Full course description

Orientation and Formation is the first course in the Certificate Program. 

A primary focus in this course is on the subject of Spiritual Formation. This is the basic process by which everyone is formed spiritually, and in a Christian sense it is the kind of practices and understandings that can help us to grow closer to God and to live out our faith more vibrantly. 

A secondary focus is orienting students to the Certificate Program and the skills and goals that go with being successful and thriving in studying, as well as an optional biblical study on the main message of Jesus’ preaching and teaching - the Kingdom of God.

It is essential that ministers and lay-people alike growing deeper in their relationship with God. The primary part of this course will be spent reading on the subject of God and faith, and engaging in certain activities meant to help one grow closer to God. 

As this is the first course in the Certificate Program, it is also beneficial to help students create a plan for success, and to seek to understand the ways students can work to better ensure longevity and success in their Certificate studies.

Students will be learn about and be asked to engage in the following activities: sleep, silence and awareness of creation, counting blessings, praying the Psalms, Lectio Divina, margin, solitude, slowing down, and others. Each activity will take some time each week, but none should require more than a short investment of time which is built into the design of the course. 

Students will be asked to do most work in short answer form - generally 1-3 paragraphs. This will often require a student to define terms in their own words, explain and summarize concepts, and use critical thinking skills to apply the studied subjects. Certain areas in the course may be challenging for some, depending on an individual’s personal faith and background, but overall this course should not be perceived as being intimidating. 

Students will be asked to engage in thinking carefully about their faith, and this may cause previously unchallenged beliefs to be considered in depth. 
This is an introductory course, and the first part of the Certificate of Ministry Program’s six core courses. 

Textbooks Used
For this course students will utilize two textbooks and an additional books which are provided.

            Smith, James Bryan. The Good and Beautiful God. InterVarsity Press, 2009.

Time frame
This course is structured to be completed in 8 weeks, though a self-paced student's speed may vary based on individual learning pace and priorities.

What is included
The registration fee for this course covers all technology fees, administration costs, course registration fees, and book fees. It is an all inclusive price that includes everything a student needs to pursue a Certificate of Ministry through Truett Seminary at Baylor University. 

There are no additional fees, taxes, or additional paid resources that will be required.
About the Certificate of Ministry Program 
The Certificate of Ministry Program (CMP) is meant to be a self-paced, distance learning program. Course work involves reading and using a variety of online and/or video resources, and then there are accessible assignments based on those materials. As a non-accredited program, academic grades and credit are not received, but quality feedback is provided for all assignments to foster effective learning and to offer encouraging motivation. Students are encouraged to participate in the online community for each course, and to pursue developing their own personal community of learning with the input of a mentor or peers.
Goals and Benefits
This program is here to shepherd you through a journey of growth in understanding and knowledge and you will have access to the a variety of resources and wisdom through the seminary community. Our goal is to help ministers and lay people of all kinds pursue knowledge, personal faith, and ministry effectiveness. In addition students become a part of the Truett Seminary community and the legacy of Truett and Baylor University. 

We want our students to be equipped and confident in faith, understanding, and ministry effectiveness.