Our Processes

This is a new model of theological education. You’ll notice below that it is accessible (through email and Skype), flexible (according to your own schedule and timeline), relational (between you and your small group, your pastoral mentor, and your local church, and between you and us), holistic (academic through serious reading, writing, and discussion, and practical through a small group, a pastoral mentorship, a church internship, and practicum assignments) and ecclesial (through multiple forms of curricular church involvement, as well as this being a ministry overseen by a local church), and affordable (currently free). We consider this to be an ideal model of theological education, and we hope it catches on!

  1. Use the contact us page to show interest in the seminary.
  2. We’ll contact you by email and possibly set up an interview over Skype.
  3. This will give us an opportunity to learn about you, especially your conversion to Christianity, your call to ministry, your Spiritual gifts, and your desire for theological education. This will also give you an opportunity to learn more about us and discern if you want to take part in our new model of theological education.
  4. If you are accepted as a student of FTS, we’ll then determine your degree program, your desired track, and create or approve a list of books to read.
  5. You’ll notify us within a month of entry into the program the name of the pastor who will mentor you throughout the program. You may change mentors, but you must inform us when this occurs. We’ll then contact your mentor periodically to see how your mentorship is progressing.
  6. You’ll notify us within a month of entry into the program the name of the church you’ll intern at throughout your program. You may change churches, but you must inform us when this occurs. We’ll then contact your church periodically to see how your internship is progressing.
  7. You’ll notify us within a month of entry into the program the names of the individuals who will be in your small group throughout your program. You may change small group members, but you must inform us when this occurs. We’ll then contact your small group periodically to see how your gatherings are progressing.
  8. You’ll then read one book at a time at your own pace. When you finish a book, you’ll contact us by email. We’ll then engage with you regarding your reading by email or by Skype interview. If it is thought that you didn’t read your book well, you’ll be required to read it again, but we think this will rarely happen. We’ll then give you permission to move on to your next book. This will be a repeated cycle.
  9. You’ll write one paper at a time at your own pace. You’ll notify us by email the topic you’d like to write on, and we’ll approve it. Standard papers can take many different forms – including sermons, lessons, lectures, and research papers. They’ll always need to be written in manuscript form; outlines will not do. When you complete your paper, you’ll email it to us. We’ll then read it and engage with you regarding your writing by email or by Skype interview. If your paper isn’t accepted, you’ll be required to edit it or write a new one altogether, but we think this will rarely happen. We’ll then give you permission to move on to your next paper. This will be a repeated cycle.
  10. You’ll complete one practicum assignment at a time. You’ll notify us by email with your idea for each practicum assignment. These assignments can take many forms – including preaching, teaching, counseling, and event planning. We’ll then approve your practicum assignment by email or by Skype interview. You’ll then set up a Skype meeting with us to discuss the results of your practicum assignment. Recordings and/or writings would be greatly appreciated in this regard. This will be a repeated cycle.
  11. Some programs will require you to write a book. It is suggested that you get your book topic approved before you start your reading, because then you can customize your reading to prepare you for writing. If so, you’ll contact us by email to set up a Skype meeting. You’ll discuss with us the topic you’d like to write about, and we’ll determine if your topic is approved or not. The only program that will likely have any difficulty of getting approval is the Doctor of Philosophy degree. Once approved, you’ll write your book at your own pace. When you complete your book, you’ll email it to us. We’ll then engage with you regarding your book by email or by Skype. If your book isn’t accepted, you’ll be required to edit it or write a new one altogether, but we think this will rarely happen.
  12. We hope no one is ever removed from one of our programs, but we live in a sinful world, and therefore know this will likely happen at some point. We alone will have the authority to force removal of a student from a program. You may quit, of course, at any time, as will be written in the agreement. Some, but not all, of the reasons for forced removal of the program are below: the acceptance and refusal to repent of heretical or unorthodox theology, a severe moral failure like adultery, a sustained pattern of sin without remorse or serious attempts of change, termination of church membership because of church discipline, willful and prolonged neglect of church involvement, willful and prolonged neglect of family involvement, willful and prolonged neglect of program requirements like mentorship, internship, and small groups, willful and prolonged procrastination of program requirements like reading and writing, and various forms of plagiarism.
  13. Once you have completed all the requirements of your program, you will contact us by email. We will check our records to confirm the fulfillment of your program requirements. If our records confirm your notification, we will set up a Skype meeting to discuss your perspective of our program. We will take all constructive criticism seriously in order to improve our programs.
  14. You will then be sent an email of your diploma in pdf form. You may then have it printed and framed professionally.
  15. We hope that you will then consider taking part in another program of our seminary, or that you would consider replicating our model within your own church. We would love to see more church-based seminaries as ministries of local churches. We would love to see more church-based seminaries form theologically educated pastors and ministers without concern for secular or parachurch accreditation. We would love to see more church-based seminaries form pastor-theologians for the local church.