HARVEST WORKERS MINISTRY CERTIFICATE COURSE OUTLINE:

FOUNDATIONAL:

Bible:
Bible Study Methods
Old Testament
New Testament
 
Theology:
Reformation & Lutheran Church History
Lutheran Theological Foundations

PRACTICAL*:

Mission & Ministry:
Ministry Apprenticeship**
Evangelism & Discipleship
Church Planting & Revitalization
Missional Leadership & Organization
Preaching
Worship
Youth & Children’s Ministry
Care & Counseling

Capstone:

New Testament Theology of Mission
*Positive Endorsement required prior to advancing to Practical coursework.          **Ministry Apprenticeship required for duration of Mission and Ministry courses.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

What is Harvest Workers?

Harvest Workers is a brand new, practical, missional ministry leadership training program. Classes are all online and on-demand and taught by experienced mission-minded ministers who are called to mentor and teach next generation ministry leaders.
 

Who is Harvest Workers for?

Anyone who is seeking to take steps to answer God’s call to greater Kingdom ministry for whom traditional seminary instruction is impractical due to financial, geographic, and/or time constraints. Students may be called to serve as contract pastors, church planters, evangelists or other congregational ministry leaders.
 

What’s the idea behind the name?

In Matthew 9, Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.”  We believe that the harvest is still abundant and we desperately need women and men to be sent out into the harvest.  But we also realize that the harvest workers we are praying for need training that is accessible, faithful, and practical.  So as we pray to the Lord of the harvest for workers to be sent out into the harvest, we are preparing to equip those whom he calls for the work that lies ahead.
 

How does the online classroom work?

All classes are taken as independent study courses through a personal online classroom. Each student works at his or her own pace through each course. Simply login to your classroom from any internet connected device to continue your progress. Each class will consist of 16-20 hours of video lessons which are prerecorded by the instructor. In addition, your personal online classroom will guide you step by step through the entire course: required readings, video lectures, research and writing assignments, projects and even exams!  Need to submit a paper or project to your instructor?  Simply upload your document or video right in your online classroom. It’s that easy.
 

Who will my instructors be? Do they have ministry experience?

All classes will be taught by faculty who are currently serving or formerly have served in ministry and have specific experience in the field they are teaching and at the very minimum holds a master’s degree. Most importantly, every instructor loves Jesus and His church and is called to invest in raising up future ministry leaders like yourself.
 

Will I ever meet my instructors in real time?

Virtually, yes! Each course will require you to spend 4-8 hours of time in one-on-one video conferences with your instructor. While each instructor may use conference time differently, generally it will be your time to engage directly with the faculty, ask any questions, and discuss the course material and how it applies to practical ministry. In addition to getting to know you as their student, your instructors will be using this time to gauge your grasp of the material and ability to verbally articulate and discuss its application. By the time you complete the program, you will have mentor relationships with a dozen teaching faculty who are invested in you and your future ministry!  
 

Is this a Lutheran program? Do I have to be Lutheran?

Our program was founded by the Texas District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ and we teach from the perspective of our Statement of Faith. Students from other Christian backgrounds are welcome to enroll and learn from our faculty. We ask all students to adhere to our Code of Conduct and a common Christian profession of faith as well as make a commitment to pursue an active life of faith as a disciple of Jesus through personal devotion and participation in a local congregation. We ask all students to respect the Lutheran theological perspective from which we teach. Likewise, you can expect your instructors to respect you and your theological perspective. Above all else, we believe that we exist to be a part of God’s Kingdom building activity in the world.
 

Besides online and on-demand course delivery, what makes this program unique?

Every course in this program will be taught from a multiplication perspective that emphasizes evangelizing the lost, discipling the found, and equipping leaders to multiply. This philosophy of ministry is an essential building block of our program’s DNA. Most seminary programs emphasize an academic pursuit of biblical and theological studies along with traditional, pastor-centered ministry education. Harvest Workers, while providing a faithful foundation in Bible and Theology, will emphasize practical ministry leadership methods for the present and future church that are faithfully grounded in biblical practices of evangelism, discipleship, and equipping ministries for multiplication.
 

I’m interested in practical ministry preparation.

How does an online program provide any hands-on learning?

Each student will be assigned to a local congregation and supervisor for a Ministry Apprenticeship. This will be your opportunity to observe and practice ministry in a context and be mentored by your supervising pastor. Each of your Practical Courses in Mission and Ministry will include assignments for you to observe and reflect as well as to practice your ministry skills.
 

