Tribe Apprenticeship Program

Following are details of the ongoing Tribe Apprenticeship Program, offered to prospective trainees interested in ministry. If you are interested, please use the contact form at the bottom to let us know, and someone will get back to you.

I. Bible Content

A. The section of our training in English Bible includes blocks of study on the Pentateuch, the Major and Minor Prophets, the Poetic Books, and the Books of History, in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the training blocks consists of Synoptic Gospels, Johannine Writings, Acts and Pauline Epistles, and General Epistles.

Texts and Training Materials:

  • Westminster Confession of Faith
  • The Scriptures themselves.
  • New Testament Introduction, Donald Guthrie
  • A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Gleason Archer

B. Demonstrated comprehensive competence in the Scriptures both in study and final review sessions. Demonstrated knowledge of each Biblical book, and capable of outlining key New Testament books chapter by chapter.

Texts and Training Materials:

  • Outlines of the Biblical Books, prepared by each of the trainees.

*MUST HAVE READ THOUGH THE ENTIRE BIBLE WITHIN A ONE YEAR PERIOD

II. Languages

A. Hebrew: demonstrated ability to use Brown, Driver and Briggs (the main Hebrew-English lexicon); Keil and Delitzsch (the primary commentaries on the Hebrew Bible); as well as Hebrew lexical aids. Also required to write exegetical papers based on the original languages.

B. Greek: demonstrated ability to use Arndt, Gingrich, Bauer (the Greek lexicon), as well as Greek-based commentaries. Also required to write exegetical papers based on the Greek, and preaching based on exegesis of the original languages.

Texts and Training Materials:

  • Greek and Hebrew Texts required by the University of California at Berkeley and the Lehrhaus Judaica respectively.
  • Moulten and Gedden (wordlists)
  • Bruce Metzger (wordlists and lexical aids)
  • Crosby & Schaeffer, Classic Greek text

III. Methods and Interpretation

Biblical Theology, both Old and New Testament, hermeneutics, with a survey of historical approaches, but emphasis on the method of Grammatical/Historical exegesis. Sections on Old Testament Introduction includes extensive study of the Documentary Hypothesis, together with its refutation. New Testament Introduction with higher criticism, its refutation, as well as matters of authorship, date, occasion. Great emphasis is placed on the importance of a theology of Scripture which is unshakable in its conviction of the full truthfulness, reliability and inerrancy of the Scriptures.

Texts and Training Materials:

  • Umberto Cassuto, The Documentary Hypothesis
  • Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation
  • Choice of one book on the issue of Authority and Inspiration

*Each trainee is also required to write a major paper on the topic: Jesus’ View of the Scriptures.

IV. Supervised Practical Opportunities

Responsibility for leading a small group Bible study, learning how to teach Scripture, but also how to take shepherding oversight for a portion of a congregation, under the supervision of the Pastor. Required to read the text in the original languages as the basis for their exegesis, interpretation and then teaching, and finally preaching. The goal is for the trainee to be able, as quickly as was prudently possible, to demonstrate and develop their gifts as a preacher and teacher in a practical setting, where they would be able to stumble without being discouraged.

The training on preaching should be exceptionally extensive, and involve major blocks of time from the first year onwards. Training is based initially on Aristotle’s books, Rhetoric and Categories, and centers on using the enthymeme as a tool to ascertain the meaning of a text, and to present it effectively.

Texts and Training Materials:

  • Aristotle:  Categories, Rhetoric
  • A choice of any one of Alexander Blackwood’s books on preaching
  • Mainly used my own materials in this area, with extensive practical involvement.

V. Church History

Beginning with the earliest years of the church, using primary documents: apostolic era, the Greek fathers, the councils, the rise of the papacy, the development of monasticism, the investiture conflicts, the East-West schism, the Reformation in Germany and England primarily.  Study of American church history extending from the colonial period, with emphasis on the spiritual struggles in Protestant denominations of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, especially focusing on Presbyterian church history.  The emphasis is on the spiritual pressures on the church, and the importance of remaining faithful to the orthodox faith.

Texts and Materials:

  • Original documents of the church from Bettenson, Church Documents
  • Luther, To the Christian Nobility of the German Nation
  • Luther, Of the Freedom of the Christian’s Will
  • Historical pamphlets from the PCA concerning the denomination
  • Extensive case-studies of the Liberalism struggles in the mainline denominations in the early 20th century.

