Are you called to be a difference-maker for Jesus Christ? That is what ministers do. Are you called to study ministry sciences? Do you want to become more confident as a Christian leader? Are you called to study the Bible and theology? Are you interested in becoming a Christian minister in a church or at large in your community? Are you a minister now, but have never completed a formal program?
Tens of thousands of called Christian leaders have finished programs at Christian Leaders Institute, Christian Leaders Alliance, and Christian Leaders College. Start at Christian Leaders Institute to access awards, certificates, and diplomas. Degree programs are available at CLI’s Leadership Excellence School. You may also benefit from a minister credential program that includes Commended, Licensed, and Ordained Minister programs through the Christian Leaders Alliance.
The Christian Leaders Institute is a ministry science research school that offers college-level study courses free of charge, supported by Vision Partners. Fees apply for many programs at Christian Leaders Institute, College, and Alliance depending on their administrative complexity
What is ministry science?
Ministry science at Christian Leaders Institute is the study of the Bible, Ministry, and God’s creational revelation. From the starting point that the Bible is the Word of God and Christ is Savior and Lord, Christian Leaders Institute continues to explore more and more topics relevant to the walk and work of the volunteer, part-time, or full-time Christian leaders or ministers for the spread of Christianity. Christian Leaders Institute offers over 150 free courses and mini-courses that address ministry topics. Click here to set up your free study account.
What Are Ministry Sciences?
Ministry sciences are ministry study disciplines that include Biblical, Theological, Christian Philosophy, Ministry, General Studies (from a Christian worldview), Enterprise (for bi-vocational leaders), and Ministry Skills.
These studies are dedicated to examining how the redemption and lordship of Jesus Christ, expressed throughout the whole Bible and seen in God’s creation, bring salvation to fallen humanity and shape society.
Ministry sciences study:
- The role of God and the work of the Holy Spirit in the healing of the soul (body and spirit).
- The importance of local churches and house churches for the spreading of the gospel and the well-being of Christians.
- The importance of including God as the center of all learning and methodology.
- The essential role the Bible plays as the glasses through which we see reality and evaluate other scholarship.
- The message and method of presenting the Saviorship and Lordship of Christ clearly and effectively.
- How to train and mobilize more volunteer, part-time, and full-time ministers.
- The role of study and research in church and Kingdom growth to advance the Kingdom of God.
- Recent social science advances from a Biblical worldview to discern what is helpful and what is not.
Ministry Sciences in the Early Church
Ministry sciences developed in the early church. As Christianity was rolled out in the early church, the science of ministry was studied more and more. On Paul’s last missionary journey in 53AD, a ministry school was set up so that all the Jews and Greeks in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. Wow!
Throughout most of the book of Acts, Paul’s custom was to find the local synagogue and introduce Christianity. As time went on, this became more and more troublesome. The tipping point was in Ephesus late in his ministry.
Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. This went on for two years so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord. Acts 19:8-10
Paul expanded ministry science studies in the lecture Hall of Tyrannus. The purpose was to train ministry leaders in the message and method of reaching Asia for the gospel of Jesus Christ. We can only imagine the fruit! Two million people lived in that region.
Paul was there for two years. Throughout the history of the Christian church, ministry training schools had to be established everywhere. There are now tens of thousands of Bible schools and seminaries that study the disciplines of ministry.
The study of ministry sciences is needed to prepare effective Christian leaders. These leaders serve in churches or ministries as volunteers, part-time, or full-time ministers. They might serve in local professional ministry practices.
Christian leaders are called to academically prepare for different ministry roles.
