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We designed the practical aspects of Calvary International Training Institute (CITI) to help you grow in your relationship with Christ and to equip you to be an effective leader not only in a North American context, but you’ll be prepared for ministry internationally as well. CITI is a one year program divided into trimesters. In each session, you will focus on a distinct area of study, broken up into two main aspects: 1) Academic, and 2) Practical. With this strategy, we will help to equip you for success in ministry, whatever your gifting and abilities may be.

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Equipping the next generation of church planters and Christian leaders.

photo of woman reading book near body of water

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Our heart at CITI is to create close and meaningful relationships between CITI leaders and you, to EQUIP you for the work of the ministry, in order to strengthen the Body of Christ.

Our commitment is to fulfill the great commission – making disciples, and one of the key components of discipleship is building strong, healthy, Christ-centered relationships.

The leaders of CITI are not only mentors with real world church planting and foreign missions experience, but we are your partners and co-laborers for His kingdom. CITI is a ministry of Reliance church, a community with a vision to lead people to know, love and serve Jesus.

We created CITI to foster growth in all three of these areas, with an emphasis on serving Jesus. If you believe that the Lord has called you to a deeper walk in His service, whether that be church planting, foreign missions, or serving as a lay-leader in your local church, CITI can help you become better equipped to fulfill that calling.

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Assistant Pastor / Leadership Development

ROD THOMPSON

In 1990 Rod was called by God to head to Europe as a missionary with a focus...

In 1990 Rod was called by God to head to Europe as a missionary with a focus on local church planting. He was involved in multiple church plants in Hungary, Serbia and Austria and was able to mentor and disciple many young pastors and leaders across the continent. From 1997 to 2005 he oversaw the Calvary Chapel Conference Centers and Bible Colleges in Austria and Hungary. After 15 years on the mission field Rod returned to America and served as a director at the Calvary Chapel Conference Center in Murrieta and at Reliance Church in Temecula as the Missions Pastor and overseeing Leadership Development. However, in 2019 the Lord had a new work planned for the Thompson family and they boarded a plane to go back to Europe where Rod served as the campus pastor at the Calvary Chapel Bible College in Montebelluna, Italy and in the local church in that city. After 3 years in Italy, Rod was called back to Temecula to join the staff at Reliance Church once again.

Currently, Rod serves as an assistant pastor at Reliance Church overseeing missions, leadership development, and the newly formed Calvary International Training Institute (CITI). His mission is to encourage and equip pastors and leaders from every nation, tribe, and tongue.

Get to know Pastor Rod!

What is your role at Reliance Church?
 serve as an assistant pastor overseeing missions, leadership development, and Calvary International Training Institute (CITI).

Describe your job in five words?
Make disciples of all nations!

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to own a restaurant called “Rod’s Restaurant.”

Coffee, Tea, or Soda?
Not even a question, COFFEE!!

Go-to worship song?
“Make Us One” by REVO Collective

Who has had the most influence in your spiritual life?
Pastor Church Smith

Food you can’t live without?
Italian, Mexican, and Asian! I need them all!!!

Which Bible character would you most likely to be best friends with?
Apostle Peter

Favorite Quote of all time?
“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” -Apostle Peter

What is your hope for Reliance Church?
That we can help raise up the next generation of Christian pastors and leaders!

Contact Pastor Rod

Senior Pastor

TED LEAVENWORTH

Ted has been in Christian service for over 30 years. A graduate of the Calvary Chapel School...

Ted Leavenworth is the Senior Pastor of Reliance Church in Temecula, California and has been in Christian service for over 30 years. A graduate of the Calvary Chapel School of Ministry, Pastor Ted has a heart for church planting – leading two church plants in Southern California and facilitating the establishment of seven others both nationally and internationally.

Ted also serves on the executive committee of Calvary Global Network where he focuses on leadership coaching and pastoral mentoring. Additionally, Pastor Ted is the host of the Leadership Collective Podcast, focusing on the “nuts & bolts” of church leadership.

Pastor Ted and his wife Brenda were married in 1985 and together, they have three adult children and ten grandchildren.

Get to know Pastor Ted!

