May 31, 2023 — A new cycle of online ministry certification courses is set to begin Aug. 21, 2023, at is part of the Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College and has offered quality online educational experiences with roots in Wesleyan theology since 2006. 

New certifications will be available in spiritual gifts and in young adult ministry. Enrollment is still open in popular areas including children’s ministry, church administration, grief care, music ministry, spiritual formation, and women’s ministries. 

Requirements for certification include successful completion of four online courses, and each course is six weeks long. (The spiritual formation program includes a 12-week practicum.) The four classes in this certification cycle are set to be held Aug. 21 to Sept. 29, Oct. 9 to Nov. 17, Jan. 15 to Feb. 23, and March 11 to April 26 (no class during Holy Week), 

“The Certification in Young Adult Ministry is for people who want to build meaningful connections and processes with young adults in their ministry context. Learners in the Certification in Spiritual Gifts track will not only explore their own spiritual gifts but discover how to support and nurture the gifts of others and how to build gifts-based ministries in their own church and community settings,” says Lori Richey, BeADisciple program director for certifications. “As with each of our programs, these certifications provide a Biblical, theological, and practical foundation for ministry for both clergy and laity – all online and mostly asynchronous.”  

Unlike individual interest courses, persons working toward certifications move through the sequence with a consistent cohort of learners. This allows for the 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,” Richey says.  

“Some programs offer two cohort starts each year, while others only begin once – either in August or January,” says Richey. “Many programs fill quickly so it is important to register early to secure a spot.” 

Full information is available online at