Twenty-first Century, An Apostolic Century
The Twenty-first Century will be a century of unprecedented challenge and opportunity. Like the First Century, which in spite ferocious and beastly adversaries saw the establishment of Christ's Kingdom and His Church, the Twenty-first Century will be an Apostolic Century! Before Jesus returns for the resurrection of the body and the final judgment on the last day all nations will be brought under the discipline of the government of God's Anointed King and learn Christ.
Jesus prophesied, “Upon this rock I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” that rock being Peter's revelation that Jesus is the Christ, God's anointed King. The Lord Jesus is in the process of building His Church upon the rock of His Kingship. Because of Christ's all authority and all power in heaven and earth today, "the gates of hell" (i.e. the principalities, the spiritual powers of darkness over the cities and nations of the world, as well as, the political rulers or governors of nations), will not be able to withstand the march of His Church in it's spiritual conquest of Satan's kingdom in history. One of the distinguishing marks or defining characteristics of the Christ's Church is that His Church will succeed in it's mission to conquer Satan's kingdom and possess the cities and nations of the earth! (Matthew 16:16-18)
After His resurrection, asserting His Kingly authority, Jesus commanded the apostles, “all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth, go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” It is important to remember that apostles are Christ's ambassadors, His governmental men, sent to civil governments and nations to represent His heavenly Kingdom, offer His treaty of peace, and on the basis of His treaty (the New Covenant in His blood), bring His saving rule into every area of society. (Matthew 28:19-29)
On the day of Pentecost, Peter stood and proclaimed the good news that the oath God made to David to seat His Son on David's throne had been fulfilled in the resurrection, ascension, and enthronement of Jesus of Nazareth. According to Peter, the proof of this was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:30-34). The very heart of Peter's Gospel was the good news that God's promise to David had in fact been fulfilled in Christ's resurrection, not postponed until the second coming. (Amazingly, Peter doesn't even mention the Second Coming in his message on the day of Pentecost.)
Contrary to so many preachers today, Peter proclaimed Jesus is seated on the throne of David today! This was the Word of the Kingdom preached throughout the Roman Empire by all the apostles of the first century. Messiah's throne and His everlasting Kingdom, is the foundation of the Church that Jesus declared He would build! If the 21st Century is going to be an Apostolic Century, Peter's message must be rediscovered and proclaimed by 21st Century apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers! Peter's message is foundation of the faith that must be restored to the global church by apostles and prophets today, if there is going to be a true apostolic reformation in the 21st Century!
Paul preached this same Gospel, “And we preach to you the good news of the promise…God has fulfilled this promise…in that He has raised up Jesus…” (Acts 13:32, 33). In Acts 13 Paul announced to his fellow Jews that the very promise God had made to David that He would seat His Son on David's throne was fulfilled in the resurrection of Jesus. Paul calls this particular message, “the good news of the promise…” Paul then goes on to quote Psalm 2:7 (David's prophetic proclamation of Christ's resurrection), “You are My Son; today I have begotten You.”
Remember in the previous verse (verse 6), God the Heavenly Father prophesied, “I have installed My King upon Zion, My Holy Mountain.” In Psalm 2: 6-7 the Lord God declared centuries before it happened, the exact time in which His Son would be installed on David's throne at His own right hand in heaven. According to David, God's prophet, and Paul, His apostle, Christ's enthronement would take place at the time of His resurrection from the dead. This is exactly what Peter proclaimed on the day of Pentecost. Please take notice that in Psalm 2:8 the Heavenly Father prophetically commands His Son, “Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance, and the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.” This is an obvious prophecy about Christ's Kingship and His dominion mandate to disciple or convert governments and nations today.