VI. Apologetics

Study includes historic and modern apologetic approaches, relationship between secular culture and humanistic thought (the arts and science) and the Christian faith. Cults and pagan religions, especially as they have impacted the local church. Contemporary theology is studied intensively, also in the context of interaction with liberalism and neo-orthodoxy.

Texts and Materials:

  • Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief
  • Philip Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds
  • Philip Johnson, Darwin on Trial
  • Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box
  • Sproul, Gerstner and Lindsey, Classical Apologetics
  • Jn Warwick Montgomery, Suicide of Christian Theology

VII. Systematic Theology

Based on the study of Calvin’s Institutes, Berkhof’s Systematic Theology, as well as the Westminster Confession and Catechisms, the following areas are studied:  God, Man, and Christ; Sin and Salvation; Ecclesiology and Eschatology; Inspiration and Authority of the Scriptures. Demonstrated mastery and wholehearted acceptance of Reformed Theology as it is laid out in the Confession. Committed to and capable of communicating to others such distinctives of our faith as inerrancy of Scripture, the Sovereignty of God, Covenant Theology and the Five Points of Calvinism.

Texts:

  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
  • Berkhof, Systematic Theology
  • Berkhof, Outline
  • Westminster Confession of Faith
  • Westminster Shorter Catechism
  • Westminster Larger Catechism

* Must demonstrate a commitment to a biblical lifestyle in personal and social ethics.

VIII.  Polity

From the scriptures, the training lays out Biblical principles of church government, including Episcopal, Congregational, and Presbyterian forms. Elements of Presbyterian polity are derived.  

Texts:

  • BCO, Calvary Chapel, ECC or any other approved denominational polity
  • Choice of any book by Lyle Schaller.

IX. Evidence of the strength of spiritual life, and sense of calling to the Ministry of the Gospel

Extensive blocks of instruction, the training centers on Case Studies of churches and church situations over the years, explaining how situations developed in the past, and stressing the importance of pastoral initiative not only in leading the church in new directions, but also in dealing with potentially destructive church problems. Evidence of a sensitive pastor’s heart.

Texts:

  • Jay Adams, Shepherding God’s Flock (vols 1-4).
  • Jay Adams, Christian Counselor’s New Testament
  • H. Norm Wright, Christian Marriage Counseling.

X. Worship, Including Preaching

Trained carefully in the principles and practice of public worship, with emphasis on the Regulative Principle, both as taught by Calvin and Luther. Extremely diligent to “rightly divide the word of truth.”

Texts:

  • Institutes, Confession, Catechism, primarily.

XI. Evangelism

Trained in the theology, practice of evangelism, and able to do the work of an evangelist.  Complete training in two different methods of personal evangelism. 

Training Materials:

  • Joe Aldrich, Lifestyle Evangelism
  • R. Coleman, The Master’s Plan of Evangelism
  • Billy Graham, Personal Worker’s Training Series on Evangelism
  • Extensive practical experience

XII.  Missions(Cross Cultural Outreach)

Training in missiology within the context of church planting, both in same-culture and near-culture, as well as in cross-culture outreach. Study the history of missions, and modern practice as well as developing trends.

Training Materials:

  • Ralph Winters, ed., Perspectives (US Center for World Missions)
  • J. Christy Wilson, Today’s Tentmakers
  • J. Christy Wilson, More to Be Desired Than Gold
  • Perspectives course

XIII. Pastoral Care

Training in modern pastoral care, counseling, lecture and case-studies, and internship in the new congregation.

Training materials:

  • Jay Adams, Shepherding God’s Flock
  • H. Norm Wright, Christian Marriage Counseling
  • Extensive case studies

XIV. Christian Education

Theology and rationale for Christian Education from Scripture, in-depth training program, training leaders for other ministries in the church, as well as training people in Christian development and growth.

Training Materials:

  • Larry Richards, Theology of Christian Education
  • Unpublished materials from John MacArthur and staff, at Grace Bible Church

XV. Pastoral Administration

Critical member of the church team, opportunity to learn in a hands-on way the administration of the church. Training focused on pastoral initiative in terms of vision and philosophy, taking the church to the next level.

Materials:

  • Job experience
  • Case studies
  • Peter Drucker, Managing in the Coming Society
  • Peter Drucker, Managing the Non-Profit Organization
  • readings in Carl F. H. Henry, Dictionary of Christian Ethics, especially in areas that are currently critical for pastors to understand, such as abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, and church-state
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