Certificate in Town and Country Church Leadership

January 1, 1970

Certificate in Town and Country Church Leadership

Are you looking to

develop lay ministry skills?

refresh your mind and faith?

expand your current ministry?

The Center for Theology and Land has as its mission the education of laity and clergy to provide leadership in carrying out God’s mission in rural congregations. The Certificate in Town and Country Church Leadership was designed to provide training for Lay Leaders, New-to-rural Pastors, and other adults invested in Rural Ministry.

To this end we provide courses

for lay ministry

for pastors in smaller church & rural settings

for those who enjoy learning.

The Certificate in Town and Country Leadership is comprised of twelve courses taken online and in residency. It is designed to give you the flexibility to work at your own pace taking one, two or three courses at a time; in your own office or home.

Certificate Program Requirements

1. Complete a total of 12 courses; 10 taken online and 2 taken in residency.

2. Complete one course in each of the following 9 core course areas:

Old Testament

New Testament

History & Confessions


Pastoral Care

Education & Discipleship

Leadership & Faith Formation


Worship & Preaching

3. Complete two courses in rural ministry and/or community development.

4. The 12th course may be an elective course or an additional course in rural ministry or from one of the core course areas.

Online Courses: Each year we typically offer three online courses during the fall term and three during the spring term. On average the online courses run for 6-8 weeks. Students are given weekly reading assignments and are asked to post responses at least twice a week on the course’s discussion board allowing students to interact with both the instructor and their classmates. Most instructors also schedule at least one conference call or live chat during the course. Students working towards the Certificate in Town & Country Church Leadership are asked to complete at least one paper or other writing assignment. Students should plan to spend a total of 36-40 hours (per course) over the 6-8 weeks (or 5-6 hours per week). Time spent will be divided between readings, reflections/discussion board postings, written and other assignments.

Visit website for current online course offerings.

Residency Courses: Two courses are offered each summer during a week-long intensive. Students meet daily for lectures, class discussions, small group activities and individual presentations. Students are asked to complete reading assignments prior to the start of the residency and are required to complete at least one paper or other writing assignment during the weeks following the residency. Previous residency locations have included Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa and Shalom Hill Farm in Windom, Minnesota.

Visit website for details about the next Certificate Residency.

Visit website for a list of previously offered courses.

Only synods (ELCA) and Presbyteries (PCUSA) or other judicatory bodies authorize lay ministers. We at the Center for Theology and Land are working with these bodies to ensure that our program is providing for the needs of the church and that our Certificate offers courses that are applicable to their requirements for authorized lay ministry.

For more information contact us via email at: [email protected] or call (563) 589-0273.

For more information please visit the website.