About Underground Seminary
Our goal is to advance the Kingdom of God. To do this effectively, we are constantly seeking to multiply every aspect of ministry. While we multiply primarily through individual discipleship and house churches, we know that there is also a need for more academic training at times.
So, we have created Underground Seminary. In keeping with our multiplication method, everything about Underground Seminary is designed to be duplicated by you, so that you can turn around and equip leaders as soon as possible!
Underground Seminary will cover everything you need to minister in a lay or vocational position. We will give special focus on house church, discipleship, theology, apologetics, and practical ministry skills like lesson prep, sermon prep, hospital visits, crisis ministry, and more.
Deep Doctrine and Practical Ministry
There is a misconception in a lot of Christian circles that theological depth and effective practical ministry are mutually exclusive. The truth is that good theology leads to good practice when the focus is on abiding in Christ. We bear good fruit when we abide in Christ (John 15). Underground seminary pulls no punches. We teach Biblical theology, moving from simple to advanced, providing a way for people from all walks and academic backgrounds to learn. But, we don't stop there, we connect theological depth to practical ministry, so that the apologetic skills you learn are not merely theoretical. We teach you how to winsomely use them in evangelistic conversations. Similarly, the theology you learn doesn't just get stored away in your mind, we teach you how to bring your knowledge into your discipleship right away. People in Underground Seminary are trained in Masters-Level knowledge while gaining nitty gritty skills for ministry at any level.
Removing The "Dead Wood"
A lot of seminaries are known for costing a lot of money, taking a lot of time, and limiting training to an "elite few." We aren't anti-seminary here. A lot of our teachers have advanced ministry training. However, we know that the cost, time, and academics of seminary keep a lot of people from being equipped. Worse, plenty of seminaries have grown out of touch with hands-on ministry. While 15 year old girls are planting house churches in Iran, seminarians with 7 years of advanced training have never led anyone to Christ.
Underground Seminary cuts out a lot of academic testing models in favor of a discipleship-oriented approach. Tests and papers are limited. Feedback comes from your discipler/instructor through interaction (Voxer App) and some written assignments.
Perhaps more importantly, we don't waste time with lessons on how to do building campaigns or how to run a board meeting. Underground Seminary focuses on doctrine, apologetics, and discipleship, so that you have what you need for Kingdom Advancement without being weighed down by busy work.
Materials, Teaching, Community, And More
When you sign up for Underground Seminary, you immediately get access to our full array of materials with the course content (ebooks, workbooks, charts, study tools, links to teaching videos, syllabus, study plans, and more). You also get access to our members only web page with audio files of all the lessons and other exclusive training content. Further, you get access to our Voxer Group (Walkie Talkie App), so that you can stay in regular touch with your instructor and the other people in your group. We also keep developing and adding new content, so that you are being equipped.
Materials (Workbooks, Video/Audio Teaching)
Access To Members Only Web Page (Including Audio Files)
Daily Access Via Voxer (Community)
Practical Written Assignments (Instructors Oversee Your Writing, So That You Can Use Each Assignment For Future Ministry.)
New Content Every Month
Courses In Layers
We've set up Underground Seminary in such a way that you can work at your own pace. Every course involves some practical ministry, theology, and apologetics, and each course builds on the previous to take you into deeper and more advanced training in both theology and practical ministry. Think about each course being a layer, and all the courses fit together. While the initial training is designed to be completed in a year, you could do it faster or take a little longer. Once you have covered the first "year" of material, we move you into advance courses related to theology, apologetics, and practical ministry.
Here Is A List Of Some Of The Initial Courses
Unit 1: How to Disciple (Evangelism, How to Disciple New Believers, Doctrinal Essentials, Apologetics, Bible Study Methods, Prayer)
Units 2&3: House Church Training (House Church Facilitation, Theology of Church, Kingdom Theology, Kingdom Living, Evangelism)
Unit 4: Essential Doctrines (What Makes An Essential Doctrine, Bringing Doctrine Into Practical Ministry)
Unit 5: Evangelism and Apologetics (Gospel Conversations, Evidence for the Resurrection, Reliability of Scripture, Dealing with Doubt)
Unit 6: Bible Study Methods (Exegesis vs. Eisegesis, Study Tools, NT Overview, OT Overview, Book Themes, Biblical Genres)
Unit 7: Biblical Authority in the Church (Eldership, Ministry Roles, Equipping Methods, Spiritual Warfare)
Unit 8: Biblical Emotional Health (Freedom from Sin, Peace, Abiding in Christ)
Unit 9: Practical Ministry (Hospital Visits, Crisis Care, Prayer, Teaching, Spiritual Warfare, etc.)
