Bachelor of Theology
(Children's & Family Ministry)

cfm grey

TRANSFORM A CHILD… TRANSFORM A FAMILY… 
TRANSFORM A GENERATION

The Children and Family Ministry (CFM) Program, develops leaders who are intentional about engaging in ministry with children and families in creative and innovative ways, all through the power of the Holy Spirit.

EXPERIENCE

Highlights of your time here include starting the year off hearing from God and getting to know your fellow students in a fun and relaxed atmosphere at our annual Encounter retreat in September.  It continues when you are introduced to and taught by several children’s and family ministry professionals, and when you apply classroom knowledge in real ministry situations as you minister in your practicum to children all over Alberta.  

EDUCATION

Classes over the course of the degree provide an extensive approach to learning and training.  Core to the program, beginning in your first semester with Bible As Story course is the impact of the Metanarrative.  Creative, engaging and interactive would be words that describe the environment that is created by the professors. More than just dispensing information, Vanguard attempts to help students develop critical thinking, wrestling through the scriptures and establishing an approach that reflects those biblical values.  As one grad stated, ‘Vanguard cannot not teach you everything you need to know but it will teach you the questions that need to be asked.’

Bachelor of Theology (Children's and Family Ministry)

YEAR 1

  • Fall Courses
    FE131 1 hrs

    The focus of this practicum course is to gain practical experience through exposure to children & family ministries in the church and the community. This course is developed to integrate biblical principles with the current issues and needs of children and families in our community. Opportunities throughout the practicum will provide greater awareness of resources needed to meet ministry goals and challenges. The course content will be presented and discussed in classes. During labs, there will be opportunities for practice based on practicum assignments and projects. Students are required to prepare for and participate in the annual CFM ministry trip.

    GS101 3 hrs

    Interpersonal Communication is designed to increase an individual’s understanding and implementation of effective interpersonal communication behaviors and skills. This course will help the student as they begin to understand communication and to assist them into becoming an effective and creative communicator. Verbal and nonverbal concepts affecting the communication process between individuals in various interpersonal contexts will be examined.

    Various models, methods, theories and practices of communication will be examined, as well participation in written and verbal activities designed to develop and improve interpersonal skills. The goal of this course is to assist the student in using what is taught and applying it to the various settings that the student will find themselves in.

    Course Outcomes
    1) Clarify the importance of communication in daily life and ministry.
    2) To help evaluate interpersonal communication skills and develop competency in interpersonal communication.
    3) Examine how an individual’s personality, culture, family background, society and mass media affect how a person communicates.
    4) Explore the complexities and intricacies of verbal and nonverbal communication.

    PS102 3 hrs

    What happens when a leader grows intentionally? Dynamic growth happens internally. What happens when a leadership team functions optimally? Dynamic things happen organizationally. This foundational course on leadership will attempt to inform and prepare students for their future lives and leadership by delving into the theology and theory of leadership as encased in the Scriptures and as practiced best by healthy organizations. Students will glean from exemplary leaders what they do and how they do it, both individually and in teams. Through self-discovery of their own God-given strengths and gift mixes, students will be inspired and equipped to become dynamic Kingdom leaders who learn to dynamically lead alone and within dynamic teams.

    BT103 3 hrs

    This course introduces to the person and work of the Holy Spirit. We will look at the Holy Spirit’s work in salvation, water baptism, and communion as well as the baptism of the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. Practical and experiential attention will be given to the nine fruit and gifts of the Spirit as lived out in our personal lives and corporate life of the church. A small group component is also a major part of the course.

    BT101 3 hrs

    This entry level course is designed to demonstrate the importance and relevancy of the whole Bible for today. For many, it is a mystery how the Old Testament is related to the New Testament. Some think the former is a source of unrelated devotional stories, laws and prophecies. In truth, the two testaments are the complete story of God’s progressive plan for his people. There can be no real understanding of the New Testament without a clear view of the overall message of the Old Testament. It is the purpose of this course to concisely trace the story of Scripture, and to help students build a central foundation with which they can understand, interpret and apply God’s word to their lives today.

     

    BT102 3 hrs

    This course is designed to acquaint the student with the purpose and methods of responsible biblical interpretation. This course will look at both general hermeneutics, principles for interpreting Scripture as a whole, special hermeneutics, and the principles for understanding and interpreting the various genres and literary devices that are present in the Bible. A secondary, but essential, emphasis will be given to the role of the Spirit in interpreting the text of Scripture.

