Admissions & Application
Hartford Seminary’s Black Ministries Program (BMP) is a national model for building the leadership, training, and preaching skills of laity and clergy in the urban church. Individual components of the BMP are: Black Ministries Certificate Program, Black Ministries Alumni Seminars, and Educational Outreach Programming.
Men and women from throughout the region who are deeply concerned about the fate of our society can enroll in this program so they can become effective advocates. BMP students understand that people of faith must have tools to put their love of God into action for their church, their families, and their communities. Since its inception in 1982, the BMP has prepared nearly 1,000 men and women for effective service.
Although designed specifically for the leaders of the black churches, the BMP services a diverse clientele from various social, cultural and economic backgrounds. The program’s diversity is seen, too, in the myriad educational and religious backgrounds of its students and faculty. Clergy and laity, men and women, grow together in both mind and soul.
To contact the Black Ministries Program office, you may call (860) 509-9512 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Black Ministries Program is comprised of two components: the Black Ministries Certificate Program and Black Ministries educational outreach programs and events. The Black Ministries Program welcomes students of all denominational and religious backgrounds. For further details, please contact the program office at email@example.com or 860-509-9512.
Bible Institute: Understanding the Bible
Dr. Uriah Kim / Rev. Dr. Shanell T. Smith
Friday, Sept. 12, 6p.m. – 9:00p.m./Saturday, Sept. 13, 9 a.m. – 12p.m.
The Bible Institute covers the historical, cultural and political forces that shaped the Bible, the history and translation and canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.
The Bible Institute is required and free of charge for all students entering the Black Ministries Program. It is also open to the public for $35.
Introduction to the New Testament*
Rev. Dr. Shanell T. Smith
Saturdays: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Sept. 20, 27, Oct. 4, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 15
This course will concentrate on the major teachings of the New Testament documents. Historical – critical observations will be discussed in connection with the New Testament texts. (BMP- 270)
Substitutes for Paul and his Letters (PMH-280)
Vada Crosby, M.A.
Saturdays, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Sept. 20, 27, Oct. 4, 18, 25, Nov. 1
A course emphasizing research skills, effective oral and written communication techniques. (BMP- 100)
In Our Own Voices
Rev. Shelley D.B. Best, M.A., M.Div.
Fridays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
November 21, 22, December 5, 6, 12, 13
This preaching course will offer women the opportunity to explore and discern their own voices in preaching. Students will 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- 235)
Who Are You, Adam? Explorations of Male
Dr. Anthony L. Bennett
Fridays, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
November 21, 22, December 5, 6, 12, 13
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 followed by an investigation of how both are manifested and perceived within the context of the local church. In particular, how do emerging paradigms of male identity challenge traditional male spiritual practices (i.e. worship, prayer, fellowship, ministry.) (BMP-275)
Introduction to the Old Testament*
Dr. Uriah Kim
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Jan. 10, 17, 24, 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28
This course will study the major books of the Hebrew Scriptures, emphasizing their content and theology. Data from archaeology, the history and culture of the ancient Near East, and critical approaches to Old Testament study will be introduced where appropriate. (BMP- 260)
Substitutes for Proclaiming the Good News of the Hebrew Scriptures (PMH-260)
Education for the Life of the Church
Cheryl Thomas, M.A., M.Div.
Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Mar. 7, 14, 21, 28, Apr. 11, 18
This is a comprehensive introduction to the total educational ministry including worship, study, fellowship and service. These aspects of the church’s ministry are explored in relationship to curriculum planning, administration, church school organizations, and teaching. (BMP- 231)
Substitutes for Educational Ministry of the Hispanic Church (PMH-140)
Rev. Charlie L. Stallworth
Fridays, 6 p.m. –9 p.m. & Saturdays, 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Apr. 24, 25, May 1, 2, 8, 9
This course probes practical ways of operating the church and working with people. Topics covered include techniques for record keeping, budgeting, conducting meetings, conflict management, and general organization skills. (BMP- 140)
Substitutes for Church Administration (PMH-166)
* REQUIRED COURSES for those intending to graduate.
The Black Ministries Program (BMP) is a national model for building the leadership, training and preaching skills of laity and clergy in the urban church under the direction of Rev. Dr. Benjamin K. Watts.
