Certificate Programs

The Certificate Programs offer training in specialized areas of ministry for the new or advanced person in ministry. Each program is offered in a contextualized format allowing you to maximize your integration of the information gained in lectures and classmate interaction. These are non-degree, non-credit earning programs and are therefore exempt from the admission requirements of traditional students in our graduate programs.

Advanced Certificate in Thriving in Church Ministries

This certificate is designed exclusively for pastoral leadership. It seeks to assist the pastoral leader to integrate personal and spiritual development with their practice of ministry. Particular attention will be given to the development of skills and practices that enhance both the well-being and effectiveness of the pastoral leader and the interrelatedness between personal care and the development of effective ministry practices. Interaction in the classroom will be integrated with implementation within the student’s ministry context. Classes start in Cleveland and Detroit in January 2018.


Seminar 1 – Cultivating Conditions that Bring Well-Being (12 Weeks)

This seminar will address the major ingredients necessary for personal and spiritual flourishing in effective, pastoral ministry. Pastors will learn to create the conditions for their own well-being which include such things as fostering healthy relationships, building and sustaining relational bonding, mentors, peer groups, and creating authenticity. Pastors will explore their understanding of their core identity in relation to their calling. Focused attention will be given to the practical skills necessary for planning, problem definition, and problem solving. Interaction and implementation in the classroom will be integrated with the student’s work in Project Based Learning I.

Project Based Learning I (taken concurrently with Seminar 1)

This course is designed to assist students to integrate curricular content with practical experience within the context of ministry. An action-reflection method will be employed, under the supervision of a mentor, focused on consultation on a ministry project or analysis of case studies, in which students will have both small group and individual responsibilities. Analysis of the project will be built upon the experience of the course, team projects, or case studies. Students will focus on solving ministry-related problems, building consensus in decision-making, and working within the context of community. Project Based Learning Course #1 is focused on the completion of a group project, forming a critical foundation for Project Based Learning Course #2.

Seminar 2 – Effective Ministry in Practice (12 Weeks)

This seminar will address the connection between well-being and effectiveness in leading a congregation. Pastors will create capacity by developing a plan of continuing education, networking, and spiritual formation. Pastors will explore their passions and gifts and seek to integrate them with practices within their specific ministries.

Project Based Learning II (taken concurrently with Seminar 2)

This course is built upon Project Based Learning I and is designed to guide the students as they examine conditions within their lives and ministry that effect their ability to thrive. While Project Based Learning I addresses common issues that pastors have identified within their ministries, Project Based Learning II addresses those personal, relational, and spiritual issues that help and hinder them in their quest to find meaning and satisfaction within their pastoral calling. The action-reflection method employed in Project Based Learning I will be continued with a greater emphasis on the students ability to employ self-reflection within their lives and ministries, as they seek a greater sense of wellbeing.

CLD 6630 Leading the People of God (12 Weeks)

This course equips students to develop a philosophy of leadership, based upon a biblical, theological and Christian tradition. This will include both character and competency issues that leaders must know, develop and apply within their context of ministry. It will also orient students to healthy congregational structures, administration, and stewardship with a particular emphasis on essential financial processes.

Certificate in Christian Care and Counseling

The Certificate in Christian Counseling and Care is designed to integrate Christian spiritual themes with practical methods for ministry in Christian care and counseling. The program requires successful completion of five courses addressing the development of specific skills with personal and spiritual care, developed within the larger framework of Christian spiritual themes. Pastors, counselors and caregivers, will integrate the program with their context of ministry through the development of a focused project under the supervision of a field mentor.

Courses will be held in partnership with Emerge Ministries and will be held at their learning center (900 Mull Ave, Akron, OH 44313). Classes start in January 2018.


CNS 5501 - Spiritual Themes in Counseling

This course provides the counselor with an overview of components of the client's identity, focus, and direction from a spiritual perspective. Special attention is given to the self-concept, forgiveness, and suffering in clinical work. Attention will also be given to the impact of spirituality on the healing process.