  • Winter Courses
    PS101 3 hrs

    This course will examine contemporary family life in and out of the church, and it’s biblical purpose. Students will study the idea of a holistic family ministry model as well as the importance of an intergenerational mindset for church ministry. This course will include current strategies for various ministries that involve the family.

    Learning Outcomes:
    1) Identify current societal issues that affect and influence families.
    2) Examine different models for family and intergenerational ministry.
    3) Understand various methods that church leadership can support parents in areas of spiritual development.
    4) To convey a biblical concept for family ministry that is adaptable to different ministry contexts.

    GS102 3 hrs

    An exploration of worldviews as intellectual, behavioural, and value systems in relation to culture. These powerful forces shape the lives of people often without clear reflection on the part of the holder. A person’s worldview has a huge influence on identity formation. Therefore, it is crucial to increase awareness and purposeful development of our worldview.

    PS131 3 hrs

    Students will be introduced to the basic theories, concepts, and principles of educational psychology and the different ways people learn. We will be discussing how these impact our methods, what motivates people to learn, and other factors that affect teaching and learning. Insights gained will be compared with biblical principles to help students formulate their own biblical theology of teaching and learning and help them choose the best methods to use in a particular learning situation.

    FE132 1 hrs

    The focus of this practicum course is to gain practical experience through exposure to children & family ministries in the church and the community. This course is developed to integrate biblical principles with the current issues and needs of children and families in our community. Opportunities throughout the practicum will provide greater awareness of resources needed to meet ministry goals and challenges. The course content will be presented and discussed in classes. During labs, there will be opportunities for practice based on practicum assignments and projects. Students are required to prepare for and participate in the annual CFM ministry trip.

    BT105 3 hrs

    The purpose of this course is to examine the teaching of the Bible and develop a systematic theology that addresses four important themes: the Word of God, the doctrine of God, biblical anthropology, and the doctrine of sin. Efforts will be made to explain how these themes are developed through promise and fulfilment from Genesis to Revelation.

    BT104 3 hrs

    This course is an introduction to the Gospels. It will focus on the four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Issues relating to the synoptic problem will be explored, as well as the unique contribution of each gospel. The literary nature of the gospels will be examined, exploring the gospels as story, as well as their theological impact. As the title implies, this course will emphasize our response to the gospels: what it means to follow Jesus. The focal point the Gospels have within God’s progressive revelation will be emphasized, as well as the integral part they play in personal, relational, and ministerial contexts.

YEAR 2

  • Fall Courses
    FE231 1 hrs

    The student’s skill development in children’s ministry will be addressed, building on insights from the Introductory Practicum. These skills will be honed throughout the year through practical assignments and class critique and discussion of assigned readings. Particular attention will be given to how leaders can provide pastoral care for children in crisis and how to help children develop a vibrant faith in good and bad times in their lives. Prerequisite: Practicum: Children and Family Ministry – Year 1 Winter

    PS231 3 hrs

    Engaging communication is vital in reaching children today, but even more important than that is the message we are trying to communicate.    Fortunately, churches have many good curriculum options to choose from, but with this blessing also come some challenges: How do they evaluate and choose a curriculum? If they decide to write their own, how do they go about it? How can they adapt what they already use to better meet their needs? Students will explore these and other questions that surround the exciting challenge of what churches teach children.

    Prerequisite: Teaching Methods and Theories of Learning

    PS201 3 hrs

    Class participants will have an opportunity to learn sermon-building techniques through training in manuscript preparation and delivery styles. A lab component of the study requires the student to deliver a biblically-based message to fellow class members, and evaluate all other messages shared in the course. Prerequisite: Hermeneutics

    GS203 3 hrs

    This course provides an introduction to the field of psychology, which includes a survey of biology, the development of personality, emotions, mental illness, and the learning process.

    GS207 3 hrs

    Course description coming soon.

    GS201 3 hrs

    This course is a basic introduction to the Biblical languages Greek and Hebrew and to the tools with which the student can study the Scriptures more effectively. Beginning with an appreciation for the nature and challenges of working with the original languages of our Scriptures, the student will be equipped with the skills necessary for the proper use of language and interpretative tools such as concordances, lexicons, word-studies, critical commentaries, and computer software. The course is divided into three parts. First, a comprehensive walk through of the Logos Library System is undertaken. The second and third components consist of learning the Hebrew and Greek alphabets and a basic introduction to vocabulary and grammar of each. An essential part of the course is the integration of language tools with the preparation of Bible studies and sermons.

