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About our Research

The School of Divinity holds a rich archival collection and has access to many useful research resources.

About our Research
  About Research and impact
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SCHOOL OF ORDINATION STUDIES
SCHOOL OF ORDINATION
Pastoral Ordination is the ceremony of bestowing a person with a position of religious authority - as when someone becomes a deacon, priest, minister, or bishop. Devotion to God and the study of spiritual education are the foundation of ordination.

When considering pastor ordination gifts, think about giving a gift that reflects the commitment the honored individual has pledged to God and their entire church community. The purity of crystal is more than apropos for a spiritually pristine occasion like ordination. A personalized ordination gift with engraving scripture, a note of encouragement, a poem or a hymn on a delicate plaque is a moving gesture.

There are a number of approaches that various denominations take to "certify" ministers.  However, minister certification and ordination are really one in the same.  For this reason, "ordination" means different things to different groups. Some religious communities require no educational achievements for ministry, while others require anything from a Bible college diploma to a seminary degree.  Arguments for educational requirements are that one cannot teach what they never learned.  Arguments for not requiring educational requirements is that God will call ministers and prepare them as they answer the call.  Both seem to be valid arguments. Entities who have such educational criteria have inevitably made it a prerequisite before one can be considered as a candidate for ministry.

Seminary

The most popular educational requirement for ordination in mainline denominations is the Master of Divinity degree granted by an accredited seminary.  Depending on the denomination, irrespective of whether or not the school is accredited, they may only recognize certain schools for ordination within their organizations.   This degree is approximately 6 years of education (total).  Technically the MDiv. is a 3 year degree program, but one must have earned an undergraduate degree (in generally any subject) to enter seminary -an undergraduate degree usually takes 3 to 4 years to accomplish.  Therefore, when one refers to "seminary", they are technically referencing a graduate school. Once again,what will be most important to the ministry candidate is that their ordination council recognizes the school.

Bible College

The term "Bible College" is very general, but usually speaks of a 1-2 year course of study focused mainly on the Bible and core theology.  Upon completion, graduates are usually awarded a Diploma of Biblical Studies, or a Diploma of General Bible.  The credibility of such a course of study resides in the credibility of the school.  There are some major Christian Universities who offer this training, and also many unaccredited diploma mills.  At any rate, what will be most important to the ministry candidate is that their ordination council recognizes the school.

1) Statement of Faith

We are an interdenominational Christian ministry.  For this reason, our ministers may vary about smaller issues such as the administration of communion, etc.  However, below is a summary of beliefs upon which all of our membership agrees.

1. We believe that all 66 books of the Bible are the only inspired word of God called scripture. 

We do not acknowledge the Apocrypha, Psuedopigrapha, Gnostic Gospels, Book of Mormon, or anything of the like to be inspired scripture (Tim. 3:16).

We do appreciate

2. We believe that God is one, but reveals Himself through the persons of the Trinity as The Father, The Son as Jesus, and The Holy Spirit.  Furthermore, we believe that each person of this Trinity is God (1 Cor. 8:6 6:44; Rom. 1:7; Isa. 9:6;  Jn. 1:1 Acts 5:3; Heb 9:14; Jn. 4:24).

3. We believe that God is the creator of all things, is all-powerful, all-knowing, and in control to do as He wills (Acts 14:15; Jer. 32:17; Eph. 3:20; Psa.139:1-4; 1 Sam.2:6-9; Psa. 24:1).

4. We believe that Jesus was literally conceived and born of a virgin named Mary (Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:26-33).

5. We believe that Jesus lived a sinless life (1 Pet. 2:22; 1 Jn. 3:5).

6. We believe that all of humanity has fallen short of God's glory and is in need of salvation; hence the reason Jesus came to the earth (Rom. 3:23; Rom. 6:23;  Rom. 5:8; Jn. 14:6)."Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1Co 6:9-11 ESV)

7. We believe that those who die without salvation go to a literal place called Hell (Psa. 9:17; Psa.73:12-19; Luke 16:23.26; Jn. 12:48).

8. We believe that salvation is in none other than through the name, person, resurrection, work, and grace of Jesus Christ (Jn. 14:6; Jn. 3:16; Jn. 10:17-18; Rom. 1:4; Rom.5:8).

9. We believe that those who belong to Christ will inherit eternal life in a literal Kingdom of Heaven (Isaiah 65; Zech. 14).

10. We believe that Jesus will return to gather His people, as well as the resurrection of the dead in Christ at His return (1 Cor. 15:21-23).

11. We believe in the water baptism of believers in Christ (Mat. 28:19; Acts 2:38-41).

12. We believe in the observance of communion (the bread and the cup) as a means to remember our Lord (1 Cor. 11:24).

13. We believe that Christ is the Head of the church, which should be governed by Him (Eph.5:23).

14. We believe that all of Christ's ministers are servant-leaders, not dictators (Jn. 13:3-16; Ph.2:3-8).

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