Certificate Programs

The Midwest School of Missions

Certificate in Ministry Foundations

Program Design

This certificate provides students with foundational skills necessary for fruitful ministry work and addresses areas of leadership, theology, ministry, and Bible study.  It is designed as both a comprehensive training program for lay leaders and as the foundation of our training for our full-time staff.


Students in this program take 13 seminars. Seminars are offered in Chicago and are available for live online attendance. A typical seminar involves the reading of 1-3 books, two days of lecture, and one final project or paper. Students also complete a 12 week ministry practicum in their home church, where they put into practice much of what they have learned. The program can be completed in as little as two years or at whatever pace works for the student.

Ministry Practicum

A ministry practicum provides a way for students to apply what they’ve learned with the benefit of regular conversation with their MSM adviser. Each practicum is unique. Most students will simply continue to lead in whatever capacity they’ve been leading. Others will be provided a chance to exercise leadership in a new way. This is the best way to consolidate all that has been learned!

Is this Certificate Program Right for You?

As you can see, many of these courses are foundational to the life of every Christian, but are especially important for leaders. If you lead in the church in any capacity, these courses are for you! They are available to take as standalone courses, or as part of the broader certificate. If you aren’t entirely sure where to begin or which program is best for you… just start by taking one seminar and see where it goes. Consider it a step of faith and an opportunity for God to strengthen you in your leadership!

13 Seminars

Leadership in the Church

Making of a Disciple

Culture and Tradition

Small Group Development

Church History: Our Roots

Introduction to the Old Testament

Introduction to the New Testament

Spiritual Formation

Marriage and Family

Navigating Conflict

Basic Exegesis

The Gospels

Theology, Doctrine and Hot Topics

Course Descriptions


Tuition costs for 2020 are not yet set, but will remain low.  Current college students will receive a 50% tuition scholarship.  Students will also need to purchase reading materials for each class.

Certificate in Spiritual Leadership

Program Design

Developed in cooperation with Harding School of Theology, this accredited certificate is designed for church staff and those ready for more advanced study, including graduate-level coursework. By design, this certificate complements the coursework in the Certificate in Ministry Foundations and students in this certificate program pursue both certificates concurrently.


Students in this program takes seven graduate-level college courses through Harding School of Theology. They can attend these courses online or in person in Memphis in an intensive course format. Students in this program need only take the first 10 of the required seminars for the MSM certificate in ministry foundation and receive both certificates. A typical student completes both certificates in a total of 3 1/2 years.  Applicants need an undergraduate degree to apply.

Audit a Course for $750

Harding allows any of our MSM students to audit a course for a reduced rate of $750. Auditors don’t receive university credit or the certificate, but have full access to course materials and can participate in class. This may be an option for students in the Certificate in Ministry Foundations program who want to pursue more advanced material without enrolling in graduate school.

Is this Certificate Program Right for You?

If you have a passion for study, the capacity to engage with challenging academic material, and the available resources (including an undergraduate degree), this may be the program for you! If you aren’t sure, give us a call and we’d be happy to discuss the opportunity with you.

7 Courses

Spiritual Leadership

Counseling Skills

Systematic Theology

Ministry Call and Context

Gospel of Mark

Basic New Testament Exegesis

One Elective Course

Course Descriptions


MSM students enrolled at Harding receive a 40% tuition scholarship and pay around $1200 per course. Some scholarship funds are available for full-time leaders to pursue this training. Contact us for details.

Course Descriptions