Three new courses will be offered to help potential pastors become credentialed
A proposal of a new pastoral academy was brought to light by President Anderson, Thomas Burkman, vice president of academic affairs, and the Deans council at the beginning of the 2015 spring semester. This proposal is now in the works of becoming a reality.
The new pastoral academy will consist of three new four-credit classes. Each course is equivalent to the different levels of credentialing aligning with the Assemblies of God.
The first course, Pastoral Academy I, will contain all the material a student will need to be certified in ministry, Pastoral Academy II would contain all the material needed to be
licensed to preach and Pastoral Academy III will contain all the material necessary for ordination.
There are some restrictions on certified ministers, but licensed and ordained ministers are qualified to pursue almost all ministry positions in churches and missions. The classes will be designed to prepare you for the test you would need to complete in order to receive your credentials. One must complete these courses in sequence.
“Our goal is to make these courses extremely professional, dynamic and cutting edge,“ Burkman said.
Tracy Paino, dean of the college of ministry, is currently in the works of creating this new curriculum. According to Burkman, North Central is looking to use its own staff and faculty to teach these courses. This new program will hopefully be put in place this upcoming fall semester.
When all of the small details are figured out these three courses will be offered and available to all North Central students and will count towards their bible minor. For incoming freshman pursuing a pastoral degree, these courses will be a requirement to graduate. Burkman said that this will not affect any students in a negative way and the 124-credit requirement to graduate will not change. Because it will be required for ministry majors, the pricing will be the same as it is for any other block classes.
“The idea is that all the ministerial prep majors here on campus will be taking those courses as a part of their program,” Burkman said. “So not only do they get credits toward a degree, but also have everything needed to be credentialed. They don’t have to take any extra courses.”
These courses will also be available to people outside of North Central who may be looking to get credentialed but donotwanttopursueadegree. The cost of tuition is still in the works for these potential stu-
dents, but according to Burkman, it will be lower than for a regular student.
The courses will eventually be offered online so a wider range of people can take them. The reasoning behind an online course is for an older generation who might not want to go back to school or for people who don’t live close to the cities.
“We’re looking at the entire Bible and theology, how we can better serve our students and what we can do to make their experience more relevant to todays living,” Burkman said. “The pastoral academy is only a part of that.”