What Should I Look for in a School to be Effectively Trained for Ministry?
Are you looking to go into Biblical Studies? Are you feeling led to be a missionary or a Bible translator? Are you interested in a more specialized ministry like youth ministry, sports ministry, or urban ministry? Regardless of what your path in ministry has in store, it is crucial that you attend a school that you can trust with your ministry training and spiritual community. Here are eight practical things to look for in a ministry school.
1. A spiritual community.
By “spiritual community,” we mean a safe place to ask questions, to learn, to wonder, and to wrestle through the Word and works of God that are confusing. A spiritual community is an environment that invites. It facilitates deeper relational connections with God and people.
2. A rich heritage of being deeply committed to God’s Word.
Grace College and Theological Seminary has been training leaders and equipping the church since 1937. Located in the hometown of evangelist Billy Sunday, Winona Lake, Indiana is known nationwide for its Chautauqua and Bible conference heritage. You can read more about our rich biblical heritage here.
3. Professors who are scholar-practitioners.
All of our full-time faculty have extensive ministry backgrounds. Additionally, most of our part-time faculty are leaders in the local church. This provides a practical edge to our scholarship. We provide high-level academics and then show how it applies to ministry, discipleship, evangelism, and apologetics. Read more about our professors and their vast experience on our faculty page.
4. Programs that move learners beyond intellectualism to life transformation.
If ministry training is all about understanding God’s Word but never about living and experiencing it, it is missing the mark. Our programs give students the tools to explore the vastness of God’s heart, leading them into personal transformation.
“My relationship with Christ has been strengthened by the excellent faculty and theological content. Grace offers a top-notch Master of Arts program. I have gained so much in my Christian walk. Having just graduated from Grace, I am remaining in contact with faculty, staff, and students. These connections will last a lifetime – right into eternity!”
5. Rigorous academics blended with applied ministry training experience.
We know that the best ministry training combines both academics and practical experience. That’s why all of our students are required to apply their learning outside of the classroom. Our on-site church ministry program, Deploy, is proof of this methodology. Students are enabled to pursue mastery without pausing ministry. Learn more by watching this video!
6. The students leave equipped to share and preach the gospel to the nations.
We have a track record of sending students into ministry right out of college/seminary. And our outstanding alumni are evidence that our training has been relevant. Grace Theological Seminary has graduates who are in Japan, Korea, Asia, not to mention our alumni that lead throughout the United States — from Florida to California.
Read about one of our alumni who was profoundly impacted by his training at Grace and is multiplying disciples in Pennsylvania.
7. A commitment to mentorship.
Our professors are deeply committed to training the whole person. Our small class sizes allow our students to get to know their faculty and ask questions freely, so the mentor relationships often happen quite organically around here. But we also facilitate more structured mentor groups that ensure the life-on-life mentorship model is taking place. These groups might even meet in a professor’s home.
“At Grace, you will have the opportunity to interact with professors outside of the classroom that will deepen your love for Jesus and his church.”
8. A commitment to students graduating with as little debt as possible.
Let’s be honest, when you pursue ministry, you’re not looking to get rich. You need to get the essential training without climbing into a hole of debt that you can never climb out of on a pastor’s salary. We 100% get it, and we have created innovative ways for our students to save on tuition. Our accelerated program enables students to shed off two years worth of tuition costs:
- B.A. + M.A. = four years (traditionally takes 6 years)
- B.A. + M.Div. = five years (traditionally takes 7 years)
“I am so grateful for the accelerated program! Only halfway through my first semester, the value had already been clearly demonstrated. I’m excited to work on both my undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously. In addition to the monetary savings, I’m very grateful for my advisor and the community that he’s cultivated for the other students and myself.”
Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s 2023
“The ability to accelerate my studies towards my call to the pastorate, as well as the removal of much of the financial strain that comes with pursuing a B.A. AND an M.Div., is a blessing more than I can describe.”
Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s 2023