How long does it take to complete a course?

That largely depends on you! The program is designed for you to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule. Each course will consist of 20-24 hours of “class time” (video lectures or video conferences). In addition, you should expect to spend an additional 20-48 hours outside of class time on reading and other class assignments.
 

What about the entire program? How long does it take to graduate?

Again, each student can learn at his or her own pace. However, there are some speed limiters. First of all, a student may only be enrolled in three classes at a time. In addition, you must complete the 5 Foundational Courses in Bible and Theology and receive a positive endorsement before proceeding to the 7 Practical Courses in Mission and Ministry and your Ministry Apprenticeship. Your Ministry Apprenticeship will need to be with an approved supervisor for a minimum of 9 months and continue until you have completed all Mission and Ministry courses. The final course is a capstone project taught by the instructor of your choice. All that being said, it may be possible for a full-time student to complete the program in 12 months. We anticipate, however, that most students will take 18-24 months for program completion. Also, keep in mind that since this is a new program, courses will come available as teaching faculty develop them. Each course requires a substantial investment of time to develop. It is our hope that all courses will be online and the program fully developed by 2022.  
 

What is endorsement?

Endorsement is a faculty review of your progress after taking the first five Foundational Courses in Bible and Theology. This is our opportunity to reflect on your readiness to proceed to the next step in the program. It is important that we ensure that you are setup for success in your Ministry Apprenticeship and the rest of the program. With a positive endorsement, your faculty are saying “We believe in you!”  
 

Can I stay in my current church for my Ministry Apprenticeship?

Quite possibly, yes! It all depends upon your circumstances. If you are currently employed as a church worker, then we will seek to accommodate you in your current setting. We will work with your Senior Pastor to supervise your Ministry Apprenticeship. If you are currently a solo pastor, we will identify a pastor who would be willing to serve as your supervisor. If you are not a church worker and have not had many church experiences apart from your home church, we may identify a church and pastor nearby for your Ministry Apprenticeship. In all cases, assignments are made in collaboration between you, potential sites and supervisors, and the Program Director.  
 

Is the program accredited?

Our program is a ministry preparation certificate program administered by the Texas District of Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. While Harvest Workers has no formal educational accreditation, the program is designed to offer seminary-level ministry preparation for those seeking to grow in their ministry leadership capacity and serve as contract pastors, church planters, or other specialized ministry leaders.  
 

What about admissions requirements? Do I need a college degree to be admitted?

Not necessarily. While we will not require any degree, the program is expecting master’s level work. Applicants without a bachelor’s degree will need to demonstrate college-level competency in reading and writing. In addition, pastoral and other character references will help inform our admissions decision.  
 

When I’m done, can I be certified as a pastor?

While every church body has different certification standards, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ requires a Master of Divinity degree or it’s equivalent. While our program certainly includes much of what is necessary to meet standards to be a certified pastor, additional education would be required. Any of our graduates who wish to be certified by LCMC are invited to continue his or her education through another seminary partner to fulfill all the Ministry Board’s requirements for certification. Contact the LCMC Coordinator for Pastoral Ministry for more information. Graduates would, however, be eligible to serve as contract call pastors.
 

Is the program affordable?

Yes! The program is sponsored by LCMC Texas District who has underwritten the startup costs and is bearing most of the ongoing administrative burden. For students connected to an LCMC Texas congregation, each class costs $250. For the entire program, we estimate tuition and fees to come to $3950. Other students will pay a slightly higher tuition of $300 per class, with the program total at an estimated $4850. Plus, you get to pay as you go. You can use any major credit or debit card to pay for the classes you are ready to take through our online course registration system.
 

What about books?

In addition to the tuition, you will be responsible for obtaining your required books for each class. Thankfully most ministry resources are very affordable as compared to academic text books. Costs will vary from course to course.
 

My spouse wants to take classes with me. Can we go through the program together?

Yes! We will even discount the spouse’s tuition by 50% for every course you enroll in simultaneously. While you will be expected to each complete most assignments and assessments separately, your conference time with your instructors would be together. Upon satisfactory completion of the program, both spouses will receive a certificate.
 

What about financial aid? I really can’t take on any debt.

We will not accept student loans and are committed to working to find scholarships for students that truly need them. If finances are holding you back, please contact the Program Director to find out what help may be available for you to pursue your ministry education.
 

What if I cannot complete a course or the program and need to withdraw?

Are there any refunds?

