Certificate in Presbyterian Church Ministry

Presbyterian Churches are a huge part of the worldwide church of Jesus Christ.  This highly interactive course is designed to enable students to rethink Presbyterianism in a challenging and helpful way.

It is sometimes the case that those who are serving in Presbyterian churches are not aware of the biblical basis for Presbyterian Church principles and practice. They may not be sure of how relevant Presbyterianism is to serving the Lord in the 21st century, bringing the gospel to a broken people who want to belong to the church of Christ.

This course is designed to highlight the biblical reasons for holding to helpful Presbyterian Church principles and practices, not only at a conceptual level, but in the real world of gospel ministry. 

Course Information

There are two sections to the course: Church Principles and Church Practice

Under Church Principles, students explore issues such as confessional standards, church government, the role of women, the relation of the church to the state, church membership, the sacraments and worship. 

Church Practice will cover areas such as the eldership, the diaconate, the presbytery and the general assembly, as well as the practice of church discipleship and discipline.

On completion of the course, students will have developed a greater appreciation of the biblical basis for Presbyterian Church principles and practice. This will help students in their own gospel ministry and in fostering within fellow leaders and worshippers an understanding of the hugely helpful convictions that underlie Presbyterianism, while learning to respect other Christians who have alternative views on secondary issues.

Who is this course for?

The course is mandatory for all Free Church of Scotland candidates, but is also open to other students from inside and outside the church. All students at ETS intending to go into the full-time preaching ministry within Presbyterian denominations are expected to do this course. It is equally suitable for all office-bearers (elders and deacons) in a Presbyterian church (or similar). 

When does the course take place?

While much of the material is accessible online, the course is delivered over a series of monthly seminars between September and April, with Church Practice and Church Principles offered in alternate years. It normally takes two years to complete the course.

Distance Learning

These courses may be studied either on-campus or by distance learning, or a combination of both. This helps to make them available to a wide group of interested students. You can find out more about distance learning here.

Further Information

Course fees can be found here.

On successful completion of the course, all students will be awarded a Completion of Studies certificate at the Seminary’s Annual Awards Ceremony in May.

We will be accepting applications from June 2023 onwards.