Logo for Graduate School

Christian Formation and Ministry Overview

Our Mission

The Christian Formation and Ministry Department seeks to develop academically grounded, spiritually maturing, and practically skilled leaders who minister the Gospel and build up God’s people in a constantly changing world.

About the Department

The department supports an undergraduate program in and a graduate program in Christian Formation and Ministry. Courses within the department therefore focus on the processes of Christian evangelism, discipleship, and soul care and the means by which such formation can be facilitated in others.

In order to prepare students for effective work in the areas of formation and ministry, our programs stress three interrelated domains.

First, students will examine literature related to the following:

  • biblical
  • theological
  • historical
  • philosophical
  • social scientific basis of Christian formation, education, and ministry

Second, students explore the following:

  • practical models
  • skills
  • elements of ministry leadership and organization

Finally, courses explore the growth and development of the individual in terms of personal spiritual vitality and an understanding of these areas of ministry:

  • passion
  • calling
  • vocation

These three related elements - foundations, skills, and spiritual vitality - are the central themes of this department.

Faculty in the department reflect a diversity of both academic disciplines and areas of ministry passion. While the discipline is not linked to any specific vocation, students majoring within the Christian Formation and Ministry Department generally focus on the following areas:

  • age-specific ministries (children's ministry, youth ministry, college and young adult ministry, and adult ministries)
  • discipleship ministries
  • camping ministries
  • family ministries
  • cross-cultural ministries
  • school leadership
  • student development
  • curriculum development

Students in recent years have gone out to work with these organizations:

  • churches
  • parachurch organizations
  • mission agencies
  • camps
  • schools
  • colleges

Opportunities

Both undergraduate and graduate students may take advantage of the opportunities afforded by HoneyRock, the Outdoor Center for Leadership Development of Wheaton College, located in Wisconsin. Students can take courses while working as camp counselors in the summers. In addition, working together with the CFM Department, undergrad students may choose to complete a ; graduate students may choose the Outdoor Adventure Leadership M.A. in which students reside at HoneyRock, engaging in practical experiences in a variety of settings, while completing the master's degree.

Outcomes

Regardless of the chosen program, the Christian Formation and Ministry Department is committed to teaching and mentoring students to prepare them for effective ministry in any setting. Along those lines, we have many desired outcomes in the lives of students who come under our teaching:

  • Spiritual Vitality
    Commitment to growth in personhood and spiritual maturity in Christ (in areas such as faith, wholeness, and service).
  • Exegetical & Ministry Competency
    Creation of opportunities for people to encounter the person of God and the truths of His Word by effectively communicating Scripture and discerning his presence and sovereignty in our world.
  • Theological Commitment & Consistency
    Commitment to a biblical and theological foundation which will provide consistency to your life and ministry.
  • Ministry Identity
    Commitment to growth as a ministry leader, shepherd and life-long learner in the church, exploring giftedness and a sense of "calling" in ministry.
  • Academic Integrity
    Careful reflection on classic and current literature and church practice in a way that informs the discipline of Christian Formation & Ministry.
  • Cultural Sensitivity
    Development of respect for all persons as created in the image of God, cultivating appreciation for the richness found in the diversity of gender, race, tradition and culture.