The M.Div. with the Church Planting Emphasis at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary provides theological training in both tactical and transformational skills. The Emphasis is designed to be collaborative and transformative, practice oriented, and marked by real time ministry action and reflection in community.

Through coursework and contextual practice, students will sharpen their theological, historical, and scriptural awareness, while learning how to receive and communicate the good news of God in Christ in various cultural contexts. Internships with local planters in a variety of traditions and environments provide laboratories in which students can observe, experiment, and create new expressions of Christian community. 

Funded third year internships to launch entirely new communities provide laboratories to invite faithful experiments and offer learning that works in tandem with practice so that best practices are not just learned but absorbed. Participation in cohort life with fellow students offers a holistic and reflective learning community and provides for the spiritual formation of participants. Through all of these components, students cultivate their ability to listen and respond to the Holy Spirit’s direction as they go forth in mission.

Key Resources of the Church Planting Emphasis

  • One-on-one collaboration with the director to tailor core course assignments so they are informed by the particular concerns of convening new faith communities
  • A Field Education internship in a new worshiping community context with a local planter
  • Monthly cohort lunches that offer community discernment practices, connections with local leaders in the field, and framed conversations about missional leadership
  • A funded, third year launch internship including
    • A $2,800 stipend for 10 hours/week of work during the academic year
    • A $1,000 program budget for the launching community
    • Monthly coaching during the academic year
    • A three-part, non-credit bearing course on faith-based non-profit management in partnership with the Bayer Center for Non-Profit Management
    • A book on stewardship in new worshiping communities produced in partnership with 1001 New Worshipping Communities
  • Connection with our local, onsite 1001 New Worshiping Communities staff person
  • An ecosystem of creative new worshiping communities in a variety of traditions around Pittsburgh, collaborating with CPI in a variety of ways
  • Close collaboration with the local Presbytery, as well as strong partnerships with other local judicatories
  • Church Planting focused intercultural trip opportunities through Pittsburgh Seminary’s World Mission Initiative

Other Church Planting Programs at Pittsburgh Seminary

Read about our Church Planting Initiative or Graduate Certificate in Church Planting and Revitalization.

Video credit: 1001 New Worshiping Communities and the Presbyterian Mission Agency

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