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Certificate in Ministry

The Certificate in Ministry is a primarily online program for those who seek substantive theological education but who are not planning to pursue study in a degree program. To earn the certificate you must take seven courses. If you want to be more prepared for a church leadership role or you simply wish to enrich your personal biblical and theological understanding, you will be well-served by the CIM program. For potential lay leaders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the CIM may meet requirements for Commissioned Ruling Elder.

I often think about my CIM experience and how it has and continues to shape me as a disciple and as a commissioned pastor. This past week I preached two funeral services. I am grateful for the professors and classmates from whom I have learned so much. My Austin Seminary experience helped give me the confidence to write and share …There is much to learn, and I am grateful to be learning through Austin Seminary even though I live miles away.

Courses that are offered
  • Church History  
  • Theology 
  • Worship and Preaching (online with some on campus instruction)
  • Christian Education (online with some on campus instruction)
  • Pastoral Care and Leadership  
  • PC(USA) Polity  
  • Introducing Christian Ethics  
  • Evangelism
  • Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
  • New Testament

Additional courses are in development

Upcoming Courses

FALL 2020: September 8 - November 13
Deadline for admission: August 17
Registration: July 27–August 21
CIM.01 Church History
COURSE: This course surveys the development of Christianity from the earliest communities established by the apostles through the Reformation era. Attention is given to critical turning points for Christianity in relation to the state, development of doctrine, institutional changes, spiritual ideals, and practices of worship.
Professor David Johnson

CIM.07 PC(USA) Polity
COURSE: This course is designed to orient students to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and especially to the Book of Order. Students learn the structure and content of the four sections of the Book of Order, and explore polity as a tool for effective ministry. The course also offers exposure to basic parliamentary procedure and acquaints students with the role of moderator in planning and managing session meetings. 
Professor Paul Hooker 

WINTER 2021: January 4 - March 12
Deadline for admission: December 1
Registration: November 6–December 4
CIM.04 Christian Education
COURSE: This course provides a theological and practical vision for the Church's ministry of education. Students explore theories of teaching and learning, alternate approaches for teaching, and strategies for organizing the ministry of education in congregations. The course is appropriate for pastors, Christian education directors, and teachers who wish to improve their craft. This is a blended course, with online components and face-to-face interactions. Students are required to attend one weekend workshop on the Seminary campus.  
Professor Michael Washevski, Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Fort Worth, Texas

CIM.09 Ethics
COURSE: This course introduces students to topics, themes, and problems in Christian ethics.​ These may include moral virtue and character, the Bible and Christian ethics, moral​ relativism, sexuality and marriage, and economic justice.
Professor Asante Todd, Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics

How to Apply

If you are interested in this program, please fill out the "Apply Now" form at right. Please allow up to two weeks for us to process your application. Once you have been admitted to the program, you will be emailed information to register for a course.


Apply Now