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Rockbridge’s new Black Church studies certificate or emphasis equips you to minister in cross-cultural and black church communities.

What is the Black Church Studies Institute?

The Institute weaves together courses in black church history, pastoral ministry, discipleship, worship expressions, and theology to provide a holistic approach to minister within black communities.

What is the Institute’s Purpose?

The Black Church Studies Institute seeks to educate, elevate, and equip men and women to be servant-leaders called to minister in cross-cultural settings and black church communities.

What is the Difference Between a Certificate and Emphasis?

A certificate is for non-degree seeking individuals, and an emphasis is a focus of study within the Master of Ministry Leadership and Master of Divinity programs for those who are seeking a degree. Whether you are seeking a degree or not seeking a degree, you have the ability to take courses in the Black Church Studies Institute. Take specific courses you are interested in for personal growth, electives for your degree or complete all the course requirements for a certificate or emphasis.

Required First Course
R5400 Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)*
Required Emphasis Courses
D6454  History of the Black Church
M6412  Ministry in the Black Church
D5405  Teaching Ministry of the Black Church
M5402  Lead Like Jesus
M6405  Building an Effective Ministry Team

*All students are required to start with Touchstone: Developing a Focused Life. This is a foundational course to begin your studies and set the pace for your time at Rockbridge. Many of our students testify after taking this course about the incredible impact it made on them.

What were the major factors behind the development of the Black Church Studies Institute?

  • A desire to elevate and preserve black church history within the seminary setting.
  • An awareness of the need to educate practitioners and ministers on the meaningful impact of the African Diaspora and Black Church communities on theology.
  • A commitment to equip men and women to serve within Black Church contexts and communities locally and globally.

What are the Institute’s Goals?

  • Design an environment that supports engagement with the biblical practices and traditions of African American Church’s and other Christian communities throughout the African Diaspora.
  • Provide seminarians of all ethnicities and backgrounds with an engaging online learning environment for theological reflection and meaningful understanding of the black church.
  • Develop a deeper appreciation and wider knowledge of the black church and its historical and present-day impact on Christendom.
  • Create an opportunity for critical thinking and the examination of practices that are contextually relevant to leaders in the black church and in the broader community as it relates to the development of theology.
  • Strengthen the contextual vocation of the school with the goal to impact people groups, congregations, and societies locally and globally.

What Does the Institute Offer?

  • Certificate In Black Church Studies for non-degree seeking individuals
  • Emphasis focus within The Master of Ministry Leadership and Master of Divinity programs for those seeking a degree.