Bridge Crossers Program
Our Bridge Crossers program is offered to eligible participants as an enrichment program to prepare students for the rigors of post-secondary academics while also providing them with access to community resources. The goal of the program is to enhance candidates' moral, mental, and physical foundations to prepare them for success on our certificate, diploma and degree programs. During this period, our faculty and staff work with students to articulate any individual learning issues that need attention, identify any specific supports and accommodations that might be necessary while participants are enrolled in the program, practice engaging in entry level classes and related coursework, develop and use self-advocacy and leadership skills, and apply organizational skills, helpful study habits and useful behaviors necessary to achieve post-secondary success.
Certificate in Christian Leadership Studies
Our certificate in Christian Leadership Studies is awarded to students who complete all 16 modules of our Capstone Curriculum. It is designed to equip lay leaders, pastoral candidates and urban missionaries with foundational theological truths as well as basic study and ministry skills.
Certificate in Urban Theological Studies
Our certificate in Urban Theological Studies can be earned by completing eight credits in each of the four subject areas offered byInstitute (Biblical Studies, Theology and Ethics, Christian Ministry and Urban Mission).These credits can be earned from any of our curricula. As with the certificate in Christian Leadership Studies, this study program is designed to equip lay leaders, pastoral candidates and urban missionaries with foundational theological truths as well as basic study and ministry skills.
Associate of Ministerial Studies
After completing either the Certificate in ChristianLeadership Studies or the Certificate in Urban Theological Studies, a student may complete an additional 32 credits, eight credits in each of the four subject areas (Biblical Studies, Theology and Ethics, Christian Ministry andUrban Mission) in order to receive an associate’s degree in MinisterialStudies. These credits can be earned from any of our curricula. The first course to be taken in this program is the Ministry Assessment Course, which helps the student assess his/her gifts, calling and on-going direction in ministry. The Associate of Ministerial Studies is designed to equip lay leaders, pastoral candidates and urban missionaries with the Biblical, theological and leadership skills necessary for informed urban ministry. For some, this diploma may form the basis for licensing or ordination by the candidate's church or mission organization.
Bachelor of Christian Education
Bachelor of Christian Education with an emphasis in urban ministry. The Bachelor of Christian Education degree program is designed to help students apply the Scriptures within contemporary life and urban ministry while preparing them to build a strong portfolio of work that will demonstrate expertise and provide support for their unique strengths. At the completion of the Bachelor of Christian Education degree, students will be able to apply research methodologies to identified topics related to biblical studies; communicate the message of the Scriptures to identified audiences; utilize historical geography and relevant ancient cultural contexts in the interpretation of the Old Testament and New Testament; create action plans to impact personal, familial or ecclesiastical life through the interpretation of Scripture; and implement a strategy for enhancing spiritual life.
Life Learning Experience
Our emphasis is on the practical. We blend the finest scholarship with the best practical teaching possible. We teach not only what to do but also how to do it. Students are taught every aspect of doing inner-city ministry and will be fully equipped to do the work God has called them to do by working primarily in and around Richmond's Northside and our campus located at 3000 Chamberlayne Avenue. Each of the Institute's programs can be enhanced and accelerated through life learning experiences. Ours is a hands-on and practical training curriculum, and we will follow the prior learning assessment standards of the Council for Adult and ExperientialLearning (CAEL). The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) refers to a unique opportunity for the student to earn college credit for learning experiences that have taken place in the work environment, volunteer setting, and/or other events that have significantly improved the student's knowledge and skills. TheInstitute recognizes that learning takes place throughout life and that college level learning is not limited to the institutions of higher education or to classroom settings. A key aspect of these standards is that credit is granted for demonstrating learning, not just having experience. Credit can be granted both for experience and for training in unaccredited programs. Credit is not guaranteed, as students must demonstrate competency according to our assessment process based on CAEL standards.
Bi-vocational focus and training
"For I know the plans I have for you ... plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"(Jer. 29:11). It is our desire to impart God's plan of destiny to students and invest in their lives. Our vision is to see our students grow and mature in all of their God-given gifts. We intend to train through education; assist in money management and teach marketable skills. We also provide practical training in urban ministries to give exposure to various vocations. We want students to flourish and become pillars of strength in their communities. In today's faith walks, men and women often find themselves leading bi-vocational lives, and as such, we believe the Institute has an obligation to help our students to (1)learn a marketable skill they can use in the urban context to provide for themselves and to be a benefit to their communities; (2) discover what giftsGod has given to them and how they can develop these gifts; (3) understand what a calling is and how it relates to one's vocation as well as attaining life skills in terms of life outside of the center through training and mentoring; (4) develop long-term planning skills for their future through education, training and discipleship; (5) grow in money management, being taught how to save and spend it wisely. Through our placement and planning staff, we work on three important issues in our students' lives to identify their needs; work outa vocational plan for each student and assist and encourage the student to acton his or her vocational plan.