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Discipleship is at the heart of the Great Commission and therefore the heart of Brackenhurst Baptist Church. Discipleship is exercised in various realms within the church, one of which is our local church Bible institute, known as Shepherd’s School.

What is Shepherd’s School and what does it involve?

The PURPOSE of Shepherd’s School is twofold: (1) to equip believers for effective ministry; and (2) to produce spiritual leaders who will reproduce.

The PRINCIPLE behind Shepherd’s School is outlined in Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Timothy 2:2. BBC takes this discipleship mandate very seriously. We are fully committed to training those whom God sends to us. We believe that this is our responsibility as a local church. It is part of our discipleship ministry.

The PRODUCT that Shepherd’s School aims to produce is mature believers, who are grounded in the truth of God’s Word (Titus 1:9-10). Wise disciples are faithful believers with a passion for the truth, who are an example to others. Shepherd’s School aims to produce disciples who are proficient and skilled in the Word and who can fulfil the mandate of 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

The PREREQUISITES for Shepherd’s School are as follows:

  1. Accountability: Students must be members of BBC.
  2. Attitude: Students are expected to submit to Christ and His Word, as evidenced by submission to His undershepherds (Hebrews 13:17).
  3. Activity: Students are required to regularly attend all services of the church, including Family Bible Hour and the Sunday afternoon prayer meeting. Students are expected to be a faithful part of a Grace Group, and to be involved in the ministry of BBC. Punctuality to all lectures and services is expected.
  4. Ability: Students are expected to have completed the discipleship material (or be well on their way through the course). Students will be required to complete all exams and assignments set by lecturers.
  5. Approval: Students must have the initial and ongoing approval of the elders in order to attend.

The PERSONNEL of Shepherd’s School (i.e. the lecturers) are the elders of BBC. This is the calling of the eldership (Acts 20:28).

The PLAN of Shepherd’s School is as follows: Classes will be held once a month on a Saturday from 8:00 AM to noon. There is only one class running at a time. The entire lecture day will be devoted to that particular course, and each course will take place over two or three Saturday sessions. The next course will commence once the current one is complete.

Students are not required to take all of the classes offered, but are expected to complete the requirements for each class taken.

Course requirements

Requirements will differ from course to course, as defined by the course lecturer. You may, however, expect such requirements as:

  • Written or oral tests and exams
  • Assigned textbook reading
  • Assigned Scripture reading
  • Scripture memorisation

Each course will not necessarily require all of the above, but you should be prepared to fulfil any of the above requirements should you be asked to do so by your lecturer. Course requirements will be set at the beginning of each course.

Courses offered

Over the next few years, we plan to offer the following courses in Shepherd’s School. This listing is for reference only, and is not an indication of the order in which the courses will be offered. Courses to be offered each term will be announced in advance to give time for registration.

  • Soteriology
  • Ecclesiology
  • Missiology
  • Eschatology
  • Exegesis
  • Expository Preaching
  • Biblical Counselling
  • Pentateuch
  • The Historical Books
  • Job
  • Prayer and the Psalms
  • The Major Prophets
  • The Minor Prophets
  • The Four Gospels
  • Acts
  • 1 & 2 Corinthians
  • Galatians & James
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians & Colossians
  • 1 & 2 Thessalonians
  • Pastoral Epistles
  • Hebrews
  • 1 & 2 Peter & Jude
  • The Johanine Epistles
  • Revelation
  • Church History
  • Greek
  • Hebrew
  • Leadership (Ezra & Nehemiah)