Samford Ministry Training Institute Expands Reach and Adds Three New Sites This Fall
Derek Allen said he hopes people don’t hear about the MTI – Ministry Training Institute – and think it’s fair to those called to pastoral ministry.
It’s also for Bible studies teachers, leaders, volunteers, or just followers of Christ, said Allen, pastor of First Baptist Church, Tillman’s Corner, in Mobile, and director of a new MTI site there. -low.
“It is preparation for any church member who wants to deepen their understanding of the scriptures,” he said. “It’s for every Christian who wants to deepen their faith.”
MTI – formerly Samford University’s extension program, which was originally called The Howard Plan – started in 1947 and took its current name in 2014.
This fall it will have 38 active expansion sites, 32 of which are in Alabama and one of them is Allen’s Church. This one and two more – one at the Clarke Baptist Association and one in Tallahassee, Florida – are new this fall semester.
Kevin Blackwell, director of MTI, said the goal of each of these sites is to provide resources to the church by offering courses from a world-renowned university that are as affordable and accessible as possible.
There is a class for everyone, he says.
MTI offers Bible studies degrees to people studying at outreach sites as well as five online certificates: Discipleship, Women Leadership (offered in cooperation with the National Union of Women Missionaries), Pastoral Leadership, Cult Leadership. and worship administration. These courses are delivered online.
Whether in person or online, “we’re here for the local church,” Blackwell said. “We want to see as many people as possible equip themselves. God is doing a good job through MTI. It continues to grow and we continue to add sites.
Allen said he was excited about what the new site will offer both his church and his community.
When he was first contacted about this, he was excited because the classes were a perfect fit with what he and other church leaders hoped to develop to become disciples in their church. He had taught for MTI in the past while serving in the Etowah County area.
“We are really pushing our people into the classes,” Allen said, noting that he hopes they will participate alongside people from other churches in the area.
On this site, they will be offering a course in Bible interpretation starting August 23, followed by a course in Old Testament inquiry. There are 24 courses in total offered on a six-year rotating basis. With each series of eight classes, students graduate.
“We see this as an opportunity to serve the community as a whole through our church facilities,” Allen said.
And Blackwell said he hopes people from all over will join a site near them, join one of the extension courses through Zoom, or consider an online certificate course. Course registration is now open for the fall, and full scholarships are available for women pursuing the Female Leadership Certificate.
“We have a pretty wide range of students and classes, and there’s a good chance you’ll find one that meets your needs,” he said.
For more information on MTI, visit samford.edu/go/mti or call 205-726-4055.