Increasingly, large numbers of capable and committed Christians express the need for more depth and background in knowledge and experience in order to serve Christ more effectively. They also want to understand and appreciate the dimensions of their own faith to a greater extent. Some are not certain about their future vocations. Certificate programs offer a limited course of study, giving individuals a basis for deciding whether a church vocation might be what God desires for them. 

Online Certificates

The Certificate in Church Planting

The Certificate in Church Planting is designed to provide foundational training for individuals seeking to plant a new church. Those who complete the certificate will be prepared to develop a vision for a new church, organize teams and a support network to launch a new church, plan worship services and welcoming experiences, and create and implement systems to sustain a new church.

This certificate is awarded upon the completion of 7.5 semester credits. All courses run in a fully online format and do not require an on campus component for completion. The certificate can be completed in one academic year with one 3 credit course offered in the Fall, a 1.5 credit course offered in January Interim, and a 3 credit course offered in Spring. Courses do not need to be taken in a specific order. The Certificate in Church Planting is not eligible for financial aid. Requirements for the Certificate in Church Planting are below:

ML531DEChurch Planting Vision and Preparation3
ML533DECritical Worship Service Elements for Church Plants1.5
ML535DECreating Sustainable Church Plants3
Total Credits7.5

St. Paul Certificates

The Certificate in Theological Studies

The Certificate in Theological Studies is offered for those individuals who want more depth in biblical studies and theology to enhance their current ministries and occupations; for those needing biblical and theological studies for missions and parachurch organizations; or for individuals seeking direction regarding their future vocations who want a limited course of study to guide them in making a decision about vocational Christian ministry.

The Certificate in Theological Studies is awarded upon completion of 24 semester credits. It comprises three core courses and five electives. The 24 credit certificate can be completed in two years and requires the following courses:

The 24 credit certificate can be completed with either face to face courses or fully online in two years and requires the following courses:

SP001Formation Assessments0
SP510Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation3
TS512Systematic Theology I: God the Creator3
or TS513 Systematic Theology II: God the Redeemer
ElectivesAny course at Bethel Seminary15
Total Credits24

The Post-graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy

The Post-graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy is awarded upon completion of up to 45 semester credits. Each student’s individualized course of study is dependent upon previous graduate-level coursework completed. This certificate is designed for professionals with master’s degrees from counseling or psychological services programs or master of divinity graduates with concentrations in Marriage and Family Studies who desire further academic specialization in the area of marriage and family therapy. It is designed to meet the academic requirements for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in most states, but additional supervised clinical practice and the successful completion of a licensing examination are needed to obtain actual licensure. Certificate students are required to complete one 3-credit Bible/Theology course (Interpretation and the Interpreter) as well as non-credit assessment, formation, and practicum readiness activities required of M.A.M.F.T. students.

MF Concentration Courses

MF611Foundations of Marriage and Family Studies3
MF612Families in Context: Gender, Class and Culture3
MF613Dynamics of Family Interaction: Sexuality, Spirituality and Socialization3
MF621Individual Development Within the Family3
MF622Individual and Family Psychopathology I3
MF623Individual and Family Psychopathology II3
MF624Challenges over the Family Life Cycle3
MF631Professional and Ethical Issues in Marriage & Family Therapy3
MF641Theories of Marriage and Family Therapy3
MF642Couple and Family Assessment3
MF643Advanced Clinical Issues3
MF651Research Design & Evaluation in Marriage & Family Therapy3
MF711Supervised Clinical Experience I3
MF712Supervised Clinical Experience II3
Other Requirements
Practicum Readiness Process
MFT-specific formation assessments
Total Credits45

In addition to regular seminary application materials, MFT certificate applicants need two references from supervisors or professional work experience; a personal profile; and a 1,500-2,000 word paper discussing personal family experience. A group interview is also required of all qualified applicants. The application deadline is April 1.

The Certificate in Young Life Youth Ministry

The certificate in Young Life Youth Ministry is intended for students who are serving as staff in the Young Life organization. Certificate requirements include:

BT510Hermeneutics (to be taken at Bethel Seminary)3
Select any five Young Life staff training courses approved for credit at Bethel Seminary:
DC645YLFoundations of Youth Ministry3
DC646YLCommunicating the Gospel to Teens3
ML612YLLeadership I (Young Life Staff Training)3
ML613YLLeadership II (Young Life Staff Training)3
PC607YLThe Minister as Person (Young Life Staff Training)3
Total Credits18

San Diego Certificates

The Certificate in Anglican Studies

The Certificate in Anglican Studies is awarded upon completion of 21 credits. The certificate requires the following courses:

HS689Anglican Spirituality3
ML679Worship in the Prayer Book Tradition3
TS674Ministry with the Sacraments3
TS/HS 690Anglican Theology and History3
Select one preaching course3
Select one Old Testament course3
Select one New Testament course3
Total Credits21

The Certificate in Ministry 

The Certificate in Ministry is awarded upon completion of 21 credits (12 credits for students who have a prior seminary degree; see below). This program is designed to offer those individuals who desire more depth and background knowledge in a specialized vocational area in order to minister more effectively. Three foundational courses (3 credits each) are required for students who do not have a prior seminary degree: Hermeneutics (BT510), Systematic Theology I: God the Creator (TS512), and a Spiritual Formation elective. The remaining concentration courses (12 credits total) will be selected from one of the four MA in Ministry concentrations: Anglican Studies, Chaplaincy, Pastoral Care, or Missional Leadership.

The Certificate in Christian Studies

The Certificate in Christian Studies is awarded upon completion of 21 credits. The goal of this program, which emphasizes foundational coursework (biblical, historical, and theological studies), is to nurture more informed, whole and holy laypersons for the blessing of church congregations and their witness to the world. Its purposes are to strengthen their faith and understanding, and to equip them to teach and lead with godly wisdom. The 21 required credits must include: at least 3 credits in Biblical Studies; at least 3 credits in Historical Studies or Theological Studies; at least 3 credits in Christian Ethics; and at least 3 credits in Christian Spirituality. Overall, at least 12 of the 21 credits must be from foundational disciplines. Only courses taken for credit will count toward the certificate. All 21 required credits must be taken at Bethel; coursework from other institutions is not transferable. Students who later choose to pursue a Bethel degree after receiving this certificate could receive transfer credit for courses taken if applicable to their specific degree program.