There are five collections of competencies that weave as strands throughout all the units of a VCI degree program: Overview of Scripture, Exegesis, Hermeneutics, Worldview studies, and Ministry skills. Each outcome or strand is defined below.

Overview of the Bible: Establishing the historical and literary context

The study of Scripture begins with the broader categories of the Old Testament and then the New Testament: history, wisdom literature, etc. Following the study of broader categories, the student then begins to develop understanding of the major works within the categories. For this reason, the students have developed their biblical understanding and their theology based on an understanding of the total Scriptures.

Exegesis: Doing semantic discourse analysis

The skills of exegesis are taught with the help of semantic discourse analysis that draws strongly from semiotics and semantics. In this process the students acquire the skills to do exegesis themselves of all the major types of literature applied to all the groups of Bible books. They then need to compare their exegesis to that provided in commentaries.

Hermeneutics: Applying biblical absolutes to analyzed local contexts

The student applies the biblical absolutes obtained through the process of exegesis to their local ministry context.

Worldview: Developing biblical perspectives

In the process of hermeneutics the biblical absolutes have to be applied in the ministry context in such a way that a biblical worldview is cultivated. Through the program, students develop an understanding of worldview studies and specifically a biblical or Christian worldview. This study provides the understanding needed by students to analyze their setting so that as their study progresses, their setting may be addressed in their learning. For this reason, worldview becomes a primary element of the students’ education and preparation for their specific ministry field.

Ministry skills: Communicating and implementing spiritual formation

Students develop a number of ministry skills that equip them for the effective communication of the biblical message, for leading people to Christ and for guiding them to spiritual maturity in the context of a Christian community. The development of ministry skills is also individual as students minister the biblical message in a manner that is appropriate to their culture and context.

VCI courses are interdisciplinary. The five strands are taught in an interdisciplinary fashion that weaves together instead of having to provide a capstone course at the end of a program.

The figure below provides a graphic explanation of which strands are covered in each of the MA units (courses).

Figure 1

Example: Coverage of multiple strands throughout the MA Program

Overview of the Bible:
Establishing the historical and literary context

Exegesis:
Doing semantic discourse analysis

Hermeneutics:
Applying biblical absolutes to analyzed local contexts

Worldview:
Developing biblical perspectives

Ministry skills:
Communicating and implementing spiritual formation

SPI501 Spiritual Growth for Leaders

NT501 New Testament Epistles

 

NT502 Historical (Hist.) & Literary (Lit.) Context (Cont.) of the NT Epistles

     

THE503 Church and Worldview

 

MIN501 Homiletics 1

MIN502 Small Groups

HIS601 Church History

 

OT501 Pentateuch and OT Historical Books

 

OT502 Hist. & Lit. Cont. of the Pentateuch and OT Hist. Books

     

MIN503 Biblical Evangelism

THE502 Ecclesiology

THE501 Biblical Ethics

MIN504 Biblical Family Relationships

OT601 Psalms

 

MIN601 Worship

OT602 OT Wisdom Books

 

OT603 OT Prophetic Books

 

OT604 Hist. & Lit. Cont. of the OT Prophetic Books

     

MIN604 Church Leadership

MIN605 Theological Education 1

NT601 Gospels and Acts

 

MIN603 Stewardship

NT602 Revelation

 

NT603 Hist. & Lit. Cont. of the Gospels, Acts and Revelation

     

MIN602 Pastoral Care of Individuals

MIN606 Homiletics 2