Preparing Leaders for the Church of 2025 and Beyond
Meeting with students in Covenant Groups is only the beginning of our faculty's commitment to walking with students during their studies. Professors also collectively spend more than 1,500 hours each semester instructing and mentoring students one-on-one. With an average of 7 years of pastoral ministry experience prior to joining our faculty, professors not only bring expertise in their fields, but also model the kind of shepherding that we hope will mark students’ future ministries.
We profess and proclaim the historic Christian faith as revealed in Scripture and summarized in the Apostles’ Creed and the Statement of Faith of the National Association of Evangelicals. The Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, although subordinate to the Bible in their authority, set forth our understanding of biblical truth in a consistent, concise, and reliable form. We also seek to help students articulate these truths clearly, defend them reasonably, and live them out graciously as they experience the transforming impact of the gospel in their lives.
Covenant Seminary aims to be a place where students experience the transformative nature of the gospel in their own lives within the structure of thoughtful curriculum and pedagogy, and with the support of the Covenant community. Weekly Covenant Groups, for example, offer one opportunity for students to process together the highs and lows of their journey toward Christ-likeness under the care of faculty/staff mentors as they prepare to take the gospel to others.
The inspired and inerrant Word of God has the power to transform hearts and lives, and as such, it is at the center of our curriculum. Through a framework of covenant theology, students learn to study the Bible in its original languages, appropriately interpret the Bible as it was written to specific people at specific points in history, and effectively apply its timeless truths in various contemporary ministry contexts.
Learning happens at the intersection of theory and praxis, which is why field education is a significant aspect of many of our degree programs. Covenant Seminary is surrounded by more than 25 PCA churches, as well as Acts 29, EPC, E-Free, and other denominations, and through partnerships with these churches, students are able to further hone their ministry skills and identify their gifts while putting their classroom learning to practice in meaningful ways. MDiv students are often able to put their field ed hours toward internship requirements for ordination.
FRANCIS A. SCHAEFFER INSTITUTE
Evangelism in context involves a great deal of cultural sensitivity and respectful dialogue. The late pastor, theologian, and apologist, Francis A. Schaeffer, has had a profound impact on the way we at Covenant Seminary think about and practice evangelism. Today, the Francis A. Schaeffer Institute (FSI), chaired by Professor Jerram Barrs, exists to train God’s servants to demonstrate compassionately and defend reasonably the claims of Christ upon the whole of life. FSI offers annual lecture series, as well as regular events each semester. Keep up with FSI events through The Thistle.
CITY MINISTRY INITIATIVE
Our graduates currently minister in all 50 states and 40 countries, which is one mark of our commitment to prepare students to minister in various contexts. With its rich cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity, St. Louis is a fertile training ground for students to develop a Kingdom perspective. One way that this takes place is through our City Ministry Initiative, which offers courses, seminars, and field education opportunities toward the goal of engaging in and reflecting on the practice of city ministry.
Covenant Seminary’s curriculum emphasizes training in world mission that encourages students to see themselves as participants in God’s mission to redeem the entire cosmos. Because communication of the gospel across cultures is an essential aspect of Christian world mission, we seek to help students cultivate an understanding of their own cultures, as well as those of others.
W. H. MARE INSTITUTE FOR BIBLICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL STUDIES
The W. Harold Mare Institute for Biblical and Archaeological Studies, named after the late Dr. W. Harold Mare (a founding trustee and longtime professor at Covenant Seminary), is a museum and research lab housed on campus. It features an extensive library of materials on biblical archaeology and hundreds of artifacts, most of which were excavated at Abila of the Decapolis by Dr. Mare and his teams over the past few decades. Excavations continue today under the direction of Dr. David Chapman, associate professor of new testament and biblical archaeology, who also serves as curator of the Institute.
AUDIT COURSES AT REDUCED FEES
As part of our commitment to the church, we offer many opportunities and avenues for continuing education to vocational ministers as well as lay people. Now, Covenant Seminary alumni and their spouses—and anyone else—may audit any approved seminary course at the new low audit rate of $48 per credit hour. This is an amazing savings over the previous rate of $240 per credit hour and gives you access to a broader array of classes than before. To audit classes, you first need to apply to the Seminary through our online application process, and our Admissions staff will contact you with more information.
FREE ONLINE MASTER’S-LEVEL COURSES
As an extension of our on-campus courses and lecture series, we offer more than 30 master’s-level courses for FREE online and through the Covenant Seminary app for iPhone, iPad, and Android, as well as many special lectures, interviews with ministry practitioners, sermons, and Q+A’s. Guest speakers include Tim Keller, Andy Crouch, Alistair Begg, Darrin Patrick, Chuck Colson, Derek Webb, Mark Dever, Christopher Wright, Sinclair Ferguson, J.I. Packer, Scotty Smith, Makoto Fujimura, and many more.
DOCTOR OF MINISTRY
The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program further equips pastors and other ministry leaders for ministry in their particular settings. Through a cohort-based learning model, participants will pursue specialized study in one area, such as educational studies, preaching and worship, leadership and mission, or a non-specialized track, while being guided by experienced faculty mentors through a core curriculum. The goal is to learn with and from other seasoned ministry practitioners in the context of trusted peer relationships. The program helps participants fully integrate scholarship with practice through seminar settings which offer thought-provoking, in-depth exploration of real-life ministry issues and challenges. See our DMin degree page for more details.
CENTER FOR MINISTRY LEADERSHIP
The Center for Ministry Leadership at Covenant Seminary has spent the better portion of the last decade seeking to understand and increase pastoral effectiveness through research and peer-based initiatives. Ongoing research on issues related to pastoral ministry, which has been funded in part by the Lilly Endowment Inc., has enabled CML to develop practices and principles that help the Seminary to prepare and sustain church leaders. These findings are also being published in a series of books by Intervarsity Press.