Letter from the Dean
I have been involved in both ministry and theological education for almost 30 years now. Over that time, I’ve talked with countless pastors and other ministry professionals about their seminary experience. Nearly all of them have expressed disappointment: It was too expensive, too time-consuming, too difficult to juggle with other responsibilities, too theologically skewed … BUT primarily, too impractical; too unrelated to what one actually does in day-to-day ministry. I agree. I think theological education is geared more for the teachers than the students. And the teachers, by the way, are usually people who have never pastored or done in-the-field ministry.
Classroom studies alone do not adequately prepare one for the challenges of real-life ministry. There should, in fact, be 5 equally important components in the preparation; namely:
Traditional seminary studies, whether on campus or online, are only designed to address the first of these components. But theoretical learning is disconnected from application. The spiritual growth and character development required for ministry are usually assumed, while the acquisition of many skills necessary to succeed in ministry are often deferred for later on-the-job experimentation.
HSM provides a first-class seminary education in the Kansas City area, which is focused not merely on the acquisition of information, but more importantly, on how to apply what is learned to day-to-day ministry. In addition, the HSM program creates the opportunity for intentional character development and appropriate practical experience through a mentoring agreement set up with seasoned ministry professionals.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that unless you are planning to pursue doctoral studies, or you have specific denominational ordination requirements, you will not find a theological training program that provides a more reasonably-priced, more practical education.
-Kent Mathews Ph.D.
Classes in Manhattan and Coming soon to Kansas City
Every Saturday from 10:00am-3:00pm
at Westview Community Church
615 Gillespie Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502
at Colonial Presbyterian's Wornall Campus
9500 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64114
About Our Logo
The Sword and Trowel are images drawn from the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. After Israel had returned from exile they were faced with the task of rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. During the construction, they were constantly under attack from neighboring cities. Each man kept one hand ready with the sword to defend the city and the other hand working to build the wall. We believe this is a fitting metaphor for the vision of Heartland School of Ministry. Our students will be trained in theology and the scriptures, the sword, and they will also be given the practical tools they need to succeed in ministry, the trowel. They then become the embodiment of our latin motto, autitoribus et factores, translated "hearers and doers" as they live out the call of James 1:22. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”