ITM Launches Free Charles Stanley Online Institute

NRB | April 18, 2024 | Member News

Since the late Dr. Charles F. Stanley founded In Touch Ministries (ITM) in 1977, the organization has exploded into a worldwide broadcast, audio, and digital platform reaching millions for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and growth of the church.

Starting today, April 18, ITM is debuting another platform to continue Stanley’s legacy of teaching the Word of God and providing in-depth discipleship. The Charles Stanley Institute is a new online academy offering a slate of courses drawing on half a century of Stanley’s archived sermons and sermon notes, many of which were handwritten.

“Our goal is to be the bridge from Sunday school to seminary and to give people the resources they need to elevate their walk as Christ’s disciples,” said Josh Howard, executive director of the Charles Stanley Institute.

The Institute was the final initiative Stanley commissioned before he went to his heavenly home. ITM set the Institute to launch on the one-year anniversary of Stanley’s April 18, 2023 passing. Before his passing, Stanley and current CEO Philip Bowen prayed and planned for an outlet to provide believers with deeper discipleship training, which revealed the need for the Charles Stanley Institute.

“The last few years of his life, I had the great opportunity to spend time with Dr. Stanley at his home,” Howard said. “We shared a love of God, nature, and photography. We prayed over each other, nerded out over camera lenses, and discussed life and our purpose here on earth. He let me into his world during his last few years here, and it’s one of the greatest honors of my life.

In the Institute’s early planning stage, Stanley offered foundational guidance and appointed key leaders whom he had trained to teach the Scriptures.

The custom learning system provides a rich online campus filled with instructional videos that break down Stanley’s main preaching points and provide in-depth study guides for leaders of small groups or family Bible studies. The two inaugural courses available today are “Called to Be a Disciple,” a 12-part course addressing common questions for believers about following Christ, and “How to Listen to God,” a six-part series which examines how to identify God’s voice and make the most of times alone with Jesus.

“I’m beyond humbled to be a part of building out the Charles Stanley Institute,” Howard said. “The amount of talent here is staggering, and I get the joyous opportunity to work hand-in-hand with brothers and sisters in Christ who truly see this work not actually as work, but as worship.”

Howard explained that the concept of the Charles Stanley Institute logo is based off the discipleship model that Dr. Stanley displayed in his life: “What happens when a giant oak falls in the forest? It reveals new light from the canopy that shines down upon the acorns on the forest floor to rise up. That’s our model for our curriculum and our model for our hopeful global impact of this institute.”

As the new disciple-training arm of ITM, the Charles Stanley Institute exists to provide believers “with sound, Bible-based, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-filled instruction” to know God more and follow Him.

“Dr. Stanley would agree that this has always been bigger than just one man,” Howard said. “He was but a conduit to amplify God’s voice, and he created massive ripples around the globe with this beautifully simple concept of his relationship with his Heavenly Father. The hope and prayer is that we can help raise up more Christ-like disciples … to follow in Dr. Stanley’s shoes and to be the next earth-shaking voice for Christ.”

Click here to experience the free Charles Stanley Institute.

ITM has been an NRB member since 1980 and is the 1983 recipient of the Award of Merit, 1999 Radio Program of the Year, 2014 Billy Graham Award for Excellence in Communication, and many other awards. In 1988, Stanley was inducted into the NRB Hall of Fame, which is NRB’s most prestigious award “for invaluable contribution to the field of Christian communications, exhibition of the highest standards and evidence of faithfulness in Christ.”

Dr. Charles Stanley was the 2020 recipient of the NRB Chairman’s Award, spoke at the NRB Convention several times, and had previously served as a member of the NRB Board of Directors.

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