Here are some of those roles:
- Bible Study, Small Group, or House Church Leaders
- Church Planters
- Bi-vocational Ministry Leaders
- Deacons or Elders
- Christian Matchmakers Ministers
- Life Coach Ministers
- Ministry Chaplains
- Women’s or Men’s Ministers
- Youth or Singles Ministers
- Marriage Ministers
- Bi-vocational Christian leaders
- Many more roles
Ministry credentials are important to verify that someone is prepared for the ministry. There are a variety of ministry credentials available throughout the world. Christian Leaders Institute is a gateway to the Christian Leaders Alliance that includes volunteer, part-time, or full-time ministry credential programs. The Christian Leaders Alliance program recognizes three credential categories. Each category recognizes different levels of study and local endorsements:
Field Ministers (Commended) – Commended Ministers are usually volunteer (lay) ministers who have limited amounts of time for study or the practice of ministry. Each commended minister is required in the program to gather one local recommendation. Commended ministers are not considered clergy in the Christian Leaders Alliance, but they are considered ministers. These leaders are usually very specialized in specific ministry topics and often work with local churches in one of the programs.
Licensed Ministers – Licensed Ministers are often volunteers or part-time ministers who have some more time for study and more time available for ministry. Each licensed minister has more extensive study and is required to gather two local endorsements. While many of these ministers have started in a very specialized ministry, they are often growing into more general ministry areas. This is the first recognized clergy role within the Christian Leaders Alliance
Ordained Ministers – Ordained Ministers are often full-time ministers who desire more in-depth study and have more time for ministry work. The programs of study are more extensive and three local endorsements are required. Many who seek ordained ministry want to keep on studying advanced ministry training available at Christian Leaders Institute. Many pursue certificates, diplomas, and degrees. Some enroll at CLI’s Leadership Excellence School and transfer to study ministry topics at the Master’s degree level.
- Ministry science topics include Bible, Theology, Christian Philosophy, Ministry, Ministry Skills, General Studies, History, Enterprise, Healthy Human Relationships, Evangelism, and much more.
- Some ministry science majors include Divinity, Ministry, Leadership, Chaplaincy, Christian Philosophy, and Christian Enterprise.
- Typical vocations in the ministry sciences include working as a volunteer, part-time, or full-time Minister, Ministry Chaplain, Life Coach Minister, Matchmaker Minister, MinistryBiz Enterprise leader, or any field that you can offer a ministry science approach.
- Opportunities in ministry science areas are expanding as people are searching for God in a world that is suppressing the knowledge of God everywhere. Ministry that connects people to God is desperately needed.
- Ministry sciences give us a better understanding of how to be stewards of the earth including men and women of every race and economic status who have a desire to order their lives around the God of the Bible.
- Ministry credentials are available at the Christian Leaders Alliance for different roles in ministry.
- A low-cost college degree program is available that offers a fee structure appropriate to where you live.
Understanding Ministry Sciences
Ministry sciences help explain how God created and designed us as His image-bearers and how we fell into sin as a society and a human culture. Ministry sciences study how humans and societies function best while they walk with God. The subject matter can include a wide variety of ministry areas with the goal to help people live Godly and fulfilling lives, marriages, and families as they connect to their purpose.
Ministry science studies are vital as Christians reach and disciple others through the Great Commission. These studies will help shape a God-glorifying society and culture.
Ministry sciences as a field of study are separate from the traditional sciences which cover topics such as physics, biology, and chemistry. Ministry sciences examine the connections between individual image-bearers and others, as well as the development of our planet for God’s glory. Ministry sciences are different from social sciences at a fundamental level. Ordinarily, social science study excludes God and the Bible as formative for the development of individuals, communities, and humankind.
Ministry science disciplines rely on the revealed Word of God and the credible interpretation of the Bible as it applies to all of life. Ministry sciences appreciate all study of God’s creation and seek to include that research in bringing redemption, healing, and joy to our world.
The origins of ministry sciences can be traced back to ancient Hebrew scholars. God gave the law at Mout Sinai and that law shaped the Old Testament Hebrew society. The Old Testament laid the foundation for ministry sciences. The condition of humanity as created good but fallen into sin was established. The need for a divine savior and king was also clearly articulated. The Old Testament chronicles the redemptive story of God connecting to humanity through the Hebrew people.
Ministry sciences really took off after the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus defeated death and promised the Holy Spirit to be our counselor to create a society where God would order our lives, marriages, vocations, and culture. God is now with us and his redemptive and formative rebirth undo the curse of sin and death.
