Ministerial Study Program

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The MSP has been developed primarily for people who are aware of the call of God to full-time ministry, but who are unable to obtain their training through traditional educational institutions. It is also used by many others who, through the guidance and approval of their District, desire a self-study and coaching approach to their ministry preparation.

The Ministerial Study Program

The Ministerial Study Program (MSP) is designed to develop character and competency in skills for ministry. Though the student will gain knowledge, the emphasis of this course is on growing in Christ-like character and developing practical ministry skills. Candidates for the program must be approved by the local congregation and recommended by their respective district superintendent. The student will study under the supervision of a coach appointed by the district. MSP fulfills the academic requirements of The Christian and Missionary Alliance for licensing and ordination or consecration.

The typical candidate for the Ministerial Study Program has the following profile:

  • Has experienced a call to full-time ministry and is able to articulate that call.
  • Is willing to make a career change to follow God’s leading.
  • Is an experienced leader in a local Alliance church.
  • Gives evidence of having godly character and potential for the vocational ministry.
  • Is an active member of an Alliance church.

Enrollment Procedure

The cost to participate in the Ministerial Study Program is approximately $2,000. This includes a $100 application fee, $85 to $95 tuition (per course), plus books and materials.

To enroll, a candidate contacts the office of the district in which he or she resides to request the MSP application packet. As an alternative, a prospective student can download the application packet. The packet contains:

  • Student application form
  • Congregational approval form
  • Schedule of course completion
  • Instructions

When the student has filled out the application form and has received approval from his congregation, the student sends these forms with the application fee to the District office. The District Superintendent must sign the application form to give his approval, and assign a coach to oversee the student’s progress. The district office then sends these completed forms to the Church Leadership Academy for processing. The Church Leadership Academy sends a Student Handbook to both the student and their coach with information and links to the online resources. The student and coach also receive a username and password to access the online resources and courses.


The Ministerial Study Program is not officially accredited by an accrediting association, nor is it a degree program. However, it is recognized by some Alliance schools, including Crown College, which will give 2/3 credit for MSP courses toward Crown College requirements. Students may take classes through the Crown Online Program and MSP simultaneously, or they may finish MSP first, and then complete their degree at Crown College. Either way, all classes will be counted toward Crown College requirements for purposes of GPA, course requirements and residency. If interested contact Crown College at (952) 446-4100) or

Transferring Credits
Students who have received some theological training at an accredited institution may receive credit for up to seven courses in MSP, upon submission of an official transcript of credits. For further information, please contact the Church Leadership Academy.

Additional Information

For more information on study methods, course assessments, and registration for courses, download the Quick Guide to the MSP or visit the Church Ministries Online Learning site.

Description of Courses

101 — Church Ministry I: The Priestly, Prophetic, and Sacramental Ministries
This course emphasizes worship (the priestly ministry), preaching and teaching (the prophetic ministry), and celebrating the Lord’s Supper and baptism, as well as instruction on how to officiate at weddings, funerals, dedications, etc. Along with the study on preaching and teaching is a study in basic hermeneutics.

102 — Inductive Bible Study
The student will learn to study the Bible using the inductive method through a study of the Gospel of Mark. With a minimum of instruction, the student will learn to observe what Scripture says, interpret what it means, and apply it to his/her life and ministry.

103 — New Testament Survey
Through study of the text Encountering the New Testament, this course presents a panoramic view of the New Testament. The student will learn how to: contains:

  • Conduct effective Bible studies on New Testament passages
  • Develop an integrated understanding of New Testament books, doctrines, personalities and problems in the Early Church.

104 — Old Testament Survey
Using the text Encountering the Old Testament as a basis, the student will understand the broad themes of the Old Testament, principal characters, different types of Biblical literature, and the history of the people of Israel. This will help the student to: contains:

  • Apply lessons from the Old Testament to modern-day life situations
  • Understand the roots of New Testament teachings
  • Preach and teach from the Old Testament

105 — Disciplemaking
This course guides a student toward a biblical understanding of “Disciplemaking” as revealed in the Great Commission and Great Commandment priorities of Christ. Students choose to either: participate in a full cycle of a Live 2:6 group; attend and participate in the Eternal CPR seminars; OR, complete the six Growing a Healthy Church online training modules.

