rural certificate

Rural Church

Certificate Program in Rural Leadership and Ministry


This certificate program is designed to provide foundational preparation and in-ministry training and mentorship to current lay and church leaders who will provide pastoral leadership in rural town and country churches.


Most rural/town and country churches are unable to afford a seminary graduate with student debt. Many denominations are uncertain how to assist their smaller, rural churches in finding pastoral leadership. In cooperation with mission agencies and denominational leaders we believe that Oak Hills Christian College is in a position to service this need. If you want to deepen your knowledge of the Bible and sharpen your ministry skills, this program is for you!

target student profile:
  • Non-traditional age (over 25)
  • Mid-career or late-career ‘finishers’ who are prepared for a new phase in rural ministry
  • Current lay-leaders in the Church
  • Possible prior college experience (and possible degree) along with life experience
  • Students with an ability to read, write, and reason at a college level
  • Students with a desire to obtain the education needed to get on with a ministry, not necessarily a formal degree
  • Men and women identified by their church or denominational leaders who feel a desire to serve in rural ministry settings

New students can enter the program the first of January or July each year. When applying please let us know when you would like to begin.

Rural Ministry Video
Rural Ministry Video


Biblical Studies (17 credits)
Leadership Training (12 credits)
Ministry Skills (12 credits)
Mentorship and Internship (7 credits)

meet your directors

Our Church Ministries team of Jim Hodgson (Director of Church & Community Relations) & Rick Weinert (Facilitator of Church & Ministry Relations) play a critical role in the ministry of Oak Hills in serving the local church and church related ministries in accomplishing their God given mission. Jim’s 25+ years of ministry leadership & gifts as a networker, and Rick’s 40 years of pastoral leadership experience make them exceptionally qualified to fill these vital roles.

Jim Hodgson
Rick Weinert
Jim Hodgson

Director of Church & Community Relations 
888-751-8670, ext. 1238 
Cell: 218-556-6277

Rick Weinert

Facilitator of Church & Ministry Resources 
888-751-8670, ext. 1239 
Cell: 218-766-4754