  • Winter Courses
    GS204 3 hrs

    This is a survey course to introduce the student to the history of the Christian church primarily focusing on renewal and revival movements. This course examines the history of the church as it developed from the apostles to the present era. The course objective is to thoroughly acquaint the student with the historical and theological development of key figures, movements, and doctrines.

    BT201 3 hrs

    The book of Romans is crucial in understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this course, students explore the rich truths of justification, salvation, and sanctification and other significant topics both exegetical and theological studies of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. It is the intent of the instructor to look at the various details and application of the Gospel as taught by the Apostle Paul in this great epistle. This course is designed to teach the student how to interpret and apply the book of Romans in their ministry context and to be challenged, inspired, and equipped in his or her own spiritual walk.

    FE232 1 hrs

    The student’s skill development in children’s ministry will be addressed, building on insights from the Introductory Practicum. These skills will be honed throughout the year through practical assignments and class critique and discussion of assigned readings. Particular attention will be given to how leaders can provide pastoral care for children in crisis and how to help children develop a vibrant faith in good and bad times in their lives. Prerequisite: Practicum: Children and Family Ministry – Year 1 Winter

    BT205 3 hrs

    From the foundations of the world, the salvation of a people has been God’s intent, and His Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth to complete such a redemption. The purpose of this course is to give the student a thorough perspective on two of the greatest pillars of the Christian faith: A Biblical Christology and Soteriology. The study of the nature, life, and death and resurrection of Jesus Christ along with a truly Biblical understanding of the nature of our salvation is an essential part of forming a Biblical basis for the student’s faith in our Lord and a foundation for effective ministry in the future. This course emphasizes the central place that Jesus has in God’s continuing plan of salvation and that by believing in Him, we find our place within the story. Prerequisite: Theology 1: God and the Human Condition

    BT202 3 hrs

    The Pentateuch has always been regarded as a significant part of Scripture. It gives us an explanation of the world and its inhabitants. It explains the origins of sin and traces its consequences. It introduces the idea of a chosen people through whom the world will be redeemed. In the law it sent out a pattern for society and in the Ten Commandments expresses principles of behavior that have commanded almost universal respect. For modern readers, these key books are often viewed as the most problematic, historically, ethically and theologically. However, it is in this tension that there is such continuing interest in these books. The student will be introduced to the content and significance of this portion of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Attention to be given to the matters of contemporary critical issues as well as the foundational basis of Christian history through creation and beyond. The place of the Pentateuch will also be examined in relation to God’s continuing story in the rest of Scripture. In addition, the personal, practical and applicable use of these scriptures for Christian ministry and witness will be addressed.

    GS206 3 hrs

    The intent of this course is to introduce you to the scientific study of child and adolescent development and apply this knowledge toward effective youth ministry. Although the volume of material in print on these two areas is vast, we will focus on the most important topics as they relate to youth and youth work. This course is introductory in nature so it will provide a basic understanding of adolescent development and foundational youth ministry principles that will serve as a basis for further study.

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Pyschology

YEAR 3

  • Fall Courses
    FE331 1 hrs

    The emphasis of this practicum will be in the fourth year student’s continued skill development and growth in the area of Children’s and Family Ministry.  This final pastoral practicum will focus on the skills involved in leading and developing a strong volunteer and staff team.  This practicum is designed to give students the skills and confidence they need to take a leadership role in Children’s and Family Ministry either in a local church or para-church organization.  Prerequisite: Practicum: Children and Family Ministry – Year 2 Winter

     

    PS302 3 hrs

    This course is an introduction to the preparation, philosophy, theology, and skills of the pastoral
    counsellor. It addresses issues and situations commonly faced in the pastor’s office. Practical
    application of the principles and skills learned during lectures will be applied through various
    experiences and integrative assignments.

    Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology (GS203)

    GS301 3 hrs

    An introductory investigation into several main areas of philosophy, including: Metaphysics (what is the nature of ultimate reality?), Epistemology (questions about the nature of knowledge), Axiology (the study of value), Logic (dealing with critical thinking, and forms of argument), and Philosophy of religion. It is designed to help students think critically about and clearly explain to others why they believe what they believe. Attention will be given to how they study of philosophy can aid Christians in the task of apologetics, polemics, and systematic theology.

