The Certificate in Ministry (CIM) program is for church leaders and others seeking substantive theological education but who are not planning to pursue study in a degree program. Seven courses are required to complete the certificate program.
Anyone who seeks theological preparation for church leadership or wishes to enrich his/her personal theological understanding will be well-served by the CIM program. In particular, the CIM may meet requirements for Commissioned Ruling Elders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and for leadership in other Christian traditions. You can find more information here.
Irene Jimenez, a current Certificate in Ministry student, shares her experience in the CIM program.
I love the way God is so patient with us. Back in 2010, I began to preach at a small church in Taylor, Texas, and Reverend Clarence Bassett, often sat in the pews since he would come to Taylor to moderate the session meetings. He always said to me, “You are the best woman preacher I have ever heard. You need to go to seminary.” I just smiled and said, "When the classes are online because I don’t have time, nor can I afford it." When Reverend Bassett passed away, I went to his memorial service. I could still hear him say, “You need to go to seminary” and I repeated, When it’s online Clarence, when it’s online. Just then, Reverend Lemuel Garcia came up and said, “I have been thinking about you because we have a new program at the Seminary. It’s the CIM program, Certificate in Ministry, and it’s online." I thought, Wow God!! Are you really calling me? I took the information Lemuel handed me and read about it on the website. I began the process to enroll in the CIM program, and it has indeed been a blessing.
In the CIM program, I have encountered professors that have truly shared the love of Christ with their students. The classes have provided an opportunity to meet people from across the country who are also looking for ways to strengthen their ability to follow God’s call in their churches. The friendships that have been developed, the opportunity to deepen our understanding of God’s word, the opportunity to spend time at the Seminary and find God’s peace has been a beautiful and inspiring experience. I have found the professors to be flexible and supportive, truly reaching out to their students across a computer monitor.
I asked for online courses and the Lord answered my request.