Courses

At Flourish Institute of Theology, we have four types of courses that make up each degree: Foundations, Integrated Core, Ministry Essentials, and Mentored Ministry. You can read more about each course type description below, followed by a directory of all courses we currently plan to offer.

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Foundations
We offer seven classes under Foundations. These classes serve as the blueprint for all that follows in our teaching and training is built upon them. Foundations provide an introduction into the interpretation of Scripture, Christian theology, the history of the church, and essential ministry practices. These seven courses are required of all certificate and degree programs. Three of these courses must be completed before taking classes in Integrated Core, Ministry Essentials, or Mentored Ministry areas.
Integrated Core

Our Integrated Core courses endeavor to build competencies in biblical knowledge, theology, church history, pastoral care, and leadership through their integration with one another, while addressing current cultural issues. These courses are designed to train pastoral theologians, leaders possessing deep understanding of the Scriptures and theology and how these may be brought to the culture with wisdom, compassion, and care. They are designed to prepare ministry leaders whose decisions and work are biblically and theologically formed and defined.

Gatherings are events held in the fall and spring which offer an opportunity to gather in person with professors and other students. During this time we gather for meals, worship, teaching, and fellowship, exploring together the many elements involved in being a ministry leader. Gatherings will occur over a weekend beginning with dinner on Friday and ending with lunch on Sunday. Each gathering will center upon a theme that looks at an area that is an integral part of both ministry and the spiritual life of those in ministry leadership. Spouses are invited and they will participate in some of these sessions as well as having a session specifically looking at what it is like to be the spouse of a pastor or ministry leader. Evenings will allow times of fellowship, discussion, and open conversations. Gatherings will occur at different locations to make access easier and less expensive. Each theme will be offered twice before moving to the next one.

Ministry Essentials

Ministry leadership requires a profoundly broad knowledge and a vast number of skills. It is not uncommon for a pastor to transition from teaching a Bible study, to visiting a dying person in the hospital, to meeting with a person who has theological questions, and then to leading the long-range planning team, all in the same day! The classes under our Ministry Essentials category cover the diverse areas of ministry knowledge, from biblical studies to theology and church history, from children’s ministry and youth ministry to pastoral care and leadership. These classes provide a comprehensive approach into the many areas that form the everyday world of doing ministry in the twenty-first century. Students must take at least one class from each of the four areas: Bible & Exegesis; Theology & History; Ministry Skills; Ministry Life & Health. Other Ministry Essentials courses may be taken as electives to fit personal interests and/or the needs of a student’s particular ministry setting.

Some courses are held in person and are called “Intensives”. These full credit courses will meet twice during a trimester at a predetermined location. Students will do course work before and after these face to face gatherings. These courses will not be available online. Dates will be determined prior to the trimester. Locations will be varied in order to accommodate people from around the country.

Mentored Ministry
The goal of FIT’s Mentored Ministry field education is to apprentice all emerging pastors in churches through life-on-life discipleship and mentoring, modeling the image of Jesus with his disciples. Students learn ministry alongside experienced practitioners who lead students through real ministry tasks and experiences. Mentors coach students through planning, preparation, and theological reflection and evaluation. Our Field-Education is meant to integrate classroom learning and practical ministry experiences into a unified whole so that ministry leaders work from a very livable theology. This is designed to train, prepare, and equip healthy pastors and ministry leaders who are ready to lead people, churches, or organizations into flourishing places.

Course Directory

Trimesters Offered

What bucket does it fall into?

