Path of Study

potent enough to help make men able to teach, rounded enough to help make them better men of God

God’s Word IS THE primary textbook.

The reading also includes the wisdom of Packer, Murray, and Piper. It continues with the discerning voices of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, as well as the insight into the gospel that flows from the pen of Sinclair Ferguson. The list is rigorous, but only a part of how we prepare men for ministry.

The Church’S Sheepfold is Our Classroom.

Students visit the sick and the imprisoned with mentoring pastors, tussle along with elders over tangled relational issues in the church, and more. They are instructed in both hermeneutics and homiletics, but in real time as their pastors prepare and deliver sermons. They are shown how the Bible washes the Bride of Christ.

THE THREE TRACKS

Track 1

For men already serving in gospel ministry, this track takes one year and awards a Certificate of Completion.

Track 2

For men with 60 credit hours from any institution of higher education, this track is 2 years long and awards a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry.

Track 3

For men new to higher education, this track lasts 4 years and awards a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry.

Year One: a principal focus on reading

Groups of first year students meet with the professor weekly to discuss the text and how to apply what they learn in a pastoral context. Expectations also include video lectures and a term paper. Engaging with a mentoring pastor is encouraged, but not required until year two.

Courses:
Old Testament Survey New Testament Survey Systematic Theology I Systematic Theology II Biblical Theology Basic Hermeneutics Homiletics Church Leadership Apologetics Introduction to Biblical Counseling

Track 1 awarded
Certificate of Completion

Year Two: lighter reading, higher expectations

Now we begin delving more deeply into matters appropriate for elders. Second year students shadow an assigned mentoring pastor as much as is practical, attending appropriate pastoral calls and session meetings. The weekly group discussions start incorporating current issues in the local church. Students are instructed in sermon preparation and the art of teaching, with occasional opportunities for preaching under the mentor’s immediate direction.

Courses:
Church History Humanities I Humanities II Practical Apologetics Gospel 101 Communications Devotional Life Homiletics Practicum Evangelism and Missions Pastoral Care

Track 2 awarded
Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry

Years Three & Four: intensive firsthand experience

For the final two years, much of the work involves hands-on ministry practice under the guidance of the local pastor and The Shepherd’s College. Practicums and research account for a significant portion of the course credits.

Courses:
Jesus in the Old Covenant Advanced Hermeneutics Ethics Introduction to Philosophy Wisdom Literature The Holy Spirit The Promises of God Disciple Making Ministry Challenges Suffering and the Gospel Liturgics Contemporary Church Issues Advanced Communications Research Project Service Practicum Preaching Practicum

Track 3 awarded
Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry

Ministry Training Without Debt

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:19

It is our desire that money should not stand in the way of anyone seeking The Shepherd’s College. Tuition is $150 USD per credit hour, or about $2,250 each semester. But if this cost is prohibitive at all, please ask us how to find options for aid such as sponsorship from your home church. In addition, we are raising funds to provide scholarship assistance.

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A Schedule That Fits Your Life

The Fall 2021 semester commences on August 30, and will be 15 weeks long. Courses will be led by R.C. Sproul, Jr. The Spring Semester will begin January 2022 and complete the school year.

WEEKLY TIMETABLE​ FOR YEAR ONE:
Discussion group on Mondays, 6–9pm EST
30 minute video lectures in each of 5 classes
1,000 pages of reading (about 10–15 hours)
(Optional) Mentoring time with pastor
Term paper at end of semester

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Book List for Year One

Introducing the Old Testament by Tremper Longman III
An Introduction to the New Testament by D.A. Carson & Douglas J. Moo
From Eden to the New Jerusalem by T. Desmond Alexander
Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul
Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauch
Tearing Down Strongholds by R.C. Sproul, Jr.
Gospel-Centered Counseling by Robert W. Kellemen

Equipping & Calling

While simply completing this program cannot guarantee qualification for gospel ministry, those who do so will be better equipped to serve the saints. Calling is another matter, approached on an individual basis by the elders as a whole. However our hope is that, should they be so called, graduates would be equipped to pastor a local church body or serve on a local session.