First, complete all education. Next, begin serving in full-time ministry. This old model for ministry preparation is giving way to an approach that blends training and serving—simultaneously.
Flip Michaels (’15) is one example of how this pattern has shifted. After 20 years in the field of broadcasting, Michaels was led to become a pastor. He almost immediately began to serve at GraceLife Church of Annville, Pennsylvania. Pastoring a church soon had challenges, as Michaels realized most of his training consisted of hands-on experience and personal reading time. “This is when I began to recognize that I simply did not have the biblical grounding necessary to truly excel in the role of a pastor,” he recalls. “My path into the pastorate was unconventional at best, and I needed formal training from a solid institution.”
Michaels was drawn to the flexibility and community of Baptist Bible Seminary’s online Master of Ministry program. He was able to remain in ministry, and he didn’t have to uproot his family. Michaels says professors were accessible by phone and in person, which was critical to his success.
Learning along the way helped Michaels immediately apply each lesson taught and tailor assignments to his current ministry. He believes merging education with service helps build valued relationships. He found meeting others who are engaged in ministry enables each party to lend a helping hand right when it is needed.
April Dakoske (’14)