Professor Cynthia Rigby will be teaching the course "Reading the Bible Theologically" in the Winter term of the Certificate in Ministry Program.

Certificate in Ministry reaches broad audience

One of the ways Austin Seminary has extended its reach beyond the traditional classroom setting is through our Certificate in Ministry (CIM) program. These are, for the most part, online classes offered to those who can’t or don’t plan to attend seminary, but wish to delve into subjects offered here. Many in the program hope to become commissioned Ruling Elders or lay leaders in other traditions. Others simply wish to enrich and deepen their personal theological understanding.

Developed especially for this audience and taught by Austin Seminary faculty, these self-paced, ten-week courses are offered during three terms. Most are online-only courses; a couple involve a weekend gathering of students on the campus. You may register and take any class, but if you wish to earn the Certificate you must complete seven specific courses (six required; one elective). The next enrollment period is coming (application deadline is November 7, course registration period is Nov. 10 - 24, 2014); two classes will be offered during the Winter 2015 term, January 5-March 20.

Cynthia L. Rigby, Austin Seminary’s W.C. Brown Professor of Theology, will teach “Reading the Bible Theologically.” Bringing her characteristic energy and creativity to this online course, Rigby will help students learn how to think about scripture in new ways. “We consider what theological ideas are central to the biblical witness, and how they help us interpret the Bible as a whole. We also examine when and how our reading of Scripture challenges us to think differently about who God is, and who God is calling us to be in this world.”

The Reverend Chuck Mendenhall brings decades of ministerial experience to the course “Pastoral Care and Leadership.” In this introductory course, he will help students develop basic assessment and caring skills related to common human problems and concerns and especially how faithful and competent pastoral care informs—and is informed by—quality pastoral leadership.

To learn more about the CIM program or to register for the winter courses, go to: or contact Paul Hooker, Associate Dean for Ministerial Formation and Advanced Studies,, 512-404-4861.