The Berean Correspondence Institute - A Mentoring and Multiplying Ministry
II Timothy 2:2 "And the things which thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also."
We believe that the local church is God’s appointed institution for the making of disciples and the training of ministers. It offers the intangible of being able to balance theological training with practical experience; in the setting where the individual will be ministering. While many churches acknowledge the importance this principle there is often little academic and theological training offered by the local church. This correspondence institute is an attempt to bridge that gap by providing college level instruction for those committed to serving Christ in their local church.
The primary benefits of local church correspondence training are low cost, flexibility of schedule, and families not having to uproot while receiving ministry training. The ability to keep the family in a stable environment; around the support of family, friends, and their local church is a great advantage to producing a home that is strong in ministry.
All of the materials for the institute are available on our church website. There are videos of the lectures and booklets for each class. We pray these materials will be a blessing to assist you to fulfill the Great Commission committed to His church by the Lord Jesus Christ.
VISION STATEMENT: to provide discipleship and direction for faithful leaders committed to serving the Lord Jesus Christ through the local church.
MISSION STATEMENT: "Preparing servants who are solid in Bible, sound in doctrine, and strong in ministry"
The structure of this program is designed to enhance the preparation for ministry by emphasizing the proper subject matter at the appropriate time in the learning process. We believe that there are three major subject areas that are necessary for adequate preparation for the gospel ministry: Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, and Practical Theology. An attempt has been made to order the classes so as to maximize the capacity of the student to digest the material. We have attempted to follow the classical education model of the Trivium; which divides learning into three stages: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. We believe that the grammar or building blocks of theology is a foundation in Bible. Then conclusions drawn from the Bible are to be arranged logically in a systematic theology. Then the knowledge of these disciplines must be applied to minister (rhetoric) in a practical way. We see this as the biblical pattern for ministry training. I Timothy 4:13 “Till I come, give attendance to reading (Bible), to exhortation (Rhetoric), to doctrine (Systematic Theology).”
Biblical Theology - The first year is completely devoted to Bible knowledge as the essential foundation for ministry. Teddy Roosevelt once said, "a thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education". The emphasis is upon God’s progressive revelation of His ultimate purpose from Genesis to Revelation. The twelve classes divide the Bible into its twelve major divisions.
In addition to reading through the Bible, there are three textbooks used to enhance the student’s grasp of the material: The Unfolding Drama of Redemption by Graham Scroggie, Explore the Book by J. Sidlow Baxter, and Exploring the Scriptures by John Philips. These will be used for all twelve classes in Biblical Theology. Once this has been accomplished the student will have the Bible building blocks necessary to begin developing their doctrinal beliefs.
BIB 201 Pentateuch - A survey of the Law of Moses
BIB 211 History of Israel I - A survey of Israel’s history from Joshua - II Samuel.
BIB 212 History of Israel II - A survey of Israel’s history from I Kings - Esther.
BIB 221 Poetry and Wisdom - A survey of Job - Song of Solomon.
BIB 231 Major Prophets – A survey of the prophets Isaiah - Daniel.
BIB 241 Minor Prophets – A survey of the prophets Hosea - Malachi.
BIB 251 Gospels - A survey of the synoptic gospels and John.
BIB 261 Acts - A survey of the early church and the ministry of the apostle Paul.
BIB 271 Church Epistles - A survey of the letters of Paul.
BIB 281 Pastoral Epistles - A survey of Paul’s letters written to ministers.
BIB 291 General Epistles - A survey of the books of Hebrews - Jude.
BIB 299 Revelation - A survey of the Revelation given to the apostle John.
Systematic Theology - Once an individual has a framework of Biblical Theology, the next step is to logically organize the doctrines of Christianity and their relationship to each other. A foundation in Biblical Theology is essential to help students balance doctrinal truths in proportion to their emphasis in relation to God’s ultimate purpose. There are three primary texts: the Systematic Theology’s of Wayne Grudem, Louis Berkhof, and Lewis Sperry Chafer. In addition, each class will have an additional text that is classic work on the subject.
