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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:

2015-2016 Schedule of Classes

Fall Session

Orientation and Registration-September 18, 2015

Financial Leadership for Ministry (September 25-October 30)

This course is geared towards promoting financial leadership in the faith community. The course content is suitable for lay and clergy faith leaders and has its basis in scripture, i.e., “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—God’s good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1, 2, NIV).” This course is designed to “change minds” about money and how it effects mission and ministry.”

Caring for One Another (Parish Care) (September 26-October 31)

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.

Winter Session

Orientation and Registration-January 8, 2016

*Understanding the New Testament (January 15-February 19)

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.

Biblical Theology (January 16-February 20)

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, 2016

Understanding the Old Testament (March 5-April 16)

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?

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.

Optional Class

Diversity in the Christian Tradition (September 25-October 30)

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.

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, Netters Assistant Professor of Rhetoric & Religion and African American Studies at

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