A purpose-driven seminary

for the 21st century church


Rockbridge University fully online [Purpose-Driven] seminary: "Rockbridge University provides training for Christian ministers who want to stay in their current ministry or intern in a successful teaching church. All courses are presented entirely online, and you can earn a Diploma or Master's degree from home. ...

     "'Rockbridge is the future of global seminary education--but it is available to you now!' - Rick Warren"


Why Rockbridge University? "'New Paradigm' Churches. How churches approach ministry training is changing in the 21st century. ...younger ministers are more likely to distrust seminary training, viewing it as irrelevant and unnecessary. ... Each change means that ministry education through the traditional seminary is less attractive than before. ...

     "A 'New Paradigm' Seminary. Rockbridge University provides an innovative approach to seminary education that meets the needs of "new paradigm" churches. First, our fully online academic programs make seminary education accessible to anyone serving a church anywhere in the world. Second, our Purpose-Driven® curriculum design and our competency-guided learning approach keep academic programs practical....

     "Reengineering seminary education is a big dream. But God's Kingdom purposes worldwide make 'The Dream' worthwhile to pursue. Perhaps you are the kind of person who is attracted to dreams that have the potential of being used mightily of God's purposes."

A Message from Our President: "If you've watched Star Trek, you know the mission of the Starship Enterprise: 'To boldly go where no one has gone before.' These space pioneers were on a journey to discover uncharted territory. We, too, are embarking on an adventure. ... Yet, many churches and ministries struggle from lack of servant leadership. The exciting news is that God is calling men and women to provide spiritual leadership to a new generation. ...

     "We believe in the power of relationships and community. In your first course, you will be expected to enlist a mentor/spiritual friend who will walk with you on this journey. This mentor will help you apply what you are learning to your ministry context."


Rockbridge University - What Others Say: "Because Saddleback Church fills so many of its staff positions from within our church family, we needed an innovative way to train people without sending them away to seminary for years. Rockbridge University's totally online format provided the answer we needed. It allows on-the-job ministry training, which we've found far more effective than the old academic model.

     "Even more important, Rockbridge is currently the only school established on a completely Purpose-Driven® curriculum design -- balancing training in worship, evangelism, discipleship, fellowship, and ministry. Rockbridge is the future of global seminary education--but it is available to you now!" Rick Warren Pastor, Saddleback Community Church


Rockbridge University - Course Descriptions [Course titles are capitalized]: "Developing the Focused Life ... learners will examine their call to ministry, write a personal mission statement, assess their competencies for ministry.... Practicing the Focused Life.... designed to integrate learning... .The Life of Worship ... how to provide biblical worship in today’s culture. ... Preaching for Life Change .... how to address the selection and interpretation of the text, the development of the objective of the sermon ... Biblical interpretation skills may be acquired through the course, How to Study the Bible. ... Building a Small Group Ministry .... teaches principles for establishing and maintaining healthy small groups.... Resolving Conflict: How to Deal with Difficult People .... explores the personal dimensions of conflict and why some common sense solutions do not work. Topics include how to identify the sources of conflict, how to negotiate for shared outcomes, how to motivate others to work together, and how to help people change. ... Studying the Bible ... explores how to understand the meaning of Scripture and how it applies to us today. ...

      "Created to Learn ... God designed us to learn throughout the entire lifespan. [Unesco called it "Lifelong Learning." It implies lifelong assessment, monitoring -- with remediation when needed] ...The course explores the physical, mental, social/emotional, and spiritual development of persons...

      "Mobilizing People for Ministry.... explores the calling of believers to serve, the motivation for service, the biblical basis for service, and the rewards of service. Learners will examine various approaches for developing groups that minister holistically to persons. ... Leading Change ... Topics include: identifying specific issues or problems; writing mission, vision, and values; assessing the situation... monitoring and evaluating the plan. ... Understanding Your Community & Culture....interpret the cultural context and to create strategies that build bridges to the community. ... building understanding and discernment for persons of different cultural, social, and religious backgrounds."

The next link parallels our new outcome-based education reform. According to Sarah Leslie,

"This list of core competencies is what is being taught at a new university associated with Rick Warren and Saddleback. See how much you can recognize from the early 1990s 'core competencies' we saw in every state strategic plan. Never mind that some are spiritualized with Christian terms. Here in front of your very eyes is the 'church of the hub', a new state-based church with outcome-based objectives and a Skinnerian methodology for implementation."

Our Purpose-Driven® Curriculum Design: "Traditionally, American seminaries have arranged courses according to categories of knowledge (Old Testament, Systematic Theology, Philosophy of Education, etc.). This traditional approach to curriculum design was carried over from the European university system nearly 200 years ago. Its structure reflects the university’s primary purpose of producing scholars.

      "Some seminaries are called to emphasize theological scholarship in their training design, a design well-served by the traditional arrangement of courses. Rockbridge University, however, is called to emphasize ministry competency development, making the design of arranging courses by purpose rather than by category of knowledge a more natural learning environment.

      "...if you seek study that emphasizes theological scholarship, RU may not be the best match for your learning objectives. However, if you want to emphasize ministry competency development, consider our innovative Purpose-Driven® curriculum design...."

     Did you notice the featured learning program? This system matches Unesco's worldwide system of outcome-based education. See the next link:

Rockbridge’s Ministry Competency List: Worship.... Fellowship.... Discipleship....Evangelism. Communicates biblical truth through preaching, personal witness, teaching, speaking, writing, music, and other ways.... Leads the church in planning and conducting cross-cultural missions. Builds relationships with unbelievers that lead to opportunities to share the gospel. Interprets the culture and plans appropriate strategies for sharing the gospel in that culture. Respects persons of different cultural, social and religious backgrounds. Articulates the Christian message and contrasts that message with other worldviews and major world religions."

Rockbridge provides a link to Church Transitions

Church Transitions: Leading your church through change: "The central question is this: How do we change from the church we are to the church we can be? There are plenty of dreams. There are multitudes of models. What we are missing is a road map. What we need is a process for leading change.... Four major movements of God are being embraced by churches around the world today: The purpose driven church movement. The seeker movement. The contemporary worship movement. The cell church movement."