Center for Advanced Ministry Training

Graduate Program (MMIN)

All Christians are called to ministry. By God’s design, we are to be equipped for our several ministries by certain individuals whom Christ has given to the church specifically for this purpose. It has been observed that there is a diminishing number of ministers to serve in local congregations. In recognition of this growing need for capable ministers in the Church, Harding University offers the Master of Ministry, a 36-hour non-thesis program, for promoting mastery in ministry--equipping people as congregational servants who can fully participate in building up the body of Christ.

Purpose of the Program

To equip an increasing number of Christians as professional and non-professional ministers capable of serving effectively and encouraging others in Christian service in the local church and the world.

Desired Outcomes

Students completing the Master of Ministry program: Will demonstrate an ability to discern God’s Word as the primary source of spiritual formation and ministry in order to integrate Bible knowledge with constructive ministry. Will demonstrate competence in communicating the Word effectively in a variety of settings. Will be able to integrate an understanding of God’s will with the realities of the church’s context and interpersonal dynamics in order to participate with fellow Christians in the process of articulating a ministry vision, setting goals, and planning strategically, while exercising skill in managing conflict. Will demonstrate an ability to participate with others in pursuing spiritual health and growth, in discovering and developing gifts, and in exercising gifts in constructive ministry in the church.

Admission

We hope the information you need is here, but feel free to call our office at 501-279-4252 or email us if you have any questions. You may find it helpful to print this page as a checklist. At the bottom of this section, you will be directed to the online application form.

Admission will be determined based on the following guidelines:

  1. Cumulative GPA of 2.75 in undergraduate studies. Admission under probation may be allowed with a minimum 2.3 cumulative GPA. Probation is removed when one has complete 12 semester hours of graduate work with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
  2. Completed a minimum of eight courses (16 hours minimum) in undergraduate Bible courses from an accredited institution of which a minimum of four courses (8 hours minimum) are in the Bible text.

Leveling

Applicants who do not meet the minimum Bible requirements can satisfy the required 16 hours of course work in the following ways:

  • Up to six hours of undergraduate Bible credit may be satisfied by competency exam (email the MMIN office for further information)
  • Undergraduate Bible courses are offered through Harding's Church and Family Institute (email Mr. Tim Westbrook).
  • Undergraduate courses may be completed at any accredited institution of higher learning.
Please note: Students who do not have a Bible hermeneutics course on their undergraduate transcript are required to take BDOC 252, Principles of Bible Interpretation, as part of their leveling requirements. Once a student is within four hours of completing all leveling requirements, probationary admission to the Master of Ministry can be granted and the student may take the remaining undergraduate requirements concurrent with graduate courses. All leveling requirements must be satisfied before 12 hours of graduate studies are completed. Full admission is granted when 16 hours of leveling have been satisfied with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Leveling courses do not count toward the 36 hour master's degree.

Transfer Credit

Up to six hours of graduate credit completed at an accredited institution of higher education may be accepted upon review of applicability and/or equivalency and applied toward the Master of Ministry.

Admission Deadlines

The application deadline for fall admission is Aug. 1, for spring admission -- January 1, and for summer admission -- May 1. Applicants are urged to apply as early as possible to ensure entrance into the program.

Admission documents

  1. Reference forms - Please print and send the reference pdf to two individuals (other than relatives) who are familiar with your ability to serve in the church along with a stamped, addressed envelope to the address below.
  2. Essay - Submit a goals statement of at least 500 words in which you explain why you wish to pursue the Master of Ministry degree and how you hope to use the knowledge and skills gained through the program in future ministry.
  3. Agreement with a local church - Provide a church agreement (pdf) to the local congregation you wish to serve as your church “laboratory.” Fill out the portion that is pertinent to you and provide the church with a stamped, addressed envelope. For a list of local churches willing to participate with volunteer workers please email the Master of Ministry office.
  4. Transcripts - An official copy of your transcript(s) from every school listed must be on file at Harding University before the application process can be completed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the transcripts are sent to Harding.
  5. Fee - Mail a $25 application fee made payable to Harding University.
  6. Scholarship Form (Optional) - A tuition scholarship of 40% is available to full-time ministers of churches of Christ and to full-time students who work at least 10 hours per week with a local congregation of churches of Christ. Use the scholarship application pdf to apply.

