Certificate in Urban Ministry
Prepare for a changing society with the new graduate certificate in urban ministry.
This 15-credit certificate is designed for Christian ministers and lay leaders who desire to engage in effective ministry in the complex and rapidly changing context of urban ministry. It offers teaching in both theological preparation and the ability to engage complex thinking in the unique context of the urban environment.
As a seminary located in the city of Chicago, North Park Theological Seminary is poised to meet the unique challenges of theological education and ministry preparation in the urban context. Recent demographic shifts in global Christianity as well as American Christianity require greater sensitivity to urban culture and urbanization. The 21st century offers a unique opportunity and role for seminary education as American society moves towards a more urban and multicultural dynamic.
The certificate in urban ministry is designed to be completed in three summer intensive courses, with two online courses during the academic year, for a total of 15 semester hours of academic credit.
- Participants will develop both a theological perspective and ministry practices to become effective pastors, leaders, servants, and ministers in the urban context.
- Utilizing the cohort learning model, 15 to 20 students complete the program together in just over two years.
- Urban practitioners from across the country develop a learning community in which they can learn from their wealth of experiences.
- Depending on the degree, courses in this 15-credit certificate may apply to a full master's degree at North Park Theological Seminary.
Study with Soong-Chan Rah
Professor Soong-Chan Rah, the Milton B. Engebretson Associate Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism, serves as the program director and an instructor for the certificate in urban ministry. He brings extensive experience from founding and pastoring a multi-ethnic, urban, post-modern-generation church in Cambridge, Mass., along with a continued involvement in organizations such as Sojourners, the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), World Vision, and Catalyst. Prof. Rah has written a number of articles and books about multicultural ministry, including Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church, which won an award from Outreach Magazine as a best resource for multi-cultural ministry in 2010.
||Summer Intensive 1
||Summer Intensive 2
||Summer Intensive 3
||August 11-15, 2014
||August 11-15, 2014
||August 10-14, 2015
|August 11-15, 2014
||August 10-14, 2015
|No new cohort beginning in 2015
Students in the certificate program will invest approximately 110 hours of work in addition to the summer intensive courses. Following each summer intensive, final projects and reading will be completed from one’s home location during the fall semester. Online coursework for the next class will begin in January.
Year One: Foundations for Urban Ministry
- Onsite summer intensive 1: Foundations for Urban Ministry (3 hours)
The complexity of the urban context requires theological depth and the ability to formulate and contextually apply a relevant and robust urban biblical theology. In this course we will engage in the process of social and cultural analysis to understand the nature and context of urban ministry. Through biblical analysis, spiritual reflection, and communal discernment we will move toward a theology of urban ministry that will provide the foundation for impactful engagement with complex urban systems.
- Online course: Spiritual Formation in the Urban Context (3 hours)
The work in urban ministries can be fulfilling and engaging, however, it can also be weary and burdensome. For many in urban ministry there is a tendency to choose “busyness” over “fullness.” In this course we will look at a variety of spiritual practices that are invitations to a deeper sense of God’s presence in one’s interior life and public life. We will also experiment with and engage various spiritual practices, and use developmental assessments to gain new insight of self, thus making us available to the transformational power of Christ.
Year Two: Urban Spirituality and Leadership
- Onsite summer intensive 2: Journey to Mosaic (3 hours)
This course incorporates readings, films, conversations and interaction with individuals, and a pilgrimage to major sites of racial significance in Chicago and the broader American context. The focus is on cross-cultural and cross-racial relationship dynamics leading to a greater cultural intelligence on racial and cultural issues in the church. The course will explore the biblical, theological, sociological, political, cultural, and psychological dimensions of the struggle for racial justice and its contemporary implications for ministry.
- Online course: Urban Ministry Leadership (3 hours)
Year Three: The Practice of Urban Ministry
- Onsite summer intensive 3: The Practice of Urban Ministry (3 hours)
Tuition is estimated at $7,500 over a period of 24 months. Tuition is billed based on the number of semester hours for each course as they are taken at the then-current charge per semester hour. Payment of the balance due is expected by the first day of the intensive and at the start of each of the online courses. A monthly payment plan can be arranged, but the full cost of the course needs to be paid in full before starting the next course in the certificate.Visit the Types of Aid page for more information about tuition and grant opportunities. Visit the Billing Basics page for more information about setting up a monthly payment plan.
- If you need more information, please complete the Tell Me More form to request more information about the admission process for this certificate program.
- Contact Seminary Admissions with any other questions.
By April 30
- Complete Urban Ministry Certificate application due, along with a $25 non-refundable application fee.
- Write your essay(s) and include them with your application. (See the application for specific instructions.)
- Download the personal reference form and have two individuals complete this as part of your application.
- Request official academic transcripts from each undergraduate, graduate, and professional institution you have attended. (Order your transcripts early, so they arrive before the deadline. Schools should send sealed transcripts directly to North Park.)
By May 15
- Apply for financial aid.
- Visit the Types of Aid page for more information about tuition and grant opportunities.
Submit the tuition deposit
- For admitted students, the tuition deposit is due to confirm enrollment.
- After a student has received an admission offer, a student has 6 weeks to submit the tuition deposit or by June 15 at the latest (whichever comes first). Failure to meet this deadline may result in the cancellation of the admission offer; the seat in the cohort may be offered to another applicant.
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