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Competency-Based Theological Education

An Alternative Model of Pastoral Education

Columbia Biblical Seminary offers an alternative model of pastoral education that incorporates a competency-based theological education (CBTE) model for two Master’s programs: MA in Ministry Studies and MDiv in Ministry Studies. The purpose of the Church-Centered CBTE initiative is to assist local congregations in equipping emerging leaders for enduring effectiveness by delivering formal theological education in contexts specific to their ministries under the guidance of experienced pastoral mentors.

 

 

Develop the Knowledge and Skills You Need While Working in Your Ministry

Competency-Based Theological Education learning provides an online orientation to each competency and possible assessment projects students will complete to demonstrate their competence in the area of study. Participants then work with one or more field mentors in their ministry context to develop the knowledge and skills needed to demonstrate competency in a given ministry area (e.g., ministry leadership, preaching, etc.). When participants and their mentors believe they are ready to demonstrate competency in an area, they register for a three-hour course and submit a competency assessment project. Participants work at their own pace and may demonstrate as many or as few competencies as they wish in a given semester as their ministry commitments permit. They also have the option to choose the sequence in which they pursue the required competencies. Competency-based study focuses on disciplines related to practical ministry. If a student believes it would be more beneficial to take the eight-week online course in the area of practical ministry, they are allowed to do that in place of completing a competency assessment project.

For core knowledge areas, such as biblical languages, Old Testament introduction, and theology courses, students can take residential or eight-week online courses. For more contextually sensitive areas, such as preaching, leadership, and spiritual formation, a mentor or a mentor team will design a way for the student to demonstrate competency for a particular course, such as completion of a structured project within their local congregation and ministry community.

Cost

$500 monthly subscription rate

  • This subscription gives students access to residential courses, online courses, and a mentor to help them to gain competency in particular practical ministry courses
  • Includes the cost of books and Accordance Bible Software at no additional cost
  • Students are not eligible to receive financial aid
  • Depending on how long the student takes to complete all the competencies, the M.A. can cost as little as $8,000 and the M.Div. as little as $14,000.

 


MA in Ministry Studies Program Design

The Master of Arts in Ministry Studies option consists of forty-two hours of study and serves students with a bachelor’s degree (or students who can demonstrate the ability to do graduate-level theological education) who want to pursue foundational and specialized knowledge and skills. Eighteen of the forty-two credits in the program can be completed in the CBTE format. The breakdown of courses for the MA in Ministry Studies is below.

Courses to be completed in the residential or online format (24 credits):

  • Succeeding in Seminary (0 credits)
  • Foundations of Internships (0 credits)
  • Introduction to the Old Testament 1
  • Introduction to the Old Testament 2
  • Gospels
  • Acts to Revelation
  • Hermeneutics
  • Theology and Ethics 1
  • Theology and Ethics 2
  • Understanding Cultures and Worldviews

Required courses to be completed in the CBTE format (12 credits):

  • Foundations of Spiritual Formation
  • Management Essentials for Christian Ministries
  • Foundations of Biblical Preaching or Transformational Bible Teaching
  • Internship 1 and 2

Choose 2 Practical Ministry courses for the concentration (6 credits) in the CBTE format, such as:

  • Leadership and Ministry Skills
  • The Church’s Ministry to Families
  • Special Topics in Practical Ministry
  • Advanced Biblical Preaching
  • Short-Term Counseling

Note: Students can also select BIB or THE courses in the residential or online format for more options in this concentration.


MDiv in Ministry Studies Program Design

The Master of Divinity in Ministry Studies option consists of seventy-five hours of study and serves students with a bachelor’s degree (or students who can demonstrate the ability to do graduate-level theological education) who want to pursue advanced and specialized knowledge and skills. Thirty-three of the seventy-five credits in the program (about 44%) can be completed in the CBTE format. The breakdown of the courses for the MDiv in Ministry Studies is below.

Courses to be completed in the residential or online format (42 credits):

  • Succeeding in Seminary (0 credits)
  • Foundations of Internships (0 credits)
  • Introduction to the Old Testament 1
  • Introduction to the Old Testament 2
  • Gospels
  • Acts to Revelation
  • Hermeneutics
  • Theology and Ethics 1
  • Theology and Ethics 2
  • History of Global Christianity 1
  • History of Global Christianity 2
  • Understanding Cultures and Worldviews

Choose one of the following biblical languages sequences (12 credits):

Greek sequence

  • New Testament Greek 1
  • New Testament Greek 2
  • Greek 3
  • Greek 4

Hebrew sequence

  • Hebrew 1
  • Hebrew 2
  • Hebrew 3
  • Hebrew 4

Required courses to be completed in the CBTE format (21 credits):

  • Foundations of Spiritual Formation
  • Internship 1 and 2
  • Foundations of Biblical Preaching
  • Leadership and Ministry Skills
  • Transformational Bible Teaching
  • Short-Term Counseling
  • Management Essentials for Christian Ministries

4 Practical Ministry courses for Ministry Studies concentration in the CBTE format (12 credits), such as:

  • The Church’s Ministry to Families
  • Special Topics in Practical Ministry
  • Advanced Biblical Preaching
  • Missions and Evangelism in the 21st Century

Note: Students can also select BIB or THE courses in the residential or online format for more options in this concentration.

Are you ready to transform your life?