Premise

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Mt.10:16).

A comprehensive, preparedness strategy for survival is predicated on the belief that the terrain of ministry is complex, full of danger, and must be traversed carefully.

The Identity School for Christian Ministry exists to assist persons in ministry acquire the necessary survival tools so that they can stand in the battle, persevere through difficult seasons in ministry, and continue to fulfill their callings in Christ Jesus.

Bible colleges and seminaries offer valuable theological training. But have students received the emotional and relational equipping in order to survive the criticism, sabotage, betrayal, mistrust, slander, political maneuverings, coalitions, transference, gossip, power struggles, etc. that exists in every ministry system? The Identity School curriculum is specifically designed to help each student discover his/her triggers through specific exercises and experiential learning. It is essential to receive ministry survival training in the early season of a person’s ministry so that potential dangers are recognized and disasters can be avoided. The sole purpose of the Identity School is to reduce the attrition rate of the next generation of career ministers.

I do not intend to be melodramatic when I speak of surviving in ministry. Many gifted pastors fall. Do you hear their voices? Have you heard their stories?

I have been in ministry in one way or another for over twenty years.
What surprised me the most, hurt me the greatest, and frequently caused me to
reassess my call was the wounding caused by “friendly” fire from within the
church which came from co-workers, friends, and members of the congregation
alike. No one warned me about this dimension in ministry, that it would be
my greatest challenge and my greatest pain.”

—Associate Pastor of an independent, nondenominational church

“I had no understanding of the politics of the church. In fact, I did not want
anything to do with church politics. I entered ministry because I felt called to
help others. I was young and naïve. I did not understand that every decision would
be characterized as a choosing of sides, or as aligning myself with some subgroup
that struggled for power within the church. I had no clue of the depth of isolation
and loneliness that I would experience within the community of faith because I tried
to do what I believed was right.”
— Angel

“Early on in my ministry, a deep discouragement settled on me. I felt deserted
by a number of people. I felt overwhelmed by the number of situations that had
arisen that I had no answers for. I did not handle the rejection of certain people well.
I was frustrated by my lack of ability to measure myself and my performance.
I never knew when I was done, or if I was doing a good job, or if my priorities
were accurate. I found that I did not enjoy the fishbowl of ministry. I am a private,
quiet, reserved person and I realize that a senior position was probably not what
I was created for.”

—Michael, sixteen years after leaving the ministry

Though the number of disheartening testimonies from pastors and ex-pastors seems to be growing at an exponential rate, the harsh relational terrain of ministry has existed for thousands of years. Jesus was misrepresented (Lk.11:15-20), rejected (Jn.1:11), betrayed by a co-worker (Lk.22:47-48), disowned by a close companion (Mk.14:66-72), falsely accused (Mt.26:59-60) and deserted by His friends when He needed them the most (Mt.26:36-46). The Apostle Paul dealt with many of the same challenges. Our Lord warns us, “No servant is greater that his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (Jn.15:20). Persons in ministry must prepare for these challenges if they are to survive.

Students may be able to receive college and seminary credits toward their Bachelors, Masters or Doctoral ministry degrees upon successfully completing the MST program. Check periodically on this site for updates concerning credits.