Phoenix Seminary has begun a new Ministry Apprenticeship Alliance (MAA) partnership with Canyon Bible Church in Prescott, Arizona. Through this partnership, 18 credit hours will be offered on-site at the church. Students will be able to complete 2 courses in pastoral care, 1 course in leadership and ecclesiology, and 1 course on the ministry of proclamation along with required ministry experience hours while completing their master’s degree online or in-person through intensives.
“This strategic partnership with Canyon Bible Church is an important step in fulfilling our mission to train pastors and ministry leaders, not just in Phoenix, but in the Southwest and beyond,” said Phoenix Seminary President Brian Arnold.
“We couldn’t ask for a better partner in Canyon Bible. Andrew Guitierrez is a model pastor and preacher. God is using Canyon Bible Church to faithfully reach and disciple many in the Prescott area, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to join them in equipping future pastors and leaders by combining local church mentorship and formal theological education. We pray this will be the beginning of many Ministry Apprenticeship Alliance locations in the Southwest.”
Andrew Gutierrez, elder and pastor-teacher at Canyon Bible will teach the courses on-site at the church’s offices. He echoed Arnold’s enthusiasm for the partnership. “Effective training for full-time ministry includes two things: A robust theological education and the experiences of everyday ministry in the local church,” Guiterrez said. “Canyon Bible Church of Prescott is thrilled to be in partnership with Phoenix Seminary in order to bring about both of these realities for theological students in Northern Arizona.”
“Through the partnership with Phoenix Seminary, Canyon Bible Church will both pour into and benefit from the internship program. We will be edified by the gifted students of Phoenix Seminary as they serve in our local church. We are also eager to use our spiritual gifts for the purpose of equipping these students for future ministry faithfulness.”
Canyon Bible Church is a church plant that is seeking to make disciples who make disciples in Prescott. The church currently meets in a high school theater.
Phoenix Seminary’s Ministry Apprenticeship Alliance program currently includes five churches in the Valley—Church on the Mill in Tempe, Roosevelt Community Church, Scottsdale Bible Church, Trinity Bible Church in Peoria, AZ, and Whitten Avenue Bible Church. Canyon Bible is the first church to join the program outside of the Valley.
“The Ministry Apprentice Alliance is a reflection of Phoenix Seminary’s commitment to partner with local churches in training men and women to effectively serve Christ in a changing world,” said Rick Efird, director of church relations at Phoenix Seminary. “In the classroom, students receive an outstanding theological education from world-class professors. In churches like Canyon Bible, they learn from experienced pastors how to apply these biblical principles and skills in a ministry setting.”
Phoenix Seminary is hoping to expand its church partnership program throughout the Southwest and the Western United States in cities such as Tucson, Flagstaff, Denver, and Albuquerque. Kody Gibson, director of enrollment and communications at Phoenix Seminary, leads the seminary in the development of new Ministry Apprenticeship Alliance partnerships. “Phoenix Seminary is dedicated to scholarship with a shepherd’s heart,” said Gibson. “There’s no better place for seminary students to learn about shepherding than in the local church where they receive guidance directly from pastors like Andrew Guiterrez. We’re in the Southwest and we’re for the Southwest, and we hope this is the first of many partnerships with churches in our region to faithfully equip pastors and ministry leaders.”
To learn more about the seminary’s Ministry Apprenticeship Alliance, visit https://ps.edu/academics/ministry-apprenticeship-alliance/