Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship
G.C.S.F.D. Course Schedule
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The Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship is a 19-hour* program designed for the university graduate or the Bible college graduate. Over one hundred years ago, D. L. Moody urged the church to return to the training of “soul physicians.” These are men and women who have learned to lean upon the Holy Spirit in both diagnosing the condition of the soul and in aiding others to experience the blessing that can be found in the Lord Jesus Christ. True ministry flows from the inner man (John 7:3-39) and genuine growth involves a strengthening of our spirits (Luke 1:80; Ephesians 3:16).
This program is designed to allow God to do a work in students that He may freely work through them. It is aimed at equipping students to meet the spiritual needs of others, and to shepherd, exhort and guide God’s people. Training people to be soul physicians involves obeying Paul’s instruction to Timothy to first “pay close attention to yourself and your teaching” which results not only in one’s sanctification and becoming a living epistle but also overflowing to others in fulfilling the Great Commission. It may be a pathway to vocational employment as a minister of discipleship, small groups or other aspect of the educational ministries of the church throughout the world.
*Advanced standing, validation and transfer credit are available; see Special Credit Options.
The program seeks to achieve growth in three areas of student life: academic, professional and relational.
The objectives of the program are to enable the student to articulate and defend a biblical worldview that is centered in Jesus Christ and the essentials of the Christian faith. This includes the ability to articulate the basic doctrinal conclusions of the historical, evangelical, Protestant tradition consistent with literal interpretation of the Scriptures, the ability to explain the method of biblical theology, and the ability to articulate a worshipful understanding of the attributes of God.
Students will develop skills in interpreting the Bible, using basic Bible study tools, applying and communicating biblical truth, and impacting others in the church and in the world. Furthermore, out of his or her own disciplined pursuit of God, the student will construct a personal philosophy of ministry with a special emphasis on the shepherding and discipling of God’s people.
Graduates will embrace a lifestyle of obedience and servanthood flowing out of a passionate understanding of their position in Christ and a continual dependence on the Holy Spirit as seen in the biblical attributes of 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. They will be committed to incarnating the gospel and equipping other believers to reach their full maturity in Christ. This includes accepting God’s design for their life and living a life of faithfulness and purity.