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Certificate in Pastoral Ministry Training Program

The Certificate in Pastoral Ministry Training Program provides an online, foundational curriculum of education and ministry formation.  The program was revised in 2013 to align with the Sixteen Areas of Ministerial Practice established by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), but is open to, and useful for, students in many denominations.

The Certificate in Pastoral Ministry program includes:

  • Twenty-two asynchronous online courses.
  • Two four-week courses (Introduction to the Ministry Training Program and Ecumenism) and 20 eight-week courses. 
  • Asynchronous courses allow students to complete discussion posts and other assignments at any convenient time before the due dates established by the instructor.
  • Practical, hands-on learning experiences that encourage engagement with the local church.
  • Instructors who have theological graduate degrees, some who have earned doctorates, and all have congregational ministry experience.

Students who take one class at a time may finish the program in about three and one-half years.  This may be shortened by taking more than one course at a time.  Two-thirds of the entire curriculum will be offered every year.  Each individual course is offered two out of three calendar years.  All courses are eight weeks, except as noted.

Certificate in Pastoral Ministry Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Certificate in Ministry Training Program at Phillips Theological Seminary?

  • After over a century of service, the MidAmerica Center for Ministry is closing at the end of 2017. However, the Center’s directors voted to bequeath the ministry of the Center to Phillips Seminary.

The Ministry Training Program at Phillips will continue the work of training persons for local church ministry, providing continuing education, and making ministry training available to a broad audience, including laity.

When does the program start at Phillips Seminary?

  • January 1, 2018

Who is the target audience for the program?

  • The program is designed primarily to provide ministry training for persons serving in Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregations and to meet the Sixteen Areas of Ministerial Practice requirements, but the classes are open to and useful for persons serving in pastoral or other congregational leadership roles in many denominations.

What courses are offered?

What is the tuition cost?

  • $250 for each of the 20 eight-week standard courses
  • $150 for each of the two four-week courses
  • Books are additional.  Students are responsible for ordering their own text books, which are readily available from online booksellers.

If I wish to complete the Certificate, must I take every class in the order it is offered?

  • No, except for certain classes that have prerequisites.  See course list.

What if I do not want a certificate, but just want to know more about certain topics?

  • If you have no prior formal education in Bible or theology, we highly recommend you take “Introduction to the Ministry Training Program” class first.  It is offered twice a year.  Then you may take any class you desire, providing you have completed necessary prerequisites.   Prospective students with questions about this policy are urged to contact the Phillips office. You are not required to pursue a certificate.

Who teaches the Certificate of Ministry Training classes?

  • Our instructors are ordained ministers, most from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), but also from the United Church of Christ, Presbyterian Church, USA and other mainline denominations.   They each hold, at minimum, a masters degree and have several years of pastoral experience.

If I complete the Certificate of Ministry Training, am I guaranteed a position as a pastor?

  • No, we do not place our graduates in churches.  Consult your judicatory about ministerial possibilities.

Are scholarships available for the classes? 

  • Many supporting regions offer scholarships for this program.

What are the computer requirements for taking the online courses?

  • A high-speed internet connection is required.  The online educational platform we use is web-based, and runs best with Internet Explorer or Google Chrome.  Students will also need access to a PDF reader and Microsoft Word (or another word processing program that can save files as Word documents).   

How do I register or get more information?

  • Registration through the Phillips website will be available before Thanksgiving 2017. Until then, send inquires to Leslie LeSieur, MidAmerica Center for Ministry Director.

Phillips Theological Seminary offers Christian graduate theological education
in service of intelligent, just, and compassionate religious and civic communities. We welcome
students to a safe space for truth-seeking conversations about the Bible, Jesus, and faithful living.
Courses available on campus and online for certificate, diploma, MDiv, MAMC, MASJ, & MTS
programs, and on campus for the DMin program.

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