    BT305 3 hrs

    This course is a study of the church and last things from a Biblical theological perspective. The church is seen as a divinely established entity through which God’s people have their beginning, and develop identity and fellowship with God. Last things are studied with a focus on the eschatological hope of God’s people from the time of the Patriarchs to the time of Christ and the New Testament Church. Prerequisite: Theology 1: God and the Human Condition

    BT301 3 hrs

    The first of a trilogy in pastoral studies, this course uses the books of I and II Timothy and Titus to build a Biblical template for healthy lifestyles, and for the carrying out of contemporary pastoral responsibilities.

    PS331 3 hrs

    This practical course addresses issues concerning trauma and how it affects children. Students will learn useful skills needed when working with children in crisis. This course explores how to build resilience, design and implement programs through role-play, case-studies, videos, and discussion. This course is offered in August as a one-week modular course.

  • Winter Courses
    FE332 1 hrs

    The emphasis of this practicum will be in the fourth year student’s continued skill development and growth in the area of Children’s and Family Ministry.  This final pastoral practicum will focus on the skills involved in leading and developing a strong volunteer and staff team.  This practicum is designed to give students the skills and confidence they need to take a leadership role in Children’s and Family Ministry either in a local church or para-church organization. Prerequisite: Practicum: Children and Family Ministry – Year 2 Winter 

     

    BT302 3 hrs

    This course has two major components: First, a study of Hebrew poetry will give an overview of the genre, as well as the forms, messages, themes and original cultural settings of the books of Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon. Secondly, three quarters of the course will focus on the book of Psalms. The place of the Psalms within God’s progressive revelation will be emphasized, and attention will be given to its place within the God’s continuing plan and how they may be applied to the on-going life of the Christian disciple and the corporate faith community today. The instructor will consider the various aspects of interpreting and expositing the books of Psalms. Some practical examples will be given as to how they may be used in contemporary preaching. Some themes of pertinent importance such as evil, pain, suffering, prayer, and worship will be discussed. Messianic, ecclesiological, and eschatological developments will also be explored.

     

    BT306 3 hrs

    This course is a biblical exposition of the pneumatology in Lukan literature. It evaluates the relevant Lukan data narratively, grammatically, contextually, and canonically, paying particular attention to the way Luke portrays Jesus in the continuing story of God’s salvation plan. It will look at the different perspectives and ways of approaching Luke-Acts, paying close attention to the significant themes of salvation, empowerment for mission, and judgment. Modern interpreters of Lukan pneumatology will be critically evaluated. The OT background will also be appreciated at each step. A major concern of the course will be the relevancy of Luke’s message for us today.

     

    PS332 3 hrs

    Organization and administration are essential skills for any children’s pastor to develop. This course will help students gain a basic proficiency in these areas by helping them take a closer look at ministry to children and their families in the local church in order to evaluate an improve it. Course topics include (but are certainly not limited to) the importance of vision, mission, and strategy, recruiting and developing volunteers and budgeting, policies and procedures. Prerequisite: Teaching Methods and Theories of Learning

    PS303 3 hrs

    Building on the biblical template found in the Pastoral Letters, this course centers on the personal issues of vocational call, character transformation (spiritual formation), and compassion/care assessment. Class members will be introduced to spiritual training exercises, experiences and relationships that will assist them to become a daily “apprentice of Jesus, the Pastor” in a practical fashion. A number of practicing pastors will share their experiences and training practices in living and leading a healthy life of spiritual leadership. The outcome or PRODUCT of this course would be lives that are marked by spiritual vitality and ongoing transformation. Time will be spent on understanding the PROCESSES that one must commit themselves to, if they are to walk in this kind of health for the long haul. Prerequisite: Pastoral Letters

    PS301 3 hrs

    This course will examine the elements of effective management within multiple dimensions of holistic Christian ministry settings. Attention will be given to establishing a foundation for the understanding of the essential functions of management, individual and collective performance, organizational systems, governance, change issues and the stewardship of resources, human as well as financial. Students will also be challenged to apply their leadership learning in internship experiences, as well as in practicing and learning how to lead people through transformative life experiences like sacraments/ordinances, water baptism, child dedication, weddings and funerals.