Unfortunately, we cannot issue course refunds for courses paid for, but there is no deadline by which you need to complete the course. If you need to take a break, your courses will be waiting for you when you come back. If you do not intend to complete the program, simply let us know and you will be placed in non-active status. If you wish to resume courses in the future, we will re-activate you as a student and you can pick-up with where you left off at any time.
 

When can I apply for admission?

Applicants may begin applying in Fall of 2019, although classes will not be ready for enrollment until Winter of 2020. Check back in October and click “Apply”.
 

What about other students? Will I ever have the opportunity to collaborate?

One of the challenges of an online, on-demand ministry training program is the development of a learning community. While we can in no way guarantee students a connection with other students going through the same classes at the same time, we will do what we can to connect those students who are. In addition, we plan to host a special Winter Retreat in Concan, Texas annually Friday night through Sunday afternoon the last weekend in January.
 

More Questions?

Check back for more information as the program develops. You may also contact Program Director Bryce Formwalt at 512-942-7776 or bryce@harvestworkers.net with any questions you may have.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Bible Study Methods

Purpose:
To help students develop a foundation of how to study the Bible for both personal devotion as well as preaching and teaching preparation. The course will inspire a passion for the Bible in students, and teach them how to extract its treasures.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Practice of personal devotional study for faith enrichment
2. Able to study scripture in preparation for preaching or teaching
3. Understand various methods of teaching others how to study the Bible, including the inductive bible study method
4. Grasp of how to use various tools and resources available for the student of the Bible 5. Able to lead a bible study lesson

 

Old Testament

Purpose:
To help students understand the Old Testament as the Word of God: rich in content, diverse in style and purpose, necessary to understanding the backdrop of the New Testament, and useful for personal faith and ministry. The course will develop student confidence in the Old Testament highlighting its treasures in history, wisdom, and prophecy.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Understand the broad historical narrative of the whole Old Testament
2. Grasp of the variety of books, their genre and purpose, including its application to Christian life today
3. Articulate faithful understanding of creation and the nature and the consequence of the Fall
4. Explain the idea of covenant, law, and grace in the Old Testament
5. Able to use the Old Testament as a resource for preaching, care and counseling, and worship
6. Comprehend the connections between the Old and New Testaments in history, theology, and prophecy

 

New Testament

Purpose:
To inspire student confidence in the New Testament through exploration of its witness to the goodness of God, the nature of the Kingdom of God, the incarnation, life and mission of Jesus, the centrality of the Cross, and the Christian life. This course will present the New Testament in a way that develops students’ wonder of the love and work of God to bring salvation to this world through Jesus. Students will not only have a foundation of knowledge but also should develop a passion to make disciples who make disciples.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Articulate Jesus as historical person, as true God (doing what only God can do), and as true man (doing what every Spirit-filled believer can do)
2. Understand the mission and message of Jesus
3. Explain the Kingdom of God, Jesus’ miracles, Jesus and the demonic, hell and salvation
4. Grasp the work of the Holy Spirit and describe the triune God as revealed in the New Testament
5. Comprehend the early church and its mission
6. Articulate Christian living, understanding both sin and sanctification
7. Develop a biblical understanding of human sexuality

 

Reformation & Lutheran Church History

Purpose:
To help students better understand our Christian faith and how our theology was shaped and clarified through history. Through exploring the life of Martin Luther, as well as Reformation and post-Reformation Lutheran Church history, the aim is to discover how biblically faithful theological positions were developed and how these ideas are helpful today for living and sharing the Christian faith.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Basic understanding of Church history leading up to the Reformation
2. Describe Martin Luther’s life in historical context and his primary concerns which lead to the Reformation
3. Working knowledge of Lutheran theological development on basic tenets of the faith
4. Familiarity with Post Reformation Lutheran Church History, the history of the Lutheranism in the American context, and Lutherans in global mission

 

Lutheran Theological Foundations

Purpose:
To build a working knowledge of Lutheran theology by exploring the treasures of the Small and Large Catechisms, the Augsburg Confession, and other Confessional writings as a resource for practical theology and faith. Through this course, students will come to understand Lutheran theology not as a point of separation between Christians but as a treasure that is meant to enrich the whole church and the Christian life.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Use of the Small and Large Catechisms for devotional and instructional purposes
2. Understanding of the Augsburg Confession and basic Lutheran positions on important topics
3. Familiarity with writings of the Book of Concord, their purpose and usefulness in teaching and sharing the faith today
4. Articulate Lutheran theological understandings on salvation, the sacraments, scripture, law and gospel, saint and sinner, and church authority and how they apply in the American context today.
5. Articulate the distinctively Lutheran contributions to the Church universal and what Lutherans can learn from other Christians

