SWIST

Southwest Illinois School of Theology (SWIST) is a program of the ADVANCE Ministry Preparation (AMP) program offered by local associations and Gateway Seminary (GS) of the SBC in Ontario, CA.  The AMP program provides leadership development via quality, Bible-based education without having to leave one’s ministry setting.  The goal is to prepare church leaders, workers and planters to work in the Lord’s vineyard.   The director is Rev. Sherman Smith, pastor of Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, Collinsville, IL.

  • Classes can be adapted to your context and setting.
  • Students are eligible if they have completed high school or a GED (some exceptions may apply).
  • Instructors are selected based on both education and experience.
  • Diplomas are offered by Gateway Seminary so that students can graduate on campus.
  • Administration of the SWIST AMP center is a cooperative effort between local churches and Gateway Seminary of the SBC.

The SWIST AMP program is offered locally through Gateway Baptist Association and Metro-East Baptist Association of Illinois.  SWIST is for ALL CHURCH MEMBERS, not just pastors.  (You must be at least 21 years of age and have been a Christian for at least one year to enroll.) 

Click this link for a list of upcoming SWIST CLASSES being offered.

TO ENROLL:  New students may go online to complete their admission application at: application for ADVANCE CLD.  You may also call the MEBA office at 618-624-4444 and make an appointment for enrollment.   After enrolling you will need to complete the Church Endorsement Form with a $30 non-refundable application fee, plus $125 per course ($155 total for new students).  Checks are to be made payable to MEBA. Cost for returning students is $125.

SWIST

DIPLOMA PROGRAMS

The AMP diploma programs are designed for completion in 1-2 years (for the Diploma in Christian Ministries) and 3-4 years for the Diploma in Theology or Church Planting.

Diploma in Christian Ministries (DCM): Total of 24 hours

■Old Testament survey

■New Testament survey

■Baptist history and polity

■Christian theology introduction

■Ministry foundations

■Communicating the Gospel: preaching and teaching that transforms

■Missions, evangelism and church planting

■Three hours of electives

Diploma in Theology (DTH): Total of 28 hours (in addition to the DCM = 52 hours)

■Intermediate Old Testament

■Intermediate New Testament

■Survey of Christian history

■Intermediate Christian theology

■Spiritual & leadership information

■Leadership in ministry practicum (two courses)

■Planned pulpit leadership OR Principles of Bible teaching

■Educational ministry of the church

■Three hours of elective

Diploma in Church Planting (DCP): Total of 28 hours (in addition to the DCM = 52 hours)

■Intermediate Old Testament

■Intermediate New Testament

■Survey of Christian history

■Intermediate Christian theology

■Spiritual & leadership formation

■Leadership in ministry practicum (two courses)

■Planned pulpit leadership OR Principles of Bible teaching

■Educational ministry of the church

■Introduction to church planting

 NEW AMP CERTIFICATE PROGRAM

Gateway Seminary of the SBC Faculty has approved four new AMP certificates for our local AMP center.  The certificate requires four 3-hour classes for a total of 12 hours to earn the certificate.  Certificates are designed to help your church leaders develop ministry skills. They may use the classes toward a diploma as well.

The AMP certificates include:

  1. Bible Teaching Certificate – AMP (Designed for someone teaching Sunday School, Bible studies small groups, or discipleship.)  Classes required: Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, How to Understand the Bible and Principles/Approaches to Bible Teaching.
  2. Mission Studies Certificate – AMP (Designed to fulfill the minimum theological work required of a mission candidate spouse for IMB appointment.) Classes required: Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Christian Theology Introduction, and an elective.
  3. Pastoral Ministry Certificate – AMP (Designed to give students basic pastoral skills to serve in a shepherding role such as associate pastor, deacon, elder.) Classes required:  Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, Preaching & Teaching that Transforms, and Pastor Ministry.
  4. Small Church Leadership Certificate – AMP (Designed to provide knowledge and development of leadership skills for the small church. ) Classes required; Ministry Foundations, Organizing and Leading the Small Church, Maturing & Multiplying God’s People/Principles of Discipleship, and Pastoral Ministry OR Introduction to Counseling for Church Leaders. 

Now is the time to start or continue your spiritual education. For a class syllabus or more information contact:

Metro East Baptist Association (SWIST Registrar) 618-624-4444 or

Pastor Sherman Smith  phone: 618-345-0770  Email: brsherm3@gmail.com 

Course Fee:  New students:  $155 (Includes $30.00 application fee); Returning students:  $125

0e5081798_1462986390_ggs-logo-2Sponsored by Gateway Seminary of the SBC