The graduate certificate in religion helps prepare church leaders (both pastors and lay members) to better serve their churches and members. Classes can later be applied to the Master of Ministry degree.
The graduate certificate involves 15 credits (5 classes) in a specialized area. Emphases include Biblical Counseling (fully online), Church Leadership and Management, and Ministry and Evangelism (with online classes and in-person intensives). Each of the classes are designed to provide insightful teaching, meaningful resources, and useful skills for ministry.
A special tuition rate is provided for those in the certificate program that is only 40% of the regular tuition costs! In addition, pastors get special waivers or discounts as follows:
Applications can be accepted year-round, but students need to apply at least six weeks before the start of the semester.
Since graduate programs in the School of Religion are offered only as summer intensives or online courses, this schedule does not meet student-visa requirements for international students.
All non-U.S. transcripts must be submitted through one of the following approved credential evaluation agencies:
Evaluations are to be sent directly to Southern Graduate Studies, by the service. All evaluation reports are considered to be advisory. Southern reserves the right to make final equivalency decisions.
Select an emphasis:
Biblical counseling is a practice of the local church whereby each member is empowered
to speak the truth in love, so that the whole congregation grows together toward spiritual
maturity. Biblical counseling applies the gospel to everyday life situations, allowing
the practical wisdom of Scripture to guide decisions, resolve conflict, heal emotional
wounds, build relationships, and empower change.
Biblical counseling is not professional counseling. A student who takes classes in biblical counseling at Southern is not preparing for state licensure or to receive church credentials. The program is designed for those who work in a church setting, who wish to enhance their coaching and counseling skills while gaining a broad-based ministry and theological background. It teaches the counselor how to do “triage” when hurting people come to the church for help and how to effectively refer. The program also prepares students for further studies in biblical counseling.
The emphasis in Church Leadership and Management is specifically designed to prepare church leaders and administrators with training in the principles of business management, as well as to equip them with leadership-ministry training skills.
The emphasis in Evangelism and Ministry is specifically designed to equip workers for gospel outreach to the world.
Thank you for considering Southern Adventist University for your graduate studies in Religion. We have attempted here to explain our programs and their rationale and delivery method. If after careful reading of this material you still have questions, please call or e-mail me, and I will be happy to try to answer your questions more fully. We look forward to being able to help you with your graduate studies if our programs fit your needs and situation.