The local church ministerial training program is conceived of as a means to train men for the full-time ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the God-ordained parameters of the local church. It combines strong academics with personal spiritual disciplines and practical service.
To produce, by God’s grace, pastors and church-planters who are able expositors of the Word; who have a shepherd’s heart; who are unwavering in fundamentalist, separatist, Baptist convictions; who will fulfill the ministry until death or Christ comes.
The local church training program has four inter-related components. First is the academic part, which consists of regular classroom lectures in all the disciplines of pastoral training, a full range of readings, examinations and research projects. Timely completion of papers, exams and other course work is expected. The academic component is complemented by the second and third components. The second phase is participation in seminars and conferences selected to both bring into focus a particular discipline, area of expertise or issue, and to broaden the student’s exposure to a variety of men and their ministries, thinking and labors. Third, a series of interviews with pastors and other Christian leaders will give a breadth of vision to the minister-in-training. Reports will be expected on both the seminars and interviews. Last, the practical component will be integrated with all the above: the student is expected to serve in a variety of areas within the church under the direction and close supervision of the Pastor. Areas of service will include regular preaching; Sunday School teaching; visitation; administration; discipleship; home Bible studies; writing projects; business meeting moderating; committee work, and counseling. Additionally, the church may choose to have him serve in other capacities such as deacon, etc.
The student will be expected to maintain daily devotions and prayer, and will turn in to the Pastor a monthly log of time spent in study and sermon preparation. It is also expected that the student be faithful in church attendance and activities.
As the Pastor monitors progress, and at his direction, the church may choose to recognize the call of God in the life of the student by means of the following progression of titles/actions: