Mark L. Walker, Chairperson
Christian Formation and Discipleship
Professors Bob Bayles and R. Jerome Boone
Associate Professor Lisa Long
Assistant Professor Andrew Blackmon
Professor Edley J. Moodley
Associate Professor Rolando W. Cuellar
Professors Jerald Daffe and Thomas Doolittle
Associate Professor William Effler
Assistant Professor James Harper
- Christian Education
- Christian Ministry
- Discipleship Ministry
- Intercultural Studies
- Pastoral Studies
- Youth Ministry Studies
The Department of Christian Ministries prepares men and women for servant leadership in Christian ministry. The theological perspective from which the department works is both evangelical and Pentecostal. The degree programs are designed to prepare people for the work of ministry and to enable graduates to do further studies in graduate or professional schools. A personal commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior as well as submission to the guidance and empowerment of the Holy Spirit are the controlling perspectives which guide the educational task of the department.
Christian character reflects both spirituality and maturity. Christian service relates to the ability to do the normal tasks of ministry. Knowledge of the Christian faith includes knowledge of Scripture and the various areas of ministry. The mission of the Department of Christian Ministries emphasizes the development of the whole person. The goal is to facilitate Christian character, service to others, and knowledge of the Christian faith.
Major Programs of Study
The Department of Christian Ministries offers majors in Discipleship Ministry, Discipleship Ministry Vocational Emphasis, Intercultural Studies (with three different emphases), Pastoral Ministry, Pastoral Ministry Vocational Emphasis, Youth Ministry, and Youth Ministry Vocational Emphasis. Each program combines biblical/theological knowledge with practical ministerial skills, enabling students to succeed in graduate and professional studies as well as in church ministries. The distinctives of each of these areas of practical ministry are described below.
The Bachelor of Arts/Science in Discipleship Ministry seeks to prepare men and women for ministry in a local church context in the area of discipleship ministry. It takes seriously the imperative command of Matthew 28 to “make disciples” of all nations. This degree program will intentionally develop knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for small group ministry. Most educational settings (e.g., Sunday school, Bible studies) are by nature small group. The primary purpose of this degree program will be to intentionally enhance and augment existing programs while at the same time offering breadth and depth in the design of new programs, built around the methodology of small groups. In combination with the “common core” required of all Christian Ministries students, this degree will prepare ministers in Bible, theology, and Christian Education for entry-level positions in church administrative staffs (e.g. director of small groups, discipleship, and/or positions in Christian education or as associate pastors).
The Intercultural Studies degree is designed to train men and women for ministry in a culture other than their own. This could be missions in the arena of the two-thirds world or the secularized West, with special emphasis on the emerging urban, global world. The degree program combines biblical/theological knowledge with skills in cross-cultural communication. It includes courses that address the multicultural dimensions of our cities’ ethnic, minority and immigrant groups and diverse cultures and faiths converging on the cities of the world. The coursework includes biblical basis of missions, strategies for evangelizing specific people groups within our cities and across the globe. The central focus of the degree program is recognizing and understanding the dynamics, problems, challenges and opportunities these contexts present and their implications for holistic mission and ministry. The major requires knowledge of a world language and is therefore offered only as a Bachelor of Arts degree.
The Pastoral Ministry majors are designed to prepare individuals to serve in the ministry roles of lead, associate, assistant, children, and worship pastors. Individuals intending to work in other areas of full-time ministry, such as evangelist or community chaplain, will find the Pastoral Ministry majors beneficial due to the practical methodologies and the biblical content of the programs. Individuals in the Pastoral Ministry program can choose between a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or a Bachelor of Science with a vocational track. The vocational track enables a student to build a minor in some other area of discipline offered by the university while still staying within the 120 hour degree. All three majors include special courses such as a Pastoral Seminar, Ministry Internship, Ministry of Worship, Pastoral Ministry I and II, Pastoral Counseling, and Church Ministry in the Community. Each of the majors provides a biblical, philosophical, and practical approach to ministry. The internship is a 150-hour ministry experience within a local church under the supervision of a mentor/pastor which further enhances the classes which provide an opportunity to study issues and develop ministry principles.
The Bachelor of Science/Arts in Youth Ministry is designed to prepare men and women for the specific ministerial role of working with adolescents in a variety of settings, including local church and para-church ministries. The major is a hybrid of the Discipleship and Pastoral Ministry majors, since much of what a youth pastor does involves both areas. Youth Ministry, as a vocational ministerial calling, is in high demand in many denominations and is typically one of the first staff positions added by senior pastors. In the early stages of the major, the program gives the ministerial student foundational information on the various age groups with specific attention given to adolescent development. As the student progresses through the major, focus is given to more advanced topics (e.g., Models of Youth Ministry and Strategies for Youth Ministry).
For each of the preceding programs of study in this department the GPA is computed from the specialty area.
Students with significant cross-cultural experience may petition the ISP Program Director for permission to substitute other courses in lieu of a cross-cultural internship. Substitutions require the approval of the Department Chairperson and Program Director for Intercultural Studies.
BIBL-101, BIBL-102 and THEO-250 are prerequisites to 300- and 400-level courses in the disciplines of Biblical Studies and Theological Studies.