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Calvin Theological Seminary Partners with Missional Training Center

Michael Goheen, professor of missional theology at Missional Training Center, leads a course for the master’s degree in missional theology.

In February 2024, the Association of Theological Schools officially approved a partnership between Calvin Theological Seminary and Missional Training Center of Tempe, Ariz.

The idea for Missional Training Center came from the Surge Network, a collaborative group of more than 100 churches formed in 2007 to plant churches, sponsor community outreach programs, and train lay leaders. Its goal is “to put Jesus on display through the collective witness of God’s people in every part of our city.”

Founded in 2014, MTC is “committed to developing theological education that will effectively train missional leaders in the greater Phoenix area for the realities they face in equipping God’s people to be a faithful witnessing presence in life, word, and deed in our contemporary world.”

Missional Training Center recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and its new partnership with Calvin Seminary at an event led by Michael Goheen, director of theological education, and attended by Calvin Seminary president Jul Medenblik.

“Calvin Theological Seminary is excited about this new partnership, because its values align well with those of Missional Training Center,” Medenblik said. “Both institutions are equipping Reformed ministry leaders who are knowledgeable about Scripture and doctrine, yet skilled at Christ-honoring cultural engagement. The missional curriculum and creative pedagogy will help Calvin Theological Seminary continue to reevaluate how it trains leaders.”

MTC offers classes toward a master’s degree in missional theology. The curriculum is taught from a missional perspective, exploring how missional ecclesiology shapes the entire theological curriculum to effectively equip church leaders.

Each year, MTC places students in cohorts of 12 to 18 members who spend four years meeting in homes to pursue their degrees part time. Many students already work full-time in ministry and have families. Courses are a mixture of lectures and seminar-style discussions and are often cotaught by faculty members. MTC emphasizes a connection to the local church, pedagogical innovation, academic rigor, and assignments connected to local congregational ministry.

MTC’s pedagogical practices could inform the ongoing development of Calvin Seminary’s competency-based education and Latino Ministries programs. MTC can benefit from Calvin’s almost 150 years of experience in training pastors and leaders, including Calvin’s experience in assessing programs and overseeing accreditation matters.

This partnership will benefit not only faculty, but students of both schools. Calvin Seminary students can visit and learn from missional churches and leaders in the Surge Network as well as from MTC faculty through occasional courses, guest lectures, or lifelong learning events.

“Calvin Theological Seminary is grateful for this opportunity to partner with Missional Training Center as they seek to equip mission-minded leaders in Arizona and is excited for the coming years of collaboration, learning, and equipping church leaders together,” Medenblik said.

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