The Thistle

Announcing the New MDiv Church Planting Track

Covenant Seminary is pleased to announce the launch of a new Church Planting Track for its Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree program, to begin in the fall of 2018. The track, funded in part by a generous grant from Mission to North America’s (MNA) Antioch Fund for Church Multiplication, provides a way for students interested in and called to church planting to enhance an MDiv degree by specializing in this area of ministry.

The new track is part of the Seminary’s ongoing commitment to meet the growing need for gifted and trained church planters in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and other denominations by both increasing the number of church planters graduating from the Seminary and also deepening and strengthening their level of preparedness. The track will include classes focused specifically on church planting, provide multiple assessments of gifting and readiness to be a church planter, provide mentored oversight and regular evaluation of developing church planters, and offer church planting internship and apprenticeship opportunities. A limited number of Church Planting Scholarships will be available each year to students who qualify.

Established as part of the MDiv degree, the Church Planting Track is an outgrowth of the Seminary’s recent expansion of its Field Education program, which seeks to provide students with practical mentored ministry experiences in a variety of contexts to better prepare them for the daily realities of life in ministry. The track, along with the Seminary’s recently announced Philip and Rebecca Douglass Chair of Church Planting and Christian Formation, is also a tribute to Covenant’s resident church planting expert and Professor of Applied Theology Dr. Phil Douglass and his wife, Rebecca, who have been instrumental in helping to identify, evaluate, mentor, and equip hundreds of future church planters over the last 30 years.

Dr. Mark Dalbey, president of Covenant Seminary, said, “We have seen the need for a specialized track in church planting for quite some time, and are excited to now be able to offer it as an option for those who believe they may be called to this uniquely challenging form of ministry. We are grateful to the Antioch Fund for the generous grant that enabled us to develop this track. We are grateful as well for the lifelong church planting and mentoring work of Phil and Rebecca Douglass and the inspiration they have been to us in thinking through what this new track should look like. We are eager to see how the Lord will use those trained through this program to further build and strengthen his church and Kingdom.”

For more information on the Church Planting Track, contact Jeremy Main, director of field education, at 314.392.4047 or