Certificate in Church Planting

Lee_Matthew-webIf you are engaged in church planting or planning to be, we would love the opportunity to serve you through Fuller’s new Certificate in Church Planting program. We’ve designed the program for your needs as a church planter—with courses taught by both faculty and experienced practitioners, a primarily online format that enables you to remain in your ministry, and a cohort model that nurtures mutual support and the sharing of experiences. I invite you to look at the details below and if you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to partnering with you in this important mission of planting new churches!

Dr. Matthew Lee
Director of the Church Planting Program

I'm Interested in the Certificate in Church Planting

Certificate Description

24 Quarter Units

Fuller’s new, two-year Certificate in Church Planting provides students with (1) a deeper theological understanding of the issues involved in church planting, (2) a broader perspective and exposure to the resources, models, strategies, and networks available for church planting, and (3) a practical support system as students progress through the program with the same group of students (a “cohort”), sharing experiences as they apply coursework to their individual church plants.

The six-course program is structured so that students can remain in their church planting ministries while they study. Each class is taught in a hybrid course format (nine weeks online, one week on campus) by a faculty member as well as a practitioner who provides support and mentorship through the duration of the program. For students who wish to later expand their study, courses from the certificate program can be credited toward a master's degree program in Fuller’s Schools of Theology or Intercultural Studies.*

If you are currently engaged in or sense a strong calling to church planting and seek a deeper theological and practical foundation for your work, this certificate program is ideal for you.

Questions? Please contact us at churchplanting@fuller.edu.

*For more information on using the Certificate in Church Planting as a foundation for a master's degree, prospective students may contact the Office of Admissions to speak with an admissions counselor, and current students may consult with their academic advisor.


  • Hybrid Courses: Three ten-week courses per year (each course nine weeks online, one week on campus).
  • Cohort Based: Class size is limited to 25 and, over the two years, students are involved in sharing and dialogue with a consistent smaller group of students within the class.
  • Spiritual and Character Formation Emphasis: This is the backbone of the program. From the first class, students develop spiritual practices that will be central to their life as church planters.
  • Action-Reflection Program: Students remain in their church planting ministries as they work on their certificate, reflecting upon and applying what they are learning in real time.
  • Affordability: All new and returning Church Planting Certificate students are eligible to apply for a scholarship covering 50% of their tuition.

Curriculum (24 units)

IS500 The Touchstone Course

The Touchstone Course is a foundational course that will help you focus on your calling and spiritual formation as a church planter.

NT500 New Testament Introduction

New Testament Introduction will provide a biblical foundation for church planting by orienting you to the literature of the New Testament in its various literary, historical, and theological contexts and to New Testament interpretation with a particular emphasis on texts relevant to church planting.

IS503 The Practice of Mission

The Practice of Mission is a core integration requirement at Fuller uniquely modified for this certificate program to teach you missiological principles and provide missiological tools to start missional churches.

MB533 Social Analysis and Contextualization

A course on Social Analysis and Contextualization will teach you how to exegete the culture and context of a church plant to help develop churches that are relevant and transformative.

MC538 Evangelism and Church Planting

Evangelism and Church Planting will explore practical tools for evangelism to aid church planters in reaching their local communities.

PM514 Missional Churches and Leadership

Missional Churches and Leadership is designed to help you create a culture of missional living and transformational leadership in the process of church planting.

(626) 584-5200
(800) 235-2222
135 N. Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182