What are the ingredients of our program? It is a full-time degree program, so there are a substantial amount of classes. The Bible is absolutely central, so you will study it… lots! You will go through every book of the Bible in detail, exploring all of the issues and theology it throws up along the way. You will also study how to understand, interpret and apply the Bible: skills you will use in many other classes. Everyone also takes classes exploring the history of humanity, to understand where we have come from and the forces that shape us, and to be equipped to see where we are going next. As we press into engaging our world, you learn about culture, and the skills needed to lead and influence people different to ourselves. Classroom time includes participating in an online learning cohort, so that you can process online curriculum with a teacher and discuss learning in a group.
In your first two years you will study leadership and spiritual formation. The first step to leading others is learning to lead ourselves. We explore modern and ancient spiritual disciplines that help us grow, alongside life and leadership skills that enable us to succeed in being effective. These courses run alongside a mentorship program that pairs you with a mature Jesus-follower who will have regular conversations with you about all aspects of life - some you’ve been looking forward to asking about, as well as ones you haven’t. They are there to challenge you, support you, hold you accountable to your goals, and help you. They are someone who is in your corner, and has your back.
Classes are scheduled Monday to Wednesday, to leave you room for homework and apprenticeships (and for many, time for a part-time job). We also have intensive classes at the end of the year, to pull together what you have been exploring through the year. Each year we also take retreats together. These are times to be apart as a family, be refreshed, and seek God together. In your third year, there is a required cross-cultural mission field trip, which often takes place in the summer, and later in the program people can opt to do a semester abroad.
The last ingredient is that you explore calling and gifts by doing. Each week you develop your gifts and character as you serve as part of a ministry team in your student apprenticeship. You will be doing real gospel work: learning to love people, praying for people, teaching people and making disciples. In your first ‘foundation’ year, you are a generalist, experiencing ministry broadly alongside leaders. From your second year on you start to specialize as you serve in an area connected to your stream. Over the next three years you will grow in responsibility, developing leadership and discipleship skills, while being mentored by a ministry leader. This culminates in the senior project, which is a substantial opportunity to take ownership of identifying a Kingdom opportunity, strategizing, planning and executing, all with the support of your ministry team.
In addition to all of this, there will be a small amount of General Education you need to complete to be awarded your degree. We do not currently offer this ourselves, but suggest you complete this in the breaks, for example, by taking classes from the local community college.