Training Disciple-Makers

“…take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan…” Joshua 4:3

We wish God’s blessings upon Dean Rostad, president, and the Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute.  This is the third of a series of three articles about various residential discipleship ministries for young adults.   We began in January by featuring Faith Greenhouse, connected with Faith Lutheran Church (LCMC) in Hutchinson, Minnesota.  We continued in March with the Awaken Project (TAP). TAP is a non-profit organization housed on the campus of Mt. Carmel Ministries in Alexandria, Minnesota.  We thank God for these ministries and pray for them as they work to raise up a whole new generation of followers of Jesus and leaders in the Church. 

After 40 years of wandering in the desert, the Israelites were about to experience God’s saving work in a profound way – walking through the parted (piled-up) Jordan River to enter the Promised Land. So that this God event would never be forgotten, God instructed them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan. These rocks of remembrance were to become physical pointers to God’s saving action in their lives. God never wants us to forget how He has moved in our lives.

My name is Dean Rostad and I have the privilege of serving as the President of the Canadian Lutheran Bible Institute (CLBI) in Camrose, Alberta. CLBI is a campus-based Bible college through which 1000s of young adults have been trained to become disciple-makers in their churches, neighborhoods, and professions. In 2023, CLBI’s vibrant discipling community comprises 45 students, staff and committed volunteers. Just as Jesus discipled along the road, around the table and in the community, we also do.  Our students experience a different Bible class each week taught by high-caliber instructors from all over North America and beyond. Some weeks learning is off campus through inner-city ministry experiences, canoeing/hiking in the mountains, or serving cross-culturally. Each student is discipled one-on-one and is part of a rich weekly discipleship group that meets in a staff home. All of this is done to help CLBI achieve its mission of discipling young adults in the way of Jesus and equipping them for a life of mission in their vocations (be that as a pastor, baker or candlestick maker). I never know how Jesus is going to make a profound impact in our students’ lives, but I am completely confident that He always will.

When I ask alumni how God impacted their life while they were at CLBI (aka their rock of remembrance from the Jordan), the answers are incredibly varied: their faith took three steps deeper in Romans class, while being discipled by a staff member, they realized that they needed to stop trying to prove themselves to God and others and simply rest in the gospel,  a late-night conversation in the dorm led them to finally forgive someone, a cross-cultural ministry experience awakened a calling within them to bring the gospel to those who have never heard it, when they discovered they had found the spiritual family they had longed for. These are all significant transformational rocks of remembrance.

Currently, two members of the CLBI community are in online seminary studies with the Institute of Lutheran Theology. Both had no intention of going into pastoral ministry when they first came to CLBI. Once again, I love watching how Jesus changes the trajectory of people’s lives.

Since 1932 Jesus has been changing lives through this school. Please pray with me that God will continue to raise up all of the students and donors needed to ensure that current and future generations will have the opportunity to encounter Jesus in this holy place. For American students, the complete cost for eight months is just over $10,000 USD. That even includes a January trip to San Pedro, California for our students to connect with another Lutheran discipling community. To learn more about this incredible jewel of a school, visit

What is your “rock of remembrance”? What is your significant God experience that marked a new trajectory for your life?

Sincerely Pastor Dean Rostad

CLBI President