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Hartford Seminary Black Ministries Certification Program

Charter Oak State College building

Credits Available with Dates Valid

  • BMP 120 - Ministries of Prayer and Praise, Fall 1998 through Fall 2007: 1 credit, lower division level
  • BMP 135 - Key Moments in Christian History, May 2017 through May 2022: 1.5 credits, lower division level
  • BMP 140 - Church Administration, Winter/Spring 1989 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
  • BMP 181 -  Pastoral Care & Church Ministry, October 2001 through October 2007: 1.5 credits, lower division level (Replaces Introduction to Pastoral Counseling, formerly Community Leadership Development & Advocacy Program; which replaced Leadership in Crisis Ministry); Fall 1990 through Fall 2000: 1 credit, lower division level
  • BMP 190 - Theology and the Black Experience (formerly BMP 290, previously BMP 190), Spring 1988 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
  • BMP 231 - Education for the Life of the Church, 2007 through May 2022: 1.5 credits, lower division level; 2001 through 2007: 2.5 credits, lower division level (Replaced Christian Education, Winter/Spring 1986 through Fall 2001: Part A for 1 credit and Part B for 1.5 credits, 2.5 credits total, both lower division level)
  • BMP 235 - In Our Own Voices, 2007 through May 2022: 1.5 credits, lower division level; October 2001 through 2007: 1 credit, lower division level
  • BMP 250 - Shared Urban Spaces: Black-Latino Dialogue, November 2006 through May 2022: 1.5 credits, lower division level
  • BMP 251 - The Black Church and the American Experience (formerly Religion in American Culture), Fall 1996 through May 2007: 1.5 credits, lower division level
  • BMP 260 - Introduction to the Old Testament (formerly Survey of the Old Testament), October 2000 through May 2022: 2 credits, lower division level; Fall 1988 through September 2000: 1.5 credits, lower division level
  • BMP 261 - Expository Preaching, January 1989 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level (formerly Preaching in the Black Context)
  • BMP 270 - Introduction to the New Testament (formerly Survey of the New Testament), January 2001 through May 2022: 2 credits, lower division level (formerly Introduction to the New Testament, which replaced Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, Fall 1988 through December 2000: 1.5 credits, lower division level)
  • BMP 275 - Who Are You, Adam? Explorations of Male Spirituality, Fall 2008 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
  • BMP 280 - Black Theological Ethics, May 2002 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
  • BMP 300 - Charismatic Praise and Worship, March 2008 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level

Source of Records

Registrar's Office; Hartford Seminary; 77 Sherman Street; Hartford, CT 06105

About the Program

The BMP was developed in 1982 as a means of providing academic instruction and leadership development for the Black Church in Connecticut, primarily for Protestants, who make up the majority of African-American Christians.  The emphasis from the beginning of the program has been to provide highly relevant, highly accessible training for those preparing for, or already engaged in, urban ministry.  In order to make that training highly accessible, program tuition has always been kept low, academic prerequisites have been kept minimal, and the pace and scheduling of the program have been designed with the needs of working adults in mind.  In effect, the program has offered an accessible, affordable introduction to theological education, while also providing some students a path towards completing a bachelor’s degree. 

About the Training Sponsor

Hartford Seminary is a non-denominational graduate school in the field of religion that stresses peacemaking, interfaith dialogue, and the preparation of students for lives of leadership and service.  Education is the primary mission of Hartford Seminary.  The seminary is a graduate-level institution offering masters-level degrees and certificates as well as two doctoral-level programs, the PhD and the Doctor of Ministry (DMin).  For decades, the seminary has also provided low-cost academic programs that do not require a bachelor’s degree, including the Black Ministries Program (BMP). 

Applying for the Credit

Have your training sponsor submit your transcript or record to the Registrar to apply for the credit.

