New Certificate in Ministry Launching Fall 2013

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary will offer a new Certificate in Ministry (CIM) beginning in fall 2013. The majority of this program will be completed online, so it is ideal for church leaders and individuals wishing to enrich their theological understanding and who desire flexibility in scheduling. The CIM may be particularly appropriate for those who are preparing for leadership roles in the church, such as the Commissioned Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

“The CIM is a response to the changing needs of the churches,” Dean Allan Cole said. “We think it faithful to our mission as a school in service to the church to offer alternative paths to training for ministry leadership along with our master’s-level degree programs. I’m thrilled that CIM students will learn from Austin Seminary’s fine faculty, and Austin Seminary appreciates this opportunity to build partnerships with new communities of learners and leaders.”

Students may take as many or as few courses as they wish in the program, but in order to earn the certificate, seven courses (six required and one elective) must be completed.

The CIM curriculum is designed and taught by Austin Seminary faculty, and has been shaped to provide a strong theological and ministerial foundation for students. Self-paced, 10-week courses may be completed in any order and do not require any prerequisites. Five courses are taught exclusively online, and two courses involve both online learning and one weekend of intensive on-campus instruction.

Four CIM terms will be offered each year. Courses are scheduled as follows:

Fall 2013 (Sept. 1 – Nov. 15)

  • Church History (online course) Dr. David Johnson
  • Reading the Bible Theologically (online course) Dr. Cynthia Rigby

Winter 2014 (Jan. 1 – Mar. 15)

  • Worship and Preaching (online and on-campus course) Dr. Kristin Saldine
  • Polity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (online course) Dr. Paul Hooker

Spring 2014 (Apr. 1 – June 15)

  • Christian Education (online and on-campus course) Dr. David White
  • Pastoral Care and Leadership (online course) Dr. Allan Cole

Fall 2014 (Sept. 1 – Nov. 15)

  • Ministry Foundations in Bible and Theology (online course) Dr. John Alsup
  • Comparative Religion (online course) Dr. Whit Bodman

Additional elective courses will be created and scheduled as well. Students may enroll in one or both of the courses offered each session.

“I am pleased to see this certificate being offered. It will only enhance the Seminary’s deep and ongoing relationship with the greater Church, and will become yet one more way in which we understand ourselves to be in relationship with the Church,” President Ted Wardlaw said of the CIM program. “We are excited about the multiple ways in which it can deepen further our relationships with constituent presbyteries and other judicatories as well as with individuals desiring to serve congregations and other entities more effectively.”

Applications for admission to the CIM program will be accepted beginning April 1, 2013. For more information on the course offerings, visit