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Our Work in Cincinnati

To continue the legacy of ministry education in Cincinnati, CCCB is maintaining three key ministry support services.

Since early October 2019, the Trustees and Employees of Central Christian College of the Bible led by President David Fincher, have been working to establish legal authority, hire professional personnel, and identify financial resources to continue the legacy of ministry education in Cincinnati after the closure of Cincinnati Christian University (CCU).

These efforts resulted in CCCB establishing the Christian Church Leadership Foundation (CCLF) on December 12, 2019, as an Ohio LLC.  Dr. Fincher serves as the CCLF’s President, with seven CCLF trustees to oversee its formation and finances.  CCCB provides a management contract with CCLF to maintain and operate three unincorporated ministry enterprises during the final days of CCU:  the Christian Church Leadership Network (formerly the Center for Church Leadership), the Russell School of Ministry, and the George Mark Elliott Library collection.

These three entities were chosen to serve the ongoing leadership needs of Christian churches.

  • The CCL Network supports current Christian church leaders to help them thrive in ministry.
  • Russell School of Ministry produces future Christian church leaders of congregations.
  • The Library preserves and honors the Christian church stories and doctrines of past leaders.

CCCB is bringing these three entities into the CCLF to facilitate their immediate survival and ongoing work.  This allows CCCB to both operate these ministry enterprises and establish a collaborative model that will benefit other participating Christian church colleges and universities.  At the same time, CCCB is also seeking necessary approvals to start an extension campus in the Cincinnati region to work closely with the CCLF entities.

The Christian Church Leadership Foundation educates current & future church leaders in theories, practices, and doctrines that contribute to healthy, effective, and relevant ministry.

Three ministry enterprises work together to support the Foundation’s mission:

The Russell School of Ministry (RSM) prepares ministry leaders by providing innovative courses and experiences. Ministry students have the opportunity to enroll as online students with Central while using the RSM training methodology to gain practical ministry experience.  The Russell School of Ministry is an exempt Bible College, not certified by the Department of Higher Education or by the state of Ohio.  Students in the RSM can enroll at the same time in an accredited online degree program with a university or college like Central.  The leadership team of RSM has been identified and are working with our VP of Academics, Dr. Jim Estep, to recognize the RSM program and make continuing a Christian Church Bible College in the Cincinnati area a reality.

Support the work of the Russell School of Ministry by using the form on this page.

The Christian Church Leadership (CCL) Network provides strategic resources that empower church leaders to thrive in ministry.  It is a national network of churches that has received primary funding from The Lilly Endowment and The Solomon Foundation.  With the closure of the University and the end of Lilly’s support, we have agreed to pursue fundraising and provide oversight to operate the CCL Network. With Dr. Tim Wallingford remaining as Director, we plan to grow the reach of the CCL Network to include churches that already support Central, as well as other churches in our region and across the country.

Support the work of the Christian Church Leadership Network by using the form on this pageLearn more about the CCL Network by clicking here.

The George Mark Elliott Library (GMEL) provides access to world-class collections of print and digital resources, contemporary and ancient artifacts, and special items from the Independent Christian Church/Church of Christ heritage. The treasures contained in the GMEL have been painstakingly collected and curated for the benefit of the entire Restoration Movement.  We are working with the current librarians to formulate a plan for the library’s future footprint and long-term location.

Support the work of maintaining the George Mark Elliott Library by using the form on this page.

Why is financial support necessary for these works to continue?

These three ministry support services only exist today because of many gifts over the past decades.  They are vital to continue and are too valuable to lose.  Without continued gifts:

  • The Christian Church Leadership Network could stop serving its almost 2000 member churches.
  • Students studying in the Russell School of Ministry could end their training experiences.
  • The collection of vast resources of the George Mark Elliott library could be lost if it closes.

The only way those services can continue is through the support of Cincinnati constituent friends and church families.

  • At this time, CCU is only able to provide minimal support to CCLF, including temporary facilities on Glenway Avenue and shared equipment. CCCB is not underwriting the ongoing financial needs of the CCLF, but is providing staff support and allowing Dr. Fincher to work in the Cincinnati region ten days a month.
  • Past Lilly Endowment gifts are not transferable from CCU to the CCLF. However, CCLF is working to establish a new relationship with Lilly to prepare for future funding requests.
  • Thus far, startup gifts surpassing $500,000 have come from churches, individuals, and The Solomon Foundation.  We are grateful to them for including this work in their stewardship.

