How Can I Get Competency-Based Theological Education? - Deploy Skip to content

May 11, 2021

How Can I Get Competency-Based Theological Education?

Written By Grace Theological Seminary

Tagged With Gabe Tribbett Deploy

Grace Theological Seminary offers an online theology degree through our Competency-Based Theological Education Program. See Deploy.

Have you ever considered how all the people God called to do His work in the Bible were so very unique? Some of them, like Abraham, were not looking for a job when God called them. Others, like Moses, had taken their shot at leadership and assumed that life was in the past. Still others, like Jonah, didn’t really want the task of being used by God at all!

We don’t know what your past has looked like. Your testimony may be similar to the prophet Samuel, who was a dedicated servant of God from an early age. Or you may turn heads with your story like King David, who made some big-time gaffes but had a heart that passionately wanted to pursue God.

When it comes to an online theology degree, you may be closer to the Apostle Peter, unschooled and ordinary (Acts 4:13), than you are to the educated Apostle Paul (Acts 22:4). We’re not judging, because God chose to use both of them and continues to choose people with various experiences and levels of education.

Searching for an online theology degree can be frustrating because many of the requirements don’t reflect the unique backgrounds and experiences of the people called to ministry. That’s why we created the Deploy program!

Deploy is an accredited, graduate-level, competency-based theological education program that exists through a partnership between Grace Theological Seminary and local churches and ministry agencies. Deploy is a contextualized approach to seminary that is both flexible and affordable, and is guided by seasoned ministry and formation mentoring that takes place alongside online coursework and credentialed academic coaching. Through Deploy, Grace Seminary seeks to ensure that its graduates are faithful, ready for ministry and able to apply the principles and relevant practices they have learned.


Accredited | Deploy is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the Association of Theological Schools, which together, comprise the gold standard for seminary accreditation. Deploy is also approved by the Department of Education to receive federal student aid, as well as V.A. benefits for those who qualify.


Graduate-level | Deploy offers two different degree paths — a Master of Divinity for those seeking greater exegetical, theological, and ministerial acumen, and a Master of Arts in Local Church Ministry for those seeking holistic training that will prepare them for ministry leadership.


Competency-Based | Deploy is non-traditional in that students work toward competencies rather than complete traditional courses. Each competency consists of learning outcomes that must be demonstrated at a “B” or above on specific assessments (projects, papers, applied learning, etc.). The aim of competency-based theological education is that students work toward proficiency in knowledge, skills, character, and/or application — which is distinct from merely completing coursework with a passing grade. This ensures that those holding a master’s degree actually possess the knowledge and skills necessary to be effective in ministry, Competency = knowledge + skills + attitudes and character + application. In other words, Grace Seminary wants its graduates to faithfully apply the principles and practices they have learned.


Theological | When we say that Deploy is competency-based theological education, the word “theological” must not be overlooked. Deploy is a seminary program that covers the full range of theological and ministerial topics needed for those serving in church and parachurch ministries. A full list of program competencies can be found here.


Contextualized | Deploy provides the opportunity for students to remain in their ministry context where they learn ministry by doing ministry. This allows them to apply principles and practices acquired during seminary in hands-on, real-life situations within their ministry contexts.


Online Seminary | Deploy enables students to complete their studies online, which allows them the flexibility and freedom to do seminary in a way that fits their life — Seminary at the Speed of Life! Students also receive a premiere digital theological and ministry library, the Logos Bible Software Gold 9, that becomes theirs for life!


Mentor-Saturated | Deploy students enjoy the benefit of three seasoned mentors who invest in them throughout their seminary journey: (1) the Academic Mentor is a credentialed Grace Theological Seminary faculty member who provides guidance and coaching in each area of academic study; (2) the Formation Mentor resides in the student’s ministry context and provides guidance and care in matters pertaining to personal and spiritual growth; and (3) the Ministry Mentor serves within the student’s ministry context and provides coaching and evaluation in areas pertaining to leadership and ministry skill development and practice.


Not only is Deploy accredited, graduate-level, competency-based, theological, contextualized, online and mentor-saturated… it is also affordable, flexible, accessible, and one of the best ways to integrate the “learning” and “doing” of ministry! 

To learn more about competency-based theological education, please visit!

Gabe Tribbett

Gabe Tribbett

Gabe is the Director of Deploy, a Competency-Based Theological Education program. He gives oversight to the operations and student support of the Deploy program.

Learn More