Mail all of the above documents to

Dr. Bill Richardson
Harding University
College of Bible and Religion
Box 12236
Searcy, AR 72149-5615

or Fax: 501-279-4281

Proceed to the online application form

Course Descriptions

601. ORIENTATION TO MMIN PROGRAM. (1) Fall, Spring, Summer. Introduction to the goals, mission, and requirements of the mmin program. Instructions and practice experience will be given in writing skills, articulation of goals, portfolio development and in the construction of practicum experiences. Resources for the study of ministry will be identified. Must be taken in the first semester of course work.

602. RESEARCH AND RESOURCES FOR ADVANCED BIBLE STUDY. (3) Spring. Introduction to research methods and resources for the study of the Bible and religion at the graduate level. Resources explored for lexical studies in the biblical text. Orientation to the writing standards required in the mmin. program. Required of all mmin students who have not completed a Bible research course at the undergraduate or graduate level with a grade of B or better.

603. ADVANCED BIBLE STUDY TECHNIQUES. (3) Fall. Hermeneutic principles explored in light of Biblical genres, the nature of language, and the process to thought. An introduction to lexical studies in the biblical text. Required of all MMIN students who have not completed a Bible interpretation course at the undergraduate or graduate level with a grade of B or better.

611. THEOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS OF MINISTRY. (3) Spring J-mester. Exploration of the Biblical and theological foundations of the nature of the church, the role of ministers in the Christian community, and the nature of gifts and ministry. Students will be guided to articulate their personal theology of ministry.

612. OLD TESTAMENT THEOLOGY FOR MINISTRY. (3) Fall. A study of the varieties of biblical theology from the genres of the Old Testament. Special attention will be given to how such varieties provide contemporary ministry with theological foundations.

613. NEW TESTAMENT THEOLOGY FOR MINISTRY. (3) Spring. In depth study and reflection of select New Testament passages and an exploration of their application to current issues in ministry.

614. ETHICS IN MINISTRY. (3) Fall (even). A moral theology of ministry is explored, along with a discussion of contemporary issues of morality in the home, church, and society in order to formulate strategies for maintaining integrity in one's personal life and ministry.

621. CHRISTIAN MINISTRY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE. Spring J-mester. An examination of the social trends and philosophical thought of post-Christian America and an exploration of the role of the Church in this contemporary context.

631. CHRISTIAN COMMUNICATION. (3) Summer (odd). Exploration of Christian communication skills in preaching, teaching, writing, and mass media. Personality type and learning style research will be employed to maximize communicative potential in a variety of settings.

632. CHRISTIAN COMMUNICATION PRACTICUM. (1) Summer (odd). An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of Christian communication skills. Corequisite: MMIN 631.

633. EVANGELISM STRATEGIES. (3) Summer. How to reach persons with the gospel based on an incarnational model. Leading Christians and congregations in spiritual growth, (biological, transfer-in, conversion), extension (evangelism and church planting on American soil), and bridging (evangelism and church planting in foreign contexts).

634. EVANGELISM STRATEGIES PRACTICUM. (1) Summer. An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of evangelism strategies. Corequisite: MMIN 633.

635. CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. (3) Fall. An application of learning theory and models of teaching to Christian religious education. Students will explore multiple teaching methods and apply them through guided experiences in the context of the local church in an effort to increase their teaching skills. Students will be required to develop and teach lessons appropriate for two different age groups (children and adults) within the religious education program.

636. CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PRACTICUM. (1) Fall. An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of religious teaching. Corequisite: MMIN 635.