Black Ministries Certificate Program
BMP-101 The Art of Communication
Emphasizing effective oral and written communication techniques, this course assists students in the preparation of written assignments and oral presentations. Students will review the rules of syntax and grammar and will be exposed to research tools necessary for the art of creative expression.
BMP-140 Church Administration
This course is designed to probe the ways church and ministries are a business. Topics covered will include techniques for managing and developing a budget, record-keeping, fundraising, supervision of staff, marketing and community relations.
BMP-161 Expository Preaching
The basic purpose of this course will be to instruct each student in the necessary “how to” of sermon preparation and delivery. Particular emphasis will be placed on the distinctiveness of preaching in the Black religious context. (Previous title – Preaching in the Black Context)
BMP-190 Theology and the Black Experience
The purpose of this course is to use the African-American experience and search for identity in America as a lens through which to understand the development of African-American theology in the context of the Christian tradition.
BMP-231 Education for the Life of the Church
This is a comprehensive introduction to the total educational ministry of the church including worship, study, fellowship and service. These aspects of the church’s ministry are explored in relationship to curriculum planning, administration, church school organization, and teaching. (Previous title – Christian Education)
BMP-235 In Our Own Voices
This preaching course will offer women the opportunity to explore and discern their own voices in preaching. Students will 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: Black-Latino Dialogue
Ayala and Bennett
This course will give a broad overview of a paradigm of ministry that has been categorized as Urban Ministries. The focus of this course will explore the historical evolution of what has come to be known as ministry in the urban context that is distinctive from the suburban or rural context, examine and evaluate one particular approach to urban ministry as executed by two ministries within the urban context, and reflect on the aforementioned tasks and their implications for each student’s ministry context.
BMP-260 Survey of the Old Testament
This course will study the major books of the Hebrew Scriptures emphasizing their content and theology. Data from archeology, the history and the culture of the ancient Near East, and critical approaches to scripture study will be introduced where appropriate.
BMP-270 Survey of the New Testament
This course will concentrate on the major teachings of the New Testament documents and the origins of Christianity. Historical-critical observations will be discussed in connection with the New Testament texts.
BMP-275 Who Are You, Adam? Explorations of Male Spirituality
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 followed by an investigation of how both are manifested and perceived within the context of the local church. In particular, how do emerging paradigms of male identity challenge traditional male spiritual practices (i.e. worship, prayer, fellowship, ministry.)
BMP-280 Black Theological Ethics: A Case Study Approach
In this course case studies will be used to explore contemporary ethical problems impacting the black community from a theological perspective. The cases will focus on such issues as environmental racism, affirmative action, economics, health and sexuality to help participants gain a better understanding of faithful, ethical decisionmaking.
BMP-300 Charismatic Praise and Worship
The black church has long been known for its dynamic praise and worship experience. This course will explore contemporary trends of praise and worship in the black church in light of the historical, biblical roots to provide participants with insights and skills to develop sound contemporary praise and worship teams and music ministries for the black church context.
The Alumni Seminars offer advanced course work and continuing education opportunities for BMP graduates and practicing clergy that build upon the foundation of the BMP. The Alumni Seminars include courses in Preaching, Bible, Counseling, Ethics, and Systematic Theology. Availability of these courses depends upon enrollment. Students who have successfully completed the Black Ministries Certificate Program are invited to register for the Alumni Seminar courses. All registrants will be reviewed by the Program Director.
BMP-300 Charismatic Praise & Worship
The black church has long been known for its dynamic praise and worship experience. This course will explore contemporary trends of praise and worship in the black church in light of the historical, biblical roots to provide participants with insights and skills to develop sound contemporary praise & worship teams and music ministries for the black church context.
BMP-305 Black Preaching in the New Millennium
The 21st century presents many new challenges to the Black Church. This seminar is designed to examine the changes within the culture and the congregation that influence, affect and challenge the methodologies used in “Black Preaching.” Particular emphasis will be place on exploring the different resources and tools that are effective in sermon preparation and delivery in this new millennium.
