WINTER PARK, FL – Pathway Learning was born in the heart of Dr. Steve Childers when after leading a training session for church leaders in Africa. His lesson included the matter of serving widows and orphans in the communities represented at the conference. None of the churches represented were doing anything.
Steve immediately realized that there had to be a systemic problem to have caused this elementary teaching of the Scripture and essential to living out the faith to have been so clearly neglected. He was far from the first person who had come to train these church leaders.
The failure of local churches to serve the needs of the widows and orphans in the local communities indicated a much greater problem.
The problem was enveloped in false teaching that “God always prospers and heals the obedient, and when bad things happen to people, they’ve done something wrong to deserve it.” This is a common belief in many cultures.
The teaching they had been receiving – including his own – was comprised of bandaids when an entire system of theology, purpose, and administration was required. A continuity of well-structured training was desperately needed. Else, these leaders would continue to wonder why they should “give out of their own property to help these sinners who caused their own problems.”
“Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible
meets what is desperately necessary.” 
Childers realized that there needed to be a big breakthrough to meet this desperate need. That breakthrough had become available with the emergence of open-source educational programs. They made it possible to “provide universal access to a practical, seminary-level education taught by world-class subject matter experts” for undereducated church leaders.
Since its inception in 1997, Pathway Learning has been providing first-class quality online and onsite ministry education in more than 50 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America.
Pathway Learning’s 32-course curriculum is grounded on five pillars. The curriculum is hailed by Dr. Ed Stetser, Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, as “a God-centered focus” with a “Gospel-centered strategy.”
All Pathway Learning courses are carefully curated to begin with a biblical, theological, and practical focus. Students are guided by using proven methods of active learning, as opposed to passively listening to lengthy lectures.
Training church leaders on six continents requires contextualization. Therefore, each course is culturally customized in language and application.
The courses follow a pathway of blended learning that include formal and informal learning methods as well as online and onsite classes.
Educators and business leaders understand that progress must be measurable. Pathway’s courses, therefore, include measurable competencies, assessing “not only a student’s knowledge but also the character and skills needed for success in ministry.”
That includes understanding the biblical mandate to look after the needs of orphans and widows – and the entire community in which each local church serves.
Even if we lose sight of what Pathway Learning does and how it works, let’s remember that the Lord planted the vision in Steve Childer’s heart precisely at the intersection of “when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately necessary.”
 Friedman, Thomas L. “Come the Revolution.” New York Times, May 15:2012, Op-Ed