Course Descriptions

Developing the Focused Life
Guides students in an examination of their call to ministry; including their unique design and shape and an assessment of ministry competency. The course also orients students to Rockbridge Seminary’s virtual classroom and learner-focused model of study.

Practicing the Focused Life
In this Capstone Course, students analyze competency growth during their seminary program through self-assessment and 360-assessment. Students also present an E-Portfolio of ministry projects demonstrating development in competencies chosen by the student for particular focus. Looking beyond seminary, students write a strategy for continued learning and ministry development.

The Theology & Practice of Worship
An examination of how to provide biblical worship in today’s culture. Learners will study the doctrine of God, explore the biblical theology of worship, examine the heart of the worship leader, and learn how to work with a team to develop worship experiences in the church.

Designing Creative Worship Experiences
In a media-saturated culture where people have diminishing attention spans, ministry leaders need to know how to provide experiential, participatory, interactive, and connective worship experiences. Working with a worship team, learners will explore how to design creative and transformational biblical corporate worship experiences.

Preaching/Teaching for Life Change
Learners will study the purpose of preaching/teaching and will examine the practical steps of crafting, planning, communicating and delivering a message. The course includes a preaching/teaching workshop component that gives students an opportunity to construct, preach/teach, and evaluate messages preached or taught locally in their ministry context.

The Theology and Practice of Fellowship
A study of God’s purpose for fellowship and the doctrine of the church, the course will develop a biblical understanding of the church and how the church has expressed the purpose of fellowship throughout history. In addition, learners will identify the functions and forms of fellowship and examine various organizational systems for promoting the purpose of fellowship.

Building a Small Group Ministry
This course teaches principles for establishing and maintaining healthy small groups, and explores the various types of small groups. The learner will discover how to use small groups as the assimilation process for the church. Emphasis will be given to how to help groups reproduce themselves to develop a healthy and growing church.

Personal Counseling Skills
An introduction to the basics of pastoral counseling and spiritual guidance. The course examines fundamentals of counseling, the role of prayer and scripture in counseling, and when and how to make referrals to other caring professionals. Learners will use case studies and interactive techniques to develop their counseling skills.

Resolving Conflict: How to Deal with Difficult People
This course explores the personal dimensions of conflict and why some common sense solutions do not work. Topics include how to identify the sources of conflict, how to negotiate for shared outcomes, how to motivate others to work together, and how to help people change. The course will help learners integrate biblical truth with practical applications, using role play and case studies.

The Theology & Practice of Discipleship
An exploration of a comprehensive program for producing fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Emphasis will be given to the study of the doctrine of the Word of God, planning, implementing, and evaluating the discipleship task of the church. Learners will design a discipleship strategy for their congregation or ministry.

Practicing the Spiritual Disciplines
The learner will practice various spiritual habits such as solitude, prayer, journaling, fasting, and spiritual mentoring. Learners will practice these disciplines in a small group of fellow learners or church members.

Biblical Hermeneutics
This course explores how to understand the meaning of Scripture and how it applies to us today. The course focuses on the different literary forms in Scripture and provides different Bible studies for serious learners of God’s Word. In this practical approach to Bible study, learners will learn how to use resources, including Bible software, for studying Scripture.

Created to Learn
God designed us to learn throughout the entire lifespan. In this course, learners will develop skills that will help them teach and minister to persons through all the stages of life. The course explores the physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual development of persons and the implications for the teaching ministry.

New Testament Survey
This course is an introduction to the background and content of the New Testament with an emphasis on theological interpretation and application.

Old Testament Survey
This course is an introduction to the background and content of the Old Testament with an emphasis on theological interpretation and application.

Bible Language Tools
This course explores the use of basic Bible language tools to grasp a deeper meaning of Scripture and formulate a deep appreciation of the original languages of the Bible. The course focuses on the practical application of this information for Bible Study and sermon preparation. In this practical approach to Bible study, students will learn how to use resources contained in the Bible software to discover and apply this information to Bible studies and sermons.

Church History I
A study of the major movements within the church and how they have influenced current church practices with a focus on the first five centuries of Christianity and the Middle Ages to the Reformation. This course will provide a survey of significant events with a focus on the development of theology during this period.