PCC 5530 – Pastoral Counseling and Care

This course is designed to introduce students to the historic practices of pastoral care and counseling as set forth both in scripture and in church history. Pastoral care will be viewed as involving interactions with individuals and groups of people needing pastoral care; equipping the people of Christ to care for one another; and helping the local church embrace its responsibility to the surrounding community and the wider world. This course will also explore preliminary intervention in pastoral counseling, helping students to practice basic counseling skills and mobilize lay people in the local church to engage in a broad range of care giving ministries.

CNS 5512 – Crisis Counseling

This course is designed to familiarize the counselor with the special models, theories and techniques of crisis intervention. Crisis management resources are identified and special crisis situations are explored.

PCC 6657 – Counseling Marriage, Family, and Relational Issues

This course will assist caregivers in addressing the issues that arise within the church relative to marriage, family, and relational dynamics. Included will be understanding and skill development in pre-marital counseling, basic marriage counseling from a pastoral perspective, and counseling family dynamics. This course will also provide essential understanding and competency that equips the pastoral counselor to be an effective servant of reconciliation and relational wellbeing.

PCC 7761 – Small Groups as a Context For Pastoral Counseling and Care

This course seeks to equip students in the competencies necessary for developing and leading effective small groups that are specifically designed for care and counsel. Attention will be given to the unique challenges and opportunities present in developing and leading such groups, as well as providing guidance in group dynamics and development. An additional component of the class will be equipping students to mobilize, train, and supervise lay leaders for this specific form of ministry within the local church.

Certificate in Christian Ministries

The purpose of the Certificate of Christian Ministry is to equip pastors and other church leaders with a basic, well-rounded theological education in the classical disciplines of biblical, historical, and theological studies, as well as in practical ministry. The curriculum design is flexible, practical, affordable, and expandable. Classes will be held in Detroit in January 2018.


BSG 5501 – Engaging Texts and Contexts

This course introduces students to a three-fold framework for biblical interpretation involving the investigation of the "world in front of the text" (between the text's composition and us as readers), the "world within the text" (the close reading of the text itself), and the "world behind the text" (the environment and situation that contributes to the occasion and shaping of the text, and therefore its contextual interpretation).The applicability of this model to the literature and contexts of other curricular areas will also be demonstrated. This course serves as a prerequisite for all NTS and OTS courses with the exception of language courses, such as Hebrew and Greek. It is highly recommended that students take this course prior to other all courses in Biblical Studies, New Testament or Old Testament, including languages.

CTH 5520 – Christian Theology for the Kingdom of God

This course addresses the traditional topics of systematic theology as a narrative of salvation history. It is designed to equip students with a comprehensive and coherent theological framework for engaging in life and ministry in light of the present and future reign of God.

PCC 5520 – Person in Ministry

This course equips students to experience ongoing personal development and growth necessary for wellbeing in ministry. Attention will be given to core identity, character, calling, and competency, identified within the course as the upward, inward, outward, and forward journeys. The course will detail the challenges of Christian ministry and their impact on personal and professional wellbeing, highlighting essential commitments clergy must make in prayer, spiritual formation, inner transformation, and supportive community within the context of ministry.

CLD 6630 – Leading the People of God

This course equips students to develop a philosophy of leadership, based upon a biblical, theological and Christian tradition. This will include both character and competency issues that leaders must know, develop and apply within their context of ministry. It will also orient students to healthy congregational structures, administration, and stewardship with a particular emphasis on essential financial processes.

PCC 5530 – Pastoral Counseling and Care

This course is designed to introduce students to the historic practices of pastoral care and counseling as set forth both in scripture and in church history. Pastoral care will be viewed as involving interactions with individuals and groups of people needing pastoral care; equipping the people of Christ to care for one another; and helping the local church embrace its responsibility to the surrounding community and the wider world. This course will also explore preliminary intervention in pastoral counseling, helping students to practice basic counseling skills and mobilize lay people in the local church to engage in a broad range of care giving ministries.