July 11, 2022 — A new cycle of online ministry certification courses is set to begin Aug.22, 2022, at BeADisciple.com. BeADisciple.com is part of the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College, and has offered quality online educational experiences with roots in Wesleyan theology since 2006.

Church leaders and interested persons can begin progress toward certification in seven different disciplines— church administration and leadership, children’s ministry, women’s ministries, spiritual formation, rural ministry, ministry with people with disabilities, and music ministry.

Requirements typically include successful completion of four online courses, and each course is six weeks long. (Some programs include a 12-week practicum in place of the fourth course.) The four classes in this certification cycle are set to be held Aug. 22 to Sept. 30, Oct. 10 to Nov. 18, Jan. 16 to Feb. 24, and Mar. 13 – Apr. 28 (no class during Holy Week).

Full information is available online at BeADisciple.com.

Unlike individual interest courses, persons working toward certifications move through the sequence with a cohort of learners. This allows for sharing of participant knowledge and experience.

“Many of our certification learners are already serving in active ministry, and they tend to find that the camaraderie of sharing a common goal is one of the most rewarding aspects of the courses,” says Lori Richey, BeADisciple program director for certifications.

The certification in church administration and leadership is new to BeADisciple and is intended for pastors and laypersons in congregational leadership roles. The first class, Biblical Compassion and Church Administration, offers a non-denominational Christian perspective.

Harriet Wilkin, a United Methodist pastor, called on her own education and experience in business leadership to design the certification. In addition to her theological degree and training, Wilkin completed degrees in business administration/management and in critical communications. Each of these degrees has been important during her 20 years in ministry.

“When it comes to church administration there are so many areas that we need to oversee: the staff, the congregational leadership, the finances, the communications, that background checks are being done, that copyright licenses are being followed for music, and the list goes on,” she explains. “At the same time, we have been dealing with COVID and also being missionaries spreading the Good News of Christ.”

For more information or to enroll in the course, visit BeADisciple.com.