Guidelines for Non-Theological Study

In order to accomplish the mission to which God has called us, we need many different kinds of leaders.

Although many who participate in the Graduate Studies Program will pursue biblical and theological study through a seminary, some staff will find it necessary to pursue studies other fields of study in light of their unique role.

First Example: Bill is the Director for Operations. Bill desires to enroll in a MBA program part-time to help him become more effective in his role. Because his education relates directly to his ongoing role, it represents a legitimate field of study within the Graduate Studies Program.

Second Example: Susan is actively involved in her campus partnership in Mexico. Moreover, she plans to go to Mexico as an ICS within the next few years. Because fluency in Spanish is a requirement for long-term ministry in Mexico as an ICS, Susan desires to take Spanish courses part-time at her local university. Because of the necessity of fluency in Spanish for long-term ministry in Mexico, her proposed education represents a legitimate field of study within the Graduate Studies Program.

Third Example: Sally gives leadership to computer technology in her ministry. Sally desires to take a number of courses part-time in computer programming. Because this education relates directly to her ongoing role, it represents a legitimate field of study within the Graduate Studies Program. 

The principle that informs non-theological study is the following:

Any proposed education must be directly related to and be necessary for a staff member’s present role (or a role into which they will be stepping shortly). 

If staff members want to pursue graduate education that is not directly related to their job, they must pursue it on his or her own time.

Example: Sarah is a missional team leader who wants to pursue a degree in counseling with a view to going into professional counseling in the future. Because this training does not directly equip her for her ongoing role (i.e., directly developing the competencies she needs to lead a local ministry), it does not fall within the scope of the Campus Ministry Graduate Studies Program. (Although she cannot receive organizational sponsorship for this training, there is no reason Sarah could not take night courses on her own time.)