201 — Church Ministry II: Outreach and Care
This course focuses on evangelism, missions, social involvement, pastoral care, and Christian education. The student will present a written project for evaluation.

202 — Introduction to Theology
The student will explore major doctrinal themes in order to: contains:

  • Demonstrate an acquaintance with the basic issues in each major division of theology
  • Help people with their problems by pointing them to God’s Word

203 — Alliance Values & Beliefs
This online course consists of two modules: Alliance Core Values, and Alliance Doctrine & Beliefs. The first of these acquaints the student with the values that are at the heart of The Alliance, challenging them consider how each of those values is reflected in their life and ministry. The second module focuses on particular Alliance doctrines, based upon the classic formulation of the Four-fold Gospel. The student will present various position papers/presentations for evaluation.

204 — Alliance Polity & Missions
This online course continues the study begun in MSP 203, and again encompasses two distinct modules. History & Strategies of Alliance Missions guides a student to develop a Biblical worldview of missions, and to appreciate the C&MA’s unique contribution (historical and contemporary) to the world-wide mission endeavor. In addition to reflective study, students demonstrate personal involvement in cross-cultural ministry. Organization & Polity of The Alliance studies the theological basis and practical implications of pastoral ministry in the local, regional, national, and international ministries of the C&MA. The student will be able to lead a congregation to participate effectively in the Alliance’s global mission.

205 — Romans
Using a study guide, the student will complete an inductive study of epistle to the Romans. The student will: contains:

  • Learn the fundamental truths of the Christian life, as presented in Romans
  • Write a personal application of those truths for his/her life and ministry

206 — Expository Preaching
Using a study guide, the student will learn an eight-step process for creating expository sermons. Through this course the student will learn to: contains:

  • Distinguish between an expository sermon and other basic sermon types
  • Explain and utilize the steps in preparing an expository sermon
  • Develop and deliver expository sermons

301 — Church Ministry III: Management, Administration and Stewardship
This course assists the student to deal with issues both personal and in family life, the management of time, human resources, and material resources. It also gives instruction on working with a governing board, transitions, and finances. Through a written project,the student demonstrates his/her understanding of church management and administration.

302 — The Life of Christ
This course consists of a guided self-study of the harmony of the Gospels to see how Christ trained his disciples so that they could make other disciples. The student will present a paper on his/her personal strategy for making disciples, as Jesus did.

303 — Raising Leaders for the Harvest
Upon completion of this online–only course, students will have learned to identify emerging church leaders, developed a strategy for training them, and generated momentum for a church–multiplication movement. Instruction combines podcasts, a study guide for online group discussion, and assignments to ensure practical application of course theory.

NOTE: All required audio and print resources for this course are out of print and posted online with the permission of the publisher/authors.

304 — Alliance Strategies in Mission
This 10–week, online–only course fulfills the missions–awareness requirement for ordination, consecration, or vocational ministry through The Alliance and is a general introduction to the denomination’s missionary activity. Course emphasis is upon missions strategies that have guided Alliance ministries historically as well as currently. Study includes readings from the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement Reader, video segments, online articles, online group discussion, and assignments to ensure practical application of course theory.

NOTE: A student may, with the permission of his or her district Licensing, Ordination, and Consecration Council, fulfill the course requirements by completing one of the approved forms for the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course.

305 — Ministry Leadership
This online course blends a shepherd-leader philosophy of ministry with an introduction to basic peacemaking skills and understandings. The student enrolls directly in Peacemaker’s University to take the course.

Suggested Course Order

Year One

  • 101 Church Ministry I: Priestly, Prophetic, and Sacramental
  • 102 Inductive Bible Study
  • 103 New Testament Survey
  • 104 Old Testament Survey
  • 105 Disciplemaking

Year Two

  • 201 Church Ministry II: Outreach and Care
  • 202 Introduction to Theology
  • 203 Alliance Values & Beliefs
  • 204 Alliance Polity & Missions
  • 205 Romans
  • 206 Expository Preaching

Year Three

  • 301 Church Ministry III: Management, Administration and Stewardship
  • 302 The Life of Christ
  • 303 Raising Leaders for the Harvest
  • 304 Introduction to Missions
  • 305 Ministry Leadership

Basic Training Program

Ministerial Study Program

Special Training Program



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