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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. Thanks to generous support from our donors and Board of Trustees, Ministry Training Program courses are available for $75 per course beginning July 1, 2018.

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:

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?

Thanks to generous support from our donors and Board of Trustees, Ministry Training Program courses are available for $75 per course beginning July 1, 2018, a reduction from the standard $350 amount. We are pleased that these tuition aid grants will make it possible to open ministry training to more people.

Whether you are interested in obtaining the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry or are a lay leader within a congregation looking to gain relevant training and insight into the Bible, theology, church history, or pastoral care, you can be a part of the Ministry Training Program.

  • Books are an additional cost. Students are responsible for ordering their own text books, which are readily available from online booksellers or can be borrowed from a library.

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.

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. With the support of generous donors, the new $75 per course amount reduces the need for scholarship help.

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. Students will also need access to a PDF reader and Microsoft Word-compatible word processing program.   

How do I register or get more information?

  • Register for courses on the Registration Page.
  • For more information, contact the Director of the Ministry Training Program, Leslie LeSieur, by email, Leslie.LeSieur@ptstulsa.edu; or by phone at 918.270.6471. 

How did the Ministry Training Program at Phillips Theological Seminary start?

  • The Ministry Training Program originally started as the Bible College of Missouri more than 120 years ago. During that time, the institution and its audience grew and changed, and so did its name, initially to the Missouri School of Religion, then the MidAmerica Center for Ministry. However, after more than a century of religious education, the institution closed near the end of 2017. However, Phillips Theological Seminary gladly took the institution under its wing, which led to its relaunch as the Ministry Training Program on Jan. 1, 2018.
  • The Ministry Training Program at Phillips continues the work of training persons for local church ministry, providing continuing education, and making ministry training available to a broad audience, including laity.
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