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MENTORED APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

EPC Master of Divinity
Brochure

Click to download in PDF format

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is pleased to partner with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) for the Mentored Apprenticeship Program (MAP). The MAP is a new initiative that is designed to:

1. Reflect recent changes in the EPC’s ordination standards.
2. Provide EPC students with meaningful, mentored, parish-based ministry opportunities while fulfilling those standards.
3. Reduce the cost of education and preparation for ministry.

In brief, students can complete an EPC-specific Master of Divinity (MDiv) program that combines Gordon-Conwell’s renowned MDiv curriculum with eight uniquely designed practical ministry or EPC MAP courses to meet the denomination’s ordination standards. In addition, EPC students from other seminaries can take MAP courses to supplement or replace courses in their program in order to meet ordination standards.

MASTER OF DIVINITY DEGREE

Gordon-Conwell has produced a special MDiv program checksheet for EPC students that is designed to fulfill Gordon-Conwell’s MDiv requirements and meet the EPC’s Uniform Procedures on Candidacy and Ordination. Students will complete 60 hours of academically rigorous Gordon-Conwell courses and 30 hours of similarly rigorous—but uniquely designed—parish-based MAP courses.

The 60 hours of coursework in Bible, exegesis, theology, church history, ethics, world missions, etc. can be completed through online, Digital Live, hybrid, and other low-residency class formats, or at any of Gordon-Conwell’s four campuses (South Hamilton, Massachusetts; Boston, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; or Jacksonville, Florida). The 30 hours of MAP classes (detailed below) are completed in the student’s local context. A full list of courses and a suggested three- or four-year completion plan is available below.

MDiv Degree Checksheet

Click to download in PDF format

MDiv EPC Degree Plan

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EPC ORDINATION STANDARDS AND THE MENTORED APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM

Changes to the EPC’s Book of Government and the Uniform Procedures on Candidacy and Ordination were adopted by the 35th General Assembly. Among them were the specification that Ordination Candidates must complete a Master of Divinity (academic or its equivalent for Candidates under extraordinary status) from an accredited seminary approved by the Presbytery. The denomination also now requires Candidates to have completed certain courses. In addition to prescribed courses in Old Testament, New Testament, theology, and church history, students must complete the following eight courses: apologetics, leadership, preaching, evangelism, ministry as mission, discipleship/disciplemaking, pastoral care and counseling, and ethics.

These eight courses make up the EPC Mentored Apprenticeship Program and can be completed as part of Gordon-Conwell’s MDiv–EPC, or on their own if a student is at another seminary. Below is a table featuring the EPC requirement and the matching Gordon-Conwell course name.

EPC Requirement Gordon-Conwell Course
Apologetics AP602: Cultural Apologetics
Leadership CL503: Foundations for Leadership
Preaching PR601: Preaching: Principles and Practices
Evangelism EV510: Evangelism: Theories and Practice
Missiology MC679: Ministry as Mission
Discipleship/Disciplemaking MC512: Discipleship and Disciplemaking
Pastoral Care and Counseling PC511: Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling
Ethics ET501: Christian Ethics

MAP COURSE FEATURES

EPC MAP courses offered through Gordon-Conwell are a blend of theory and practice. The courses are developed in collaboration between Gordon-Conwell faculty as the subject-matter experts and the EPC as the program coordinators. Some courses have been modified to meet the needs of the denomination, while others have been developed specifically for the MAP program. There are at least three key figures that students will interact with during a MAP course:

1. The Course Developer is the Gordon-Conwell faculty member responsible for the content of the course. This individual crafted the syllabus, selected the readings, presented the lectures, etc. When possible, students will have an opportunity to interact with the Course Developer as called for within the parameters of each course.
2. The Course Instructor is selected by the EPC and approved as an Adjunct Instructor by Gordon-Conwell. The Course Instructor will oversee all grading, and will grade and provide feedback on the majority of the work in the course. Students will have an opportunity to interact with the Course Instructor at least once during the semester via video conference.
3. The Local Pastor/Mentor is selected by the student and approved by the EPC MAP Program Director. This individual will meet with the student according to a regular schedule to discuss course content and applications to parish ministry, as well as the student’s progress in completing the hands-on project for the course. The Local Pastor/Mentor may have limited grading responsibilities for smaller assignments as authorized by the Course Instructor.

Although the course uses an online format for lectures, assignments, etc., EPC MAP courses are not classified as online courses. The courses are taught locally by the Course Instructor and Local Pastor/Mentors.

In addition to expected readings, lecture viewing, written assignments, etc., each course has a graded, practical, hands-on ministry project that the student completes in their local context, usually their local parish. The project, which is selected by the student at the beginning of the course  and should generally be completed within the timeframe of the semester, will be overseen by both the Course Instructor and Local Pastor/Mentor.

Students from seminaries other than GCTS should verify the transferability of all MAP courses with their home seminary before registering and trying to transfer the course.

MENTORED MINISTRY OPTION

All EPC MAP courses are three credit hours. Students have the option to complete a one-credit hour Mentored Ministry rotation. This must be registered at the same time as the MAP course and completed within the timeframe. Gordon-Conwell MDiv students have a requirement to complete six Mentored Ministry rotations during their program. Students from other seminaries should verify transferability with their home seminary before registering and trying to transfer the course.

REDUCED COST

In keeping with the denominational goal of reducing the cost of education for ministers in training, all EPC MAP courses and Mentored Ministry rotations are charged a transcription fee of one-half the current Gordon-Conwell Charlotte campus per-hour rate. Check the Gordon-Conwell website for current tuition rates. For the one-credit hour Mentored Ministry rotation, the transcription fee cost is $255 per course. In addition to the per-course transcription fee, there is a mandatory $150 per-semester student services and technology fee. Up to 30 credit hours can be taken at this reduced rate. The remaining 60 credit hours are at Charlotte’s current per credit hour rate. Auditing options also are available.

EPC MAP courses can be covered by Gordon-Conwell’s full-tuition scholarship Partnership Program or the Charlotte campus’ cohort payment option. Students also can pay for each EPC MAP course upon registration. Payment for EPC MAP courses is non-refundable.

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