Unit 10: Introduction to Theology and Theological Methods (Types of Theology, Methods, Tools)
Unit 11: Historical Theology (Theological Developments Across Church History, Creeds, Confessions)
Unit 12: Pertinent Theological Issues (Calvinism vs. Arminianism vs. Pelagianism, End Times, Women in Ministry, Contemporary Topics)
Unit 1: Theology Proper (The Study of God, Focused on the the Triune Godhead, Giving Special Emphasis to God, the Father)
Unit 2: Christology (The Study of Christ, His Work, His Life, His Deity, Death, Resurrection)
Unit 3: Pneumatology (The Study of the Holy Spirit, His Works, Common Misconceptions, Gifts of the Spirit, Fruit of the Spirit)
Unit 4: Bibliology (The Study of God’s Self-Revelation in Scripture—Revelation, Inspiration, Inerrancy, Canonicity, Illumination, Interpretation)
Unit 5: Anthropology (The Study of Humans and Humanity in Relation to God, Image of God, Sin Nature)
Unit 6: Soteriology (The Study of Salvation—Justification, Sanctification, Glorification, Atonement)
Unit 7: Ecclesiology (The Study of the Church—Mission, Methods, Purpose, Ordinances, Unity)
Unit 8: Eschatology (The Study of End Times and Eternity, Views of the Tribulation, Views of the Millennium, Heaven, Kingdom)
Unit 9: Errors and Response (Modern and Contemporary Thought, Identifying False Teaching, Roots of Theological Error, Being Orthodox)
(Ongoing training in specific topics related to ministry and theology)
Most seminaries charge you several thousand dollars per year. There may have been a time when that was practical, but that time has long passed. Most churches can't afford to pay a living wage to pastors (let alone lay people), and the last thing you need going into ministry is student loan debt. So, we have radically cut the cost by turning Underground Seminary into a subscription plan that only costs you $49 per month! As we mentioned we've cut out the dead wood, simplified the process, and put the impetus to learn on you. We are providing materials, teaching, and daily access to seasoned pastors, missionaries, and professors to equip you for whatever ministry work God has called you. Since our instructors are taking time from work and ministry, we are charging a small amount to help fund their ministry work. We think $49/month is a great deal!
Where does Underground Seminary stand theologically?
We have a high view of God and a high view of His Word (the Bible). While Underground Seminary is not directly associated with a denomination, our founder is ordained with the Christian and Missionary Alliance and is best described as “Confessional” (affirming the essentials of the Christian faith) and “Reformed” (affirming the “5 Solas”). If you don’t know what that means, it means we believe that Scripture is our primary authority and that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. In short, we believe the Bible and know that salvation is by grace and not by works.
Why Not FREE?
We offer Underground Seminary free to everyone making disciples with Restoration Church (our home church), because we believe it is our job to equip the saints for the work of service (Ephesians 4) in the church we have been placed. Sadly, not many churches offer training like this, so we are providing it at a low cost to people in other churches. If you are a pastor or church leader and want to offer Underground Seminary in your church, contact us to find out about bulk rates.
Is it Accredited?
Underground Seminary is not accredited as an academic institution (Hence the "underground" part of our name). However, our instructors and content creators have decades of teaching experience for seminaries and Bible colleges. While you are not getting an accredited degree, you are getting the same level of knowledge (or better).
Is there a Certification?
Yes, we provide you a certificate of completion affirming that we believe you are filled with the Holy Spirit and Truth, assuming we see doctrinal accuracy and spiritual fruit in your life. Thus, certification is not guaranteed. We pay attention to your activity in the group discussion as well as in your written assignments. We also interact with you directly to ensure you are equipped.
How Long Does It Take?
Underground Seminary starts with a year long training that covers house church leadership, disciple-making, doctrine, apologetics, evangelism. However, we provide advanced apologetics and theology as well as ongoing practical ministry training and discipleship indefinitely. In other words, you can get the basics (and your certificate) in a year, but we keep giving you more for as long as you are in the program.
Are there any other costs associated?
There can be. Each section comes with all the primary materials built in, so you don’t have to buy those. There are other books to read, but most of them are available at the library. Some students like to buy the books, so they can have them long-term, but if you check ahead with your library, you can usually check out (or put on hold) the books you need. The reading is not heavy in Year 1.
Why Not Go To Bible College or Seminary?
Traditional seminary has some big hurdles. First, it costs a lot of money. This is a BIG problem if the plan is to go into vocational ministry. I know guys who can't take ministry jobs, because they can't make enough to pay for their ministry training. Second, whether you go on campus or online, you are still jumping into traditional academics. This rules out people who don't learn in traditional environments. Also, it lends itself to meeting secular accreditation standards rather than focusing on grounded theology and practical ministry training.
What If a student is Not Good At School?
That's ok. We know that some of the best Bible Scholars and theologians don't thrive in traditional academic environments. We don't believe in lowering standards of scholarship, but we do believe that traditional academia is not the best at gauging biblical scholarship. Underground Seminary will not be easy, but it will be simple. Less focus will be given to quizzes and tests; more focus will be given to thoughtful interaction and discipleship. Written assignments will be critical but formats like APA and MLA are not our primary concern. We want to help you develop sound theology and logical communication skills for the sake of the Gospel. Whether that be done through a dictation app or through typing or even writing by hand, we will accommodate your development as a scholar and theologian.
Who is Teaching?
Underground Seminary was initially developed by Daniel Samms. He has been teaching theology for Liberty University for more than 10 years and has been in ministry for the last 19 years. He has written books and done a lot of teaching. Underground Seminary is committed to hiring well equipped instructors who also have plenty of hands-on ministry experience. We don't hire "ivory tower" teachers with no connection to ministry, nor do we hire ill equipped ministers with no depth of knowledge. Underground Seminary may not be accredited, but it is staffed with qualified instructors.
Apply for Underground Seminary
We don't let just anyone in. We are here to equip Christ-followers to make disciples who make disciples. We will not waste time and energy with anyone who doesn't love Jesus and want to make Him known.
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Part of what makes Underground Seminary special is that it isn’t just a set of video and audio lectures accompanied with reading, the trainings paired with the Voxer community allows you to interact with instructors and fellow students on a daily (or even hourly) basis. Underground Seminary gives you access to a community of Christ-centered disciple-makers who are being equipped with you. You don’t have to be alone in the Kingdom work!