Specializations

We are excited to offer an expanded menu of specializations for the Perkins Certificate in Practical Ministry. 

Stay up-to-date with certification news!

Current specializations:

  • Christian Spirituality (in partnership with the Certificate in Spiritual Direction program)
  • Disability Theology & Ministry
  • Evangelism
  • Interim Ministry (in partnership with Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist Association of The UMC)
  • Ministry with Children
  • Ministry with Youth
  • Ministry with Young Adults
  • Faith Formation (dual certification)

Offered beginning 2024 or later*

  • Camp & Retreat Ministry
  • Adult Discipleship
  • Church Leadership
  • Ministry on the Margins
  • Sexuality and the Church
  • Urban Ministry
  • Women & Gender Studies

Specializations can be combined to create unique, expanded certification areas. For example, you can combine Children's and Youth Ministry or Youth and Young Adult Ministry specializations to create a specialization in "Faith Formation" or "Student Discipleship." These combinations will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the certification staff. 

*cohorts must have at least eight students to begin a new specialization track. 

Use the drop-downs below to see specific information about your specialization area. 

CORE COMPETENCIES:

Regular practice of spiritual disciplines within the candidate’s life

Ability to teach others diverse spiritual disciplines (including, but not limited to, lectio divina, various forms/types of prayer, confession and examination of consciousness, processes of discernment, leadership of worship, fasting and self-emptying, and ways of hospitality)

Understanding of and engagement in the essential link between spiritual formation and congregational life (e.g. in worship leadership and preaching, Christian education, pastoral care, community outreach, mission and evangelism, church administration, and ecumenical and interfaith dialogue)

Knowledge of and the ability to teach history and practices of Christian spirituality (denominational nuances)

Ability to lead retreats with persons of varying ages

Ability to offer spiritual direction, both in one-to-one and/or in-group modes

 

REQUIRED COURSES:

Core Courses:

Engaging the Bible

United Methodist Studies* or Adaptive Leadership

Specialization Courses:

Completion of the Certificate in Spiritual Direction and recommendation from the CSD Faculty

Please see the CSD website or contact spiritualdirection@smu.edu for more information.

 

*students seeking certification through the Board of Ordained Ministry through their Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church must take United Methodist Studies. Adaptive Leadership can also be added as an optional sixth course.

CORE COMPETENCIES:

Ability to understand and apply biblical, theological and denominational principles to the practice of ministry with people with disabilities

Ability to apply skills in advocacy, education and empowerment to assist the church in creating a culture where people with disabilities are welcomed and fully included in all aspects of worship, leadership and ministry, as well as in the broader community

Knowledge of the nature of disabilities, history of disability, attitudes, theories, laws, policies, strategies, care skills and practices for ministering effectively with people with disabilities and their families

Awareness of models for ministry with people with disabilities and how to plan for and implement these models, including ways to adapt worship, education and the physical environment to facilitate participation

Ability to assist people with disabilities to discern their call and use their gifts in ministry as full participants in the Body of Christ

REQUIRED COURSES:

Core Courses:

Engaging the Bible

Engaging Theology

United Methodist Studies* or Adaptive Leadership

Specialization Courses:

Disability Theology & The Bible

This course will introduce students to historical and contemporary approaches to disability studies, disability biblical studies, and disability theology. Engaging disability, theology, and the Bible in light of the past and present of disability history, students will develop their own disability theology and begin to utilize this theology as the starting framework of their theology of disability ministry. 

Disability Theology & Ministry 2

Course Description coming soon!

*students seeking certification through the Board of Ordained Ministry through their Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church must take United Methodist Studies. Adaptive Leadership can also be added as an optional sixth course.

CORE COMPETENCIES:

Develop your own definition of evangelism

Identify varying biblical and theological foundations of evangelism

Comprehend and incorporate a wide range of evangelism models suitable for individuals, congregations, and neighborhoods

Cultivate a deeper spiritual formation to ground the practice of evangelism

Implement and lead an evangelism plan that prepares and energizes people to be witnesses for Jesus Christ within and beyond the church walls

Articulate the gospel of Jesus Christ in a winsome, invitational manner

REQUIRED COURSES:

Core Courses:

Engaging Theology

Engaging the Bible

United Methodist Studies* or Adaptive Leadership

Specialization Courses:

Theology for the Practice of Evangelism

This course will introduce students to a range of theological foundations for the practice of evangelism. Students will then develop their own theological position about evangelism as it relates to the mission of the local congregation to its own members and constituencies, its community context, and to the global, interfaith community.

Models of Evangelism

This course will be offered in our May 18 - 20, 2023 intensive in Little Rock, AR.

In this interdisciplinary course, students will encounter and analyze a wide variety of evangelism models, from one-on-one to small group, from prophetic to media. Each model will be set in its biblical, theological, historical, and practical foundations. Students will learn to apply and adapt these models to their ministry setting. 

 

*students seeking certification through the Board of Ordained Ministry through their Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church must take United Methodist Studies. Adaptive Leadership can also be added as an optional sixth course.

This certificate includes six courses.

CORE COMPETENCIES:

Ability to develop and administer a Christian Education program that develops faith formation and equips people to become disciples of Jesus Christ 

Knowledge of faith development for different age groups and ways to guide the teaching and learning for faith and biblical understanding

Ability to relate to people, to work with volunteers and staff, and to function in the role of Christian educator with emotional maturity and sound judgment

Demonstrate leadership through an ability to integrate theory and practice with an understanding of and commitment to the church’s educational ministry

 REQUIRED COURSES:

Core Courses:

Engaging Theology

Engaging the Bible

United Methodist Studies* or Adaptive Leadership

Specialization Courses:

Two of the following three courses:

Ministry with Youth

Ministry with Children

Ministry with Young Adults

One of the following two courses:

Developmental Stages (birth - 18)

This course combines the former courses of "Adolescent World" and "Teaching and Learning." As part of the certification requirements for Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry, and Christian Education, we will focus on life span development, learning styles, and best practices for teaching children and youth. We want to give participants practical tools that help them understand both where those they minister to have developmentally been and where they are going, in order to most effectively lead and partner with parents in faith formation. 