637. ART OF PREACHING. (3) Spring. How to engage contemporary audiences constructively in the preaching moment through a variety of forms and strategies. Preaching effectively to diverse groups of hearers in light of cultural challenges in a variety of congregational and community contexts. The student will be instructed in how to develop a unique voice in connecting with those who hear and process messages differently.

638. ART OF PREACHING PRACTICUM. (1) An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of preaching. Corequisite: MMIN 637.

641. PEOPLE HELPING. (3) Summer. Explores an understanding of human development and discusses positive ways of helping people in developmental and situational crises. Strategies are developed for helping prepare engaged couples for marriage and for enriching marriage and family. Grief and divorce recovery issues are explored, along with addictive behavior and dependence issues. Legal concerns for professional ministers and resources for referral are discussed.

642. PEOPLE HELPING PRACTICUM. (1) Summer. An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of people helping. Corequisite: MMIN 641.

643. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT. (3) Spring. Understanding and managing conflict in the congregational context; intervention strategies and dispute resolution for churches in conflict; process of transition and change management. Processes for establishing congregational vision, goals, and plans will be explored.

644. CONFLICT MANAGEMENT PRACTICUM. (1) Spring. An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of conflict management. Corequisite: MMIN 643.

650. GUIDED STUDIES. (1-3) On demand. Reading, research, reports, and practical ministry experiences individualized in arrangement with an assigned mentor. Students are required to submit a prospectus of study to the graduate office to gain approval for the guided studies. Students are permitted to take no more than either 3 hours of guided studies or 2 hours in an interdisciplinary course.

651. SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND DISCIPLESHIP. (3) Fall (odd) Exploration of meditation, prayer, and the essential methods of theological reflection pertinent to ministry: analysis of scripture, reflective writing, and discernment of case studies. An examination of one's own faith journey (past, present, and future) and an exploration of strategies to mentor others in personal faith development in the contexts of family, communities of faith, and society at large.

652. SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND DISCIPLESHIP PRACTICUM. (1) Fall (odd) An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of spiritual formation and discipleship. Corequisite: MMIN 651.

653. SERVANT LEADERSHIP. (3) Fall. A study of the devotional/theological foundation of leadership, organizational cultures, and the dynamics of power and change. Participants will begin to identify and understand their own unique mixture of leading preferences, gifts, and skills they bring to leadership for the common good. The leader as servant and mentor, and strategies for developing leadership potential in others is explored.

654. SERVANT LEADERSHIP PRACTICUM. (1) Fall. An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of servant leadership. Corequisite: MMIN 653.

655. SMALL GROUP MINISTRIES. (3) Summer. An examination of the biblical and theological foundations of small group ministry, along with an exploration of available literature and other group dynamics resources, in an attempt to discover the place of small groups in the local church in terms of evangelism, edification, and leadership development.

656. SMALL GROUP MINISTRIES PRACTICUM. (1) Summer. An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of Christian communication skills. Corequisite: MMIN 655

657. FAMILY MINISTRY. (3) Fall. An exploration of ways the church can minister to the contemporary family in all of its forms:  the single person, the couple with no children, the stepfamily, and parents of children in various stages of development. 

658. FAMILY MINISTRY PRACTICUM. (1) Fall. An individualized practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of Family Ministry skills. Corequisite: MMIN 657.

661. CONGREGATIONAL MINISTRIES. (3) Fall. Motivating and training Christians for ministry. Participants will learn how to administer gifts inventories and apply a model for equipping Christians to serve in ministries of benevolence, edification, and evangelism.

662. CONGREGATIONAL MINISTRIES PRACTICUM. (1) Fall. An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of ministry training in the church. Corequisite: MMIN 661.

