The Bible is, in many ways, a rural text. It relates to people with industrial, agrarian, and small-town leanings. Even Jesus, often present in urban settings, teaches using small town and country metaphors. Through this certification, learners will gain Biblical, theological, and practical knowledge that will assist them in leading well in rural settings.
Develop tools to make a big impact in your ministry and gain a network of other Christians in rural ministry from around the country!
The IFD Certification in Rural Ministry requires just four 6-week courses of $125 each — a total of $500.
- Certification courses must be completed in order. Courses will be taught on a yearly rotation.
- Once you begin, you can complete all the courses you need for certification in just one year!
- First courses in the certification cycles are offered in either January or August, with some certifications relaunching at both times.
- This program is taught online via Blackboard Learn. Courses are mostly asynchronous, meaning you can complete the work at the time most convenient for your schedule. Daily engagement on the Discussion Board with peers, required reading, and assignments ensure a quality learning experience. Some courses offer a required or optional live video-based session – see individual course descriptions for more details.
2023 Course Schedule
August 21 – September 29, 2023
October 9 – November 17, 2023
Certification Course List
Add a Denominational Emphasis
You can add an Emphasis in United Methodist Studies to your certificate by taking just one additional 6-week course:
Enroll in the first course!
If the first course is full, or is not currently enrolling, you will be able to sign up for course opening notifications.
Meet the Instructors
Marc Boswell has served in ministry positions in North Carolina, Virginia, Illinois, and Louisiana. Growing up in eastern North Carolina, he attended the University of Mount Olive (B.A. Religion), Union Presbyterian Seminary (M.Div.), and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Ph.D.).
Marc is currently the executive director of Together for Hope Louisiana – a rural poverty development ministry in the Louisiana Delta. In 2017, he also founded and is the editor of Progressive Southern Theologians. He enjoys photography, cooking, and writing. His research and teaching interests include constructive/liberation theologies, community development, and race in American culture.