Both Peter and Paul preached the good news that Jesus has already been installed on the throne of David as Lord and King. The throne of David is not empty today, as many mistakenly assume, instead it is occupied. Jesus is not waiting in some ante-room for the so-called "secret rapture" or the "second coming." According to both, Peter and Paul, Jesus is already seated on the throne of David; He is ruling the nations as Anointed King from the right hand of God in heaven today! Throughout the Book of Acts and in their epistles, Peter and Paul boldly proclaimed that Jesus is Lord and King! As apostles of Christ, they also taught that the nations have been given to the Lord as His God-given inheritance, and not only to the Lord as Christ the King, but also to His Church. In his letter to the Romans, Paul explicitly affirmed the purpose of his apostleship was to bring about the obedience of the nations to Jesus Christ the King! (Romans 1:5; 16:15-18; and 16:25-26)
To the Corinthians Paul confidently proclaimed that the present purpose of Christ's administration of the Kingdom of heaven is to abolish, “all rule and all authority and power.” (I Cor. 15:24) According to Paul, "Jesus is reigning now as King, and He must continue to reign until all His enemies have been subjugated and made the footstool of His feet." Paul declared that once Christ's enemies have been subdued or subjugated Christ's, then, "the last enemy" (death) will finally be subjugated or abolished at the resurrection of the body. Finally, he went on to declare that after the last judgment on the last day of history, then the Lord Jesus Christ would hand a perfected Kingdom over to His Heavenly Father. (I Corinthians 15:24-28)
It is worth pointing out here that according to Paul, God's apostle to the nations, before the Christ's final appearing on the last day to destroy death and to hand a perfected Kingdom to His Father, all the principalities and powers of the darkness of this present evil age must first be abolished or subdued under Christ's feet. In other words, before Jesus returns in His final appearing on the last day of history, the cities and nations of the earth must first be delivered from the oppression of evil and brought to the obedience of the faith.
My father in the Gospel, Ern Baxter, often proclaimed, “Before Jesus comes back for the resurrection of the body and the final judgment on the last day every demonic prince must bow the knee to King Jesus!”
Bible teacher and author Bob Mumford aptly described Christ's everlasting Kingdom as, “the Kingdom that keeps on coming!”
According to the prophets of Israel and the apostles of Jesus Christ, before Jesus comes in His final appearing on the last day, the nations will be brought to the obedience of Christ; the nations will come to the light of the Church's rising (Isaiah 60, Matthew 28, Romans 16:25, and Ephesians 4:10). However, the nations will never come to Christ or to the light of the Church while it is in it's present denominated or divided condition. The Church's doctrinal unity, which is so essential, will not be restored until the foundational revelation of Christ, His Kingdom, and His Church that the Lord Jesus entrusted to Peter, Paul, and all those original apostles has been restored. And the Church's governmental or functional unity, so necessary for the fulfillment of it's apostolic mission to the nations, will never be restored until the Lord's Church has been re-formed, re-organized, and re-structured, so that it is able at long last to truly function as One, Holy, Apostolic Church in the earth.
Thus the primary mission or mandate of the Apostles Theological Seminary is to rediscover or recover the original revelation of Christ, His Kingdom and His Church entrusted by the Lord Jesus to the first apostles and preserved for us today in the Canon of the New Testament. The secondary mission or mandate of ATS is to work with the emerging apostles and apostolic companies around the globe and train a new generation of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for the Twenty-first Century.
A Truly Apostolic Seminary
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines a seminary as, “an environment in which something originates and from which it is propagated,” and also as, “an institution for the training of candidates for the priesthood, ministry or rabbinate.”
The English word "seminary" comes from Middle English for “a seedbed, nursery, seminary,” deriving from the Latin word “semen or seed.”
In the parable of the sower Jesus explained to His disciples that "the seed" is “the word of the Kingdom” (Matthew 13:17). Jesus was speaking of the Gospel of the Kingdom, which the first apostles would proclaim throughout the Roman Empire. Some years later Peter wrote a letter to the sons and daughters of the Kingdom who had been born of the Spirit and the Word of the Kingdom that Peter and the others had faithfully proclaimed throughout the Roman world boldly declaring, “For you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is through the living and abiding word of God.” (I Peter 1:23)
Ern Baxter taught, “There are two kinds of Kingdom seed. First, there is the Word of the Kingdom , the Gospel preached by the apostles in the First Century. This is the seed or DNA of the Kingdom. Second, there are the sons of the Kingdom; those begotten by the Spirit of God through the Word or Gospel of the Kingdom.”
Ern often declared, “If we preach the Kingdom we will get the Church, the demonstration and body or instrument of His Kingdom purpose.”
Therefore an “apostles seminary” must by definition and of necessity be a “seedbed, an environment, or an institution” where the “word” or “seed of the Kingdom” entrusted to and proclaimed by the original apostles is not only accurately studied and taught, but also where those called to fivefold ministry are trained to faithfully propagate that Word.
The original “apostles seminary” was actually the mobile seminary headed by the Jesus Himself. For three and a half years Jesus taught the twelve the mysteries and secrets of His Messianic Kingdom and prepared them to proclaim the message of His Kingdom, gather the sons and daughters of His Kingdom and build His Church.
After Christ's ascension and the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost the twelve apostles of the Lamb together with numerous ascension-gift apostles like Barnabas and Paul proclaimed the Word of the Kingdom, gathered the sons and daughters of the Kingdom, and built Christ's Church throughout the Roman Empire. As they went about their labors throughout the Roman world, they continued Christ's mobile seminary, training fivefold ministers in the Word that they had received, and ordaining bishops or elders in every place.
