Distinctives


CEI is more than a Bible institute—we are the “Next Generation in Bible Institutes.” Many Bible Institutes are either local church-based or stand alone schools that enroll individuals from the church or surrounding community. They offer general classes taught by local church staff to promote spiritual growth. The CEI approach is quite different:

  • CEI only partners with local churches and their senior leadership to offer theological training and do not accept applications from individuals apart from local church partners.
  • CEI offers custom-designed curriculum developed in consultation with the senior leadership of partner churches. This curriculum addresses the specific needs and vision of that local church.
  • CEI’s instructors have extensive academic training and experience as well as seasoned experience in ministry.
  • CEI’s students are enrolled in Regent University’s School of Divinity as students and retain all rights of a student at our university such as access to our extensive library and its electronic databases.

The following is a more complete list of CEI’s distinctives:

Church Partnership

CEI only partners with local churches and only educates students under the direction of their local church pastor as selected by that local church. Individual student applications are not accepted.

Regent Students

CEI students are accepted into Regent University as registered students and therefore have access to school benefits such as our school's extensive physical and online library resources and electronic databases.

Customized Training

CEI provides simple, focused and practical training for the local church that is custom designed for the specific church's needs. It has no set curriculum, but rather designs a curriculum in consultation with the senior leadership of the partner church that best suits its needs.

Open Access

CEI simply requires a high school education, GED or other equivalent life experience presented by the senior leadership of a partner church for application to our initiative. While other programs may require a college or other advanced degree, CEI is designed to provide access to high quality academic and practical education for those who may not have prior educational experience beyond the high school level.

Respected Certification

CEI was specifically designed to be a certificate-granting program rather than one that issues degrees. The certificates issued after the successful completion of each six-course block of classes represent Regent's certification of completion, which may be applicable for advanced standing or continuing education units (CEU) at some colleges, universities, professional or ministry credentialing organizations.

Limited Commitment

Partner churches contract for blocks of six classes at a time with the option to renew afterwards if additional training is desired. There is no long-term commitment so that churches can determine for themselves what best suits their individual needs.

Low Cost

CEI is designed to deliver quality training at a cost that is significantly lower than many institute, college, seminary and university programs to ensure access to the broadest number of people possible.

Distance-based

All CEI classes use the latest distance education technology to deliver class lectures and support weekly interaction between students and their professors. In addition to standard distance education, partner churches are also given the option for instructors to conduct a weekend on-site session for any class.

Maximum Flexibility

CEI's curriculum is designed with the ability to adapt to the specific time needs of its local church partner. Class can be offered once per semester (one class for each semester—a total of six classes over two years) or twice per semester (two classes per semester—a total of six classes over one year).

Professional Instruction

All CEI instructors have a minimum of a master's degree in an area of theology, and many have doctoral degrees. All have significant ministry experiences and teach from the perspective of experienced ministry practitioners to ensure the training is of the highest academic and practical quality.


Mark Batterson, D.Min. '12

Mark Batterson, D.Min. '12

Lead Pastor, National Community Church

"It was the beginning stages of the D.Min. program that really helped define my leadership gift and lay a foundation for what the Lord has done. It gave me the practical tools that I needed."
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