EPC Mentored Apprenticeship Program

Click here to download the PDF brochure! 

Introduction

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary is pleased to partner with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) for the Mentored Apprenticeship Program (MAP).  The MAP is a new initiative that is designed to 1) reflect recent changes in the EPC's ordination standards, 2) provide EPC students with meaningful mentored parish-based ministry opportunities while fulfilling those standards, and, 3) reduce the cost of education and preparation for ministry.

In brief, students can complete an EPC-specific Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program that combines our renowned M.Div. curriculum with eight uniquely designed practical ministry or EPC MAP courses  to meet the denomination's ordination standards.  In addition, EPC students from other seminaries can take MAP courses to supplement or replace courses in their program in order to meet ordination standards.

Watch the two videos below.  The first is with Dr. Dennis Hollinger, President of Gordon-Conwell.  The second is the presentation by Dr. Kent Mathews at the 2017 EPC General Assembly

The Master of Divinity - EPC

Gordon-Conwell has produced a special M.Div. program checksheet for EPC students that is designed to fulfill Gordon-Conwell's M.Div. requirements and meet the EPC's Uniform Procedures on Candidacy and Ordination.  Students will complete 60 hours of academically rigorous Gordon-Conwell courses and 30 hours of similarly rigorous, but uniquely designed, parish-based, MAP courses.

The 60 hours of coursework in Bible, exegesis, theology, church history, ethics, world missions, etc. can be completed primarily online through online, Digital Live, hybrid, and other low-Residency class formats or at any of Gordon-Conwell's four campuses (South Hamilton, MA; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Jacksonville, FL).The 30 hours of MAP classes (detailed below) are completed in the student's local context.  Click here to view the full list of courses and a suggested three or four year completion plan.

EPC Ordination Standards and the MAP Program

Changes to the EPC's Book of Government and the Uniform Procedures on Candidacy and Ordination was adopted during the 35th General Assembly.  Among them were the specification that Candidates must complete a Master of Divinity (academic or its equivalent for Candidates under extraordinary status) from an accredited seminary approved by the Presbytery.  The denomination also now requires Candidates to have completed certain courses.  In addition to prescribed courses in Old Testament, New Testament, theology, and church history students must complete the following eight courses: apologetics, leadership, preaching, evangelism, ministry as mission, discipleship/disciplemaking, pastoral care and counseling, and ethics.

These eight courses make up the EPC MAP and can be completed as part of Gordon-Conwell's M.Div. - EPC or on their own if a student is at another seminary.  Below is a table featuring the EPC requirement and the matching Gordon-Conwell course name. 

EPC Requirement Gordon-Conwell Course Name
Apologetics AP601: Introduction to Apologetics
Leadership CL503: Foundations for Leadership
Preaching PR601: Preaching: Principles and Practices
Evangelism EV510: Evangelism: Theories and Practice
Missiology MC679: Ministry as Mission
Discipleship/Disciplemaking MC512: Discipleship and Disciplemaking
Pastoral Care and Counseling PC511: Introduction to Pastoral Care and Counseling
Ethics ET501: Christian Ethics


MAP Course Features

EPC MAP courses offered through Gordon-Conwell are a blend of theory and practice.  The courses are developed in collaboration between Gordon-Conwell faculty as the subject-matter-experts and the EPC as the program coordinators..  Some courses have been modified to meet the needs of the denomination, while others have been developed specifically for the MAP program.  There are at least three key figures that students will interact with during a MAP course:

1)  The Course Developer is the Gordon-Conwell faculty member responsible for the content of the course.  This individual is the one who crafted the syllabus, selected the readings, presented the lectures, etc.  When possible, students will have an opportunity to interact with the Course Developer as called for within the parameters of each course.

2)  The Course Instructor is selected by the EPC and approved as an Adjunct Instructor by Gordon-Conwell.  The Course Instructor will oversee all grading and will grade and provide feedback on the majority of the work in the course.  Students will have an opportunity to interact with the Course Instructor at least once during the semester via video conference.

