Certificate in Ministry Foundations

Course Descriptions

Each MIM course has been carefully designed to meet a core need in the development of Christian leaders.  Together, these courses form a cohesive curriculum that provides robust and thorough training for the next generation and each is required as part of our Certificate in Ministry Foundations.  Course descriptions for the Certificate in Small Group Leadership program will be available when the program launches this Spring.

Leadership in the Church

This course provides insight into the nature, scope, and challenge of leadership. We address driving forces in modern society, including anxiety, fear, and a desire for quick fixes and easy solutions. Students leave this course with greater clarity on their own default leadership styles and with the tools to grow into a well-differentiated, influential, and spiritually driven leader.

Introduction to the Old Testament

For many the OT is enigmatic, distant, and a challenge to fully engage.  This course aims to bridge the chronological, linguistic, and cultural gap between the Old Testament and the modern reader.  It also provides a historical and thematic framework for understanding the Old Testament as a whole and equips students for fruitful engagement with the text.

Introduction to the New Testament

This course introduces students to the study of New Testament background and prepares them to read the NT with greater understanding of the world from which it came.  It addresses: language, literature, politics, economics, geography and other cultural areas relevant for a greater understanding of the New Testament.

Navigating Conflict

In our effort to reach the world and live in intimate fellowship with a diverse body of believers, conflict is inevitable.  This course gives students the opportunity to discover and examine their own approach to conflict through self-assessment exercises and provides guiding principles and best practices for conflict management.  Students gain the tools to fruitfully engage with conflict, both in their personal lives and in their leadership in the church.

Marriage and Family

This course lays a biblical and practical foundation in the areas of marriage and family, both of which are critical needs in the modern church.  Students will survey current cultural approaches to marriage and will examine them through the lens of Christ’s relationship with the church.  This course also teaches students a conceptual model for understanding the ecology of healthy parenting and outlines factors that allow children to develop resiliency.  These principles are essential for healthy family dynamics in the lives of our leaders, and in our effort to lead the majority of our fellowship in these important areas.

Small Group Development

This course is designed to equip students with a thorough understanding of the importance, function, and development of small groups for church health and growth.  Students will learn about the history and importance of small groups, both in scripture, and in the early church.  They will gain a practical understanding of principles, processes, and best practices by which small groups can be embraced and implemented by the modern church.

Making of a Disciple

Outreach and discipling are two core practices for the church and this course addresses them both.  Students are taken through the theological foundation and the practical facets of both the making of a disciple, and the continual training and mentoring they need to thrive.  This course situates our outreach and discipling in their proper context and equips students with foundational principles and practices for fruitful work.

The Gospels

This course focuses on preparing the student to read, understand, and apply the gospels in their personal lives and in their ministry work.  It addresses: historical background, interpretative strategies and broad questions of genre as well as how the gospels relate to one another.   Students will then apply what they learn through a look at the gospel of Mark.

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation refers to the deliberate communal process by which disciples grow and are transformed into Christ.  This course provides students with a broad picture of the nature of spiritual formation, and a look at the principles and practices that contribute to growth, both personally and in the hearts of those they lead.

Basic Exegesis

This course teaches students a thorough and systematic approach to the exegesis of scripture and introduces them to the tools necessary for that work.  Students take stock of themselves as the interpreters and how their own social location, theological identity, and life experiences shape them as readers.  Students also learn a structured approach to the interpretive task that can provide a consistent framework through which to interpret scripture.

Theology, Doctrine, and Hot Topics

This course is an introduction to the areas of theology and doctrine, not as a survey, but as a primer on the role of each in the modern church.  Students receive an introduction to a few core areas of theology, and then spend the rest of the time wrestling through a theological or doctrinal challenge currently faced by the church.  Topics vary each time this course is offered.

Culture and Tradition

This course explores the relation of the Christian to the world around them and the role that culture and tradition play in shaping both the world, and our response to it.  Special consideration is given to the topics of race/tribe, politics, gender, and the changing global culture. The course will explore ways of engaging and navigating culture as we shepherd God’s people and work to reach the world with the gospel.

Church History: Our Roots

This focused look at church history centers on the American Restoration movement and the forces that shaped the modern American church, but it also surveys other key periods, people and events in Church history as a whole. The student will benefit from a look at the past and how our own theological roots have shaped our approach to church and the Bible.  Students also benefit from inspiring examples and cautionary tales in the lives of those who came before us.

Theology and Practice of Preaching

This new course provides students with a theological and practical foundation for their work as preachers and teachers in the congregation.  Students explore and attempt to use various approaches to the work of preaching and have their preaching reviewed.  Students also receive a practical framework for effective sermon preparation and tools for continual growth and development in their preaching.