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.
Courses that are offered
- Church History
- 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
- Old Testament
- New Testament
Additional courses are in development
How to enroll
If you are interested in this program, please fill out the "Apply Now" form at the bottom of this page. 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.
- How are the courses administered?
- What materials are necessary for the course?
- How will the courses be graded?
- What is the application process?
- What is the cost of CIM courses?
- Is there a time limit to complete the certificate program?
- Can courses be taken for CIM credit in conjunction with other certificate or degree programs?
Typical courses will include video lectures, online discussion, written papers, and responses to readings. Courses are presented in an asynchronous manner, meaning they do not require simultaneous The majority of courses are taught online. Two courses (Christian Education and Worship and Preaching) are blended courses, which require one weekend of on-campus instruction in addition to the online components. Housing, parking, and meals are included in the fees for blended courses. Students are responsible for making travel arrangements.
Courses are self-paced with assignments and schedules set by each instructor. Course materials are available online to students 24/7participation of students and the instructor.
CIM courses will utilize as many digital resources as possible. Some courses may require the purchase of traditional books. Each instructor will provide a list of required materials to registrants.
Technical requirements include:
- Computer or tablet with internet connectivity capable for streaming video and audio
- Speakers or audio capabilities
- Browsers supported: Internet Explorer 7.X+, Firefox 5+, Google Chrome, Safari, any mobile browser
- Flash or HTML5 capability
- Word processing software
- Adobe Acrobat reader
Interested applicants will apply online. Prospective students will be required to submit to a background check and interview with admissions staff. Students completing the CIM for Commissioned Ruling Elder requirements must provide a letter of endorsement from their Presbytery. Other students are required to submit a letter of reference, which may come from a governing body in their tradition, or from a pastor, elder or deacon, employer, or friend.
Yes, but if a student is enrolled in a certificate or degree program at another institution and wishes to augment that program with a CIM course from Austin Seminary, it is at the discretion of the other institution whether or not to accept the credit.
If a student wishes to transfer from another certificate program into the Austin Seminary CIM, credit from the previous program may be accepted. In such cases, the student should discuss this with the Office of Ministerial Formation and Advanced Studies.