The purpose of the certification program is threefold:

  1. Helping to build a network of trained and specialized children’s ministry leaders.
  2. Enhancing the status and credibility of children’s ministry and the Children’s Leaders Association within the Church of God.
  3. Providing the basics in children’s ministry training for local church volunteers as well as an entry point into full-time children’s ministry.

Basics in Children’s Ministry Certification

  1. Read the entire Reaching, Teaching and Pastor Children manual.
  2. Watch the “FOCUS” DVD.
  3. Photocopy, complete, and mail in the application form found in the certification manual.

Advanced Training Certification

  1. Earn the ‘Basics in Children’s Ministry’ certificate.
  2. Read seven books from the certification reading list.
  3. Complete the practicum.
  4. Photocopy, complete and mail in the application form found in the certification manual.



2011-2012 Leadership Team

[apane title=”Freddy Todd”] has been in Children’s Ministry for over ten years serving in a variety of capacities. He has served as Children’s Pastor in several churches, but currently resides in Mobile, Al., where he is the Children’s Pastor of Pathway Church. Freddy has been the keynote speaker in numerous youth camps across the southeast, Kidfest, as well as different children’s conferences.

He and his wife Sandi created KidzSpot Ministries in 2003, which is a ministry that helps train other church leaders and equip them with the tools necessary to reach our kids. He is a passionate leader that thrives with children of all ages and is often caught being a kid himself.  ‘I believe children’s ministry is the most rewarding and fulfilling ministry to have the privilege of being called into.’  -F.T. [/apane] [apane title=”Chris Quinn”] has served as Children’s Pastor for the last 10 years.  Chris is also the Founder and Executive Director of Operation KidPassion, an organization that reaches out around the world to meet the needs of hurting and devastated  people groups. Chris also travels the nation speaking in youth camps, and in training conferences. Along with his wife Amye, he has been blessed with two wonderful children, Alexcys, 14 and Ayden, 11.‘Once every child has heard the message of Jesus, we can take a brief break, and then tell them again!”  -C.Q. [/apane] [apane title=”Steve Burkowske”] is the Children’s & Family Ministries Pastor at Rainbow City Church of God near Gadsden, AL and brings over 15 years of children’s ministry experience with him.  Prior to coming to Alabama, Steve served at Lansdowne Worship Center in Baltimore, MD and Covenant Community Church in Madisonville, KY.  He has traveled with missions teams to Europe and the Dominican Republic to train church leaders about children’s ministry. His desire to reach children for Jesus Christ and minister to families in the church body is matched only by his love for his own family who all have a vital part on the ministry team.

Steve’s partner in ministry has always been his wife, Dawn, and are both blessed with four children:  Eric, Hannah, Abigail and Olivia.  [/apane] [apane title=”Jeremy Donald”] is the Children’s Pastor at Forest Hill Church of God in Mobile, Alabama. He and his wife joined the Forest Hill staff in January 2007. This couple has been involved in children’s ministry for over 17 years. They have served as Children’s Pastors in Tifton and Fitzgerald, Georgia, prior to their present position in Alabama.  ‘Kid’s ministry is the pinnacle, there’s no moving up from here!’  -J.D.[/apane] [apane title=”  Dan Jenkins “]serves as Children’s Pastor at the Hopewell Church of God in Cleveland, TN. In 2005, while serving as a Music Minister in Lexington, KY, God began to instill in him a great passion and love for ministry to children.  He began working to develop a children’s ministry team in his church and held Kids Crusade services throughout the state in small churches, youth camps, and at the Kentucky state Camp Meeting. “I truly love helping to disciple families through children’s ministry in my local church and throughout our community.”  -D.J. [/apane] [apane title=”History”]


In January 1994 at an interdenominational children’s ministry conference, nine local-church Church of God children’s covenanted to help advance the denomination’s ministry to children.

In September of that year, a two-day children’s leaders retreat was held near Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Twenty-seven children’s leaders from nine states met and formed Children’s Pastors Fellowship, which later became the National Children’s Leaders Association.

In 2011, the name of the fellowship was changed from National Children’s Leaders Association to Children’s Leaders Association.  The purpose for the name change was to be inclusive of many of the international leaders who are a part of this fellowship.

As a part of this fellowship, members will receive regular information about children’s ministry in the Church of God, are included in a directory, and notified of children’s ministry opportunities when they become available.  There are also some perks at the annual conference, including participation in the election of the CLA Leadership Team, a designated fellowship room, and early entry into the general sessions.

On May 13-15, 1995, the first national children’s ministries conference, called “For the Kids!” drew 300 people to a three-day event in Asheville, North Carolina.   This annual conference, now called FOCUS Children’s Ministries Conference, has continued annually and for several years has been held at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, South Carolina.  It has expanded to include Middle School leaders, as well as Spanish speaking delegates.  There are 32 workshops, four general sessions, and pre-conference workshops which begin before the initial conference session.  Guest speakers have included Phil Vischer, Reggie Joiner, Michael Chanley, Justyn Smith, as well as many others!  Each general session includes a variety of elements, including worship, entertainment, inspiration and fellowship.[/apane]