Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s (GCTS) Boston campus, called the Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME) provides ministerial training for urban pastors and church leaders in Boston and throughout the United States. Gordon-Conwell’s CUME officially opened with 30 students in September 1976 at Twelfth Baptist Church in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Currently located at its own campus facility a block from the original Roxbury location, Gordon-Conwell CUME serves more than 400 students coming from 39 denominations. With 21 distinct nationalities represented in CUME’s programs, classes are also taught in Spanish, French Creole and Portuguese, with occasional classes in American Sign Language.
The Center for Urban Ministerial Education’s main objective encompasses the greater mission of GCTS and is particularly focused to help equip urban pastors and church leaders for more effective ministry and outreach in urban communities locally and throughout the world. CUME’s academic program is contextualized to the needs of the city by means of faculty, staff, tuition, location, and class schedule. This unique program had served as a model for similar programs in Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; and Portland, Oregon; and in international cities such as Quito, Ecuador; and Lagos, Nigeria. CUME has also served in a support capacity by providing resources, ministerial fellowship, and stimulation for cross-denominational endeavors in evangelism and church growth.
Master of Divinity in Urban Ministry
Master of Divinity with a concentration in Urban Church Ministry prepares nearly 40% students to serve in ministry. Through a wide array of courses with a unique urban emphasis, this degree provide the skills and foundation to effectively proclaim God’s redeeming work in the context of the city. CUME’s student body is made up of a diverse group of people from different ethnicities, countries, denominations and phases of life.
With the cooperation and support of ministers, churches and agencies (especially the Emmanuel Gospel Center) in inner-city and working-class sections of Boston, this concentration creates a close relationship between Mentored Ministry in the city and academic training. Seminary courses on Urban Ministry are offered directly in the city and will required students to travel if they are not living in Boston. Students are encouraged to spend their second year in the city while completing their Urban Ministry Track courses, especially if they have never lived in an urban context prior to seminary.
Required Core Requirements
- Biblical Studies (10 Courses)
- Hebrew I, Hebrew II, Theology of the Pentateuch OR Intro to the Old Testament, Hebrew Exegesis Course, Old Testament Prophetical Books OR Old Testament Poetical Books, Basic Greek I, Basic Greek II, Interpreting the New Testament, New Testament Narrative Book Exegesis and New Testament Epistle Exegesis.
- Christian Thought (7 Courses)
- Systematic Theology I, II and III, The Church to the Reformation OR equivalent, The Church Since the Reformation OR equivalent, Social Ethics course and World Mission course.
- Ministry of the Church (8 Courses)
- Preaching: Principles & Practices in Preparing Relevant Biblical Sermons, Preaching for Modern Listeners, Inner City Ministry I and II, Church and Community, Educational Ministries course, Pastoral Counseling for Urban Ministry and Research and Writing in Urban Theological Studies.
- Mentored Ministry (2 Courses)
- Mentored Ministry I and II
- Electives (4 Courses)