Area

Administrative Leadership in the Church

Ministry Essentials

Ministry Skills

Biblical Interpretation and Exegesis

Ministry Essentials

Bible & Exegesis

Children’s Ministry – A Narrative Discipleship Course

Ministry Essentials

Ministry Skills

Church Planting in a Post-Christian Context

Ministry Essentials

Ministry Skills

Discipleship and Disciple-Making in the Church

Foundations

Ministry Skills

Finding Mentors and Field Education Locations for Internships and Practicums

Mentored Ministry

Flourishing Church & ECO Polity

Ministry Essentials

Ministry Skills

God’s Word of Grace

Integrated Core, Gatherings

Internships and Practicums

Mentored Ministry

Intimacy With God: Prayer and Spiritual Disciplines

Integrated Core, Gatherings

Introduction to New Testament Exegesis & Interpretation

Foundations

Bible & Exegesis

Introduction to Old Testament Exegesis & Interpretation

Foundations

Bible & Exegesis

Introduction to Pastoral Care

Ministry Essentials

Ministry Skills

Introduction to Theology I

Foundations

Theology & History

Introduction to Theology II

Foundations

Theology & History

Leading Change

Ministry Essentials

Ministry Skills

Mentored Ministry Lab

Mentored Ministry

Ministry and God’s Sabbath Rest

Integrated Core, Gatherings

Old Testament Survey

Ministry Essentials

Bible & Exegesis

Pastor as Leader

Ministry Essentials

Ministry Skills

Preaching: Principles and Practices

Foundations

Ministry Skills

Reformed Theology and Essential Tenets

Ministry Essentials

Theology & History

Spiritual Formation for Ministry

Foundations

Ministry Life & Health

Student Ministry Fundamentals

Ministry Essentials

Ministry Skills

The Helper: The Holy Spirit and Pastoral Ministry

Integrated Core, Gatherings

The History and Thought of Evangelicalism in America

Ministry Essentials

Theology & History

The Kingdom of God and the Christian Citizen

Integrated Core

The Letters of Paul

Ministry Essentials

Bible & Exegesis

The People of God and the God of the Nations

Integrated Core

The Psalms

Ministry Essentials

Bible & Exegesis

Future Classes

Pondered, Planned, or in Preparation

As a brand-new seminary, we are in the process of developing many new classes. Some of these will almost certainly be offered while others are simply in the “pondering possibilities” or “hoped for” stage. These are listed so that students may have an idea of the types of classes that we are considering. Each semester we update our class offerings and some of those listed below will be moved into the schedule. We will always seek to have our classes “locked in” for the coming three semesters. Students should watch for updates as they consider future classes and options.

All classes in the following list are tentative and listing them here does not mean they will be offered at a future date.

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Ministry Essentials - Bible and Exegesis

While no plans are certain, it is possible that many of the books of the Old and New Testaments will be made into exegetical classes. The following are a listing of what might be considered priorities, though, again, none are certain at this point.

Biblical Hebrew I & II
These two classes provide an introduction to biblical Hebrew. Students will learn grammar and vocabulary enabling them to begin reading the Old Testament in Hebrew and use the insights the original language provides to deepen exegesis and interpretation.

Biblical Greek I & II
These two classes introduce students to biblical Greek. Students will learn grammar and vocabulary enabling them to begin reading the New Testament in Greek and use the insights the original language provides to deepen exegesis and interpretation.

Genesis
Genesis is the beginning of the Bible and our understanding of God and his purpose. This class will explore this vitally important book of the Bible, seeking to understand its content and message so that it might be made known today.

The Pentateuch
This class looks at the Five Books of Moses, noting their significance in shaping the people of Israel and what it means to be the people of God. This class will look at the content, message, and implications of this vital portion of the Bible.

Gospel of John
John offers a perspective of Jesus that is profoundly different from those given by the synoptic gospels. John provides unique material and insights into Jesus’ life, giving a larger understanding of his nature and work.

The Acts of the Apostles
This class will work through Luke’s “second book” looking to understand the historic and cultural set-ting of the first-century Mediterranean world and the story of the early church and its beliefs and practices. It will move from here to explore its message for the church today and what it teaches about being the church today.

Paul’s Letter to the Galatians
Galatians is arguably one of Paul’s most important letters. This class will explore the historical and cultural setting, its content and message, and its implications for Christian theology and ministry.

Ministry Essentials - Theology & History

Movements I: Church, Faith, and Events—100-1560
This class introduces students to the history and theology of the church by looking at major events that shaped both the life and thought of the church and the culture around it. This first class will begin with the early church, its faith and the changes brought to the Roman Empire and will end with the Protestant Reformation.

Movements II: Church, Faith, and Events—1500 to Present
This class continues the journey begun in Movements I. This class will begin with the Reformation be-fore moving through the Enlightenment, revolutions, romanticism, modernity, and postmodernity looking at how these shaped the faith of the church and how the faith of the church shaped the culture.

Patristic and Medieval Historical Theology
This class is a survey of theology from the 2nd century through the 15th, looking at how Christian theology began and then was enlarged, changed, and deepened in the following centuries. This class will dive deep into an often neglected, yet vitally important area of church History.

Doctrine of God
This class begins with Scripture’s teaching about the character, work, and will of God, as found in both the Old and New Testaments. It will then go on to explore the early church’s wrestling with the person of Christ and the unfolding of a Trinitarian understanding of God. The class will then explore how the doctrine of God has been approached from the earliest church to today. The class will include exploring how the doctrine of God might be proclaimed and taught in our twenty-first century culture.