Throughout the Church's long history many seminaries have been established to serve various movements or sects that have arisen: Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Presbyterian, Anabaptist, Baptist, Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Charismatic. While these seminaries have much to commend them and do some good, it must be remembered that ultimately they exist for the purpose of training ministers in a particular theological viewpoint (seed) of a particular sect or denomination, thus equipping them to propagate that particular viewpoint and perpetuate that sect, ultimately undermining the unity and the effectiveness of the Church of Jesus Christ.
As already mentioned above, the mandate of the Apostles Theological Seminary is twofold. First, it is to rediscover or recover the authentic seed or Word of the Kingdom, entrusted by Jesus to the original apostles. Second, it is to partner with others of like faith and passion to raise-up and train a radical new generation of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to proclaim the Word, equip the saints, restore apostolic foundations and reform the church, and to transform cities and nations until the whole earth is filled with the glory of the sons and daughters of the Kingdom of God. Hence the name, the Apostles Theological Seminary.
In order to fulfill our mandate, ATS offers the Associates, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral Degrees in Apostolic And Prophetic Studies With Specialization. (For detailed information about our degrees, i.e. degree objectives, course requirements, and prerequisites see Areas of Study)
In addition to offering degrees in Apostolic And Prophetic Studies, the Apostles Theological Seminary has also been established to serve the emerging fellowship or communion of apostles, apostolic companies, and apostolic networks and jurisdictions of ministers and churches worldwide by providing an online apostolic and prophetic curriculum that deals comprehensively with the spirit and heart, the vision and revelation, the message and doctrine, the ministry and methods, the governmental patterns and structures, the Kingdom purposes of the twelve apostles of the Lamb and the first ascension-gift apostles, as preserved for us in the Canon of the New Testament.
Our comprehensive apostolic and prophetic curriculum is divided into 11 different schools or departments from which we build our degree programs. (To review the ATS Course Catalog and our 11 schools or departments of study see Course Catalog.) Also, please note that while there are more than 200 different courses listed in the ATS catalog, we only offer courses as the course creator or faculty oversee is available to oversee the course, i.e. direct forums, lead chat room discussions, and evaluate or grade course assignments. (To see ATS courses currently being offered see Currently Offered Courses.)
An Apostolic Reformation
Not only is Jesus of Nazareth seated today on the throne of King David and ruling the nations from the right hand of God the Father as Lord and Christ (Biblical code for Anointed King), He is also building His Church, the demonstration of His Kingdom and the body or instrument of His Kingdom purpose to conquer Satan's kingdom and possess cities and nations (Matthew 16:18). Since the beginning of the Twentieth Century the Lord has been pouring out His Spirit to revive His work and restore the foundations of His Church. The modern church has seen the pentecostal movement, the latter rain movement, the healing movement, the charismatic movement, the discipleship movement, the word of faith movement, the worship movement, the prophetic movement, the prayer and spiritual warfare movement, and even the convergence movement. But today the Lord is in the process of raising a new generation of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, and joining them together in the power of the Holy Spirit to extend His Kingdom, restore the foundations, and reform His Church. The purpose of the current apostolic reformation is to enable the Lord's Church to function as One Holy Apostolic Church throughout the earth, so that the Church might ultimately succeed in its mission to disciple the nations and fill the earth with the glory of God!
An Apostolic and Prophetic Curriculum
There is much talk today of apostles, prophets, and an apostolic reformation. However, it is foolish or presumptuous to talk about an "apostolic reformation" of today's church without first rediscovering or recovering the actual revelation of the mysteries of Christ, His Kingdom, and His Church, entrusted by Jesus Himself to the twelve apostles of the Lamb, the first ascension-gift apostles like Paul, and preserved for us in the New Testament Canon. Therefore, the Senior Leadership Team and Core Faculty of the Apostles Theological Seminary are wholeheartedly committed to the recovery or restoration of the revelation of "the mystery of Christ" (i.e. the preaching, teaching, methods, practices, and architectural or governmental patterns of the original apostles).
Luke called this knowledge, “the didache" or "teaching of the apostles” (Acts 2:42). Paul calls it, “the form, standard, or pattern of sound words” (II Timothy 1:13). This special "revelation knowledge," entrusted by Jesus to those first apostles, is the measure of true Christianity; it served as the plumb-line or standard of truth for the early apostolic church, and is both foundational and essential for us today. Thank God, this revelation has been carefully preserved for us in the Canon of the New Testament.
