Program Overview

The FSI Online Certificate Program provides accessible and flexible theological training, cultural literacy, and leadership development for Christians in sports. Our non-credit courses are delivered online and are offered at three different times during the year: Summer, Fall, and Winter/Spring sessions. Students are free to enroll in any course of their choosing; there is no application process and no prerequisites. Join our email list to stay up-to-date on upcoming registration openings and deadlines.

Past students in our courses include:

  • High school and college coaches
  • Educational and athletic administrators
  • Sports ministry staff
  • College athletes
  • Graduate students
  • College professors
  • Pastors and missionaries

Students who take multiple classes can work towards receiving a Certificate in Sports Culture and Leadership from the Faith & Sports Institute. To receive the certificate, students must take four total courses: the two “core” courses (Sports Leadership and Sports & Theology) plus any two additional electives.

Certificate in Sports Culture and Leadership
  • Core Classes:
    • Sport Leadership
    • Sports & Theology
  • Electives (choose two):
    • Bible & Sports
    • Race & Sports (coming early 2021)
    • Mental Health & Sports (coming summer 2021)
    • Public Witness and Communication in Sports (coming fall 2021)
    • Additional courses under development!

2020-21 Course Instructors:

Paul Putz
Paul Putz

Paul is the Assistant Director of the Faith & Sports Institute. He received his bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Grace University, where he played basketball. He also has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in history with a focus on sports and Christianity. His writing and research has been featured at numerous media outlets, including Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Sports Illustrated, and NPR’s “Only A Game,” and his first book is under contract with Oxford University Press. He has over a decade of experience as an educator in both the high school and college classroom.


Elizabeth Perkins
Elizabeth Perkins

Elizabeth serves as the Assistant Administrator of Online Programming for the Faith & Sports Institute. She graduated in May 2020 from Baylor University’s Truett Seminary with an M.Div. (sports ministry concentration). Before coming to Baylor, she graduated from Hope College with a double major in Psychology and Spanish and a minor in French. While at Hope she played both basketball and soccer. Elizabeth has taken on a variety of leadership positions and roles at Baylor, working as a Faith & Sports Institute Retreat Mentor in 2018 and as Retreat Program Director in 2019, while also serving as the Volunteer Assistant Coach for Baylor Women’s Soccer.


Brian Gamel
Brian Gamel

Brian serves as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the Faith & Sports Institute, where his primary project is researching and writing a book on the sports metaphors used in the Bible. He is a teacher and scholar with an M.Div. from Duke University and a Ph.D. in New Testament from Baylor University. His first book, an academic study of the centurion’s confession in Mark 15, was published with T&T Clark. Before entering graduate school, Brian received a B.A. in Microbiology from the University of Missouri and spent six years on staff with a church.

George W. Truett Theological Seminary