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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 2021:  September 7-November 12, 2021
* Deadline for Admission to the Certificate Program (one time): August 13, 2021
Registration: August 9-27, 2021

CIM.03 WORSHIP AND PREACHING The Christian church is a community at worship. In this course, students explore the historical roots, theology, and practice of Christian worship. Students learn the basic components of the Lord’s Day service, including sacraments, and design services for weekly worship, weddings, and funerals. Included is a basic introduction to preaching within the context of worship. This is a blended course, with online components and face-to-face interactions that include performative practice. Students are required to attend one weekend workshop on the Austin Seminary campus. Prof. Jennifer Lord, The Dorothy B. Vickery Professor of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies at Austin Seminary.

CIM.12 INTRODUCTION TO THE NEW TESTAMENT This course provides an overview of the New Testament to assist students in their teaching, preaching, and service in the church. Particular attention is given to the Gospels, major Pauline writings, and Revelation. Through lectures and assigned readings, students learn key concepts and themes while exploring the historical and cultural contexts that shape these texts. Prof. Bridgett Green, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Austin Seminary.


Winter 2022:  January 4-March 11, 2022
* Deadline for Admission to the Certificate Program (one time): December 10, 2021
Registration: December 6-24, 202

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. Prof. Cynthia Rigby, 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. Prof. David Johnson, Associate Professor of Church History and Christian Spirituality at Austin Seminary

* 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.