George W. Truett Theological Seminary and Texas Baptists have entered into a collaborative agreement between Truett Seminary’s Online Certificate Program and the Texas Baptists Preschool & Children’s Certification Program in order to create a Joint Certificate Program that will provide students with the opportunity to earn an Advanced Certificate of Ministry.
“I have talked to many ministers who feel they cannot financially afford more education, or they are at the age of not being able to get an advanced degree from a seminary or university,” said Texas Baptists Preschool and Children’s Specialist Diane Lane. “Our Joint Certificate will equip them with the researched childhood information and theology to be better prepared to serve others. This adds confidence and credibility to their ministries as they seek to enhance what they have learned.”
“We as a seminary and Diane as a representative of Texas Baptists value the work of children’s ministry and want to affirm children’s ministers in their calling and their service and equip them to do so well,” said David Tate, Director of Truett’s Certificate Program. “We want them to be able to go deeper in their own faith and understanding, so that they can respond to shifting needs and the questions that kids often ask.”
Students who choose to work towards their Joint Certificate will be required to take the six core courses within Truett Seminary’s Certificate Program and the nine courses provided by the Texas Baptists Office of Childhood Discipleship. The Certificate Program classes are completed online and the Childhood Discipleship classes are completed in person at the Texas Baptists office in Dallas. The courses can be taken in the order preferred by the student.
Cassie Cooper of Mildred Baptist Church in Corsicana, Texas, is the first student to pursue this Advanced Certificate of Ministry. Her desire to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of Scripture initially led her to enroll in Truett’s Online Certificate Program.
“I began feeling called into the children’s ministry as I ended my first course with Truett and soon after was introduced to Diane Lane. She walked me through the steps of the Children’s Ministry Certification offered through Texas Baptists,” Cooper said. “God is molding me through these first two courses, and I am gaining the knowledge and confidence I was lacking prior to being enrolled. The instruction I am receiving through both programs is truly blessing my journey in the ministry.”
The curriculum offered by Texas Baptists includes courses such as “Principles of Teaching,” “Special Need Ministry,” and “Characteristics of Preschoolers and Children.” The online courses through Truett are modeled after the core curriculum of the Seminary’s Master of Divinity program and include courses in theology, church history, and Scripture.
“On the practical side, the Texas Baptists courses are very focused on how to do children’s ministry well. And we’re on the foundational side, trying to give people a theological foundation so they can think, reflect, and live out their own faith in whatever context they’re in,” Tate said. “Together, this puts a lot of tools in a children’s minister’s toolbox, so they are able to do the essential necessities of their ministry and to have a theological foundation to help them discern the best ways to serve and teach the youngest members of the Kingdom of God.”
To learn more about the Joint Certificate Program and the opportunity to earn an Advanced Certificate of Ministry, contact David Tate at firstname.lastname@example.org or Diane Lane at email@example.com.