Track: Ministry Skills

Next Available Track: Spring 2017

Application Deadlines

December 1, 2016  (Openings available)

Residency Dates

  • Winter Track (Closed to new students)
    • January 9-20, 2017
    • January 2-12, 2018
  • Summer Track
    • May 31-June 10, 2016 
    • May 30-June 9, 2017
    • May 29-June 8, 2018 

The Goal

We pastor for the same reason shepherds care for their sheep. We pastor because we value every member of our flocks. We love our people and want them all to grow and become like Jesus. Talbot can help.

Our Ministry Skills specialty track will equip you to meet the challenges of pastoring. It will help you to lead your church to maturity in Christ. It will help you be an even better shepherd of God’s flock.

It is hardly possible to overestimate the value of the church. It is not just an organization but a living organism, the Bride of Christ for whom Jesus gave his life. The church is his most treasured possession, which he nourishes, guides, protects, and will one day return to call home.

There is no higher calling than to be a pastor of the church that Jesus loves. But being an effective pastor requires certain skills. There are a handful of essential abilities that no pastor should be without. In this track, we will focus on developing those specific skills that will make you the kind of leader that can shepherd God’s people with skillful hands and an upright heart. 

Our Ministry Skills track is unusual in that you can join anytime. Everyone will complete the same three residencies but the order you take them will depend on when you join.


The Strategy


God has always used human leaders to make significant advances for the Kingdom of God. He still does. During the first week of this residency you will learn the theory and theology of Christian leadership. During the second week you will apply what you have learned to the context of the local church. We will be traveling to several area churches to see effective leadership in action.


Pastors must help God’s people grow into greater maturity so that they display the very character of Christ in everyday life. In this residency, we will help you establish a biblical understanding of discipleship that will become foundational in your ministry, in the families of your congregation, and in your own life. You will gain valuable insight into how you can aid your people to fruitfully live as Jesus has called them, impacting their church, their neighborhoods, and the wider world.


Our communication age demands effective communicators. In this residency, you will learn how to preach the Scriptures with greater accuracy and relevance. You will discover how to analyze your audience and adapt your communication for maximum impact. Special emphasis will be given during the second week on how to preach the narrative portions of Scripture.

The Faculty Mentor

Dr. J. Kent Edwards

Dr. J. Kent Edwards is a Professor of Preaching & Leadership at Talbot School of Theology.

Dr. Edwards is also the author of Deep Preaching and Effective First-Person Biblical Preaching. He is founding pastor of Oasis Community Church, and President of Cross Talk Global. He is past president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society, founding editor of The Journal of Christian Ministry, and has served as Director of Doctor of Ministry programs at Talbot School of Theology and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Guest Faculty

Dr. Greg Ogden

Dr. Ogden is a popular speaker and author of Unfinished Business, Leadership Essentials, Discipleship Essentials and Transforming Discipleship. He was formerly executive pastor of discipleship at Christ Church in Oak Brook, Illinois, and director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has more than twenty-four years of experience in pastoral ministry in churches in California and Pennsylvania.

Dr. Michael Wilkins

Dr. Wilkins is Distinguished Professor of New Testament Language and Literature at Talbot School of Theology. His books on discipleship, like Following the Master are foundational studies on the nature of biblical discipleship. 

Dr. Jeramy Clark

Dr. Clark is author of several popular books on dating and currently serves as Pastor of Discipleship Ministries at Emmanuel Faith Community Church in Escondido, CA. 

Dr. Alan “Blues” Baker

Dr. Baker brings extensive experience leading large organizations at the federal executive level as a Navy Rear Admiral and the Head Chaplain of the U.S. Marine Corps. He is ordained by the Reformed Church in America and has served as Directional Leader with John Ortberg at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church.

Dr. David M. Carder

Dr. Carder is licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist who has written numerous books, chapters and magazine articles. He has also recorded many radio and television appearances on the Discovery Health Channel, Focus on the Family and Family Life Radio. He is also Pastor of Counseling Ministries at First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton.

Dr. Patricia Batten

Dr. Batten is Adjunct Professor of Homiletics at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She is an ordained pastor (ABCUSA), preacher, speaker and contributor on PulpitTalk and Preaching Points.


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