BMP-310 Ministry Life Management
Given the multitude of demands made by the ministry, many clergy find themselves in the role of overachievers who take on too much. This course will examine the impact of ministry on the life of the minister and family and the ways a minister can live a more healthy, whole life. Topics covered include: personal relationships, long range planning, stress management, crisis prevention and spiritual refreshment.
The Bible Institute: Understanding the Bible (offered every other September)
The Bible Institute covers the historical, cultural and political forces that shaped the Bible, the history of translation and canonization of the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. The Bible Institute is required and free of charge for all students entering the Black Ministries Program. It is also open to the public for $35.
Each prospective student must complete an application that includes general student information, a personal statement, two letters of reference, and a registration form. A baccalaureate degree is not required for admission. A non-refundable application fee of $40 must be submitted with the program application. Applications are reviewed for admission by the Program Director and an official letter of admission is sent to applicants who are accepted into the program. Although the program year extends from September to June, students are accepted on a rolling admissions basis.
All students are required to successfully complete BMP-100 The Art of Communication unless exempted by the Program Director at the time of admission.
Before applying to the BMCP program, please carefully review the application instructions:
The BMCP application is available for download:
Recommendation letter: Recommendation letter*
*To open the .pdf documents, you must have the free Adobe .pdf reader installed on your computer. This program can be downloaded at: www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
- Tuition, fees, other related costs and financial aid information is outlined in the Hartford Seminary 2012/2013 Catalogue, which can be made available at Hartford Seminary’s Admission or BMP offices. The cost of tuition for the Black Ministries Program is: $210 per course (payable at the beginning of each course); merit scholarships are generously given.
- Hartford Seminary’s Certificate Programs provide limited, need-based financial assistance of up to 50% of the tuition (financial aid is not given for books). The financial aid section of the application must be complete in order to be considered.
To check on the status of your application, please contact the BMP Office at (860) 509-9512 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hartford Seminary policy prohibits discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, religious creed, color, age, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, marital status, present or past history of mental disorder, mental retardation, learning disability or physical disability including, but not limited to, blindness or veteran status, or any other reason prohibited by an applicable law or regulation in the employment of faculty, staff, and students; in the recruitment and admission of students; and in the operation of all Seminary programs, activities, and services Additionally, the Seminary will not condone acts of violence or harassment reflecting bias or intolerance of any of the above mentioned classes. Evidence of practices which are inconsistent with this policy should be reported to the Office of the Dean.
Download the manual to print:
The Black Ministries Program, under the direction of Rev. Dr. B. K. Watts, provides introductory theological training for clergy and laity. Course offerings include biblical studies, preaching, theology, worship, Christian education, pastoral counseling and church history. Upon completion of the program a certificate is awarded.
The two-year program is designed especially to assist clergy and laity in a more effective ministry within the urban church and community. It is also for those individuals who desire educational opportunities for personal and corporate enrichment. A baccalaureate degree is not required for admission.
One must successfully complete eight courses and attend the Bible Institute (in a two year period) in order to be awarded a certificate. The program year extends from September to June. While most classes will be on Saturdays, one course is occasionally scheduled for Friday evenings. “Core” courses for the program must be taken in order to receive your certificate. These courses include: Survey of the Old Testament (BMP- 260) and Survey of the New Testament (BMP- 270). Students are also required to take Ministries: Theology and the Black Experience (BMP- 190). The Writing Workshop (BMP- 100) is required unless you are granted exempt status. Exempt status from this course is determined by your writing sample (personal statement) submitted with your application.
Opportunities for Baccalaureate Credit
Credit for BMP courses has been awarded by the State of Connecticut. These credits can be used towards an undergraduate degree at Charter Oak State College. Each course is worth one credit hour, with the exception of Introduction to the Old Testament, Introduction to the New Testament, Christian Education, and Religion and American Culture. These courses have been awarded 1½ credit. The Art of Plain Talk and Writing is not eligible for credit at Charter Oak College. In order to receive college credit you must elect to receive a letter grade as opposed to a designation of satisfactory (S) or unsatisfactory (U). If you do choose the satisfactory/unsatisfactory option of grading, continuing education units (ceu’s) may qualify as life experience credit by some institutions.
The grading system entails the following:
a. Those who wish to receive potential college credit will need to elect to receive letter grades (A, B, C, F).
b. Those who do not wish to receive college credit may elect to receive Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U).
