Netters Certificate Program

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Dr. James L. Netters Certificate in Congregational Ministry
Memphis Theological Seminary

Memphis Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the Dr. James L. Netters Certificate in Congregational Ministry. This certificate program is designed for persons who are active in congregational life but not interested in pursuing a Masters level degree. This certificate program aspires to prepare Christian leaders (lay and clergy) to offer competent leadership in congregational life. This program provides high-level theological education for associate ministers, Sunday school teachers, committee chairpersons and others who serve the church.

The “What”

This is a six-course, eighteen-hour, certificate program taught by regular and adjunct faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary. Courses include the following:

2014-2015 Schedule of Classes

Winter Session

Orientation and Registration-January 8, 2016

Diversity in the Christian Tradition (January 12-February 16)(Location TBD)

What is the family tree of Christianity? Where did our brothers and sisters in Christ come from? In this course, we will examine the history of Christianity to understand better our shared heritage, our places of agreement and disagreement, and our possibilities for shared life and ongoing conversation in the faith.

*+Building your Ministry (January 15- February 19)

How do we draw upon social, cultural, institutional, and financial resources to build our ministry? In this course, we will investigate and evaluate different ways to build effective ministry. This will include attention to the use of social media, fund-raising, and creating and sustaining a non-profit organization.

*Building your Ministry (January 15- February 19)

What are the foundations of the Christian faith and how are they rooted in the Bible? How do we build upon those foundations through our own faith reflections and sharing with others in pastoral contexts? In this course, we will examine central Christian faith convictions in relation to the Bible. We will also consider different approaches to our own work of doing biblically based theological reflection.

Spring Session

Orientation and Registration-February 26

*+Bible and Ministry (March 1- April 12) (Location TBD)

How do we come to understand biblical texts to relate them to the life of discipleship in the contemporary world? In this course, we will consider different ways to interpret the Bible. In addition, we will discover how context is important in understanding biblical texts, and how we share biblical meanings with other people of faith.

*+Proclaiming the Word (March 4-April 15)

How do we effectively proclaim the Word of God? How do we prepare and deliver a sermon that will be transformative for our hearers? In this course, we will explore different ways of preparation for and engaging in the practice of preaching.

Mission and Outreach (March 5-April 16)

What is our mission as church? How do we identify and promote the mission of our church? How might our mission include a variety of ministries? In this course, we will consider the theological foundations for church mission, varieties of church outreach, and the practical skills necessary for engaging in outreach.


*Understanding the New Testament

The New Testament provides Christians with the history, rubrics, and theology of a God who seeks to redeem humanity using the earthly life of the Divine Son. What are the various divisions of the New Testament, who are the writers and what are the background issues that inform some of the parables of Jesus, speeches of Paul and unfolding mystery of the Revelation of John.

*Understanding the Old Testament

The Old Testament provides humanity with its beginnings and laws of God to be carried into daily living. What are the historical/prophetic divisions that set the stage for the intertestamental period and the coming messiah. How should we read the Old Testament as Christians in the 21st century? What theological insights can be gained from a closer reading of the Old Testament?

*Caring for One Another (What your pastor needs you to know)

As the “chaplain in chief”, the pastor has a monumental task in caring for the spiritual health of the congregation. There are times when members are admitted into hospitals and other places of care and there seems to be limited time to do it all. Pastors are grateful to the members who are able to fill the visitation gap but provide effective and efficient ministry –as though the pastor were present. This class prepares the laity to provide visitation and provide the presence of the Church while leaving room for the shepherd to be effective when he/she arrives.

+ -indicates a class that would be better suited for the Advanced/Specialist Certificate in Ministry

The “When”

Courses will be taught on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings, four hours each, two courses per quarter. Students who complete all six courses receive the Netters Certificate awarded by Memphis Theological Seminary. The tuition for each course is $175.00. All courses will be taught on the seminary campus.

Contact Information

For more information about this new educational opportunity at Memphis Theological Seminary, please contact Melissa Malinoski, Admissions Associate at (901) 334-5857, or Dr. William Rosser, Director of the Dr. James L. Netters Certificate Program at

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