Friday, September 07, 2012

Prophets, Priests and Kings: A short overview of the Re:Train 2009-2010 reading lists for the coursework

The first testimonial on how good Re:Train is comes from Jamie Munson, former executive elder at Mars Hill and current pastor (someone can look up which campus he's at now as he seemed to move from Shoreline to Ballard to Downtown or something in the last year).  Munson is described as a student but whether or not he actually earned a degree isn't mentioned.  In addition in to Munson's testimony are 

Mark Myles, who actually lists the degree in his resume::

There's an Acts 29 Network church planter who also had positive things to say about the program

Then there's Dr. Bruce Ware, who taught and developed course work there. Another testimonial comes from Dr. Gregg Allison and another from Dr. Sam Storms.

So there's a testimonial from Munson who took courses but may not have finished the program.  There's also testimony from at least three professors who themselves designed and taught the curriculum.  Then there's two guys who took the program, finished the degree, and have planted churches.  

There's at least one other person who seems to have gone to the Re:Train program and gotten the degree.  Mark Dunford

No mention of the Resurgence Training center in the LinkedIn profile but targeted resume-writing being the discipline it is this is understandable.  There seems to be a match for Dunford's professional work available here:

There's a jpg translation for those who might not have been able to read or open the pdf to the link above.  It looks like a match.  This would seem to be a match, too.

Whether or not this is exactly the same Mark Dunford (which is a relatively common name if you go looking for it, is left to reader discretion.

It would appear for the sake of observation that there's a Mark Dunford affiliated with Mars Hill who got a Master in Missional Leadership degree from the Resurgence Training Center.

There's a guy I haven't mentioned yet from the Re:Train testimonials named Chris Blackstone whose testimony does not focus so much on the coursework or content as the people he met there.  Fair enough. Blackstone has done us the favor of listing all the required and some of the optional reading for all the course work.  Whether or not this Mark Dunford was an executive assistant to Pastor Mark is interesting though somewhat moot.  

The main thing is there are a few people we can look up who have earned a Master in Missional Leadership from the Resurgence Training Center and have included it in their resumes at at least some point since earning the degree.  A few details of note:

from page 12

The program fee for the entire Master of Missional Leadership program (36 semester unists of graduate study) for the 2009-2010 academic year will be $7,500. Students from an Acts 29 church will rceive a $2,000 scholarship reducing the cost to $5500 and students from Mars Hill Church will receive a $4,000 scholarship reducing the cost to $3500. In order to receive the scholarship, the student must be a member of the church for at least one year prior to enrollment and submit a completed Church Affirmation form (available at 

Program fees do not include miscellaneous fees for travel, required textbooks, housing, and living expenses. Applicants accepted into the Master of Missional Leadership program may pay in full by August 1 or in 10 month installments (beginning August 1). 

A word about Mars Hill Church

Mars Hill Church lives for Jesus as a city within the city--knowing culture, lvoing people, and seeing lives transformed to live for Jesus. ...

really you probably can work out the rest so there's no need to quote it in great length.  It's of interest that the fee for students who were members of Mars Hill Church or Acts 29 churches got discounts of roughly 53% and 26% respectively.

From page 16

How is the Resurgence Training center governed?

The Resurgence Training Center is governed by the Executive Elders and the Board of Directors of Mars Hill Church. Rick Melson, an Executive Elder and the Executive Director of the Resurgence Training Center, will oversee the Board of Directors for the Resurgence Training Center and will serve as the liaison to the Executive Elders and Board of Directors of Mars Hill Church.

Who administrates, teaches, and coaches at the Resurgence Training Center?

The administrators, teachers, and coaches in the Resurgence Trianing Center are men who gladly embrace the Gospel Coalition Confessional Statement, and are members of Mars Hill Church or other like-minded congregations and institutions.

All professors will be chosen because of their exceptional knowledge in their respective field of study and their ability to teach in a useful and practical way. All professors will be academicians in well-respected institutions or practitionery scholars who have the appropriate teaching credentials.  

The teaching line-up has since changed significantly.  Rick Melson is no longer executive director, Justin Holcomb is.  Piper, Allison, and Ware are no longer teaching at Re:Train.  The new line-up is Driscoll, Ray Ortlund, Bryan Chapell, Justin Holcomb, Ed Welch, Jim Gilmore, Bill Clem, Dave Bruskas, Sutton Turner, Brad House, and Mike Wilkerson.

The course calendar looks very different for 2012 and nothing like a Master in anything degree is offered.


Bill Clem and Dr. Justin Holcomb
One-Week Intensive | August 13-17, 2012

When Jesus told his disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19), he commissioned a disciple-making movement. This course explores the core identity of a disciple (imago dei, worship, community, and mission), as well as current distortions to this core identity in the Western church. Particular attention will be paid as to how and why disciples and disciplemaking need to be emphasized, and disciplemaking in the context of the Mission of God. The desired outcome is that each student will have a working knowledge of basic discipleship skills that can serve as a foundation for development in missional leadership. This is a 3 credit hour course.

Hermeneutics to Homiletics

Dr. Bryan Chapell, Dr. Ray Ortlund, and Dr. Justin Holcomb
Three Weekend Sessions | September 7-8, October 5-6, & November 9-10 2012

This course covers the principles and skills necessary to develop the student’s confidence and ability to rightly handle the Word of God in the context of ministry and leadership. This is a 3 credit hour course. This course has three essential components:
  • Hermeneutics: To be a faithful missional leader, one must faithfully read and interpret the Bible from a gospel-centered perspective. This component is taught by Dr. Justin Holcomb.
  • Biblical Theology: Developing a full understanding of the biblical narrative and its implications on teaching and leadership provides missional leaders faithful trajectories for ministry. This component is taught by Dr. Ray Ortlund.
  • Preaching & Teaching: Leaders lead through communication. Whether preaching from the pulpit or teaching in a small group setting, missional leaders must have the skills to rightly handle and communicate the truth of Scripture. This component is taught by Dr. Bryan Chapell.

Community and Counseling

Mike Wilkerson, Brad House, and Dr. Ed Welch
One-Week Intensive | January 14-18, 2013

This course is an overview of pastoral care, biblical and professional standards of ministerial conduct, interpersonal relationships, typical problem areas, and possible pitfalls for pastors. It will also cover counseling theory and practice and the role of counseling in public, private and church settings. Basic counseling skills taught in this course include interviewing, assessment, and listening. Application is made to premarital, marriage and family, crisis, grief, and substance abuse counseling. This is a 3 credit hour course.

Leadership Dynamics

Mark Driscoll, Dave Bruskas, Sutton Turner
Three Weekend Sessions | February 22-23, March 22-23, & April 19-20 2013

This course focuses on the various dynamics of missional leadership. Through interaction with leading practitioners, students are equipped to create & cast vision, address the complexities of team leadership, and develop the skills needed to move leadership theory into practice. The goal of this course is for students to be able to develop and implement a philosophy of ministry applicable to their contexts. This is a 3 credit hour course.

Now, there's a lot there that admittedly will interest virtually no one.  I mention it all because it establishes that Resurgence Training Center did offer a Master in Missional Leadership at one point.  There were three distinct courses on Leader as Prophet, Leader as Priest, and Leader as King.

What those courses were is yet to be delved into.  There's an alumni testimonial we haven't gotten to yet and that's Chris Blackstone.  Blackstone has provided enough insight into the nature of the reading list, if not the content of the course work, to merit a separate blog post.

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