The OpenseminaryTM model is built around the goal of strengthening local churches by increasing the theological knowledge and ministry effectiveness of men and women, including laypersons, who are (or have been) active in ministry. Thus, the churches of which student-learners are a part reap benefits throughout the program. Each of the program's six, 21-week modules focuses on a particular local church practice:
Module 1: Theologia (Doing Theology in Context)
Module 2: Koinonia (Leading and Building Community)
Module 3: Kerygma (Communicating the Gospel)
Module 4: Leitourgia (Leading People in the Presence of God)
Module 5: Diakonia (Missional Service)
Module 6: Paideia (Spiritual Formation)
Each module is divided into three phases: Reading (online, 12 weeks); Residential (one week, full-time) and Research (online, 8 weeks). Learners are divided into cohort study groups of 3 to 5 members. A Palmer professor oversees the entire process. During the weeklong residency, learners will encounter and interact with a thoughtful ministry practitioner, usually a pastor, selected based on his or her demonstrated ability to integrate theory and practice in the area being studied.
This program is designed to inform individuals' gifts for ministry with traditional theological education for the purpose of strengthening local church ministry.