Family Systems

Course description to come.

*students seeking certification through the Board of Ordained Ministry through their Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church must take United Methodist Studies. Adaptive Leadership can also be added as an optional course.

This certificate is available in partnership with the Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Association (TIIMSA) of The United Methodist Church.

The Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Training Seminar (TIIMS) is a rigorous three-phase event spanning approximately six months. United Methodist TIIMSA-credentialed and UMEA approved Lead Trainers (LT) provide the Seminar leadership. There is a separate registration process for this training.

To earn both a TIIMSA certificate of completion and a Perkins Certificate in Practical Ministry:

Core Courses**:

Engaging Theology OR Engaging the Bible

Adaptive Leadership

UM Studies

Specialization Courses:

Phase I is a four-day training event designed to:

sharpen one’s general ministry skills

provide new insights for working as a change agent during transitional needs 

introduce tools and techniques for use in short-term leadership

orient one towards “intentional interim” ministry*

Phase II is the opportunity for Seminar participants to employ Phase I concepts and strategies, which continues with LT mentoring for each Seminar participant in their ministry setting. 

Phase III is a two- to three-day on-site event which integrates TIIMS theory and practice using the Change Process Reports prepared during Phase II as case studies. Upon completion of this seminar, the participant will earn Certification as a Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist. Application for national Approval status through the United Methodist Endorsing Agency of the GBHEM will be available to participants who receive TIIMS Certification and have at least one year in pastoral experience.

For any additional questions, please contact Rev. Bonnie Osteen at tiims@txcumc.org or Rev. Dr. Jan Nicholson-Angle at jnicholson@nccumc.org

To apply for the TIIMSA training, please fill out this form.

*See ¶338.3, The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016
**students with prior theological education need to speak with the CPM office about waivers for previous work.

CORE COMPETENCIES:

Ability to develop and administer a program for children that develops faith formation and equips them as disciples of Jesus Christ

Knowledge of faith development for all ages, with specific knowledge of faith and moral development of children and the ability to teach theological concepts to children

Skills in working with volunteers and staff to create programmatic experiences and an environment that encourages children in the Christian faith

Understanding of tradition and doctrine and commitment to the ministry of the church with children

REQUIRED COURSES:

Core Courses:

Engaging Theology

Engaging the Bible

United Methodist Studies* or Adaptive Leadership

Specialization Courses:

Ministry with Children

This course will be offered January 9 - 13, 2023, 1 - 5 p.m.

Course Description coming October 2022.

Developmental Stages

This course will be offered online May 2023.

This course combines the former courses of "Adolescent World" and "Teaching and Learning." As part of the certification requirements for Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry, and Christian Education, we will focus on life span development, learning styles, and best practices for teaching children and youth. We want to give participants practical tools that help them understand both where those they minister to have developmentally been and where they are going, in order to most effectively lead and partner with parents in faith formation. 

*students seeking certification through the Board of Ordained Ministry through their Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church must take United Methodist Studies. Adaptive Leadership can also be added as an optional sixth course.

 

Core Competencies:

Core Competencies coming soon!

Core Courses:

 

Specialization Courses:

Ministry with College Students

Course Description coming soon!

Family Systems

Course Description coming soon!

CORE COMPETENCIES:

Ability to develop and lead a program for youth that leads to faith development and Christian formation in discipleship

Understanding the biblical and theological concepts, as well as ways youth can be taught these and become disciples for the transformation of the world

A knowledge of adolescent development and behavior that includes personal, moral, social and religious development and the implications of these for youth ministry

Skills in relating with young people and developing strategies for effective youth ministry that include counseling, program development, teaching and empowering others

Understanding the importance of relationships with volunteers, parents and youth, and ways of communicating and enhancing collegial leadership

 

REQUIRED COURSES:

Core Courses:

Engaging Theology

Engaging the Bible

United Methodist Studies* or Adaptive Leadership

Specialization Courses:

Ministry with Youth

After completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Define and evaluate various models of youth ministry within the church context 
  • Readily write and/or verbally articulate a personal philosophy and theology of youth ministry 
  • Participate in discussions and practices of discernment that engage congregations and leaders in social awareness 
  • Develop an approach to pastoral care that embraces a deep and broad theological interpretation of human and family experience 
  • Become a self-aware helping professional by articulating sacred ways in which you personally connect with God. Make a plan for how to continue this throughout your ministry and appreciate the various ways co-workers might be different   
  • Articulate basic tenets of development related to adolescents, in order to demonstrate conceptual mastery and integration in local church ministry
  • Gain a working understanding of various forms of crisis an adolescent might experience 
  • Develop a plan for a volunteer and staff team development. Create a plan to inform your leadership on what they need to know: vision, calendar, curriculum, safety policies, expectations, and more 

Developmental Stages

This course combines the former courses of "Adolescent World" and "Teaching and Learning." As part of the certification requirements for Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry, and Christian Education, we will focus on life span development, learning styles, and best practices for teaching children and youth. We want to give participants practical tools that help them understand both where those they minister to have developmentally been and where they are going, in order to most effectively lead and partner with parents in faith formation. 

*students seeking certification through the Board of Ordained Ministry through their Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church must take United Methodist Studies. Adaptive Leadership can also be added as an optional sixth course.