Seminary at Church

Ministry Institute Cohorts

Overview

The Foundry is committed to ministry formation that is church-centered rather than school-centered, and uses holistic models of learning. Our ministry training cohorts are for leaders who are actively serving in the church. Our curriculum has a dynamic core that centers on Scripture, theology, ministry skills, personal spiritual formation, and cultural engagement. Every subject is approached from a formational and contextual lens.

Learning Format

While there may be similarities to a classroom setting, these courses center on learning together. They are participatory in style and less formal than traditional school settings. They take a hybrid approach with in-person meetings typically once every other week for approximately 3 hours, supplemented with other resources and learning opportunities online. This pace enables sustainable involvement in ministry and in the learning cohort. Each course is typically 8 weeks long.

Evaluation and Assignments
Learning is evaluated through reflections, discussion, written assignments, and ministry-related assignments. Our main question is “Are participants being equipped for ministry in the local church?” Not “Have participants mastered the intellectual content?” So our assessments are based on demonstrated competency in a particular area.

Certification

The Foundry offers Certificates for various levels of courses completed:

Certificate of Biblical Foundations – five required courses in Cycle 1 (marked with * below)
Certificate of Ministry Foundations – all courses in Cycle 1, including the Capstone course
Certificate of Ministry Formation – all courses in Cycles 1 & 2.

Typical Ministry Institute Schedule

Cycle 1

*Courses with asterisk designate the five courses for the Certificate of Biblical Foundations

Contemporary Cultural Stories (8 weeks)

This course focuses on understanding and discerning the various cultural stories that shape our contemporary world so that we can better understand the way that people in our culture and churches inhabit these stories in their everyday lives. These stories are compared and contrasted with the big story of the Bible in order to equip participants to better understand God’s mission for his people in our contemporary culture.

Spiritual Formation (4 weeks + 8 weeks practice)

This course introduces the biblical and theological principles of spiritual formation with a focus on cultivating a biblically balanced and healthy practice of spiritual rhythms.

Interpreting the Bible* (8 weeks)

This course focuses on cultivating the skill and art of biblical interpretation with a view toward both the exegesis of Scripture and Spirit-filled application of the text today.

Preaching and Teaching the Old Testament* (6 weeks + 4 weeks  practice)

This course builds the skill of preaching and teaching from the Old Testament in today’s context. Students will learn core skills of preaching and teaching while also learning how to preach the Old Testament in a Jesus-centered way.

Foundations of Christian Theology* (8 weeks)

This course explores several of the foundational teachings (“doctrines”) of the Christian faith. The focus primarily centers on the topics related to studying theology (Prolegomena), the Triune God (Theology Proper), the Person and Work of the Messiah (Christology), and Aspects of Salvation (Soteriology).

Preaching and Teaching the New Testament* (4 weeks + 4 weeks ongoing practice)

This course builds the skill of preaching and teaching from the New Testament in today’s context. Students will develop core skills of preaching and teaching while also learning how to preach the New Testament in a Jesus-centered way. Note: Preaching & Teaching the NT is a bit shorter than OT because Preaching & Teaching the OT will include foundational material on preaching and teaching in general.

Distinctives of Reformed Theology and Practice* (8 weeks)

This course surveys key distinctives of Reformed theology and practice, including ecclesiology and polity, worship and the sacraments, and eschatology.

Capstone (4 weeks)

This capstone projects asks participants to reflect and synthesize what they have learned and chart a plan for continued growth in these areas. Students will meet with the professor(s) in small groups to share about their learning and their plans.

Cycle 2

Mission of the Church (8 weeks)

This course explores a biblical theology of the people of God with a view toward articulating the calling of the church in our world today. It explores how different dimensions of our life, including worship, fellowship, education, evangelism, and service connect in the mission of the church.

Discipleship (8 weeks)

What does it mean to be a disciple who makes disciples of Jesus? This course builds on and expands the Spiritual Formation course by focusing on one’s own life as a disciple of Jesus and the various contexts where discipling happens.

Pastoral Formation (8 weeks)

This course explores the spiritual, mental, and emotional challenges that face shepherds of the church and aims to cultivate practices of life and behavior that will sustain effective ministry.

Leadership in the Church (6 weeks)

This course defines and explores the character and competencies of good leadership in the church with a view toward building that character and skill in practical ways.

The Story of the Church for the Church (8 weeks)

This course explores key points of church history with a view toward how the church’s response to questions and struggles in their day can help us better respond to questions and struggles of our day.

Cost and More Information

The cost for an individual is $500 per student per month. The Foundry prefers to work with churches to calculate an appropriate cost that includes all participants. For these rates, we use a sliding scale based on church size. Each cohort typically has a maximum of 16 participants.