DOC 301 Prolegomena - Intro to the approaches to the study of theology
DOC 311 Bibliology – A study of the doctrine of the Bible
DOC 312 Theology - A study of the doctrine of God
DOC 313 Christology - A study of the Person and work of Christ
DOC 321 Pneumatology – A study of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit
DOC 331 Anthropology-Hamartialogy - The doctrine of man and the doctrine of sin
DOC 341 Soteriology – A study of the doctrine of salvation
DOC 351 Sanctification – A study of practical righteousness
DOC 361 Angelology – A study of the doctrine of angels, demons, and the devil
DOC 371 Ecclesiology – A study of the doctrine of the church
DOC 381 Eschatology - A study of the doctrine of the end times
DOC 391 Israelology – A study of Israel and its significance in the Scriptures
Practical Theology - Once the student has developed their personal doctrinal statement from their systematic study, they are prepared to learn the practical aspects of ministering to God's flock. At this point the student will be solid in Bible and sound in doctrine, so the emphasis will be customized to strengthen him for the specific ministry they have received of the Lord. Col. 4:17
First trimester - People
MIN 401 The Home - A study of marriage, parenting, and establishing a godly home
MIN 411 Interpersonal Relationships - A study in the development of relationships
MIN 421 Leadership - A study of the laws of leadership and spiritually leading others
MIN 422 Evangelism and Discipleship - How to reproduce yourself in faithful men
Second trimester - Preaching
MIN 431 Prayer and Worship - A study of the divine empowering for ministry
MIN 441 Expository Preaching – An introduction to the biblical method of preaching
MIN 451 Hermeneutics – A study of the proper method of interpreting scripture
MIN 461 Homiletics – A study of the preaching and delivery of bible messages
Third trimester - Pastoring
MIN 471 Philosophy of Ministry - developing a biblical approach to ministry
MIN 481 Biblical Counseling – A study of applying bible truth to personal lives
MIN 491 Pastoral Ministry – A study of the demands, difficulties, and duties of ministry
MIN 499 Missions / Church Planting - Implementing the NT pattern in the 21st century
I Timothy 4:13 - 16 "Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee."
II Timothy 2:15 "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
The classes require intensive reading by the student. The amount of reading time will depend on the reading proficiency of the student. There are four areas of daily reading: Scripture reading, Textbook reading, New Testament reading, and Devotional reading. A syllabus will be provided indicating the textbooks and reading schedule for each lesson. The student will read in advance the Scriptures and appropriate textbook pages to be covered in each lesson. The textbooks are designed to supplement and help the students digest the Scriptures. The books are not intended to give a verse by verse exposition, rather to establish a framework and context of the Scriptures.
The New Testament reading requires the student to read the same seven chapters in the NT each day for a month. Each month the student will read a different seven chapters (a reading schedule will be provided). At this pace you will read through the New Testament thirty times in three years.
The last portion of reading is devotional reading from books off a reading list. These are classic books on spiritual themes that are intended to balance the weightier Scripture and textbook reading. They are books that don’t warrant teaching an entire class upon but are essential and profitable to balanced spiritual growth.
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners by John Bunyan
Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall (Three volumes = Three books)
The Sovereignty of God by A.W. Pink
Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort
John's Baptism by J.R. Graves
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices by Thomas Brooks
Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon
The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory
Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur
Reformed Pastor by Richard Baxter
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals by John Piper
Robert E Lee on Leadership by David Crocker III
9 Marks of a Healthy Church by Mark Dever
Biblical Eldership by Alexander Strauss
The Soul Winner by Charles Spurgeon
Holy War by John Bunyan
Knowing God by J.I. Packer
The Gospel According to Jesus by John MacArthur
Peacemaker by Ken Sande
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Ted Tripp
Justification and Regeneration by Charles Leiter
The Art of Divine Contentment by Thomas Watson
Revival by Brian Edwards
George Muller of Bristol by A.T. Pierson
Call the Sabbath a Delight by Walter Chantry
A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine
Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment by Jeremiah Burroughs
The Mortification of Sin by John Owen
The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes
All Things for Good by Thomas Watson
The True Bounds of Christian Freedom by Samuel Bolton
A Lifting up of the Downcast by William Bridge
The classes will be completed one booklet at a time. The student is allowed to study at their own individual pace. A full-time schedule would require taking three lessons a week in order to complete the institute in three years. Each class will consist of twelve lessons with one lecture per lesson. At the end of each trimester there is a final exam over each of the four classes.
