Training Program

Training every generation to be more deeply-rooted disciples.


The Training Program is the flagship program of the Central Institute. It is a one-year discipleship program that simultaneously explores the Bible, theology, and spiritual formation. And its carefully-crafted curriculum and transformational learning environment are custom-designed to make the Bible and theology accessible to every Christian.

F O U N D A T I O N S
Every aspect is designed to equip you in these key areas:

  • Christian Story
    We’ll spend the year working through the Bible to develop a deep awareness of the story of Scripture and to help you find your place in God’s story.
  • Christian Belief
    We’ll study the historic beliefs and core convictions of Christianity that emerge from the Bible and are foundational for all followers of Jesus.
  • Christian Formation
    We’ll practice the basic habits and disciplines that shape the Christian life and help fuel and form us into the kind of people God has designed us to be in Christ.

B A S I C S
Here are some of the key practical details:

  • Program Duration
    The program lasts one year, with a fall semester (Sep–Dec) and a spring semester (Jan–May). It meets in the Grand Room on Wednesdays from 6:00–7:30pm.
  • Weekly Schedule
    Each week will begin with song and a reading to orient our hearts, continue with cohort discussion and formation exercises around your table, and culminate with a lecture taught by Daniel Patterson and Q&A.
  • Cost
    The Training Program costs $500, but we are offering it at a significant discount: $380 for Central members, $190 for college students, and $2000 for the Seminary Track. For non-members (or any accepted outside of Central) the cost is $600, or $2500 for the Seminary Track. These fees cover the cost of materials, books, guest speakers, and seminars. 

D I S T I N C T I V E S
Here’s what makes the Training Program different than other church environments you might have experienced:

  • Intentionality
    The Training Program isn’t for super scholars. It is for everyday Christians who want to grow. Every single aspect of it—from the carefully-crafted curriculum to intentionally-structured cohorts—has been custom-designed to grow you as a Christian in community.
  • Expectations
    You should commit 2–3 hours outside of class per week. The Training Program offers more but asks a bit more too. Most adult church curriculum is written at an eighth-grade level. We think people are hungry for more. So we go deeper and ask participants to commit—to attendance, assignments, and reading—for their good.
  • Seminary Credit
    There is a Seminary Track available for those who want to complete extra work for credit towards a master’s degree. Participants can receive 24 hours of seminary credit through a partnership with Southern Seminary.

MORE INFO

When does it meet? What does the schedule look like?

The program lasts one year, with a fall semester (Aug–Dec) and a spring semester (Jan–May). It meets at Central Church on Wednesdays from 6:00–7:30pm.

What will I get out of the Training Program?

You’ll leave with a comprehensive grasp of the Bible’s storyline and the core convictions of Christianity. You’ll also practice the disciplines God has given in Scripture to fuel and form Christians. You’ll know the Bible better, understand how it fits together, understand the key doctrines and of the faith, and experience the practices God has given to supercharge your Christian life.

Are materials provided? What about childcare?

Central will provide both childcare and all the books and materials for participants in the Training Program. The only exception is the once-a-semester seminars, which meet one Saturday each semester. On that Saturday, childcare is not provided.

What is the Seminary Track, and how is it different?

We’re happy to partner with The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and offer seminary credit to participants. The seminary track is designed for those who want to go deeper in their learning and formation. It will require, approximately, double the reading and assignments and will be more technical in its overall scope.

Participants who pursue the seminary track will receive 24 hours of class credit at Southern Seminary through our Training Program. Future or current students will receive credit for:

• Old Testament 1
• Old Testament 2
• New Testament 1
• New Testament 2
• Systematic Theology 1
• Systematic Theology 2
• Systematic Theology 3
• Personal Evangelism and Devotion

As noted above, the cost for the Seminary Track is $2000 (or $2500 for non-members). This represents a near 80% discount on what the costs for these credits would be outside of the Training Program.

What if I'm not a member at Central?

While the Training Program is primarily for our members, membership is not a requirement. As noted above, if you are a non-member, or applying from another local church and you are accepted, the cost is $600 or $2500 for the seminary track.

 

What are people most nervous about normally?

Some people fear they aren’t “academic” enough—but you don’t need to be academic.

Some people fear this program is for some sort of spiritual “elite”—but it’s designed to be accessible to anyone interested in going deeper.

Some people fear the material will be too challenging—but it’s been carefully designed to be understandable.

Is the Training Program available online?

Online education can be very helpful, but we’ve designed in-person experiences to be an essential part of the learning process within the Training Program. As a result, it’s just not possible to offer the Training Program without fundamentally changing it.

When can I apply?

The application window opens each spring. You can find the application on this page, when the application window reopens in April 2024.

What if I have unanswered questions?

Please review the above FAQ. If you still have questions thereafter, we would be happy to help! You can contact us at trainingprogram@centralbcs.org.