Leaders, Scholars & Teams to Study Under
Updated: Apr 4
We all need mentors and coaches to guide us as we seek to improve our skills. It also helps to have a good team to help as you take the next step in your calling. But who are some people we should study under? Where should we look to find such teams? This post lists just a few of the incredible guides that are eager to pour into you.
1. Develop your leadership at dynamic churches
The Leadership Institute at Christ's Church of the Valley in the Phoenix area allows students to spend a year of residency at one of North America's largest and most impactful churches. Residents will focus on one of many ministry areas to gain experience. While in residency, students have the opportunity to earn a graduate degree from one of three schools:
M.A. in Ministry from Hope International University
Master of Strategic Ministry from Johnson University
Master of Transformative Ministry from Point University
Thrive College at Bayside Church in the Sacramento area offers students a chance to spend 1-2 years in residence at one of the most dynamic and fastest-growing churches in North America. Students focus on a primary ministry area and work with one of Bayside's many campuses. In addition, while in residency at Thrive College, students can also earn a bachelor's degree in a ministry-related area from Southeastern University.
2. Study ministry at my alma-mater
Whether you have previous training or not, Ozark Christian College's new M.A. in Biblical Ministry sets you in the midst of a transformational community that will enhance your leadership, sharpen your intellect, and deepen your walk with God. With current majors in Biblical Studies, Strategic Leadership & Spiritual Formation, you will be more than equipped to take your calling to the next level.
3. Dr. John Townsend can help your leadership, EQ, & spiritual life
The Townsend Institute for Leadership & Counseling at Concordia University in Irvine, CA is a creative, intentional, and fast-growing educational institution. Students have the opportunity to learn from Dr. John Townsend--leadership expert, psychologist, and New York Times Best-Selling Author. Besides having the opportunity to learn from Dr. Townsend and his fellows, the programs are designed to foster strong personal character, emotional intelligence, organizational leadership, applied psychology, and spirituality. The Townsend Institute offers certificate programs and other degree programs such as:
4. Earn a Ph.D. in Preaching While Studying Under Preaching Giants
Baylor University offers a Ph.D. in Preaching in a modular distance learning format, meaning that you can remain in your ministry and head to Baylor University a couple of times each year. However, the program's main benefit is being able to study with preaching giants like Dr. Scott Gibson and Dr. Matthew Kim. Both are former professors at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and were Dr. Haddon Robinson's students. Students will also study with other seasoned preaching and communicator professors like Dr. Jared E. Alcántara.
5. Deepen your passion for leadership & mission under Dr. Ed Stetzer
The opportunity to study under Dr. Ed Stetzer is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Dr. Stetzer is a missiologist, church planter, teaching pastor, host of Ed Stetzer Live, and a prolific author (having written many books, articles, blog posts, etc.). Dr. Stetzer serves as the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair and the Dean of the School of Church, Mission, & Evangelism at Wheaton College. He is also the Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center (also at Wheaton College). Students can join Dr. Stetzer in the following programs:
Each of the above degree programs can be completed in a distance learning format.
6. Become Orange at Southeastern University
Southeastern University is partnering with Orange/The ReThink Group to offer a unique 100% online M.A. in Ministerial Leadership with a focus in Orange/family ministry. Students will have the chance to learn from practitioners such as Reggie Joiner, Kristen Ivy, Carey Nieuwhof, and others.
7. Master writing expertise with Dr. Sandra Glahn
Besides enhancing the ministry of worship practitioners and media specialists, the MA in Media Arts & Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary is also designed for writers, content creators, and aspiring authors. Individuals who pursue a writing focus will primarily study under Dr. Sandra Glahn. She is a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction books, Bible studies & devotionals, journal articles, and blog posts. Dr. Glahn is also a speaker who advocates for thinking that transforms, especially on topics relating to art, gender, sexual intimacy in marriage, and first-century backgrounds as they relate to gender.
8. Learn apologetics, philosophy & worldviews from the best scholars
Talbot School of Theology at Biola University is home to some of the best apologetics and philosophy professors such as J.P. Moreland, William Lane Craig, Sean McDowell, Scott Rae, Craig Hazen, Doug Geivett, and others. The experience of being a Talbot/Biola student will grow both your mind and spiritual life. Talbot offers many online degrees, but there are 3 unique master's degrees that can be earned either 100% online, in-person, or a combination of online & in-person:
Also, the D.Min. in Engaging Mind & Culture helps pastors and church leaders increase their skills in navigating our ever-shifting culture.
9. Become a skilled ministry practitioner with Dr. Rodney Cooper
Dr. Rodney Cooper is the Kenneth & Jean Hansen Professor of Discipleship and Leadership at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s campus in Charlotte, NC. He’s a speaker, author, and has served on the boards of ministries like Promise Keepers. Currently, Dr. Cooper is leading a Doctor of Ministry cohort focusing on Redemptive Ministry that began in 2019, which means that he might very well lead another D.Min. cohort. Another way to study under Dr. Cooper is for students to take preaching, ministry, and leadership classes at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary at the master's level.
10. Study the New Testament & its modern impact with Dr. Scot McKnight
This is a significant chance to study under one of the brightest and kindest scholars I know, Dr. Scot McKnight, who is an author and the Julius R. Mantey Chair of New Testament at Northern Seminary. To join Dr. McKnight in studying the New Testament, students can enroll in one of the following Northern Seminary programs:
Both the M.A. and M.Div. programs are offered in-person or via live-streaming classes.
11. Exegete biblical narratives & modern culture with Dr. Leonard Sweet
Students can study with Dr. Leonard Sweet while earning a doctorate degree from various institutions. Dr. Sweet is the head of SpiritVenture Ministries, the host of the Napkin Scribbles podcast, the author of many books & articles, an entrepreneur, and participates in several other spiritual ventures. He's passionate about studying US American culture and helping others to do the same.
D.Min. in Semiotics from Portland Seminary at George Fox University
Doctor of Theology & Ministry from Northwind Seminary
Th.D. in Semiotics from Evangelical Seminary (a seminary of Kairos University)
12. Join Danielle Strickland & Alan Hirsch to study leadership & cultural engagement
Fresno Pacific University is offering an M.A. in Ministry, Leadership, and Culture with guest faculty Danielle Strickland and Alan Hirsch. This 3-year program takes place mainly online with a weekly 90-minute synchronous discussion via video conference and only 4 separate week-long retreats occurring throughout the 3-5 year program. Students study ministry strategy, global leadership, and engagement in our ever-changing culture.
13. Make a case for faith with Lee Strobel & Mark Mittelberg
The newly formed Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University offers 2 degrees designed by pastors & authors Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelberg. Students can earn either a B.A. in Applied Apologetics or an M.A. in Applied Apologetics (with focuses in Cultural Engagement, Global Apologetics, Innovative Evangelism, or Practical Apologetics). Both degrees are offered 100% online.