FAQ

General

Q:  Is everyone accepted into the program?
Q:  Will this program qualify me for a ministry job?
Q:  Who's teaching the courses?
Q:  Can I audit the classes?
Q:  Can I take the classes without doing the practicum?
Q:  Can I just take the Practical Ministry and Leadership classes?
Q:  What if I've already taken the DC course?
Q:  What if I can't make it to the 4pm class?
Q:  What if I've already taken Financial Peace?
Q:  What if I can only attend one year?
Q:  What if I miss a few classes?
Q:  Will I receive a grade in the classes?

Financial
Q:  Is there anything that tuition doesn't cover?
Q:  What if I need to drop out?
Q:  Are there any scholarships available?

Practicums

Q:  What areas of ministry participate in the practicum program?
Q:  Do I have to be approved for the practicum program?
Q:  What if I'm not approved for a practicum?
Q:  How/when do I select a ministry to serve with?

Conferences/Mission Trip

Q:  What conference(s) will I attend?
Q:  Do I need to pay extra for the conferences?
Q:  What Outreach/Mission Trip can I attend?


General

Q:  Is everyone accepted into the program?
A:  The classes are open primarily to Northside folks who can make the commitment of time to the class and studies.  The practicum segment of the program, however, needs approval from the minister/director of the ministry.  
(Go to Practicum FAQ) 

Q:  Will this program qualify me for a ministry job?
A:  We're confident that these courses, combined with the hands-on ministry experience through a practicum, will prepare you for some kind of ministry job or internship.  Most of the Northside ministers have many years of experience prior to coming to Northside.  Expect that your first minstry job or internship will likely be in a smaller congregation than Northside.  And we can help you make those connections, whether it be in a church or a non-profit ministry. 

Q:  Who's teaching the courses?
A:  The Bible class will be taught by Northside members or staff who have successfully completed DC.  The Practical Ministry and Leadership Development classes will be taught by a variety of Northside staff, including:
Doug Newland, Outreach Minister
Brian Combs, Spiritual Formation Pastor 

Q:  Can I audit the classes?
A:  That's not a good option.  If you're looking to save money, this program does that compared to the cost of a traditional college program, which could cost $10-$20k.  $1k is a steal!

Q:  Can I take the classes without doing the practicums?
A:  In year one, sure.  For those who continue into year two, the practicums are necessary to receive full benefits for completing the program.  Those who do not complete the practicums do not qualify to receive a mission trip voucher. There's no tuition discount for not doing the practicum. 

Q:  Can I just take the Practical Ministry and Leadership classes?
A:  We thought about it and decided that it's not a good idea.  You'll need to take the Bible class, too--and it's worth it!

Q:  What if I've already taken the DC course?
A:  Awesome.  Then you're one step ahead and won't need to take it again.  We'll discount your tuition by $80 per year since you won't need those books.  Your previous completion of the course counts towards your Certificate of Completion.

Q:  What if I can't make it to the Bible class?
A:  This is the heart of our School of Ministry.  If you can't make it to the Bible class, then maybe look at applying another year.

Q:  What if I've already taken Financial Peace?
A:  There is a 9-week segment within the Practical Ministry class in year one.  We'll discount your tuition by $90 if you already have the books, but we recommend that you attend the classes again.

Q:  What if I can only attend one year?
A:  That's fine.  Life happens.  If you complete only year one, you will only qualify for the 1-year certificate.  You'll still benefit from the Bible and Practical Ministry classes that will help you regardless of your next pursuit.  If you want to take year two courses and complete the practicums later, that's fine.

Q:  What if I miss a few classes?
A:  You're not just trying to get by, are you?  If you have to miss a class now and then, you'll need to make sure that you keep up with your reading and workbook.  Completion of all assignments is necessary for the completion of the program.

Q:  Will I receive a grade in the classes?
A:  We're going to check to see if you're doing your homework and participating in the assignments.  We're not going to be testing in such a way as to give traditional letter grades.

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Financial
Q:  Is there anything that tuition doesn't cover?

A:  We've covered it pretty well.  Everything for your class studies, books, and class activitied are covered.

Q:  What if I need to drop out?
A:  After the initial $100 application fee, $400 (fall) or $500 (spring) is due before the beginning of each semester.  If you drop out before classes start, we'll refund what you've paid.  If you drop out after classes begin, we will not be able to refund your tuition (since books, etc, will have been purchased).

Q:  Are there any scholarships available?
A:  We've kept tuition so low by subsidizing the actual cost with other funds, that we won't be able to provide additional scholarships.

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Practicum

Q:  What areas of ministry participate in the practicum program?
A:  Outreach/Missions, Student Ministries, Children's Ministries, Worship, Creative Arts/Production, and Adult Ministries.

Q:  Do I have to be approved for the practicum program?
A:  Yes.  Some ministries have limited space for SOM students.  In addition, your time availability, attitude, and aptitude will need to match what's needed for a particular ministry area.  Prior to the practicum which starts in the 2nd year, you will interview with potential supervising ministers/directors to be approved.

Q:  What if I'm not approved for a practicum?
A:  For various reasons, unfortunately, it is possible to not be approved.  Consider this like a job or internship opportunity--it's not guaranteed.  If you're not approved, you may continue to take the classes, and hopefully another practicum opportunity comes available in the future.  You'll need the practicum to qualify for the Certificate of Completion of the program.  

Q:  How/when do I select a ministry to do my practicum with?
A:  In the first semester of the first year, you'll get to experience a little bit of a lot of different ministries to help you discover your interests.  The Practical Ministry class will help match you with the right ministry by the end of the first year.  You'll then need to be approved by the supervising minister/director.

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Conferences/Mission Trip

Q:  What conference(s) will I attend?
A:  There are no conferences built into the first year of the SOM program.  In year two, you can attend the International Conference on Missions (ICOM) in November.  Additionally, if you are serving in a practicum with a ministry whose staff is attending a conference, you may be able attend with them.

Q:  Do I need to pay extra for the conferences?
A:  For the ICOM (Int'l Conference on Missions), all but meals are covered.  We try to keep the cost low, and usually find a conference within driving distance to save on transportation.  Typically, the conference credit will cover registration, housing, and transportation.  There may be a few meals that you'll need to pay for.

Q:  What Outreach/Mission Trip can I attend?
A:  If you are enrolled in the full program (classes + practicum) part of your tuition helps provide a credit of $900 towards a mission trip.  You can participate in any Northside trip taking place after graduation.

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