663. WOMEN'S MINISTRIES. (3) Spring (odd). A theological, practical, and philosophical exploration of the role of women in ministry within the context of the church and community. Students will incorporate what is learned in the classroom to real-life situations, including organization of women's ministry and specialized training on how to effectively collaborate with male leaders in a local church context. Students are highly encouraged to take MMIN 653 Servant Leadership prior to MMIN 663.

664. WOMEN'S MINISTRIES PRACTICUM. (1) Spring (odd). An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to increase their mastery of women's ministries. Corequisite: MMIN 663.

672. INTERDISCIPLARY MINISTRY PRACTICUM. (1) An individualized, practical component that provides hands-on experience in the congregational context for students wishing to take an interdisciplinary course at the graduate level. The experience will be coordinated and evaluated by the director of the Ministry Leadership program in consultation with the instructor of the approved course.

698/699. INTEGRATIVE CAPSTONE PROPOSAL AND PROJECT. (2) Fall, Spring, Summer. Students are instructed in determining congregational needs and creating, implementing, and assessing effective interventions for resolving obstacles to congregational development. As the culmination of the mmin program, participants are challenged to integrate course work with congregational challenges. Student portfolios are completed and presented as part of this capstone experience. Can be taken only in the final semester of course work.

Program (36 hour non-thesis)

I. Orientation/Capstone (3 hours)

MMIN 601: Orientation; Portfolio Planning (1 hour)
MMIN 698: Integrative Capstone Proposal (1 hour)
MMIN 699: Integrative Capstone Project (1 hour)


II. Bible Interpretation, Theology, and Ministry Context (9-15 hours)

The following two courses must be taken by those who do not have an undergraduate degree in Bible:
MMIN 602: Research and Resources for Advanced Bible Study (3 hours)
MMIN 603: Biblical Interpretation for Ministers (3 hours)

Core Classes:
MMIN 611: Theological Foundations of Ministry (3 hours)
MMIN 621: Christian Ministry in Contemporary Culture (3 hours)
One of the following three courses:
MMIN 612: Old Testament Theology for Ministry (3 hours)
MMIN 613: New Testament Theology for Ministry (3 hours)
MMIN 614: Moral Theology (Ethics in Ministry) (3 hours)


III.Select from the following to complete a 36-hour program (18-24 hours).

NOTE: All three-hour courses listed below may be accompanied by a one-hour practicum. The optional practicum represents an additional practical component that is individualized and completed in the congregational context. Each student must take a minimum of three practicums concurrent with the three-hour course which it accompanies. A minimum of 18 hours in ministry courses is required.

Ministry Courses:

MMIN 631: Christian Communication (3 hours)
MMIN 632: Christian Communication Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 633: Evangelism Strategies (3 hours)
MMIN 634: Evangelism Strategies Practicum(1 hour)
MMIN 635: Christian Religious Education (3 hours)
MMIN 636: Christian Religious Education Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 637: Art of Preaching (3 hours)
MMIN 638: Art of Preaching Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 641: People Helping (3 hours)
MMIN 642: People Helping Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 643: Conflict Management (3 hours)
MMIN 644: Conflict Management Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 651: Spiritual Formation and Discipleship (3 hours)
MMIN 652: Spiritual Formation and Discipleship Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 653: Servant Leadership (3 hours)
MMIN 654: Servant Leadership Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 655: Small Group Ministries (3 hours)
MMIN 656: Small Group Ministries Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 657: Family Ministry (3 hours)
MMIN 658: Family Ministry Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 661: Congregational Ministries (3 hours)
MMIN 662: Congregationl Ministries Practicum (1 hour)
MMIN 663: Women's Ministries (3 hours)
MMIN 664: Women's Ministries Practicum (1 hour)         

 


Other Courses (no more than one course in this category allowed):
Approved interdisciplinary courses accompanied by either MMIN 672: Interdisciplinary Ministry Practicum or MMIN 650: Guided Studies (3 hours)

Accreditation and Transferability of Course Work:
The graduate program on the Searcy Campus is accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The transfer of course work is determined by the receiving institution. Students who later wish to transfer to a graduate theological school accredited by A.T.S. would have to meet entrance requirements of those institutes who would determine the amount of credit to grant to work done in this program.