What is your role at Reliance Church?
Senior Pastor

Describe your job in five words?
Equipping saints for ministry work (Ephesians 4:12)

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A police officer…then later a Firefighter/Paramedic (Like Johnny & Roy on Squad 51) – That’s a TV series from the early 70’s for the younger crowd

Coffee, Tea, or Soda?
Coffee – All. Day. Long.

Go-to worship song?
How Great Thou Art / Rattle / I Speak Jesus

Who has had the most influence in your spiritual life?
My Parents / Pastor Chuck Smith / Pastor David Guzik / Pastor Dave Shepardson

Food you can’t live without?
Sushi

Which Bible character would you most likely to be best friends with?
Peter

Favorite Quote of all time?
“The difference between where you are and where God wants you to be is the painful experience that you refuse to endure.” — Craig Groeschel

What is your hope for Reliance Church?
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” — 3 John 1:4

Assistant Pastor / Home Groups & Operations

KYLE FOX

Kyle has been involved in full time, bi-vocational ministry since 2009. In 2014 after selling..

Kyle Fox has been involved in full time, bi-vocational ministry since 2009. In 2014 after selling their business, his family set out as full time missionaries. They spent a short stint on a sailing catamaran in Southern Florida and the Bahamas, home schooling thier two boys and preparing for their first assignment. In 2017 they planted Calvary Belém in Northern Brazil, in the state of Pará. Kyle and his wife have started a number of ministries under Calvary Belém ranging from human trafficking/prostitution ministry, refugee care, coffee shop ministry and a number of different forms of street outreach. During their eight years in Brazil, It was a joy and honor to regularly teach at the bible school in the south of the country. Kyle is passionate about teaching and equipping the next generation of missionaries, church planters and leaders. His heart is to be used by the Lord to preach the gospel, and strengthen the body of Christ.

Get to know Pastor Kyle!

What is your role at Reliance Church?
I’m the Director of Operations and Discipleship here at Reliance church.

Describe your job in five words?
Edifying the Body of Christ.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a Navy Fighter Pilot or a Garbage Collector.

Coffee, Tea, or Soda?
Coffee

Go-to worship song?
At the moment, my go-to worship song is “Is He Worthy?” by Andrew Peterson and Ben Shive

Who has had the most influence in your spiritual life?
My pastor of our home church in Colorado, Ed Taylor.

Food you can’t live without?
Taco Bell

Which Bible character would you most likely to be best friends with?
I would want to be friends with Joshua (Moses’ successor) because I admire his courage, his faithfulness and his obedience to the Lord.

Favorite Quote of all time?
“When I thought that God was hard, I found it easy to sin; but when I found God so kind, so good, so overflowing with compassion, I smote upon my breast to think that I could have rebelled against one who loved me so, and sought my good.” -Charles Spurgeon

What is your hope for Reliance Church?
My hope for our church is that we honor the Lord, that we are pleasing to Him. I hope that we grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord and with one another. I also hope that the Lord will use Reliance Church to send countless workers out into the field because the harvest is great.

Contact Pastor Kyle

Administrator

SHIRLEY RUIZ

Shirley is the Church Administrator at Reliance Church. Her position entails managing...

Shirley Ruiz is the Church Administrator at Reliance Church. Her position entails managing the church office and its staff, as well as assisting ministry leaders with organizational facilitation. Shirley previously served as the Youth Ministry Administrator at Revival Christian Fellowship for 5 years. Before that, Shirley was the CFO for Family Business in Washington for 5 years.

Amazingly, Shirley has successfully balanced her time to be a homeschooling mom for the past 12 years. Shirley has been married to her husband, Mike, since 1989. They have four children: Niko, Dominic, Susie, and Alex.

Get to know Shirley!

What is your role at Reliance Church?
Church Administrator

Describe your job in five words?
Manager of the spinning plates

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Office Manager or a Softball Player

Coffee, Tea, or Soda?
Duh – Coffee

Go-to worship song?
“O Come To The Altar” by Elevation Worship

Who has had the most influence in your spiritual life?
PT and Brenda

Food you can’t live without?
Popcorn

Which Bible character would you most likely to be best friends with?
Deborah

Favorite Quote of all time?
“Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” — D.L. Moody

What is your hope for Reliance Church?
That the people of Reliance would grow to know, love and serve Jesus in a well grounded biblical fashion. Forming strong friendships while loving and serving our community.

Contact Shirley