estimate that over 60% of the pastors worldwide are untrained or under trained. This lack of formal training has created a massive leadership crisis in the third-world, resulting in churches that are filled with condemnation, powerless religion, lawlessness, compromise, apathy, and complacency.
At Lifeschool, we believe, according to Ephesians 5:27, that the church will be glorious before the Lord returns. Our mission is to see the church transformed from our current condition into a glorious church who loves Jesus with passion, lives in purity, ministers in power, and partners with Him in the end times.
To accomplish this mission, Lifeschool has designed a cost-effective, portable, self-study training program that takes the school to the student rather than requiring the student to come to the school. Our distance-learning program, named The Church Transformation Project (CTP), consists of seven courses and provides pastors with theological training in a flexible format. Pastors, who are notoriously busy, can now study the materials at their own pace in their own home. No longer do pastors have to go to school; now the school comes to them, allowing theological training to be taken to the most remote places of the earth.
Lifeschool utilizes a distance-learning model that takes the school to the student rather than requiring the student to go to the school. Lifeschool trains senior pastors who in turn equip their congregations in what they have learned. The goal of Lifeschool is far more than just a graduation ceremony and a diploma. We want to see pastors trained and equipped so that they can transform their churches and fulfill their end-time mandate.Learn More
In 1983, as Ken was sensing a call into full-time ministry, the Lord gave him Colossians 1:28-29 as a life-defining Scripture. It reads, “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”
After receiving this Scripture, Ken knew that his ministry calling was to help lead the Body of Christ into deeper levels of maturity. Since then, Ken’s calling has led him in a variety of directions. He served for eight years as an associate pastor of a Southern Baptist Church. Prior to that, Ken owned a successful hospital management company. In preparation for his fifteen-year business career, Ken earned a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech and received a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While serving as associate pastor, Ken earned his Master of Divinity Degree from New Orleans Baptist Seminary.
In 1991, Ken was sent out by his local church to start a new Baptist church. Though his church is now non-denominational, he still pastors that church. Pastoring this church, which is called Restoration Life Church, helped prepare Ken to start Lifeschool International. In fact, the Lifeschool curriculum was developed from what God taught him as he helped equip his church to be more passionate, pure, and powerful.
A few years after beginning Restoration Life, the Lord gave Ken Luke 1:17 as another life-defining verse. It reads “It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, TO TURN THE HEARTS OF THE FATHERS BACK TO THE CHILDREN, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” With certainty, Ken knew that God had called him to be a forerunner who would help “make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Specifically, God has called Ken to help restore broken lives (Matt. 17:11), to help make the church ready for the last days, to help make the church ready for the return of the Lord, and to equip the Body of Christ for the work of ministry.
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Since its inception in 2003, some of Lifeschool’s accomplishments are as follows:
- Developed the 7 class curriculum that is used in our distance-learning program.
- Translated the materials into Swahili (used in Kenya and Tanzania) and Lugandan (used in Uganda).
- Developed 3 automated software programs for tracking student progress, approving budget requests, and fundraising.
- Invested over $900,000 into training pastors in third-world nations.
- Established national leadership in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, and the Congo.
- Trained over 1,300 pastors who have impacted over 100,000 people.