A Year of Discerning by Doing

Sensing a call and wondering about next steps? What if discerning your call to ministry involved a year of theological study where you already are? What if receiving your seminary education led to a life more connected to what God is doing in the world?

We invite you to consider The Newbigin Year, a part-time, cohort-based, distance learning program designed to help you discover more about yourself, the city, and your sense of call.


Our core courses are designed to build a robust framework for lifelong theological reflection and missional engagement. We also aim to help you work through vocational discernment and exploration. With an interdisciplinary approach that combines the best of historical and sociological tools for the work of theology, we have designed a curriculum that helps students to better understand the city, the world, and their calling to both.

Key Learning Goals

  • Develop a missional theological perspective for the church’s engagement with God’s work of renewal in the city.
  • Articulate the challenges and opportunities of city ministry contexts through the use of proper historical, sociological, and theological lenses.
  • Build lasting relationships with likeminded peers who are passionate about what God is doing in the world.

Four Core Courses 


Additional Courses

We also offer electives on a seasonal basis, covering a variety of topics ranging from spiritual formation to faith, work, and technology.

Summer: The Peace of the City

Dates: Jul 17–Aug 25, 2017; five weeks online; intensive in San Francisco (Aug 2–5)
Instructor: Peter Choi

Fall: The Missional Theology of Lesslie Newbigin

Dates: Sep 11–Dec 15, 2017; twelve weeks online
Instructors: Scot Sherman, Paul Weston

Winter: The Urban Church

Dates: Jan 2–Feb 9, 2018; five weeks online; intensive in San Francisco (Jan 10–13)
Instructors: Peter Choi, Liz Lin

Spring: Missional Leadership

Dates: Feb 19–May 25, 2018; twelve weeks online
Instructors: Tuck Bartholomew, Kevin Adams


All NHS courses follow a three-part pedagogical flow that emphasizes the process of contextualization in a wide range of urban ministry contexts.

  • Theory of Contextualization (online instruction)
  • Immersion into a Context (a week in San Francisco as well as exploration of a student’s own context)
  • Practice of Contextualization (online instruction + deeper engagement with home urban contexts)


In addition, each course represents an effort to reimagine theological education through a collaborative development process that aims to bring inter-disciplinary richness and a robust Reformed worldview to bear on winsome cultural engagement.


  • Tuition: $1,200 per course (workload equivalent to a 3-credit course, or 120 hours per term).
  • Audit: Limited seats are open for auditors (with access to the core teaching materials without any activities involving interaction with the professor or students); the cost is $600 per course.
  • Financial Aid: Merit and need-based scholarships are available.

For the 2017-18 academic year, we anticipate forming a cohort of 4-6 students based in the San Francisco Bay Area. These students will have the opportunity for additional engagement with the NHS community, including:

  • Mentoring Groups: Develop mentoring relationships with Newbigin Faculty for spiritual formation and vocational discernment.
  • Community Formation: Participate in regular fellowship and service opportunities with peers.
  • Embedded Internships: Receive priority consideration for internship placement at key partner organizations and ministries.

It is possible that we will form additional regional cohorts in other geographical areas.


For more details, read this recent blog post.

Advanced Standing

Students who complete the Newbigin Year may apply for advanced standing at the following partner seminaries:

Upon satisfactory review of student portfolios by the partner seminaries, students will receive advanced standing with credit toward an M.Div. or M.A. program.

Certificate Program

Students who wish to take the courses as a standalone program will receive a Certificate in Missional Theology upon completion of the Newbigin Year. The certificate program is especially well-suited for non-ordained church leadership positions.



Learn More

Your Current City, State
Undergrad Institution and Degree
How did you hear about us?
Please note any specific questions you may have:
0 / 100