Course Descriptions

BMP 120 - Ministries of Prayer and Praise, Fall 1998 through Fall 2007: 1 credit, lower division level
Course objectives are to increase knowledge regarding the origin and evolution of liturgical ministries in the Christian tradition; to help students develop an understanding of liturgy and the role of liturgical ministries in bridging the gap between liturgy and life. The course focuses on the study of the Black experience within the Christian worship heritage, with an emphasis on understanding social justice as liturgical action and individual gifts as the basis for developing ministries of prayer and praise.

BMP 135 - Key Moments in Christian History, May 2017 through May 2022: 1.5 credits, lower division level
In this course, we will visit some of the most critical moments in the History of Christianity, moments of crisis that shaped its very nature.  Some of these defining moments produced shared understandings that have endured for centuries, while others fractured Christianity into divergent forms.  This course moves very quickly through the centuries, stopping down at key moments that have helped to create the many forms of Christianity that flourish today.

BMP 140 - Church Administration,Winter/Spring 1989 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
The objective of this course is to help students to develop knowledge of administrative procedures of main line African American Christian Churches. The course is designed to probe the ways church and ministries are a business. Topics include techniques for managing and developing a budget, record-keeping, fundraising, supervision of staff, marketing and community relations. The course focuses on the roles of pastors, officers, the Board, and auxiliaries and how these roles developed. Specific topics include conducting meetings, conflict management, counseling, general organizational skills, ecumenical relations and multiple ministries.

BMP 181 - Pastoral Care & Church Ministry, October 2001 through October 2007: 1.5 credits, lower division level (NOTE: Replaces Introduction to Pastoral Counseling, formerly Community Leadership Development & Advocacy Program; which replaced Leadership in Crisis Ministry); Fall 1990 through Fall 2000: 1 credit, lower division level
This foundational course is designed to assist clergy and lay leaders in addressing social and personal issues that occur within their churches and communities. Students will: develop foundational tools necessary for effective personal counseling; explore the relationship between social issues and spiritual responses; gain a better understanding of the Biblical basis of pastoral counseling. Lectures, case studies, discussions and examinations are used to assist participants to acquire pastoral care and counseling skills.

BMP 190 - Theology and the Black Experience, Spring 1988 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
The purpose of this course is to explore the development of African-American theology in the context of the Christian tradition, the African-American experience, and the search for African-American identity in America.  The course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the origins of Black Theology and its relationship to other theologies of liberation.  The course also provides students with experience in doing Black Theology as part of a supportive community.

BMP 231 - Education for the Life of the Church,2007 through May 2022: 1.5 credits, lower division level; 2001 through 2007: 2.5 credits, lower division level (Replaces Christian Education,[Part A for 1 credit and Part B for 1.5 credits] 2.5 credits total, both lower division level. Offered Winter/Spring 1986 through Fall 2001)
This is an introductory level course. Participants explore their understanding of Christian Education within the context of Black Church tradition. The course provides fundamentals for curriculum development, educational program planning and organization and strategies for teaching and learning. Careful attention is given to how the gifts of spirit, to include the significance of visions, witnessing and prophecy, empower believers to instruct, guide and lead their communities of faith. The goal of this course is to develop leadership and practical skills important to the ministry of Christian Education. Participants are encouraged and challenged to develop an understanding of what is Christian Education and what Christian Education means to African American and diverse communities of faith; to explore different models of instruction and learning; to examine and develop curriculum and assessments tools; to apply educational planning, developmental, and organizational strategies; and to grow as members of a spirit-filled world in knowledge and know-how through the re-presentation of Christ.

BMP 235 - In Our Own Voices,2007 through May 2022: 1.5 credits, lower division level; 2001 through 2007: 1 credit, lower division level
This preaching course offers women the opportunity to explore and discern their own voices in preaching. Students reflect on the historical, theological and biblical significance of women in the pulpit and will have an opportunity to participate in practical preaching exercises.