Church History II
A study of the major movements within the church and how they have influenced current church practices with a focus on the Reformation to the present. This course will provide a survey of significant events with a focus on the development of Protestant Orthodoxy and the theologies that emerged during the twentieth century.

Christian Worldview and Theology
This course will explore the biblical foundation of a Christian world view. An emphasis will be placed on the theology that comprises a Christian worldview. Consideration will be given to the differences in a Christian worldview and movements such as secular humanism and post-modern philosophies.

The Theology & Practice of Ministry
This course is an introduction to the purpose of ministry in the church. It focuses study on the doctrine of Christ and the Holy Spirit, explores the biblical and theological basis for “every member ministry,” the rise of clericalism in church history, the equipping church model vs. the dependency model, and the permission-giving church vs. the controlling church. Learners will examine approaches to gift discovery and ministry matching.

Lead Like Jesus
An examination of the principles and practices of leadership in Christian ministry. The course will examine the role of the minister as servant leader, the qualities of a spiritual leader, and how a variety of leadership styles are required in ministry. The leadership of Jesus will be examined as our role model.

Leading and Supervising Volunteers
A study of the process of equipping and mobilizing persons for ministry. Topics will include helping persons discover their spiritual gifts and passion, establishing criteria for service, ways to enlist persons for service, providing training for service, evaluating service, and providing support for persons in service.

Building an Effective Ministry Team
A study of the leadership skills required to build effective ministry teams. The course examines the characteristics of high performance teams, clear common goals, diversity of roles in teams, effective team processes, how to build the team, the role of communication in teambuilding, and pitfalls to avoid in team development.

Leading Change
A study of the process for setting goals and designing a plan to achieve those goals. Topics include: identifying specific issues or problems; writing mission, vision, and values; assessing the situation; developing objectives, goals, and action plans; developing responsibilities and timelines; writing and communicating your plan; monitoring and evaluating the plan.

Recovery Ministry
Through this course, learners will understand the biblical and ministry foundations of Celebrate Recovery®, and will develop strategic approaches for local church implementation to launch a new program or for the improvement of an existing program. The course will explore the addictive personality and how it is revealed in different ways, such as through alcohol addiction, drug addiction, and sexual addiction. Special attention will be given to the related issues of co-dependency and anger management.

Pastoral Care
An examination of pastoral care as it relates to officiating at weddings, the practice of hospital visitation, and the conducting of funerals. The ministry of Jesus Christ will be studied as a theological model of pastoral care. The course will explore such issues as pre-marital counseling, grief counseling, and the problem of suffering.

The Theology & Practice of Evangelism
This course is a study of the doctrines of man and redemption and of God’s purpose to reach the peoples and nations of the world for His glory through the church. Emphasis will be given to the biblical mandate, the church’s outreach in history, the mission task today, and how mission translates to the level of the individual believer. Learners will design a mission’s mobilization strategy for their congregation, ministry, or small group.

Contemporary Evangelism
How to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ through preaching, personal witness, teaching, speaking, writing, and music. The learner will develop and lead a church program of community witness.

Understanding Other Cultures
Cross-cultural ministry is a reality in today’s world, whether a neighborhood or an ocean away. Learn the attitudes of servanthood when bridging to those of another ethnic culture. Understand the challenges of dealing with the new and different. Develop skills to make the cultural adjustments necessary to minister within the context of another culture, whether short-term or long-term.

Introduction to Church Planting
How do you start a new church? What is a church? What is a healthy church? What is a church planter? What are the stages of a church plant? The course will investigate the biblical and theological basis for church plants, as well as the practical aspects of starting a new work. This course is designed for students who are interested in church planting or sense a call to plant a church. It is also perfect for those who have recently started a church plant.

Next Steps in Church Planting
This course is for those who are in the initial stages of a church plant and need to know how to take their new work to the next level. The course will address the spiritual formation process of leaders, expanding the church’s influence, multiplication through evangelism, weathering crisis points, measuring health, and knowing when and how to leave.

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If you are not completely satisfied with the online seminary learning experience after beginning your first course, Rockbridge Seminary will refund your tuition in full.



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