Christology and Atonement
At the very heart of the Christian faith is the person of Christ and his work to reconcile us to God through the cross. This class will explore the biblical narratives and teachings and how these areas have been understood across church history. Special attention will be given to showing their importance for the church today and how they may best be taught to enable the mission of the church.

Theology of Beauty
While a common and often used word, beauty is, in fact, a very profound concept. It has inspired deep philosophical reflection, the writing of hymns and songs of praise, and the creation of magnificent works of art. Beauty, as part of the created order, opens a vista into the nature and will of God. This class will explore the concept of beauty in theology and have students consider how works of beauty may be creatively used in ministry to teach and lead people deeper in faith and effective ministry.

The Ascension
The Ascension of Jesus is, in the Scriptures, inseparably bound to both the Cross and the Resurrection. It is an indispensable part of understanding both these and thus the person and work of Christ Jesus. Yet, for all its importance, the Ascension is rarely considered. This class will look at the Ascension of Jesus, its relation to the Cross and Resurrection, and what it reveals about the work and person of Jesus.

The Apologetics of C. S. Lewis
C. S. Lewis is a much beloved writer across much of the Christian world. His writings cover a diverse range, from doctrine to literature to children’s books and fantasy. But in all these and in books specifically devoted to the subject, Lewis was a passionate defender of the Christian faith. Using platonic in-sights and careful reasoning Lewis took on some of the greatest minds of his time, defending the Chris-tian faith. This class will explore his writings on Christian faith, seeking to understand his theological and philosophical perspectives and how these were used to proclaim and defend the gospel.

God and Money
A course in economics, theology, and engaging the world ruled by money. This course would study “political economy” in conversation with Sabbath/Jubilee and other biblical themes. The practical out-comes for church leaders would be an ability to discern the “signs of the times” and the root structures of modern society in contrast to the vision of the kingdom of God. Jesus talks more about money than almost any other topic, and modern materialism whether Capitalist, Socialist, or Communist, are all rival perspectives with the kingdom of God.

Ecclesiology: The Church in Scripture, Theology, and Life
This course combines not only biblical and systematic theology, but also politics and sociology in a way that prepares students to create a renewed vision for the church in a post-Christian culture. Students will explore the nature and purpose of the church from which they would develop theologically informed strategies for church transformation, outreach, or church planting.

Theology of Creation
This course will look at the theology of creation, ecclesiology and ecology. If the majority of global scientists are correct, the next generation of pastors will have to be fluent in ecological issues in order to lead communities that have to consider ecology as a foundational issue. Shaping these responses around the teaching of Scripture and our theological tradition are a vital part of doing this well. Students will consider ways to both teach the church about these issues and consider means and projects by which the church may take steps in bringing ecological health to the world.

The Renewal of the Mind
A course in philosophy and theology. Rather than just a survey of schools of thought, this course would take students on a journey of the history of ideas, cultural backgrounds, and the various questions people have asked in different times. It would aim for students to discover what the Bible is about on its own terms with its own cultural backgrounds, and how it then can be applied to various contemporary philosophical questions.

Ministry Essentials - Ministry Skills

Leading Contemporary Worship
Leading worship involves far more than just being a song leader. Leading worship means nothing less than guiding people into the presence of God. This class will look at the role of worship leader in contemporary services. This will include understanding spiritual realities, leading a team in everything from prayer to practice, and the tools and resources that can help focus and clarity of worship.

Advanced Pastoral Care
This class will build upon the Introduction to Pastoral Care (which is a prerequisite), taking things deeper and looking at more specifics such as pre-marriage counseling, death of a loved one, fear of God, etc.

Ministry Essentials - Ministry Life and Health

Spiritual Disciplines for Healthy Ministry
There is nothing more important to faithful ministry than a deep, vibrant, and growing personal faith. Where this does not exist, ministry becomes exhausting and fruitless. But when ministry is done from the depth of a real relationship with God everything is touched. This class will look at how pastors and ministry leaders can keep their own faith growing and separated from the work.

Prayer: Theology and Practice
Prayer is arguably the single most important practice for life and ministry. Yet it is also one that re-mains a mystery to many. This class will look at prayer in the Scriptures, exploring what it is and why it matters. It will look at resources, practices, and tools to help prayer deepen and expand in both the life of the leader and the church.

Endurance: Forging a Life-long Ministry
Ministry can be hard. Statistics reveal an astonishing attrition rate. Burn out is all too common, robbing the church of good and godly leaders. This class will look at the pressures faced in ministry and ways to approach them that are healthy for both the ministry leader and those they serve and lead. In this class students will establish practices and structures that will enable them to do life-long ministry.