Once a microchurch leader is leading an accredited microchurches and has signed the covenant of Elders, the leader becomes an Elder in Training. They are accepted on probation into the body of elders, becoming a non-voting members of that body until the completion of their ordination.
Ordination requires three conditions:
- Being faithful to at least 12 months of leading their microchurch
- Completion of the Elders Ministry Training course
- Final approval by the governing elders.
In addition to completion of the course work, the leader will be evaluated by the Governing Elders to determine if they are demonstrating character consistent with the biblical standard for elders, and that they have faithfully led their microchurch toward the vision that God gave them.
Elders in Training Syllabus - This is the complete layout for the Elders In Training course.
Standard for Elders - This document unpacks our understanding of the biblical standard for an elder. Every elder is expected to be familiar with and live in accordance to this standard.
Covenant for Elders - This is the relational document that signifies the promise elders make to each other. It is a living document to reflect our hearts and vows to each other as a community of leaders.
The course will consist of 11 modular classes plus a mandatory final class on sacraments. An Elder in Training can join anytime, and look to graduate 12 months from the date of entry. Successful completion of the course will include attending a minimum of 9 of the 11 classes, completion of all homework assignments, and a passing score (70%) on the final. If a class is missed then we offer it online and expect the homework finished and quiz to be taken within 3 months of the missed class. (You can miss two classes but must complete all 11).
A registration fee of $35 per trainee will be charged for the class materials.
- Attend a minimum of 9 out of 11 modules
- Complete all 11 modules
- Complete all of the homework
- Pass the final
The course is a mixture of practice, governmental, and theological principles that constitute the core competencies of an elder.
- Ecclesiology Essentials and the Pursuit of Church (a look at church history, the ecclesial minimum and the primitive theology of the Underground)
- Underground Values (what elders need to care about)
- Leadership, Servanthood, and Authority in the Church (understanding our place as leaders in and under Jesus and the dynamic of power)
- Underground Emphasis (a church for the poor)
- Theological Reflection and Serving the Word (developing a rhythm of rest, reflection, and dependence on God so you can live your calling)
- Discipline & Conflict (when and how to discipline)
- Apologetics (being prepared to give an answer for the hope we have)
- Mission and Multiplication as Culture (micro church planting as obedience to the great commission)
- Community Dynamics (conflict, dissent, differences, and the hope for intimacy)
- Evangelism and the Microchurch (reaching out and making disciples from the context of the micro church)
- Underground Polity (the leadership structure and governing procedures of the Underground Church)
The Elders in Training curriculum is based on an experience-based, pedagogical cycle- "learning by doing." Each class is designed to provide real-world knowledge for application within a microchurch, empowerment to practice it, and room for reflection. Before arriving to class, students are expected to watch the introductory video that corresponds to the lesson they will be attending (links to the video are provided upon successful registration). Each lesson will have a discussion-focused lecture, an experience component that will be assigned as homework, and a short reflection that is to be submitted afterward.
GRADUATION & ORDINATION
Upon completion of all requirements we will hold a mandatory final accumulative test and session on Sacraments (performing the sacred duties of biblical elders). This final class will be offered twice a year (in the Summer and Winter) and will be followed by planning a day to recognize your ordination in front of the body of believers.