Course Schedule

Spring 2015

MMIN 601 Orientation to M.Min. Program—1 hour (Richardson)  CRN 13653

Bill Richardson, D.Min.

brichardson@harding.edu  

ONLINE 

 

MMIN 621 Christian Ministry in Contemporary Culture—3 hours (Martin)  CRN 13655

Kraig Martin, Ph.D.

kmartin10@harding.edu

J-mester class on ground lectures held at Harding campus in Searcy January 5-9, 1-5 pm daily.

Cannot register for this class. Contact Amy Warren at awarren3@harding.edu.

 

MMIN 635 Christian Religious Education - 3 hours (Bowling) CRN 13656

Jerry Bowling, Ph.D.

jbowling@harding.edu

ONLINE

 

MMIN 636 Christian Religious Education Practicum - 1 Hour (Bowling) CRN 13657

Jerry Bowling, Ph.D.

jbowling@harding.edu

Arranged with instructor.

 

MMIN 643 Conflict Management—3 hours (Willingham)  CRN 13658

Randy Willingham, D.Min.

rwillingham@harding.edu 

ONLINE

 

MMIN 644 Conflict Management Practicum—1 hour (Willingham)  CRN 13659 

Randy Willingham, D.Min.

rwillingham@harding.edu

Arranged with instructor.

 

MMIN 698 Integrative Capstone Proposal—1 hour (Richardson)  CRN 13661

Bill Richardson, D.Min.

brichardson@harding.edu

Arranged with instructor.

ONLINE

 

MMIN 699 Integrative Capstone Project—2 hours (Richardson)  CRN 13662

Bill Richardson, D.Min.

brichardson@harding.edu

Arranged with instructor.

ONLINE

 

News

Who Is in the MMIN Program

 The majority of our MMIN students are full-time ministers who apply our course contents to their present ministry to bless hundreds of people. The balance of our students are those preparing themselves for a career change, or are bi-vocational ministers, or current shepherds of churches. 

What Are MMIN Students Saying About the MMIN Program?

  • The MMIN program allows me to further my education while working in full-time ministry in a way that other programs cannot. The curriculum is relevant and challenging and helps me to be a better minister of the gospel.
  • The MMIN program is comprised of highly spiritual men and women who are dedicated to Christ and His work!
  • The master of ministry program is very practical for leaders and laity alike. It has truly armed me with essentials critical for responsible leadership in the Lord’s church.
  • MMIN prepares the students to do church the way the Lord intends.
  • Exceptionally practical and applicable to ministry.
  • The MMIN program has better equipped me to share God and expand His kingdom. It has also directed me in learning more about God’s will as it pertains to my life and the direct call to discipleship and Christian community.
  • The quality of the professors and their dedication to teaching the word is so valuable for those in the ministry. Mentors rather than lecturers.

J-Mester 2015

Our annual on-campus gathering of students was held January 5-9, 2015. We offered MMIN 621 Christian Ministry in Contemporary Culture taught by Dr. Kraig Martin. This two class is a core course of the MMIN degree program and is required of all students. We ask all students in the 48 contiguous states of the U. S. to come to campus for two J-Mester experiences. We had 16 students on campus to enjoy a wonderful time of study, fellowship, and renewal.

What Are MMIN Students Saying About the J-mester Experience?

  • Great job teaching class! I appreciate the teacher’s knowledge, passion and compassion in teaching the word of God.
  • Very insightful and encouraging.
  • Face to face interaction with some of the country’s best professors.
  • The J-Mester class establishes a relationship with the students in such a short time that feels like it has been nurtured for a lifetime.
  • Culture class was great. I have been so humbled by the knowledge of God that has been poured out there.
  • J-Mester will change you first and subsequently the way you approach ministry.
  • The J-Mester experience was fabulous. The interaction with the instructors and fellow students has deepened my understanding of the word and of my role as a minister of the gospel.

