The Institute for Discipleship will be taking over recruitment, advising and academic responsibilities for Southwestern College’s online Master of Arts in Specialized Ministries degree program.  This change will take place in fall of 2015.  The degree had been under the domain of the college’s Professional Studies department.

“We’re excited about the opportunities this gives the Institute.  It allows us to use our connections in the church world to increase awareness of this wonderful degree at the college, and it allows us to further the Institute’s mission to educate and train persons for work in church ministry,” said Stephen Wilke, executive director of the Institute.

The first ministry emphasis being offered with this master’s is in the area of youth ministry.  Several classes in the degree program will meet the educational requirements for certification in youth ministry from the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Wilke hopes to create several other emphases for the degree in the coming years.

The Institute will work with Professional Studies students already in the program as they move towards completion of their degree.