by Rachel Williams
Samford University’s Ministry Training Institute is adding three new online programs beginning with the 2016–17 academic year, as well as five additional extension locations.
The new extension sites are located at the House of Hope and Restoration Church, Huntsville; Chapel Hill Baptist Church, Albertville; Etowah Baptist Association, the Cleburne Baptist Association; and Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Trussville. That brings the total number of teaching locations to 26, according to Kevin Blackwell, Samford’s assistant to the president for church relations and Ministry Training Institute director.
Last year, the institute began offering online training and certificates to aid those who were unable to attend training at a physical location. Beginning this fall, the Ministry Training Institute will launch three new online certificates in global missions, worship leadership and ministry communication.
The global missions certificate is designed to help missionaries and their organizations grow by offering specialized training in global missions. According to Blackwell, “Many independent missionary organizations [in Global Missions] don’t have a built-in educational component in their organizational structure, so we offer affordable and accessible training through this certificate.”
The worship leadership certificate is being offered in collaboration with anima: the forum for worship and the arts and Samford’s School of the Arts. The courses cover the basics of leading worship, including choosing music, setting up sound systems and public praying. It is a terrific opportunity for worship leaders who may not have a great deal of training to work with Samford faculty to better lead their congregations.
The certificate in ministry communication is geared toward aspiring Christian writers, bloggers or those more interested in social media interaction, as well as lay volunteers or church staff members who are tasked with managing communication for a local congregation. It will cover communication skills in four core areas: written, verbal, social media and small-group communication. The courses will answer the overarching question of “How do we get the word out?” Blackwell said.
Total cost for all three new programs is $699. Each program includes four online courses, and certificates are awarded upon successful completion of all courses. Fall classes begin Aug. 23.
MTI also offers certificate programs in pastoral leadership and student ministry.
Though all certificates have specific, program-related goals, Blackwell said the primary goal of Samford’s Ministry Institute is to offer high-quality, affordable and accessible educational opportunities to those serving in ministry.
Rachel Williams is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in the Division of Marketing and Communication.