The Rationale For MAP
Traditional preparation for ministry is built around the Masters of Divinity, a three-year graduate degree which emphasizes academic study, an approach that has changed little since the first US seminary was established in 1636. Since then, the culture and the challenges faced by professional ministers have changed dramatically.
In traditional seminary programs (often costing in excess of $50,000), the fundamentals of ministry, devotional skills, spiritual formation and ministry lifestyle issues are often assumed. Additionally, such programs take students out of their cultural circles and place them in isolated academic institutions. This "Ivory Tower" approach can create ineffective ministers who are disconnected from the everyday realities of their cultures.
MAP (Ministry Apprenticeship Program) is a three-year ministry training program designed as an alternative to the traditional Masters of Divinity course of study.
The program combines classes and medical-school-style internship experiences, in an attempt to combine the best of traditional seminary and hands-on "real world" ministry training. Students completing MAP are awarded a Certificate of Advanced Ministry Training (AMT).
MAP's Core Values
MAP was developed based on a handful of foundational beliefs about ministry training. These core values of the program continue to shape MAP today. These values are:
- Devotion to God is the primary call of ministry.
- Ministry must be learned as a lifestyle, not just as an academic discipline.
- The best ministry training occurs in the context of ministry and in a community that holds students accountable.
- Students benefit from watching Godly priorities modeled and protected.
- Academics must be balanced with practical theology, and learning must be integrated with laboratory experiences.
- The apprenticeship model allows for maximum integration of academics with real life ministry.
- Ministry training should be geared toward an individual's giftedness.
The MAP Application Process
- The applicant meets with the MAP Administrator for 30 minutes to review the basics of the MAP ministry. The requirements for acceptance, the application process and a brief description of the three-year program will be provided.
The applicant will then fill out a MAP application and be scheduled to attend an informational meeting with other MAP applicants.
- The MAP Administrator will begin the mentor inquiry process. At this time, the potential mentor will be contacted and a mentor orientation scheduled. Following the mentor orientation, if both the applicant and mentor desire to proceed, the applicant and the mentor will meet with the MAP Administrator for any ministry-specific questions/answers.
- If the applicant is hired, he or she will begin MAP the summer following the application process. If not hired, all efforts will be made to provide tools and counsel to the applicant as he/she determines the next course of action.