For over two decades, since its inception, the Special Ministerial Training (SMT) was run on a course structure that was generated at the very beginning with courses added once a while during the period. Rising from certain discussions at the 2018 General Assembly, there was a call to renew the mandate of RTC and to review the curricula that was used for trainings conducted at the Centre. Deriving from the GA renewal of mandate, the Board of RTC then mandated the management and faculty to carry out these reviews.
After careful consideration was given to the issues derived from the feedback from church members, SMT graduates, other ministers of the church, and a particular consideration of the kind of minister that the GAC desired for the growth and health of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, the mandate of RTC is clear and we translate it into terms as this:
- That RTC will received and prepare people for all categories of ministry in the PCG
- That in doing so RTC will endeavour to create the environment through which our trainees will have opportunity to engage with the gospel so as to come into, renew, affirm and grow in that personal relationship with Jesus, the Christ of God
- That our trainees will be nurtured purposefully to become competent in the fields of service the Lord calls them to for the health and growth of our church
- To train ministers with a good working knowledge of the Bible, doctrine and appropriate understanding of biblical Christian spirituality for excellence in life and ministry.
- That the Centre trains ministers to have considerable and demonstrable capacity in the specific ministry areas of Missions and Evangelism, Christian Nurture, Pastoral Ministries, Biblical Christian Spirituality and Leadership.
- That the ultimate aim of RTC will be that through our ministry, we will play our part to glorify God and serve the church and her members so that “… the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Isa 11:9b)
These have been considered so as to give the curriculum the appreciable depth and breadth necessary for the preparation of the minister for our context and our needs.
Refer to Manual of Order
Entry requirements are set by the General Assembly Council (GAC) through its over-arching policy for the selection of ministerial trainees. Academic qualification, contingent upon the GAC policy, shall serve to place a trainee in any exemptions category of the programme delivery. The fundamental issues of faith, maturity and cohesion with church policy shall always serve as determinants for a trainees continued place in the programme.
CURRICULUM FOR THE SPECIAL MINISTERIAL TRAINING (SMT)
The curriculum aims at providing an opportunity for the formation of persons admitted to it as well as the exposure to and enhancement of skills necessary for the execution of a Christlike ministry.
THE GOAL OF THIS CURRICULUM
Since the transition in the nomenclature of the ordained person in service of the PCG from Pastor to Minister, it has become clear that the PCG does not intend to have her ministers ultra-specialized in a single area of ministry. The intention rather is for the person in ordained ministry to perceive and practice ministry not as single or isolated but rather as multi-dimensional in gifting and services. It is also to emphasize the fact that the one who leads the church in the capacity as ordained, must understand that they lead a whole congregation in the practice of ministry in all categories. Though one may have particular strengths in a given gift or service, the emphasis is also to reiterate that the church in general and a congregation to be specific, is not made up of a single gift or ministry. The ordained leader then, is not a pastor as in one who only specializes in a single/specific area of gifting or service but rather who uses these gifts to serve and beyond that, leads the whole congregation to serve in the complexities of having all the gifts to pull together. The goal of this curriculum then is to prepare those admitted into formation, to be Christians pursuing the call to holiness and ministry as part of the church militant. It is also intended to equip those admitted with a working knowledge of:
- The Bible as indispensable for the Christian faith, life and ministry,
- The church and ministry in its historical setting,
A necessary grasp of the doctrinal underpinnings of the faith and practice of the church with the full basic knowledge of what is to be rejected, adapted, adopted and defended,
The necessary grasp of the nature and dimensions of ministry and what is considered as appropriate and acceptable in practice.
The ultimate goal of this formation then is to first develop persons in their faith and life in all righteousness, then in their ministry regarding skills in all competence and for the focus of result-oriented ministry, fit for varying contexts and targets.
ACCREDITATION AND CERTIFICATION
The SMT programme and curriculum is Accredited by the General Assembly Council (GAC) of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana. The SMT programme will offer a LICENTIATE IN MINISTRY as certification issued by the GAC.
TRAINING (TEACHING AND LEARNING) PHILOSOPHY
As per the mandate given by the GAC, the purpose of RTC’s training in general is to initiate, enhance and transfer the focus and desire for continuous ministry skills formation. This is also for the building of capacity to execute ministry tasks in all who access RTC’s programmes. The specific standard is that:
1. RTC shall focus on four key areas of ministerial formation and ministry skills capacity building viz:
1. Spirituality and Leadership
2. Christian Education and Nurture
3. Christian Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth
4. Pastoral Ministries
2. A minimum of eighty percent (80%) of all course content shall focus on producing competence in Ministry Skills Formation. This shall be areas such as:
a] Specific course content,
b] Components of courses as in topics,
c] Approach to the delivering course content generally,
d] Course assessment regimes.
3. Twenty per cent (20%) of total content will be in areas of general cognitive formations deriving from the orientation to provide competence for righteous living and competence in ministry skills and practice.
To this end, the Centre is to be known for its emphasis on the PRACTICE OF MINISTRY.
The course structure of the curriculum consists of two sections; the Foundational and Focus areas.
The Foundational areas are:
- General and Foundational Courses
- Biblical Courses
- Historical Courses
- Doctrine Courses
The focus areas which make up the strength and uniqueness, hence the programmes departments of the Centre are:
- Spirituality and Leadership
- Christian Education and Nurture
- Christian Missions, Evangelism and Church Growth
- Pastoral Ministries
There are Seminars, Conferences and Workshops (CWS) and Practical as part of the full course content.