You must let us know at the time of registration which option you choose. In order to change your option during the year you must submit a request in writing to the Registrar’s Office (email@example.com).
In order to maintain up to date records, each student must complete a registration form prior to each class they wish to take.
Assistants to the Black Ministries Program
Questions about the program can be answered during business hours, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., by Marcia Pavao, Administrative Assistant at (860) 509-9512 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Althea Walker is the assistant to the Black Ministries Program. She is available on Saturday mornings and can be reached at (860) 509-9500.
Occasionally we need to cancel classes because of inclement weather. If you need to know if classes have been canceled, you may listen to WTIC FM 96.5, KISS 95.7, or call Hartford Seminary’s main number at (860) 509-9500 for a recorded message.
Important Hartford Seminary phone numbers
|Dr. B.K. Watts||(860)509-9514|
|Hartford Seminary Business Office||(860)509-9524 / (860)509-9525|
|Monday — Thursday||9:00 a.m. — 9:00 p.m.|
|Friday||9:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.|
|Saturday||8:30 a.m. — 3:00 p.m.|
Student I.D. Cards
Early in the first semester you may request a student identification card at the front desk. You must present your student identification card in order to take books out of the library or charge required books at the bookstore. Arrangements can be made to charge required textbooks to your student seminary account. Note: Financial aid does not cover textbooks.
It is the student’s responsibility to contact their professor in order to make up missed assignments. Because of the class format, two or more absences in one course is considered to be an “incomplete”. A student who finds him/herself in this situation must contact the registrar or they will be charged for the course.
Coursework must be turned in to the professor or as instructed in your syllabus. Hartford Seminary / Black Ministries Program staff will not accept student papers. Hartford Seminary will not be held accountable for papers left at its facilities. It is always a good idea to keep a copy of your paper for you records.
Withdrawal From a Course or Program
You must notify Marcia Pavao, BMP Administrative Assistant, at (860) 509-9512 within the first two sessions of a class if you intend to withdraw; otherwise you will be charged for the course. Do not simply stop attending class and assume you will not be charged.
Graduates of the Black Ministries Program are also eligible to audit BMP courses at the reduced rate of $75 per course.
An Orientation/Registration day is scheduled for all prospective students. The 2012-2013 orientation is on Saturday, September 15th, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. This is an opportunity for prospective students to meet Seminary staff and prospective classmates, to be oriented to the program, business office and library procedures, and to register for classes.
Attendance at the Bible Institute is mandatory for all incoming BMP students. This required lecture will meets every other year. Please be in touch with Marcia to find out when it is taking place. This presentation is free for all incoming BMP students and it is open to the public. The tuition for the Bible Institute for non-incoming BMP students is $35.
Cost of the Program
Black Ministries Program courses are $210 each. A non-refundable application fee of $40 must be submitted with your application.
Limited scholarship assistance is available.
Each course must be paid in full prior to the start of the next class. Students who need tuition assistance should complete the scholarship form provided in the application. Each student is responsible for the purchase of books and materials for their classes.
Convocation and Scholarship Banquet
Upon completing the requirements for your certificate, you will be eligible to participate in Hartford Seminary’s closing exercises (convocation) and the Annual Black Ministries Program banquet. The location and time of convocation and the annual BMP scholarship banquet will be announced at a later date.
*A $65.00 graduation fee is assessed at the end of the program, which is used for kente cloth stoles for you to keep, robe rental and other incidentals related to this event.
In addition to the Bible Institute, the Black Ministries Program works with Educational Outreach to offer at least one annual event that addresses the needs of the African American community. These programs will focus on a variety of topics including: health, economic development, interfaith dialogue, community development, and other unique challenges of interest to the Black Church. Educational Outreach has planned an exciting and diverse schedule of events for the academic year. View Schedule
Designed in response to the needs of BMP graduates, the Alumni series offers additional advanced coursework that builds upon the foundation of the Black Ministries Certificate Program. Availability of these courses will depend upon enrollment. Students who have successfully completed the Black Ministries Certificate Program are invited to apply to the Alumni Seminars. Alumni Seminar applicants who have not completed the Black Ministries Certificate Program will be admitted at the discretion of the Director.