BMP 250 - Shared Urban Spaces,November 2006 through May 2022: 1.5 credits, lower division level
Although the majority of Connecticut residents live in suburban towns and communities, the urban population still impacts State dynamics. As life in Connecticut has changed the dynamics of doing ministry in urban settings, particularly by mainline denominations, these dynamics have raised questions regarding how effective ministry can be executed. In these urban settings (in particular, Bridgeport, New Haven, Hartford and Waterbury) where the population is predominantly African American and Latino, both Protestant and Catholic congregations needed to design ministries that are both reverent to their tradition and relevant to their constituency. This course will give a broad overview of a paradigm of ministry that has been categorized as Urban Ministries.

BMP 251 - The Black Church and the American Experience (formerly Religion in American Culture), Fall 1996 through May 2007: 1.5 credits, lower division level
The objective of this course is to probe the diverse character of American religion and its influence on American culture. The course explores the cultural significance of religion in American history. Participants assess the role of religion in issues such as racial injustice, gender equity, public morality, and political rights. The experiences of diverse groups are used to examine how religion both influenced and was shaped by broader cultural norms and social forces.

BMP 260 - Survey of the Old Testament, October 2000 through May 2022: 2 credits, lower division level (Replaces Introduction to the Old Testament, 1.5 credits, lower division level, baccalaureate/associate degree category. Offered Fall 1988 through September 2000)
This course is an introduction to biblical studies including historical and critical approaches. It provides students with a working knowledge of the contents of the Old Testament and to assist them to acquire the basic exegetical skills necessary for the interpretation of Old Testament text; to introduce students to the historical critical method of interpretation of scripture; and to assist students to reflect on ways in which biblical material may be used by Christian communities to deal with contemporary situations.

BMP 261 - Expository Preaching,Fall 2006 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level (formerly BMP 161: Expository Preaching, Fall 2001 through Fall 2006: 1 credit, lower division level; prior to that, offered as Preaching in the Black Context, Winter/Spring 1989 through Fall 2001: 1 credit, lower division level)
The purpose of this course is to help students develop skills needed to prepare and deliver sermons, with a special emphasis on African American needs and traditions. Topics include sermon types, development of the sermon, parts of a sermon (introduction, body and conclusion), and the effective use of rhetorical techniques and illustrations.

BMP 270 - Survey of the New Testament,January 2001 through May 2022: 2 credits, lower division level (Replaces Introduction to the New Testament, Former Title: Introduction to the Hebrew Bible, baccalaureate/associate degree category, Offered Fall 1988 through December 2000: 1.5 credits, lower division level)
This course is designed to increase understanding of New Testament writings by assisting students to engage in critical examination of the New Testament documents. New Testament documents are considered in historical context, which will assist students to understand the theological message of the documents.

BMP 275 - Who Are You, Adam? Explorations of Male Spirituality,Fall 2008 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
This course is designed to offer an introductory exploration into the connection between male sexuality and male spirituality. Definitions of both sexuality and spirituality will be given from African American and Euro American perspectives. These perspectives will be compared for their similarities as well as differences. Through African American and Euro American male perspectives, definition of both will be discussed. These perspectives will be compared for their similarities and well as their differences. Each student will be able to describe the historical evolution of both perspectives and how race and class has impacted them.

BMP 280 - Black Theological Ethics,May 2002 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
To identify moral traditions, evaluate differing moral arguments, understand basic Christian social ethical concerns, develop self-critical tools for evaluating our own moral actions and to learn to make persuasive moral arguments. The course is a practical examination of Christian social ethics designed to assist laypeople in developing understanding of moral obligations, understanding of the task of the church in moral leadership, and developing their understanding of social, economic, cultural, and political problems in America.

BMP 300 - Charismatic Praise and Worship, March 2008 through May 2022: 1 credit, lower division level
This course explores the Charismatic Tradition in relationship to the Charismatic Movement. It will also trace the history of the charismatic tradition from the Book of Acts to the origins of the Charismatic Movement at the turn of the 20th Century and how the charismatic movement spread to mainstream churches in the 1970s. Students learn how the charismatic movement has impacted churches, especially the black church, and detect characteristics of the charismatic movement in today's black church. The course also examines worship models which promote freedom in the worship experience.