Each gift received at this website or the address on this page will be set aside for the Cincinnati efforts of Central Christian College of the Bible.

Get More Information

Cincinnati Christian University (CCU) announces a new partnership with Central Christian College of the Bible (CCCB). This follows the decision by CCU’s Trustees to withdraw from Higher Learning Commission accreditation following the Fall 2019 semester.  In Spring 2020, CCCB will open an extension site in Cincinnati to provide accredited ministerial degrees in the region. At the same time, CCU will work together with CCCB to serve more congregations and ministry leaders through the Center for Church Leadership (CCL).

CCU realizes this decision will greatly impact students and employees, but also views it as the best possible stewardship of the resources and opportunities God has provided. Over the past two decades, it has become increasingly difficult to provide accredited ministry programs at a reasonable cost in a metropolitan location. CCU has approached this challenge by exploring mergers, adding other programs, and expanding athletic programming to attract more students. These strategies have allowed the school to serve new populations but have not overcome the financial challenges that face many private, residential colleges today.

CCU will assist CCCB in establishing an extension site in the Cincinnati tri-state area for current and future ministry students to receive undergraduate and graduate education. CCU will also assist students enrolled in other degree programs with transfer options to other schools.

Central Christian College of the Bible was chosen by CCU’s Trustees because of its longstanding compatibility with CCU’s purpose to “equip and train men and women for Christian service.” CCCB is located in Moberly, Missouri, is affiliated with the Christian Church movement, and is accredited nationally by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) to offer on-site and online degrees.

This collaboration will ensure that quality ministry programs are available in the Cincinnati tri-state area while allowing CCU to focus on ministry support services for churches and their leaders through the Center for Church Leadership. The CCL currently serves over 800 congregations nationwide, is led by its own staff and Advisory Council, and collaborates with leading Restoration Movement churches and organizations. In 2020, the CCL will launch major new initiatives in congregational consulting, clergy search, and directory services, and hopes to include over 2000 churches in its network by 2021.

To solidify this new partnership, CCU’s Trustees have appointed Dr. David Fincher, President of CCCB, to be the President of the CCU Foundation, the legal entity that includes the Center for Church Leadership and the Russell School of Ministry. Dr. Tim Wallingford will continue in his role as Director of the CCL. Moving forward, the CCU Foundation will develop and provide additional services for CCU constituents, Christian colleges, and Christian churches.

Chris Hahn, Chairman of CCU’s Trustees, said “This uniting of forces to gain ground for the future of the church does my heart good.  I’m excited for our current and future students.”  Dr. Fincher said, “Our team will be working hard in the next several months to serve CCU’s current students, work together with the CCL, and build a collaborative model of Christian higher education for ministry training in the 21st Century.”

For more information, please visit www.ccuniversity.edu or www.cccb.edu.

“While we are very sad for CCU – its students, staff, faculty, alumni, and supporters – we are very grateful for CCU’s leadership in honoring us with this historic opportunity to bring hope to their constituents for God’s work in higher Biblical education and ministry training in Cincinnati and its surrounding regions.  Our prayers for everyone involved is that we will look back years from now and see God’s hand working through all these changes for the betterment of his kingdom.”  Dr. Arthur Rawlings, Chairman of CCCB Trustees

Please Give Now

Congregations, families, and alumni are needed to provide financial support that will continue the legacy of ministry education in Cincinnati.  You can use the form below to make a one-time or monthly gift for the Christian Church Leadership Foundation in Cincinnati.


Checks made payable to CCLF can be mailed to this address.


CCL Foundation
PO Box 14721
Cincinnati, Ohio 45250


You can leave the memo section blank to support the entire operation.  You can also designate your funds to support the CCLNetwork, Library, or RSM.

If you choose to give online using the form below, simply choose the fund that matches your preference.  For now, your receipt will come from Central Christian College of the Bible, but your gift will be used to support the work of ministry education in Cincinnati.