Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 

1 Peter 5:2


To equip mature Christian leaders to become lay pastors in any area of ministry, including the skills to launch and lead a campus of their home churches.


The word “pastor” means “to shepherd” - to lead and care for a group of people that God has entrusted to you. All Christians are called to show people Jesus’ love and point them to Him, but some are gifted and called to be pastors of God’s people - as the leader of a discipleship group, a recovery ministry, a church campus pastor, or even just as you go through your normal life. Whenever you take the first step toward that calling, it’s crucial to partner with and submit to the vision of the church you call home. This program will equip you with the resources and experience necessary to walk humbly with God as He entrusts you with the great and challenging commitment of pastoring His people. 

A maturing relationship with Jesus and a solid base of leadership skills are vital for success as a leader of a ministry. Because of this, the Associates program (ACLM) is required for admission into the Certificate programs.

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the needs and values of a specific community’s culture and adjust their ministry to attract and engage that culture

  • Demonstrate the ability to pray biblically and confidently with individuals and before a crowd

  • Identify and address felt needs of families in any community

  • Identify and train qualified and reliable individuals to serve on your ministry teams

  • Explain and practice the policies and procedures relevant to their ministry areas that are designed to ensure the safety and spiritual growth of volunteers and church guests

  • Link theological and biblical knowledge with current cultural research to create a relevant and creative sermon series, devotionals, large event topics, or leader meetings

  • Develop a system of accountability for ensuring the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health of themselves, their families, and the people in their ministries

  • Create a plan for launching a ministry, including short-term and long-term goals

Program Components

The Certificate programs consist of 90 credits: the 60-credit Associates in Church leadership and Ministry degree, plus 30 credits: six 5-week courses, a 2-credit Team Leader Internship, an 8-credit Apprenticeship, and a 2-credit Internship Capstone. The internships for the CPM program will be completed under the direct supervision of a pastor leading a ministry in any area. Students in the Certificate programs have class one night per week for fall term (Aug – Dec) and complete internship courses via online during Spring and Winter terms. Must be started at the beginning of the academic year. 


Minimum age for CPM is 21 years at time of application. ACLM degree or equivalent is prerequisite. At least one year of serving regularly in a leadership role at a Christian church. Completed online application, including a character reference and a pastoral reference. Completed background check. Interview with College Director and Lead Pastors (as requested).


Click on the area of study to see details about each course. 

Associates in Church Leadership and Ministry (60 credits)

Leadership and Ministry Training (6 credits)

LMT 501 – Gospel and Culture

LMT 512 – Ministry Administration

Personal and Spiritual Formation (6 credits)

PSF 521 – Ministry Communications 1: Nonverbal, Public Speaking

PSF 522 – Ministry Communications 2: Small Group, Interpersonal

Ministry Skill Development (6 credits)

MSD 501 – Writing Biblical Curriculum

MSD 530 – Pastoral Ministry Development

Internship (12 credits)

INT 211 – Advancing Team Leader: Fall Term

INT 302 – Apprenticeship: Winter Term

INT 303 – Apprenticeship: Spring Term

INT 313 – Ministry Internship Capstone