The student will be graded on four areas each counting as one-fourth of the overall grade for the course. The four areas to be graded are: quizzes, a final exam, book reports, and an annual assignment.
Quizzes will be given over each lecture to monitor progress in the class. On each quiz there will be one point for completing the New Testament reading, one point for completing the Scripture and textbook reading, and three questions will be given from the notes over the lecture.
The final exam given at the end of the trimester will cover all four classes. The exam will consist of forty questions taken directly from the quiz questions; ten from each class. In addition, there will be four essay questions; each summarizing the content of an entire class.
The book reports are a one page, typed report of a book from the reading list. The reports are intended to force the student to think through the material and record what they learned. Students are required to read one book for each class and turn in a book report to be graded. The student may choose whatever books they are interested in from the list.
At the end of each year’s classes, there will also be an annual assignment to demonstrate the student’s grasp of the material. The first year is a paper on the subject: What is the message of the Bible? The second year, the student will be required to produce a detailed personal doctrinal statement. The third year is a paper giving an explanation of the individual’s philosophy of ministry.
Extra credit may be earned through scripture memorization. Students are highly encouraged to develop their scripture memory skills by memorizing significant chapters or even an entire book of the Bible. One extra credit point is given for each verse and may be applied to any class of the students choosing.
The cost for each class (which includes the booklet) is $10. Therefore, the total cost is $120 for a year and $360 to complete the entire institute. The student will be required to purchase their own textbooks for each class allowing them to start accumulating a personal library.
The official doctrinal statement is the London Baptist Confession of 1689. The doctrinal emphasis of the instruction is upon the Sovereign Grace of God in salvation, the local church, and is Pre-millennial. While these positions are held and emphasized, they are not forced upon the individual student. The goal is to provide a learning environment where discussion is encouraged, disagreement is tolerated, but doubtful disputations are neither encouraged nor tolerated.
New Testament reading schedule - each month select one portion of scripture to read. Each day read the entire portion, preferably in one sitting. Write the date each passage was read to monitor progress.
Scripture Date Read Scripture Date Read Scripture Date Read
1. Mt. 1-7 13. John 15-21________ 25. Ephes. 1-6 _______
2. Mt. 8-14 ________ 14. Acts 1-7 ________ 26. Phil. & Col. _______
3. Mt. 15-21 ________ 15. Acts 8-14 ________ 27. I & II Thes. _______
4. Mt. 22-28 ________ 16. Acts 15-21 ______ 28. I Timothy _______
5. Mark 1-8 ________ 17. Acts 22-28 ______ 29. II Tim- Phil ________
6. Mark 9-16 ________ 18. Romans 1-8________ 30. Hebrews 1-7________
7. Luke 1-6 ________ 19. Romans 9-16 ________ 31. Hebrews 8-13 ________
8. Luke 7-12 ________ 20. I Cor. 1-8 _______ 32. James ________
9. Luke 13-18 ________ 21. I Cor. 9-16_______ 33. I and II Peter ________
10. Luke 19-24________ 22. II Cor. 1-7 _______ 34. 1John - Jude ________
11. John 1-7 ________ 23. II Cor. 8-13_______ 35. Rev. 1-7 ________
12. John 8-14 ________ 24. Gal. 1-6 _______ 36. Rev. 8-14 ________
37. Rev. 15-22 ________