3)  The Local Pastor/Mentor selected by the student and approved by the EPC MAP Program Director.  This individual will meet according to a regular schedule with the student to discuss course content and applications to parish ministry as well as the student's progress in completing the hands-on project for the course.  The Local Pastor/Mentor may have limited grading responsibilities for smaller assignments, as authorized by the Course Instructor.

Although the course uses an online Learning Management System (LMS) for lectures, assignments, etc., EPC MAP courses are not classified as online courses.  The courses are taught locally by the Course Instructor and Local Pastor/Mentors.  

In addition to expected readings, lecture viewing, written assignments, etc., each course has a graded practical hands-on ministry project that the student completes in their local context, usually their local parish.  The project, which is selected by the student at the beginning of the course, and should generally be completed within the timeframe of the semester, will be overseen by both the Course Instructor and Local Pastor/Mentor.

Students from seminaries other than GCTS should verify the transferability of all MAP courses with their home seminary before registering and trying to transfer the course.

Mentored Ministry Option

All EPC MAP courses are three credit hours.  Students have the option to complete a one-credit hour Mentored Ministry rotation.  This must be registered at the same time as the MAP course and completed within the timeframe.  Gordon-Conwell M.Div. students have a requirement to complete six Mentored Ministry rotations during their program.  Students from other seminaries should verify transferability with their home seminary before registering and trying to transfer the course.  

Reduced Cost

In keeping with the denominational goal of reducing the cost of education for ministers in training, for all EPC MAP courses and Mentored Ministry rotations, Gordon-Conwell will charge a transcription fee of one-half the current Charlotte campus per hour rate.  For the 2017-2018 academic year, the tuition rate is $510/per credit hour.  Thus, for a three-credit hour EPC MAP course, the total cost per course is $765.  For the one-credit hour Mentored Ministry rotation, the transcription fee cost is $255 per course.  In addition to the per course transcription fee, there is a mandatory $150 per semester student services and technology fee.  Up to 30 credit hours can be taken at this reduced rate.  The remaining 60 credit hours are at Charlotte's current per credit hour rate.  Auditing options are also available.

EPC MAP courses can be covered by the full-tuition scholarship Partnership Program.  They can also be covered under the Charlotte campus' cohort payment option.  Or, students can pay for each EPC MAP course upon registration.  Payment for EPC MAP courses is non-refundable.

Upcoming Course Schedule

The following are a list of courses for the 2017-2018 academic year.

  • Pastoral Care and Counseling (Next Offerings: January 2018, September 2018)
  • Preaching: Principles & Practices (Next Offerings: January 2018, September 2018)
  • Foundations for Leadership (Next Offering: January 2018)
  • Discipleship and Disciplemaking (Next Offering: May 2018)
  • Apologetics (Next Offering: May 2018)
  • Evangelism: Theories & Practice (Next Offering: May 2018)
  • Ministry as Mission (Next Offering: September 2018) (Note: Developed by Dr. Mike Moses, former EPC Moderator)
  • Christian Ethics (Next Offering: September 2018) 

MAP Program Contacts

Contact Email Phone
Dr. Kent Mathews
EPC Liaison 
kentmathews@sbcglobal.net 785-418-1635
Gordon-Conwell Admissions charlotteadmissions@gordonconwell.edu 704-527-9909
Douglas Price
Gordon-Conwell Liaison 
dprice1@gordonconwell.edu 704-527-9909

Rev. Deana Nail
Gordon-Conwell--Charlotte M.Div. Director

dnail@gordonconwell.edu 704-527-9909


Ready to Apply, Learn More?


For Prospective Gordon-Conwell Students: If you are ready to begin your EPC M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary-Charlotte, we invite you to begin your application today!  If you would like to learn more, please feel free to use the contacts above or submit an information request below!

For Visiting Students or Prospective Transfer Students: Contact charlotteadmissions@gordonconwell.edu or (704) 527-9909 for more information!