Lindenwood University in St. Charles announced Wednesday it was beginning a new multidenominational program in Christian Ministry Studies.
The Center for Christian Ministry Studies will initially offer majors in Pastoral Ministry and Youth Ministry, said Dr. David McAlpin, pastor at First Baptist Church of Harvester. McAlpin will serve as executive director of the program.
A unique aspect of the program will be its internship and lab components, under which students will work in their field at local churches. McAlpin already has begun seeking partnerships with churches across the area.
“We feel it is natural for us to be involved in such a program,” said Lindenwood University President Dennis Spellmann. “Our Center for the Study of American Culture and Values has six important pillars, and one of them is Ethics, Faith and Spirituality.”
Spellmann noted that the CCMS will not require students or faculty members to accept any additional doctrinal commitments. He said healthy theological dialogue and diversity of convictions are to be anticipated and respected, as they are in any academic community.
“We’re based here on Christian values,” he said. “But we welcome many religions here. We want to accept and understand many people.”
McAlpin said there is a need in the St. Louis area for such a program. He said many prospective ministers and youth ministers are not prepared for the real-world diversity of issues they face during their first pastoral assignment. He said the internships would be a key to better preparation.
“There is a tremendous need to offer training for ministers and youth ministers in this community,” said McAlpin. “This program will be unique in that it maintains a high academic standard and yet stresses a very practical application with internships for youth ministers.”
For more information on Lindenwood University’s Center for Christian Ministry Studies, call 636-949-4949.