The Thistle

City Ministry Initiative Expansion and Ministry Partnership in St. Louis City

City Ministry Initiative Expansion and Ministry Partnership in St. Louis City

This year we embarked on a new ministry partnership that will bring the Seminary’s
grace-centered theological teaching to local minority and international
populations through a sustainable, high quality educational outreach and
vocational discipleship ministry in the city of St. Louis. This ministry will also offer
additional educational opportunities for local church leaders who may not
be able to commit to a full degree program—and it will provide additional field
education opportunities for our residential students.

  • Vocational Discipleship Ministry. One goal of the new ministry is to help people understand the God-given value in our work and how that work helps to advance the Kingdom, even if it is not “Christian ministry” in the strict sense of that term.
  • Reaching the Nations in Our Own Backyard. St. Louis has recently emerged as home to some of the largest immigrant and refugee communities in the nation. The proximity of the “nations” in our own backyard provides an opportunity to explore the possibilities of cross-cultural theological education right here in our city—and thus to prepare for the development of similar educational partnerships in other cities and countries. We have then entered into a partnership with Engage St. Louis, a ministry cooperative between several local churches, to rent space in the city that will enable us to offer a variety of classes to the community, in turn providing expanded opportunities for outreach and discipleship. The ministry builds on work already being done by our own City Ministry Initiative (CMI), led by Dr. Greg Perry, which has held several classes—on such topics as Diaconal Ministry for the Missional Church, Cross-Cultural Educational Ministry, and others—in different urban venues.
  • Expanded Field Education Opportunities. Having a physical presence in the city will create additional field education and internship opportunities for students seeking ministry experience in multiethnic, multicultural contexts, and provide additional avenues for continuing education/ongoing training for pastors and other church leaders serving “in the field.”

Learn more about the Seminary’s plans for this initiative in this interview with Dr. Greg Perry, director of the City Ministry Initiative and associate professor of New Testament, at byFaith online.