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Texarkana church setting up School of Ministry

by Junius Stone | December 3, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.
Amanda Barr, School of Ministry director, says the school is about helping Christians find their ministry in the faith, in the world outside the church. (Staff photo by Junius Stone)

TEXARKANA, Texas -- Church on the Rock is setting up a School of Ministry with year-long curriculum intended to deepen participants faith as well as knowledge and confidence in ministering to people outside the church.

Amanda Barr is the School of Ministry director. She said the initial class will be mostly laypersons, but some have pastoral backgrounds. For those who have ministering within the confines of the church congregation, this will provide training on how to minister to an audience outside the church.

"We are talking experienced clergy members who are interested in this, pastors, church planters," Barr said. "But, some feel they are isolated to secular needs. That's what we will focus on here."

The school is not limited to members of Church on the Rock.

"We are welcoming Christians from churches beyond this one," Barr said.

About 15 students are expected to be part of the first class.

A mission trip is part of the program. Also, they will receive college-level Biblical schooling, with six transferable undergraduate college credits through Portland Bible College.

Barr will do most of the teaching. She has a masters of arts in theological studies through Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

This training, however, is not intended to replace or supplant seminary programs, she said.

"They have a specific mission and we in no way are competing with that," Barr said. "This school is about discipleship, intentional discipleship while creating a community of believers schooled in this training."

The program has been in the works for about eight months and is scheduled for launch in January. Programs like this exist elsewhere, she said. "But there is nothing like this in Texarkana that we are aware of, or even regionally, that offer such a combo of academics, coaching, and experience, helping our students to minister in ways they did not even know they could."

As part of the enrolling process, students check off on areas of ministry they are particularly interested in or drawn to. Finding their calling and helping to equip them is part of the program.

"We want this to be a setter of standards of excellence for a community of Christians," she said.

(Those interested can visit online and scroll down to School of Ministry. For more information, contact Amanda Barr at [email protected] via email.)

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