 

Ministry Apprenticeship:

Purpose:
To give students an opportunity to observe and practice mission and ministry in a supervised setting in order to facilitate spiritual and pastoral formation in addition to ministry skill development. Through Ministry Apprenticeship, students will develop spiritually and emotionally and grow into their identity as ministers of the Gospel.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Working knowledge of how a congregation is organized, makes decisions, and carries out ministry
2. Effectively share faith with an unbeliever and teach others to do so
3. Effectively disciple a new believer and teach others to do so
4. Able to lead a new ministry of outreach, recruiting and equipping others to minister and lead
5. Preach and clearly communicate the Gospel
6. Teach Bible study lesson for children, youth, and adults
7. Minister and teach and lead others to minister to those who are sick or in need of care
8. Plan and lead a worship service

 

Evangelism & Discipleship

Purpose:
To teach faithful and practical methods of sharing faith and discipling believers. Beginning with biblical foundations for evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development, students will explore current best practices in ministry. This course will help students develop practical skills to effectively minister in each area personally and how to lead a missional community to evangelize and disciple.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Articulate the biblical mandate for evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development
2. Articulate the basic principles of multiplication
3. Develop a faithful and effective model for sharing faith personally and teach others how to share faith personally
4. Develop a faithful and effective model for discipling followers of Jesus (i.e. discipleship pathway) and teach others how to disciple others
5. Develop a faithful and effective model for leadership development (i.e. leadership pipeline)
6. Understand how to leverage groups (micro, small, midsize) for evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development
7. Develop a plan to integrate evangelism, discipleship, and leadership development into congregational life

 

Church Planting & Revitalization

Purpose:
To understand fundamental entrepreneurial and leadership principles behind organizing and leading a faithful church plant or revitalization and to develop core competencies of thinking missionally, contextually, and creatively about starting something new. Students will be introduced to a comprehensive system for guiding discernment for contextual application as well as be exposed to the practical skills often needed to effectively plant or revitalize a church in America today.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Articulate a biblical and logical foundation for church planting in the American context today
2. Grasp importance of churches planting churches
3. Understand a variety of church planting models
4. Comprehend a variety of funding models and able to develop a personal financial plan for supporting a church plant or revitalization
5. Self-awareness of spiritual gifts and practical skills and how they may be best used in church planting or revitalization efforts
6. Able to craft and communicate a clear and concise vision and mission for a church plant or replant
7. Familiarity with common, practical challenges church planters face and potential solutions
8. Describe helpful parallels between church planting and revitalization

 

Missional Leadership & Organization

Purpose:
To introduce students to best practices for leading and organizing groups to succeed in their mission. Students will learn about avoiding common leadership pitfalls, how to address unhealthy patterns in established congregations, and how to leverage their influence to help move people towards God’s agenda.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Understand basic principles of servant leadership following the example of Jesus
2. Articulate identity as missional leader with proper respect to both Jesus, the head, and his body, the church
3. Able to recognize and understand how healthy and effective church systems and organizational structures can lead to accomplished mission
4. Comprehends best practices for leading change in a congregation
5. Grasps fundamentals of healthy team dynamics including good communication and conflict reconciliation strategies
6. Basic understanding of how churches function and are administrated
7. Recognizes unhealthy patterns and behaviors in leaders and has a plan to be accountable and avoid common leadership pitfalls

 

Worship

Purpose:
To help students to understand the role of worship in developing and sustaining our relationship with God through thanksgiving and praise, the celebration of grace, prayer, the proclamation of the Word, and our response in faith to follow Jesus in daily life. Students will learn about various forms of worship in Christian history and today and will discover guiding principles for planning and leading faithful and effective worship for the American context today.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Basic understanding of worship in the Old and New Testaments
2. Able to articulate what makes worship Lutheran and the great freedom that Article 7 of the Augsburg Confession allows
3. Thoughtfully and faithfully articulate the development of a worship plan for a specific context that is attentive to flow and movement
4. Understands and has a strategy to address “worship wars”
5. Understands worship’s function for both evangelism and discipleship
6. Basic awareness of and ability to plan special services (i.e. baptisms, confirmations, weddings, funerals, etc.)
7. Can articulate the importance of the sacraments in worship as the celebration of grace
8. Able to lead public prayer extemporaneously
9. Able to comfortably lead worship without reading or memorizing a liturgy

