The Master's Seminary Institute for Church Leadership
Looking for seminary-caliber instruction for a fraction of the cost? In expanding its influence and furthering the spiritual growth of believers, The Master's Seminary now offers online, low-cost, classroom training for both leaders and lay people alike, in what is called the "Institute for Church Leadership” (ICL).
From the website (https://institute.tms.edu/home):
Online courses from the Institute for Church Leadership provide lay people in local churches with training for ministry. This allows everyone around the world to experience a little bit of what The Master’s Seminary offers in the classroom.
The duty to be theologians is common to all of us. The difference between laymen and ministers is not of kind, but of degree. The Bible was given to all the church and it is the responsibility of all Christians to know God’s Word in order to be a faithful servant to their King.
Whether you have time-tested experience in ministry or have yet to begin, the Institute for Church Leadership will provide the rigor and refreshment needed to help you continue laboring for the Lord.
The program gives you the freedom to digest the material at your own pace at a low cost. Whether taking courses individually or in a group led by your pastor, you will enjoy teaching that is sound in theology and reflects a biblical philosophy of ministry.
The following video introduces this new opportunity:
And make no mistake about it: this course material is not "seminary-lite," as if it offers sub-standard instruction. Dr. Peter Sammons is the Director of ICL, and having known him as one of my closest friends for over a decade, I can tell you that his commitment to theological precision is nearly unparalleled. And after working my way through several of his lectures, I can confidently say that the level of doctrinal instruction is exactly as I expected it to be.
Consider, for example, the course outline for Dr. Sammons’ newest class, “Doctrine of God and the Decrees”:
Introduction to The Doctrine of God and the Decrees
Week One: Why Study Systematic Theology?
Week Two: The Trinity
Week Three: The Incommunicable Attributes, Part 1
Week Four: The Incommunicable Attributes, Part 2
Week Five: The Incommunicable Attributes, Part 3
Week Six: The Incommunicable Attributes, Part 4
Week Seven: The Communicable Attributes, Part 1
Week Eight: The Communicable Attributes, Part 2
Week Nine: The Communicable Attributes, Part 3
Week Ten: The Communicable Attributes, Part 4
Week Eleven: Introduction to The Decrees
Week Twelve: The Doctrine of Predestination
Week Thirteen: Objections Considered
Week Fourteen: The Doctrine of Causality
Additional courses currently offered from other TMS faculty include: “The Reformation” with Dr. Nathan Busenitz, “Biblical Reconciliation: Going Beyond Peacemaking” with Dr. John Street, and “Hermeneutics” with Dr. Abner Chou. Upcoming courses include: “Stewardship” with Reagan Rose (coming March 2019), “Doctrine of Salvation” with Professor Michael Riccardi (coming September 2019), and “The Life of Christ” with Dr. Kevin Zuber (coming September 2019). These are the same men you’d find teaching in the seminary classroom on campus.
The web interface used for the classes is intuitive and user friendly, tracking your progress as you work through the material. Once logged in, you can watch (or re-watch) lectures, take followup quizzes to gauge your understanding, and discuss the group questions alongside others with whom you are taking the course. Upon completion of all courses for a specific area of study (Bible Knowledge, Shepherding Care, Sound Doctrine, or Christian Living), a certificate is offered as validation.
For more information, check out the “About” section of the website (https://institute.tms.edu/p/about), or listen to the breakout session from the 2018 Shepherds Conference led by Dr. Peter Sammons and and Dr. Nathan Busenitz entitled, “Lay Training for the Local Church,” (https://www.gracechurch.org/sermons/1445).
Currently, classes are offered at a mere $70 per course, but for the month of February you can use coupon code Doctrine50 to take Dr. Sammons’ class “Doctrine of God and the Decrees” for only $50. Whether you're a mom looking to better disciple your children, a dad looking to lead your family, a churchman looking to step up in leadership, or a pastor looking to refine your knowledge, the Institute for Church Leadership is a wonderful option to consider.