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How Do I Know I Am Called To Be A Pastor?

Do you find that when you’re around people - you want them to know and love Jesus?  Are you concerned about their well-being and find that it is important to you?  When they ask you questions about Jesus-- it's hard to stop sharing how much He has done for you.  But there is something bigger and greater stirring in your heart to lead groups of people to know and love Jesus more.

Most want to preach and teach in a way that hearts will be changed.  You want to love everyone and convince them to love one another.  You might also have received the Spirit's leading to work on the struggles that hold you back from the life you know Jesus has for you.  One outcome of this type of training is that He will be with you as you work on foundational issues that will help you minister to others.  You are praying for "More Lord!"  You want more of an experience of God.  You want to know more about Him as seen in the Scriptures.  You want to articulate to others how He loves them.  You expect by taking courses in theology and ministry leadership, you’ll be sharpened and humbled for the work of ministry. 

The Journey to become a Pastor

Shepherding a flock is a noble task and in order to do it well, you need to be thoroughly trained in the Word of God and equipped with practical leadership skills.  We highly recommend that you enter into a commitment to complete an Advanced Certificate of Biblical Leadership which is focused on teaching and equipping you with the leadership skills you need for pastoring a church, while giving you the insight and knowledge of the Scriptures so that you can lead others well.   

Below we have highlighted the required and recommended tracks that will benefit you most as you learn and grow through this journey.

  • Required Tracks - 15 Units +

    Kingdom of God Track
    Story of the Kingdom Croasmun & Williams
    Understanding the Kingdom Morphew
    Demonstrating the Kingdom Various Instructors
    Spiritual Formation Summerell
    Kingdom of God: Capstone Howitt & Morphew
    Applied Ministry Skills Track 2*
    Discipleship and Evangelism Mendola & Van Dop
    Pastoral Care and Small Groups Hawes, Rees & Samuelsen
    Assimilation Chorlian
    Apply It – Your Practical Skills Local Leadership
    Apply It – Develop Your Community Local Leadership
    Applied Ministry Skills Track 1*
    Hermeneutics 1 Morphew
    Homiletics Nathan
    Ministry to the Poor Howitt & Morphew
    Apply It - Develop Your Sermon Local Leadership
    Apply It - Your Community Impact Local Leadership

    *These two tracks can be taken in any order.

  • Recommended Track - 5 Units +

    Local Church Leadership Track
    Philosophy of Ministry Venter
    Church Growth Nathan
    Church Development & Leadership (Q2 2019) TBA
    Heroic Leadership Strout
    Capstone: Local Church Leadership
  • Complete 2 Additional Tracks of Your Choice - 10 Units +

    Additional Tracks
    Old Testament Track
    New Testament Track
    Theology Track
    Biblical Justice Track
    Mission and Evangelism Track
    Choice Track (You may choose to do this one twice)
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Student Expectations

We want to make sure you have all the facts about your upcoming course experience so you know how to prepare and be able to set appropriate expectations of the next 2+ years (depending on part-time or full-time course load)  years with us and to be able to set aside the right amount of time for each course of study. Click here to see the highlights of your course experience.

The vast majority of our students become involved in a church community in service and support of practical ministry initiatives.  The Vineyard Institute’s applied ministry courses provide a structured way for both student and church to benefit as you are trained to be a pastor right in your own church.  Serving your church in this manner is a great way for your spiritual and practical gifts to be recognized.

Requirements for Graduation

  • 30 Courses (2 or 3 years to complete)
  • 270 Praxis Hours
  • 2.0 or higher GPA
  • Certification upon Graduation

Advanced Certificate in Biblical Leadership (ACBL)