Advising

Registration for summer 2015 classes will open in March. Dr. Richardson serves as advisor for all MMIN students. If you have questions about your schedule or the courses available, please contact him at mmin@harding.edu or call our office at 501-279-4252.

 

Scholarships

A number of scholarships are available for Master of Ministry students based on the following criteria:

40% scholarships

Category I - Full-Time Ministry

  • Member in good standing within churches of Christ
  • Working full-time in ministry within a local congregation of churches of Christ
  • Taking any number of hours within the MMIN program

OR

Category II - Full-Time Student in Part-Time Ministry

  • Member in good standing within churches of Christ
  • Working a minimum of ten hours per week within a local congregation of churches of Christ as a volunteer or salaried worker.
  • Taking a minimum of 9 hours/semester in the MMIN program

25% scholarships

Continuing Student Scholarship

  • Member in good standing within churches of Christ
  • Have completed 12 hours in the MMIN program with a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA.
  • Working a minimum of six hours per week within a local congregation of churches of Christ as a volunteer or salaried worker.
  • Taking any number of hours within the MMIN program.

OR

Shepherd Scholarship

  • Member in good standing within churches of Christ
  • Currently serving as an elder in the local congregation.
  • Taking any number of hours within the MMIN program.

OR

Active Military Scholarship

  • Member in good standing within churches of Christ
  • Currently serving full time in the military.
  • Working a minimum of six hours per week within a local congregation of churches of Christ as a volunteer or salaried worker. 
  • Taking any number of hours within the MMIN program.

 

  • Category I: Please submit a letter from a church representative (on church letterhead) verifying your full-time employment. NOTE: If you begin work with a different congregation during the year, please provide a letter from the new congregation when your work with that congregation begins.
    • You must provide us with a scholarship application EACH semester for which you wish to receive the scholarship. NOTE carefully these deadlines:
      • Fall: August 1
      • Spring: January 1
      • Summer: May 1
  • Category II:  Please submit a letter from a church representative (on church letterhead) EACH semester, verifying your participation of a minimum of 10 hours per week for the 15 week semester for which you are receiving the scholarship.
  • Continuing Student: Please submit a letter from a church representative (on church letterhead) EACH semester for which you are applying for the 25% scholarship, verifying your participation of a minimum of 6 hours per week for the 15 week semester for which you are receiving the scholarship.
  • Shepherd Scholarship: Please submit a letter from a church representative (on church letterhead) verifying your service as an elder.
  • Active Military Scholarship: Please submit a letter from a church representative (on church letterhead) verifying your participation of a minimum of 6 hours per week for the 15 week semester for which you are receiving the scholarship.

Instructions for Graduate Scholarship Application - Please Read Carefully

ALL APPLICANTS:

1.   You must provide us with a scholarship application EACH semester for which you wish to receive the scholarship. 

NOTE carefully these deadlines:
Fall:  August 1
Spring:  January 1
Summer:  May 1

You may use the online form below each semester, remembering to mail in documents mentioned above. If you prefer, you may print the application pdf and mail it in.

 

 

I would like to apply for/renew a scholarship

- I serve as a full-time minister.
- I have entered into an agreement with a local congregation to serve a minimum of ten hours per week, 15 weeks each semester.
- I am continuing as a student in the MMIN program and meet the qualifications listed above.

Active Military Scholarship – I serve full time in the military and meet the qualifications listed above.

For semesterYear
Name
Phone
Harding ID number (H number)
Email
Number of hours for which you plan to enroll
Church name
Church address
Church City, State, Zip
Church phone number
Supervising Elder
 

Contact Us


Fax: 501-279-4281

Mailing address:
Harding University
Master of Ministry
Box 12236
Searcy, AR 72149-5615