To preempt some questions that may come up, I recommend you visit www.antiochschool.edu. Otherwise, I'll try to answer any questions you may have and those I don't have an immediate answer for, I'll get in touch with BILD to find the answer. Be thinking about whether you are wanting to pursue credits initially or auditing. You can audit and you’ll earn credits that can be used later in an Antioch degree program.
But please be aware: our idea of “auditing” courses is different from the kind of auditing where you sit in on lectures in order to gain some knowledge, but aren’t required to complete any assignments or take any tests.
Since the Antioch School is structured to be a mentoring program with classes attached (rather than a classroom program with mentoring attached), you will still be required to engage your learning by applying it in your local church, where you can use what you learn in the classroom for ongoing ministry. You will still complete assignments that will help you develop skills and character along with the knowledge you gain.
Finally, I'll have the Acts course to show you Tuesday night, but here is a more thorough description of the 15 week study:
The overall objective of this course is to determine the fundamental biblical principles regarding the mission of the Church and its role in missions, developing guidelines and strategies from these principles for a local church’s involvement. Specifically, this means that each person studying the course would do the following:
· Develop a basic understanding of biblical keys to the establishment and expansion of the first-century Church and how to use these keys in the establishment and expansion of the global Church.
· Design a model to use as a guide in planting and establishing churches today from the core elements of Paul’s strategy used on his missionary journeys.
· Determine a biblical definition for missionary and missionary work.
· Develop convictions on the role of the local church in missions today and design a model for how a local church could be central and vitally involved in missions while networking with other churches and missions agencies.
PROGRESSIVE ROLE OF EACH UNIT
Unit 1: Keys from Acts
In this unit, we will attempt to drive everyone back to the life of the Early Church for a fresh look at what happened. The first task is to wrestle with how the book of Acts should be used in the twenty-first century. Does it give us help in understanding the life and mission of the Church today? Can we use it in strategizing for ministry? After thinking these issues through and developing guidelines for use in the twenty-first century, the book of Acts is examined carefully, in six sections, looking for keys to the successful establishment and expansion of the first-century Church. This is designed to give us the database for the work to be done in the units that follow.
Unit 2: The Role of the Local Church in Fulfilling the Great Commission
Building on the data of the Acts study, this unit addresses the issue of the centrality of the local church in God’s plan for this age. In our generation, the Great Commission is often reduced to an individualistic enterprise—the multiplication of individuals. The question is asked: How did the Great Commission unfold? The unit attempts to demonstrate that the focus in the first century was not the multiplication of individuals but the multiplication of believing communities—local churches—and that the local church was central to the unfolding of this plan.
Unit 3: The Core Model: The Pauline Strategy
In this unit, we come back to the issue of how to use Acts in the twenty-first century and address the issue more specifically. Did Paul have a strategy for his missionary activity? And if so, did he, or the Spirit, intend it to be normative for the Church today? We attempt to demonstrate, in this unit, that he did have a strategy and that we need to pay attention to it since it was Paul’s job to unveil God’s administration for this age.
Unit 4: Networking, Organizations, and the Local Church
In this unit, we deal with the issue of the para-church organization. The local church is supposed to be at the center of God’s plan, and yet today it is often only a sideshow. The extent of its involvement in missions is often reduced to a recruitment ground for financial and prayer support of career missionaries. We attempt to think through a very difficult and thorny issue—the Church and para-church relationship: encouraging the building of pragmatic networking relationships between local churches and para-church organizations, calling on para-church groups to become church-based, while challenging local churches to reclaim their central role in the mission of building Christ’s Church.
Unit 5: Designing a Missions Strategy for a Local Church
Finally, we get to the central goal of the course: designing a missions strategy for local churches. The goal is to identify a plan that is in harmony, as much as possible, with the philosophy developed in the first four units. Since Christ is head over the Church and has one administration revealed through Paul, we should be able to identify a general strategy that would apply to any local church anywhere. That is the goal of this unit. Only when churches are “striving together, with one mind” will we experience the full measure of the power of Christ.
2 Timothy 2:2