Tier One: Discover Foundations

Discover Foundations is year one of DMS. It will introduce the student to the foundational aspects of Christian leadership and consists of four 9 week college-level classes to be finished in one year. Applications for tier one are open to all students and may be ideal for:

  • Young adults  exploring God's mission for their life
  • Local church or business leaders who can't go away to college but want to be in a learning community
  • Career people who are sensing a deeper calling on their life.
  • Those who want an affordable pathway to the possibility of becoming a credentialed minister.
  • Ministry Service & Personal Devotion

    (Taken Each Quarter)

    Ministry Service and personal devotion includes accountable service in the church, personal transformational devotions and church participation. By the end of the quarter the student will:

    • Have a better understanding of God’s Word because of daily time spent with Him.
    • Have a greater understanding of how God’s Spirit speaks through the transformational personal disciplines of prayer, worship, meditation and journaling.
    • Be able to express how they have served the mission of God through ministry in their local church


  • Theological foundations

    In this course the student will learn and discuss basic Christian doctrine and the scriptural basis upon which it is built. The class will be taught with an emphasis on how doctrine applies in everyday life situations and how doctrine is essential to the formation of a missional leader. By the end of the course students will:

    • Have a basic grasp of the major doctrines of Christianity. 
    • Explore the scriptural basis that forms Christian doctrine. 
    • Be able to defend with scripture the major Christian doctrines. 
    • Express through writing and conversation how sound doctrine impacts daily life and leadership decisions. 


  • Spiritual transformation

    In this course the student will learn what it means to follow Jesus and “live as Jesus did” (1 John 2:6). This course will help the student understand how our identity in Christ empowers us to live on mission and with purpose. The student will discover what the disciplines of the Christian life are and that those disciplines are both a delight and a necessity. By the end of the course students will:

    • Understand what it means to be a Christ-follower, not just in activity but in character. 
    • Learn the source of Jesus’ power, and how it can be applied in the believer’s life.
    • Learn why discipline can be a delight when they flow out of a love relationship with Christ. 
    • Understand how to maximize their life and mission through practical and consistent Christian habits. 
    • Be living out new ways of “living as Jesus did.” 


  • The Biblical Narrative

    This class will take the student on a journey through the entire Bible and will demonstrate how the story of the Old Testament, New Testament and individual books within them are all interconnected. By the end of the course students will:

    • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of, through writing assignments and testing, the different literary genres of scripture. 
    • Have a basic knowledge of what lies within the Old and New Testaments, how they are unique and how they are all part of a consistent narrative. 
  • Principles of ministry leadership

    In this class the student will be exposed to principles of practical ministry leadership. Students will write out a personal mission statement and philosophy of ministry. They will study areas such as motivation for ministry, identifying leaders and building teams as well as preparation for public ministry such as prayer, altar ministry and administering the sacraments. By the end of the course students will:

    • Learn basic principles of ministry leadership. 
    • Be able to express a personal mission statement and philosophy of ministry. 
    • Demonstrate an understanding of healthy and unhealthy motivations for ministry leadership. 
    • Express through writing and conversation how ministry leadership is similar and different from secular leadership. 
    • Begin to evaluate their particular gifting and calling as it relates to ministry leadership through personality and gift testing.