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Family Ministry Certificate

The Certificate in Family Ministry is designed for those who desire to build a strong discipleship ministry which will have a powerful impact on children (birth through college) and their families. The goal of Family Ministry is to intentionally align age-related ministries, enabling them to work collaboratively and strategically to influence the next generation for Jesus Christ.

The program includes four Core Courses that provide a foundation for biblical teaching and developing a discipleship ministry to reach across age groups. In addition, concentration courses in Family Ministry, as well as Youth and/or Children’s Ministry, will help participants gain knowledge and a deeper understanding of strategies and models to help them develop a Family Ministry that fits the mission and vision of their local church.

All courses are taught on a pass/fail basis.

Certificate in Family Ministry: 10 courses @ $150/course = $1,500

Ideal for those who:

· Are interested in a life-time commitment to ministering to children (birth to college) and their families.

· Lead the family ministry in local congregations.

· Are seminary graduates who now want to specialize in family ministry.

· Are considering a seminary degree.

· Are not seminary graduates.

Register for Courses Online

View upcoming courses:

Contact our office for more information on upcoming events.


Core Certificate Courses:

The Family of God

This course is a historical overview of the family from the 1st Century to the present in order to inform our ministry with families in the present day church. This understanding will explore the important foundation of a healthy marriage, evaluate the family as redeemed and not broken in God’s Big Story, and develop practical approaches to ministry with families.


· Garland, Diana. Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide, 2nd edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0-83083-971-1

· Hellerman, Joseph. Recapturing Jesus’ Vision for Authentic Christian Community. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2009. ISBN-13: 978-0-80544-779-8

· Banks, Robert J. Paul’s Idea of Community, 3rd edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Publishing Group, 2020. ISBN-978-1-5409-6175-4

Developmental Ages and Stages

How does our mental, emotional, social, and spiritual development begin and take root? How does faith grow throughout our lives? How should what we know about each stage shape how we can best teach people at each stage? Participants in this course will begin to explore answers to these questions and will consider how to apply what they discover to the ministries to which they are called.


· Stonehouse, Catherine. Joining Children on the Spiritual Journey: Nurturing a Life of Faith. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 1998. ISBN 9780801058073

Teaching Techniques/Approaches

Those of us who teach really desire to make an impact on our students. We love it when the class understands a concept or principle we are presenting. In order to create an engaging, dynamic learning environment, we need to be creative,

passionate, and insightful in our techniques. This 3-hour seminar will explore how to connect with various types of learners, and how to utilize creative approaches to have a more engaging class and increase class participation.

Bible Study Basics

There are more resources available to help a teacher understand passages of scriptures than ever before in history. However, even with the surplus of information, it can still be overwhelming to decipher what tools are best to use and how to really engage with the Bible both on a personal level and for purposes of teaching. This 3-hour course will look at some of the basics of developing good Bible study habits, as well as how to incorporate resources from the internet and other venues into our teaching plans.

Family Ministry Courses:

To receive the certificate students must complete all assignments for the four core courses, the four required Family Ministry courses, plus two electives in Children’s Ministry or Youth Ministry. Participants must receive a passing grade in each course.

Family Ministry 101*

This is interactive course will explore practical applications of the call and work of the ministers who have major educational responsibilities related to children, birth through college, and their families in the local church. Participants will consider their vision of ministry with families, develop a strategy, and consider structures and systems for organizing and implementing the vision.


· Garland, Diana. Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide, 2nd edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0-83083-971-1

· Powell, Kara, Jake Mulder, Brad M. Griffin. Growing Young: 6 Essential strategies for helping young people discover and love your church. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2016.ISBN-13: 978-0801019258

· Joiner, Reggie. Orange Essentials: Five Priorities for Building Faith in the Next Generation. ReThink Group, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0985411633

Models in Family Ministry*

Effective Family Ministry begins when the church embraces her role to engage and equip parents to be the primary faith shapers of their children and when families began to understand they were created for a purpose and are on mission. In this course, students will analyze and evaluate four different models for Family Ministry and consider the model that most closely identifies with their current context and make recommendations based on their evaluations for keeping, modifying or changing the model for their context.


· Mercer, Tom. 8 to 15: The World is smaller than you think. Victorville, CA: Oikos Books, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-9840364-0-0.

· Jones, Timothy Paul. Perspectives on Family Ministry: 3 Views. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2009. ISBN: 978-0-8054—4845-0.

· Joiner, Reggie. Orange Essentials: Five Priorities for Building Faith in the Next Generation. Cummings, Georgia: Orange, 2012. ISBN: 978-0-9854116-1-9.

Building Faith at Home*

In this course participants will discuss spiritual formation strategies that create disciples for a lifetime, discover equipping and empowering strategies to enable parents to be the primary faith shapers in their home, and evaluate different family rituals and church celebrations that promote a church and home partnership


· Anthony, Michelle and Megan Marshman. 7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Strategy for Culture Change in Children’s and Student Ministries. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2015. ISBN 978-0-7814-1297-1

· Garland, Diana. Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide, 2nd edition. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012. ISBN-13: 978-0-83083-971-1

· Holmen, Mark A. Church + Home: The Proven Formula for Building Lifelong Faith. Ada, MI: Bethany House, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-0764217753

· Jones, Timothy Paul. Family Ministry Field Guide: How Your Church can Equip Parents to Make Disciples. Indianapolis, IN: Wesleyan Publishing House, 2011. ISBN- 978-0-89827-457-8

Leading and Developing Volunteer Teams

Does it ever feel like your ministry is a revolving door, new leaders simultaneously coming in as current ones leave? This course will equip church leaders to stop the revolving door of ministry volunteers by designing a well-organized and welcoming ministry culture that appreciates their volunteers, clearly communicates the vision and strategy, and provides a challenge that is big enough to attract and retain high capacity leaders. The goal is to stop recruiting and start retaining strong volunteer teams, no matter the size of the church, in order to keep the focus on accomplishing the mission of the church.


· Kizer, Darren, Christine Kreisher, Steph Whitacre. The Volunteer Project: Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining. Atlanta, GA: 181 Publishing, 2017. ISBN: 978-0-9962287-0-1

· Miller, Sue, Adam Duckworth. Leading Not Normal Volunteers: A Not Normal Guide for Leading Your Incredible, Quirky Team. Cumming, GA: Orange, 2016. ISBN: 978-1-941259-51-1

Youth or Children’s Ministry Electives (two electives from Youth or Children or one from each)

Scholarship Assistance Available: BGAV Non-traditional Ministry Education Scholarships assist BGAV church leaders in accessing training and continuing education opportunities provided by the Baptist General Association of Virginia and its ministry partners. These scholarships are intended to assist non-traditional students, who are defined as: part-time students who are in non-degree programs of study with an emphasis in continuing education for ministry in the local church. Clergy and lay leaders who have a financial need and are active members, for at least the past year, of a cooperating church of the BGAV may apply for a scholarship for up to one-third the cost of an educational offering sponsored by the BGAV or a ministry partner, with a limit of 3 courses in any one session. Each month that BMEN courses are offered us considered a separate “session” and requires a new application. Click here for more information.

Truett Seminary Partnership

Those wishing to pursue additional study may be interested in the Advanced Certificate of Ministry offered through our partnership with the George W. Truett Seminary Online Certificate Program.

For further information about Truett’s certificate program see www.baylor.edu/truett/certificate.

*required for certificate



Karen Rackett : [staff-title] Karen Rackett
Congregational Field Staff Administrative Assistant
800.255.2428 or 804.915.5000, ext. 2243