A Description of
The Institute for Theology and Mission consists of regionally-based collectives of local Baptist churches who cooperate together to provide theological training that is rooted in Scripture, oriented toward missions, and centered on the local church.
The Institute for Theology and Mission affirms the sufficiency, clarity, authority, and necessity of Scripture. We teach in accordance with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 and affirm the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy and the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.
In addition to joyfully embracing these convictions, we are:
• Rooted in historic Baptist ecclesiology: Elder-led congregationalism, meaningful membership, and qualified leadership matter greatly
• Focused on a church-centered missiology: Healthy, reproducing churches are the center of God’s global mission
• Centered on the gospel: We never move on from the gospel, we only move deeper into it
• Informed by Biblical Theology: Christ is the climax of God’s grand redemptive plan
• Committed to live exposition: In-person expository preaching best equips the church
• Devoted to biblical complementarity: God’s good design enables both men and women to flourish
• Oriented toward collaborative mission: Friendships and trust fuel gospel work in our neighborhoods and the nations
The Institute’s Graduate Certificate in Theological Foundations is a 12-hour program of study offered to those who desire basic proficiency in the areas of Bible and Theology. This certificate represents the biblical-theological core of the Institute and will prepare students both to think carefully about the Scriptures and doctrine and also teach others.
Creation, Covenants, and Christ: An Introduction to the Old Testament
The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings point to Jesus, Son of David and Son of God. This course will survey the Old Testament with a focus on its theological emphases. Attention will be given to the historical background, purpose, message, structure, and themes of each Old Testament book, with an eye toward understanding the promises God both makes and keeps through his Son.
The Christ, the Cross, and the Church: An Introduction to the New Testament
As of first importance, the New Testament unfolds the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. This course will survey the New Testament with a focus on its theological emphases. Attention will be given to the historical background, authorship, provenance, audience, purpose, and themes of each NT book, in order to understand how the gospel of the kingdom of God shapes the church and its mission.
From Eden to Eternity: The Grand Narrative of Scripture
Every sentence of the Bible must be understood in light of the whole. This course will explore the grand narrative of Scripture, tracing the work of God as it unfolds in creation, the fall, redemption, and finally in the consummation and restoration of all things in the new creation. Other themes (e.g., the King and the kingdom, law and grace, the true God versus idols, worship and the sanctuary, justice and judgment) will also be considered.
The Good Confession: What Christians Believe
What comes into our minds when we think about God and his works is the most important thing about us. This course will survey foundational Christian doctrines in order to understand and preserve the faith once for all delivered to the saints. The doctrines of God, Scripture, humanity, sin, Christ, salvation, the Holy Spirit, the Church, angels, and the last things will be studied, all with an eye toward deepening loving devotion and witness to the triune God.
Missions & The Church
The Institute’s Graduate Certificate in Missions and the Church is a 12-hour program of study offered to those eager to learn the basics of advancing the kingdom of God through the local church. This course of study weds a gospel-driven missiology to a robust ecclesiology in order to equip students to fulfill the Great Commission and train others to do likewise.
Mission and Foundations of the Local Church
God didn’t create a mission for the church to accomplish. He created a church to accomplish his mission. This course will evaluate various ancient and contemporary models of the church and its mission before developing a biblical vision for the church’s mission that is informed by a strong ecclesiology, highlighting ways in which the church’s mission is both centrifugal and centripetal.
The Church: Gathered, Governed, and Led (Biblical Ecclesiology)
The church of Jesus Christ should reflect the very character of God. Far from being pragmatic and incidental, then, the leadership and organization of the church is profoundly significant. This course will explore the doctrine of the church, giving attention to the church’s essence and nature and asking who belongs to it, how it is governed and led, and what symbols shape and bind it together, with an eye toward strengthening churches who will display and declare the gospel.
Engaging Neighborhoods with the Gospel
Missions begins not by crossing oceans, but by crossing the street. The course will examine how healthy local churches engage their communities with the gospel. Attention will be given to cultivating cultures of evangelism, hospitality, and discipling, planting and revitalizing other churches, and reaching unreached peoples in order to impact lostness.
Engaging the Nations with the Gospel
The nations will be glad and shout for joy in God, but gospel witness comes first. The course will study how healthy local churches—both international and domestic—reach the unreached and multiply disciples and churches for the glory of God. The difference between church-centered and movement-driven missions will be examined.
The Institute’s Graduate Certificate in Ministry Leadership is a 12-hour program of study offered to anyone desiring to learn basic proficiency in the area of Ministry Leadership. This certificate equips current and future pastors and ministry leaders to lead healthy, missionally-driven churches.
Gospel-Driven Ministry & Leadership
A leader’s sufficiency is Christ and his gospel—not himself. This course will explore how the gospel shapes every aspect of ministry, from leading yourself to leading others. It will confront the dangers of ministry leadership and cast vision both for personal soul care and intentional congregational shepherding, with the aim of forming leaders who preach, pray, love, and stay with their churches and/or ministries.
Discipling & Developing Leaders
The church grows strong when leaders entrust what they have learned to faithful people who will be able to teach others also. This course will have a twin focus on fostering a disciple-making culture and raising up leaders within the local church. It will explore how to teach, correct, and model the faith to others—with humility and love—while advancing trust and delegating responsibility in order to develop leaders.
Christ-Centered Biblical Interpretation & Teaching
In Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Taking that thesis seriously, this course will equip students to interpret the Scriptures rightly and teach them to others, such that Christ is magnified. Attention will be given to biblical genres, the cruciality of context, language (grammar, syntax, words, fallacies), and finally, responsibly teaching Christ from every text in the Bible, corresponding to its place within the grand redemptive narrative of Scripture.
Counseling and Care of Souls
In a fallen world we experience many bitter fruits—humans who sin and are sinned against, sickness and mental illness, and as a result, brokenness and pain. This course will provide a biblical framework for understanding and caring for wounded and hurting people. Attention will be focused on providing foundational concepts and knowledge of healthy relationships, life stages, loss, and grief. Issues such as anxiety and depression, addiction, abuse, and mental health will be covered.