The first apostles developed the early ministry studies. The Apostle Paul, in particular, wrote letters to the churches that shaped the very society Christians were called to be. Here is an example from 1 Corinthians 13:1-3:
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
When love shapes our societies, hate, and racism disappear! Social sciences study and describe how hate is still present. Ministry sciences prescribe how to change the situation by inviting God to help.
Ministry sciences are not social sciences. Daniel Liberto writes,
Social sciences are:
the academic field of study developed out of the Age of Enlightenment (or the Age of Reason), which flourished through much of the 18th century in Europe. Adams, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Denis Diderot, Immanue Kant, and David Hume were among the big intellectuals at the time who laid the foundations for the study of social sciences in the Western World. See link
These Enlightenment philosophers eliminated the ancient wisdom of the Bible for the shaping and development of society. These and many more academics excluded God. By the mid-1900s, a field of psychology was developing that took this philosophy and applied it to the study of new forms of therapy and counseling. This therapy and counseling did not include the reality of sin or the redemptive need for the work of Jesus Christ.
Daniel Liberto writes,
Psychology is one of the fastest-growing fields of social science. Psychology began as a medical field of study in the late-1800s. The American Psychology Association formed in 1892 enlisting 26 members. The work of Sigmund Freud throughout the early 20th century, including his landmark book Interpretations of Dreams (1900) helped to bring theories of psychology into the Western world. In 1952, the very first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was. published. See link
Even in the first quarter of the 21st century, however, psychology has continued to see rapid growth. According to the CDC, in 2019, 19.2% of adults had received some form of mental health treatment in the past 12 months, an astounding increase from even just 20 years ago.1 Although many still use psychiatric medicine to treat their mental health issues, in recent years, many people are seeking alternative treatments such as mindfulness and yoga in addition to traditional talk therapy.
Ministry sciences study how the Bible and the redemptive work of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit shape our fallen lives into new creations. The Bible talks about the need for mutual ministry and healing. Psychology did not invent many of the techniques used in therapy, they already appeared in the Bible. One difference is that God is clearly and boldly invited into ministry and counseling. Another big difference is that ministry sciences help people develop a transformative walk with God that keeps people healthy and alive both for this life and the life to come.
Critical Grace Theory
Ministry science studies how grace is applied to every area of life. This grace is needed now to combat the influences of “critical” theories that have been deconstructing society away from Christian influence. Christian Leaders Institute offers a Mini-Course named Critical Grace Theory that shows how Marxist philosophy has crept into the social sciences questioning everything from race, gender, women’s rights, and so much more. Sign up for your study account now to take the Critical Grace Mini-Course.
Ministry sciences have been around for a long time. In church circles, we call this ministry. The word “minister” is from the Greek word “diakonos.” The programs at Christian Leaders Institute, CLI’s Leadership Excellence School, and, Christian Leaders Alliance seek to explore ministry sciences in raising new ministers. Ministry science seeks to glorify God as the creator and redeemer of this world!
All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God’s grace in all its truth. You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. Colossians 1:6-18
The early church spread all over the world as ministers fanned out to share God’s grace in all its truth. Epaphras, a faithful minister (diakonos), taught the Colossian church. The message of the Christian Church has been the good news that God, the creator of the world, loves fallen humanity so much that he sent his own son, Jesus Christ, to die for their transgressions and sin. Death did not defeat Jesus, and he rose from the dead! This victory over sin and death was graciously offered to those who believe and receive it. Jesus is Savior and He is Lord!
Start your study to take that as far as you need to go!
- Click to enroll and start studying online on your phone, tablet, or computer.
- You will complete a short Christian Leaders Getting Started Course.
- You will have access to hundreds of free courses and mini-courses with ministry credential possibilities.
- You will also have access to all Christian Leaders Ministries Programs, including college credentials through the CLI’s Leadership Excellence School, and minister credentials through the Christian Leaders Alliance.