Accelerated Pastoral Ministries Program (APMP)

The Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy offers an accelerated track for students who enter the University with a clear call to vocational Christian ministry. This program allows students to graduate with a BA in Discipleship Studies in three years and a Master of Divinity degree in two years. Students in this accelerated program are expected to fulfill the requirements of the Discipleship Studies major (listed above) and the minor in Biblical Studies (listed below). Students must be admitted into the program as first-year students in order to qualify. In order to complete the program of study in five years, students will be expected to follow a prescribed schedule of courses. Summer classes will also be required.

The Accelerated Pastoral Ministries Program (APMP) exemplifies Gardner-Webb’s genuine concern for the spiritual, intellectual, and financial well-being of our graduates and our interest in strengthening the Church. This five-year program, designed for highly motivated students, is grounded in Gardner-Webb’s commitment to the liberal arts. The curriculum offers both broad-based exposure to the arts, humanities and sciences, as well as scholastic, theological, and practical preparation for Christian ministry.

The APMP provides a unique learning environment in which students explore and define their call as they enter the world of pastoral and discipleship studies and engage in practical ministry experience. Students in the APMP are not only granted guaranteed seating in their courses, but they also receive ongoing mentorship throughout their journey. In addition to the support of a mentor, they are supported by their cohort who will walk alongside them in classes, field experience, and community living.

Because of the anticipated academic rigor of the APMP (which includes required summer courses), incoming students will be expected to demonstrate a quality academic record and a sense of call to pastoral ministry. Admission guidelines to the APMP include the following.

  • Minimum 3.25 high school GPA
  • Minimum ACT score of 24
  • Minimum SAT score of 1170 (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing + Math)
  • A rank in the top 25% of the high school graduating class
  • A written statement of calling to Christian ministry
  • Pastor/Youth Minister reference
  • An interview with the APMP Director

The five years of academic work is broken into two separate parts. Students will earn a Bachelor of Arts in Discipleship Studies with a minor in Biblical Studies (consult that major and minor for requirements of those areas) in three years. Upon acceptance into the Master of Divinity degree program, students will then earn a MDiv in Pastoral Studies in two years from the School of Divinity.

APMP students will complete the General Education requirements for the Bachelor of Arts with the following exceptions:

* Students will fulfill the nine hours of the World Languages requirement with HEBR 101, HEBR 102, and GREK 101. Students will also take GREK 102 which will fulfill a course requirement in the Biblical Studies minor.

* PSYC 201 is required to fulfill the Dimensions of Self in the General Education requirements.