 

Preaching

Purpose:
To introduce students to faithful methods for effective proclamation of the Gospel and to help students hone skills and develop their personal style as a preacher of the Word. Students will learn how to develop and craft a sermon that makes a point and serves a purpose. Students will also be able to grow through delivering sermons for evaluation and feedback.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Familiar with examples of proclamation in the Old and New Testaments
2. Acquainted with resources for preaching and how to use them appropriately
3. Able to use a primary scripture as foundation for message as well as other biblical passages in support
4. Understanding of a variety of models of preaching
5. Articulate a faithful purpose of preaching for the hearers
6. Develop a style of preaching that is faithful, effective, and authentic to the preacher
7. Comprehends the power of story, humor, and congregational engagement
8. Can preach from notes or a brief outline
9. Familiar with issues and opportunities of preaching for special services (e.g. weddings, funerals, civic ceremonies, etc.)

 

Youth & Children’s Ministry

Purpose:
To study the dynamics and methods of reaching, teaching, and equipping youth and children to follow Jesus. It is our aim to inspire students to raise up the importance of youth and children’s ministries as priorities in missional communities and to equip students to lead ministries that are both faithful and effective in discipling young people in the American context.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Able to lead children and youth to understand the faith into which they were baptized
2. Can articulate the role of parents and the church in the spiritual development of children and youth
3. Basic understanding of human development by age and implications for ministry
4. Able to develop a children’s and youth ministry plan
5. Comprehends the importance of developing a team or teams to lead youth and children
6. Understands the value of and strategies for developing intergenerational ministries.
7. Acquainted with best practices for first communion and confirmation instruction
8. Can teach and minister to children and youth of all ages in age-appropriate ways

 

Care & Counseling

Purpose:
To study the various kinds of care and spiritual guidance areas within a faith context, including ways and tools to be effective in this ministry. It is our aim that students will gain insight as to how to think about, act, and lead care and counseling ministries in a missional community.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Understands the biblical foundations for care and counseling ministries today
2. Articulate that care and counseling ministries belong to the priesthood of all believers and the healthy roles for ministry leaders to take
3. Able to effectively visit and pray for the sick and shut-in, as well as administer Holy Communion
4. Can express ideas for how to go about training and leading a missional community to better care for one another
5. Understands the challenges and has a plan in place to minister and lead ministry in times of crisis and significant tragedy
6. Comprehends the basic foundations of marriage, pre-marriage, baptismal, and other spiritual counseling and where to turn for additional resources
7. Has a plan for developing small groups that become centers of mutual care and spiritual guidance
8. Able to lead prayer and develop prayer ministries that teach others to pray and lead a missional community to connect with God through the power of prayer
9. Understands appropriate boundaries and best practices in care and counseling to avoid common pitfalls

 

New Testament Theology of Mission

Purpose:
To give each student the freedom to apply the biblical, theological and practical knowledge and skills learned and developed through Harvest Workers to a specific project in an area of ministry to which the student believes God is calling him or her. The aim is to help students to ground their specific calling in ministry to our Lord Jesus whom we meet in the New Testament, and in the church and its developed theology down through the ages.
 
Expected Demonstrated Competencies:
1. Mastery of ministry skills for particular area of calling
2. Theological and biblical grounding for your specific area of calling
3. Articulate how your ministry is faithfully and effectively evangelizing the lost, discipling the found, and equipping new leaders to multiply
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Ready to Apply? It’s as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

 
1. Prepare for application. The online application will ask for your basic contact information, academic experience, employment and ministry experience, three brief essays and three references. Please read Chapter 8 of More by Todd Wilson in preparation for your short-answer essays. Also, contact your references to ask their permission and let them know about Harvest Workers. One reference should be your pastor.
 
2. Complete and submit the online application. To the best of your ability and as completely as possible, fill out the online application below. There are five pages to the application and certain fields are required. On the last page, press submit.
 
3. Pay application fee. Continue to the secure online payment form at the bottom of the page to pay the $50 application fee by credit or debit card. Alternatively, you may pay by check payable to LCMC Texas District, 821 County Road 148, Georgetown, TX 78626. Be sure to note “Harvest Workers Application” in the memo.
 
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Contact Program Director Bryce Formwalt at 512-942-7776 or bryce@harvestworkers.net. We look forward to receiving your application!