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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

SPRING 2021:  March 22 - May 28
Deadline for admission:  January 25, 2021
Registration:  February 8-26, 2021

CIM.05 Pastoral Care
COURSE: This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of pastoral care. It explores pastoral care as it has evolved from and been implemented within the context of the Christian faith community. Attention is given to learning and developing caring skills and understanding our role as caregivers in the life of the church. Attention also is given to the ways pastoral care both shapes and is shaped by pastoral leadership in the various aspects of ministry in the church. 

Professor Chuck Mendenhall, Lecturer in the Certificate in Ministry Program and the Doctor of Ministry Program

CIM.11 Introduction to the Hebrew Bible
COURSE:  This course exposes students to the wide array of literature in the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament), as they learn about the historical and literary circumstances out of which the writing arose. As the course moves through the various sections of the Hebrew Scriptures—Torah, Prophets, and Writings—assigned readings discuss both the history and the theology of the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings; lectures highlight major themes and examine particular texts; student discussions explore questions of interpretation. 
Professor Paul Hooker, Associate Dean for Ministerial Formation and Advanced Studies, Austin Seminary


Fall 2021:  September 7-November 12, 2021
Deadline for Admission: 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, Instructor in New Testament 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.