We empower a movement of Christians serving the poor by training leaders.

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How We Support a Movement Transforming The Lives of the Poor

There is a growing movement of Christians transforming lives of the poor that involves thousands of rescue missions, Salvation Army sites, CCDA sites, and other ministries. These individuals have sacrificially given their lives for God and the poor, but are too often undertrained and overworked. They need training to serve more effectively, but high tuition costs put most Christian colleges beyond their financial reach. 

Also, many Christian colleges don’t teach the practical skills that are most needed to serve the poor. They are strong in academic rigor, but often are not close to the communities where people seek to serve.

City Vision multiplies the effectiveness of Christians serving the poor by giving them practical education at less than half the cost of most Christian schools. We’ve brought together a world-class team of faculty and leaders that have hundreds of years of combined experience in transforming the lives of the poor. Our students don’t just learn theory, they have an opportunity to put it into practice in the organizations where they work.

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“City Vision University provides a quality, practical and affordable education that equips our staff to better serve people experiencing hunger, homelessness and addiction. Often our people that earn their degrees at City Vision have been homeless or addicted and now are valued employees that can help transform other people’s lives through their education.” – Steve Brooder, CEO, St. Matthew’s House

St. Matthew's House: Partnering to Transform the Lives of the Poor

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St. Matthew’s House is an incredibly innovative $33 million dollar rescue mission serving the poor, homeless and addicted in Naples, FL. Each year, they provide over 513,000 meals and housing to over 1,600 individuals. Of those, 120 are placed in jobs, and 385 are placed in housing. The leadership of St. Matthew’s realized a key strategy to remain effective and innovative is to invest heavily in the education and training of their staff. In the past 5 years, St. Matthew’s has had over 40 of their staff and others enroll in City Vision and one of their staff has become faculty.

As a strategic partner, City Vision provides a 33% discount so tuition is only $5,000/year. Also, many of their staff have outstanding senior management experience, enabling them to accelerate their degree by getting prior learning credit for their past experience. City Vision plans to partner with St. Matthew’s to design some of our free MOOC courses, so they could be taken by all their intensive residential recovery programs participants. As our partner, St. Matthew’s can better fulfill their vision of transforming thousands of lives and becoming a national model of best practices for other organizations to replicate.

"City Vision is the perfect partner for Springs Rescue Mission in higher education. The courses are specific to the work being accomplished at the mission. Because staff learn the same terminology and information at City Vision, they can use that to strengthen the programming and processes at the mission."- Jeff Cook, Chief Programs Officer, Springs Rescue Mission

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Springs Rescue Mission: Training Staff to Transform the Lives of the Poor

Springs Rescue Mission is a rapidly growing innovative $16.7 million dollar rescue mission serving the poor, homeless and addicted in Colorado Springs. In 2021, they provided over 186,651 meals and housing to 2,596 individuals. Of those, 30% are in addiction recovery programs and 51% are enrolled in job training programs.

Jeff Cook, Chief Programs Officer at Springs Rescue Mission, completed his Bachelor’s in Nonprofit Management as well as his MBA with City Vision. From this experience, he saw the need to develop two staff training tracks in partnership with City Vision.

How it works & benefits

Currently, 11 Springs Rescue Mission staff take one of the above courses each term as a cohort in sequence. A part of their work schedule involves having discussion groups on the course material (similar to a book club). Students work collaboratively on projects together, but still have to submit their own work. As a strategic partner, City Vision provides a 33% discount so tuition is only $5,000/year. For staff that have outstanding senior management experience, City Vision enables them to accelerate their degree by getting prior learning credit for their past experience. As our partner, Springs Rescue Mission can better fulfill their vision of transforming thousands of lives and becoming a national model of innovation for other organizations to replicate.

Transforming Refugee Ministry: Jean Congera, BA in Christian Ministry & Leadership '20

Jean Congera was born in Rwanda and spent much of his early life in refugee camps in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He came to the US in 2006. He got involved in Christian community development because he wanted to help others in the ways he was helped, and started working at the Refugee Ministry Leader at Northwest Community Center out of Northwest Bible Church. He became one of the leaders who planted a Refugee Church at the Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. He realized that he needed more training, so he enrolled in The Urban Ministry Institute in Dallas. After he graduated, he enrolled at City Vision and received 30 credits for his studies at TUMI. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry & Leadership in 2020.

As of 2021, he is enrolled in City Vision’s Master’s of Organizational Leadership program, and was able to get prior learning credit for his church planting experience. In addition to being a community leader and pastor, he is also a husband and father of two children. In the long term, he plans to go back to Africa to develop ministries there similar to those he has developed in the US.

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National Partners

  • 300+ students from over 100+ rescue missions
  • 50+ full-time interns at 20+ rescue missions
  • 15+ current/former faculty & one board member from rescue missions
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  • 25+ students & interns at Salvation Army sites
  • 2 board members from senior Salvation Army leadership
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    Urban Ministry Practitioners Educating New Leaders

    City Vision Institute: Free Courses Christians Serving the Poor

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    To provide expanded access to our education, through the generous support of donors, City Vision has been able to provide free access to some of our best courses to Christians serving the poor. In addition to these free courses, we also provide other free training free training resources for Christians serving the poor at library.cityvision.edu. The site has thousands of training pages, audio and video recordings, a directory of over 100,000 Christian ministries and a Christian grant directory. See more at: CityVisionInstitute.org