North Park University - Chicago North Park University - Chicago

Certificate in Church Planting

Earn a Certificate in Church Planting

Church planting is one of the most effective strategies the global church has in reaching young people, engaging a growing multi-ethnic population, and developing vibrant local churches. By starting churches in the right context, with the right leaders, with the right support, denominations such as the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) are seeing increased engagement from young people, from multi-ethnic populations, and from people who are new to Christianity. In fact, more than 87,000 Covenanters attend weekly worship at a church that was planted since 1993, and half of all new Covenant churches are multiethnic, churches of color, or non-English speaking congregations.

ECC Facts

Requirements

Faculty Spotlight:
Dr. Dwight Perry

Prior to joining NPTS, Rev. Dr. Perry served as regional president/executive minister of Converge Great Lakes where he was known for his straight-talk approach to ministry. He has spoken across the country in the area of diversity and inclusion, homiletics, organizational and systems development especially within a not for profit setting along with strategic planning and leadership development.

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Practical Training

Core courses for the church planting certificate are designed to provide practical training for ministers and church planters.  Both those planning to church plant and those in the church planting process will find the course to be helpful for their ministry.

Course Schedule

Complete 12 semester hours of graduate coursework through North Park Theological Seminary. Travel to course locations, in Chicago and/or around the country, for the three core certificate courses. Work with a church planting coach throughout the two years of the program.

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Mentorship, Online, and In-Person Intensive Study

Coursework will challenge students to develop theological and ethical ecclesiology for church planting, engage core principles for missional church leadership, explore pastoral identity, and discover pathways for planting culturally relevant churches.

Students will also have the unique opportunity to be mentored by a church planting coach from the Covenant Church. This access to years of experience and firsthand knowledge in this specialized field will provide guidance and focused discussion as students discern their own calls to ministry.

This program is offered as a stand-alone certificate or can be completed as part of a full degree program, including the master of divinity (MDiv). It is open to leaders with any denominational affiliation and is designed to be completed in one-to-two years. The three required courses will be offered as intensive hybrid courses, a blend of in-person and online learning that does not require relocation to Chicago.

Church Planters in the ECC

Acceptance into the church planting certificate program at North Park Theological Seminary does not guarantee approval for church planting with the Evangelical Covenant Church. The ECC uses a separate assessment process to determine candidacy for church planting within the denomination. However, approval for ECC church planting is not required for acceptance or completion of the certificate in church planting.

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