The Academy of Christian Training and Service Certificate of Christian Studies Program is designed for those persons who do not feel called to the pastoral ministry but who wish to complete an advanced, broad-based program of study in situations where seminary or other similar programs are not an option. ACTS is recognized nationally by American Baptists as an accepted model of study but is not accredited beyond that.
Graduates earning a Certificate of Christian Studies will have completed all of the course work required of the Certified Lay Minister program but are not required to be part of the pastoral mentoring program or meet the ministry experience requirements.
Our goal is that, upon completion of the requirements, the student will have developed and demonstrated a grasp of the overall content of the Bible and sound methods of Biblical interpretation. He/she will have a good understanding of church administration and the implementation of programs such as stewardship, Christian education, evangelism or missions. He/she will be able to organize his/her understanding of ministry into a theological framework. In all of these areas, the student will perceive how each relates to our Baptist heritage and will show willingness and ability to work within his/her local congregation and our current American Baptist structure. A person with a Certificate of Christian Studies should be well-equipped to conduct quality ministry in the name of Christ.
If you do not feel called to a pastoral ministry but do feel called to minister in a significant way within a local congregation or other ministry, completion of the Christian Studies program will give you a firm foundation in Biblical interpretation and theology and a general grasp of the overall content of the Bible, an understanding of Church administration, preaching, pastoral responsibilities, outreach, evangelism and Baptist history and polity. This program will give you a solid foundation for using your spiritual gifts in lay ministry within your church or in other ministries.