YEAR 4

  • Fall Courses
    FE435 6 hrs

    The focus of this practicum course is to gain practical experience through an internship opportunity and continue to be transformed by the gospel. More intensive than a practicum, students are challenged to serve in a children or family ministry that will provide various opportunities to grow as a servant-leader. The course content will be presented and discussed in classes. Each student will also have the opportunity to develop his/her ministry skills by receiving one-on-one mentoring from the instructor throughout the year. The annual CFM ministry trip is optional during the internship year. Prerequisite: Practicum: Children’s and Family Ministry – Year 3 Winter

    GS402 3 hrs

    This course charts the development of the Pentecostal movement from its origins in the Holiness movement of the 19th century to the present. It is intended to provide students with an understanding of the Pentecostal faith and of the Pentecostal movement today. Attention will be paid to the Pentecostal movement as a whole including a number of different denominations, but specifically to the largest Pentecostal body, the Assemblies of God, and its Canadian affiliate, the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. Doctrinal disputes within the movement will be a particular focus, as will contemporary challenges to the movement’s future viability and growth. Prerequisite: Church History

    GS401 3 hrs

    Ethics is the study of right and wrong. This course examines six major approaches to ethics, three Christian, and three non-Christian, with emphasis placed on the former. It then reviews several hotly debated ethical issues in our society, including abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, homosexuality, pacifism/war, and divorce and remarriage. Extensive classroom discussion and debates are used to supplement lecture material. Students are encouraged to think critically and search the Scriptures to decide for themselves what is or is not ethical. Prerequisite: Philisophy

    BT401 3 hrs

    This course involves a detailed analysis of the book of I Corinthians as it was received by the original audience and as it applies to the 21st century audience. Using a contextual /wholistic approach to the text, the class will have opportunity to understand and apply eternal scriptural principles to such ongoing life issues as human sexuality, interpersonal relationships, usage of spiritual giftings, marriage and divorce issues, matters of personal liberty, and several other continuing church life matters.

  • Winter Courses
    BS000 3 hrs
    BT405 3 hrs

    Mission is a central focus in the Bible, answering the question, “What are people on earth for?” Students will be immersed in the biblical-theological roots of God’s mission in both the Old and New Testaments and the transforming vision of God’s purpose and plan for His people. Particular emphasis will be placed on the relevancy of God’s mission for the church, its leaders, and individual Christian believers. The mission of God will be related to the complex contemporary issues facing the church today.

    Prerequisite: Theology 3: Ecclesiology/Eschatology

    BT406 3 hrs

    Among the most beloved of all Scriptural books, John’s writings continue to inspire intimacy between God and His people, calling everyone to make Jesus the centre of their lives. This senior level course covers primarily the Gospel of John and the Johannine epistles, 1, 2, 3 John, with only secondary consideration to Revelation. The purpose of each of John’s writings is examined, specifically regarding common themes, vocabulary, and style. An exegetical study of the Gospel will include exploring the structure, discourses, signs, key statements of Jesus, the passion account, and fulfilment of the Old Testament. The epistles will also be explored, focusing on their background, as well as the historical issues. Application and relevancy for the Christian today will be demonstrated.

    PS431 3 hrs

    This course will provide children’s ministry workers, leaders, and pas- tors to study leadership skills that will improve the present state of his/her children’s ministry. Students will explore resources and practical strategies of building a team of dedicated volunteers or leaders. Classes will be designed to give students opportunities to gain insight through interaction and discussion among other children’s ministry leaders.    Students will be encouraged to develop a heart to minister the gospel as well as the skills to manage a program that requires teamwork. Attention will be given to the process of creating a vision, encouraging and building of talents and gifts, and other leadership skills.

    Prerequisite: Internship: Children and Family Ministry

    BT408 3 hrs

    This course instructs students how to design and deliver expository messages. As opposed to topical preaching, anecdotal preaching, biographical preaching of textual preaching, students will be taught the expository preaching method, which takes the point of the Scriptural text and makes it the point of the sermon. Students will prepare expository messages to be preached in class, in turn, enjoy the benefits of peer evaluation.

    Prerequisite: Homiletics

     

OUTCOMES

Graduates of our certificate, diploma and degree programs currently serve as children’s pastors or ministry leaders in local churches across Canada and around the world.  Others serve in staff positions in daycares or out-of-school care programs.  Still more have gone on to pursue further academic study.  The career options are wide open for you!  Where do you think God is leading you?  How can we help you get there?

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