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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

Winter 2022: 
January 18-March 25, 2022
​​​​​​​"Church History": January 4-March 11, 2022

* Deadline for Admission to the Certificate Program (one time): December 10, 2021
Registration: December 6-24, 2021

CIM.10 Theology In this course, students explore major teachings (“doctrines”) of the Christian faith and why they matter not only to Christian believers and church communities, but to the healing of the world. Particular attention is given to learning theological vocabulary and to developing the capacity for students to talk about doctrines themselves, so they will be prepared to teach, preach, and assist others in reflecting theologically in the context of their ministries. Professor Cynthia Rigby, The W.C. Brown Professor of Theology at Austin Seminary

CIM.01 Church History This course surveys the development of Christianity from the earliest communities established by the apostles through the contemporary 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, Associate Professor of Church History and Christian Spirituality at Austin Seminary


Spring 2022: March 28-June 3, 2022
* Deadline for Admission to the Certificate Program (one time): March 4, 2022
Registration: February 28-March 18, 2022

CIM.04 Christian Education 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 Austin Seminary campus. Professor David White, The C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Professor of Christian Education, Professor in Methodist Studies, Austin Seminary

CIM.09 ETHICS 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, Associate 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.