Christianity has precise revelatory content!
has to do with Messiah's Kingdom and its divinely ordained purposes, the covenant promises made to David and the fathers of Israel, the God-inspired visions of the Old Testament prophets, and the fulfillment of those promises and visions by Christ and His Church as recorded in the New Testament Scriptures.
Thus the Apostles Theological Seminary's core curriculum and four outstanding degree programs are built upon: 1) the study and mastery of “the covenants of the promise” made to the fathers of Israel, 2) the prophetic visions of “Messiah's Day,” that were revealed by the Spirit to the prophets of Israel, and have been preserved for us in the Canon of the Old Testament, and 3) the study and mastery of the fulfillment of the promises and the prophets in Christ and His Church, as it was understood and interpreted by Jesus Himself, by the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and by the ascension-gift apostles of the first century, and preserved for us in the Canon of the New Testament.
Thus an in-depth study of both Old and New Testaments approached through the interpretive grid of Jesus and the first apostles comprises the core curriculum required for all four ATS degrees. Special attention is given throughout the core curriculum not only to the apostles' preaching and doctrine or teaching, but also to their practical strategies and methods, their mission and goal, and architectural or governmental paradigms and patterns.
In addition to the core courses offered primarily through the Ern Baxter School of the Apostles Doctrine, Church History, and Theology and our School of Biblical Studies, ATS also offers dynamic and practical courses in the School of Ministry and Applied Theology, designed to enable each theological and ministerial student to specialize or emphasize the development of their particular grace-gifting and calling, whether that of apostle, prophet, evangelist, or pastor-teacher.
Finally, to provide balance and fully prepare our students to minister effectively in the twenty-first century, the ATS curriculum offers a wide range of courses dealing especially with two-thousand years of Church history, the study of diverse theological systems or schools of thought, major sects and movements within Christianity, the history of missions and evangelism, various philosophies and techniques of ministry, the study of world religions and the clash of civilizations. These diverse courses of study are carefully designed and approached in light of the definitive revelation of Christ, His Kingdom, and His Church entrusted by the Lord Himself to those first apostles in the first century and recorded in the New Testament with a view to raising a radical new generation of Christian leaders
equipped to impact and transform the Church and the world for the sake
of Christ's Kingdom.
The Apostles Theological Seminary is authorized to grant the Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees in Apostolic and Prophetic Studies as preparation for Christian ministry in accordance with the State of Florida statute granting religious exemption from State control to churches and non-profit institutions for theological and ministerial training.
In keeping with the religious exemption from the Florida State Regents for Higher Education, the leadership of ATS has chosen not to seek traditional academic accreditation to validate our theological and ministerial degrees. Together with a number of widely recognized leaders of what has been called an apostolic reformation, we are prayerfully rethinking the way ministers are trained seeking instead to recover patterns and methods established by the Lord Jesus and His apostles.
After more than thirty years of teaching in a major evangelical theological seminary, Dr. C. Peter Wagner, head of the Wagner Leadership Institute declared in an interview for Ministries Today, “One of my first goals in designing WLI was to free it of many of the built-in, burdensome restrictions of traditional academia as possible. As a result we are not fettered by required courses, resident students, resident faculty, theological party lines, denominational control, faculty tenure, library facilities, academic restrictions, institutional self-centeredness, financial endowments, academic accreditation or geographical limitations.”
In the same article, speaking of the aversion to accreditation on the part of the many new schools being raised up by apostolic leaders around the globe, Wagner goes on to say, “It is interesting that these schools serving the New Apostolic Reformation are not seeking accreditation.”
Then he added, “Many apostolic leaders have concluded that accredited institutions with which they are the most familiar are, by and large, old wineskins, either unwilling or unable to adapt to the new realities of the Holy Spirit.”
Wagner concludes, “I have found, however, that the leaders of these apostolic schools do have a deep desire for mutual accountability with peer institutions.”
With a deep longing for "mutual accountability" the senior leadership and faculty of the Apostles Theological Seminary have chosen to look to the Lord and to our peers for accountability. Like the Lord Jesus and the first apostolic movement our validation is from heaven itself, not State Boards of Regents or self-congratulating, often skeptical, academic agencies that currently provide accreditation for many denominational seminaries. Just as Peter Wagner and others in the emerging apostolic reformation, we have learned from years of painful experience that accrediting agencies tend to support the "status quo", or the existing state of affairs in Christendom, rather than Christ's Kingdom and the restoration of the foundations laid by Christ and His apostles and the radical reformation of the Church. Therefore, as responsible Christian leaders, and understanding very well that over the centuries Christ's Kingdom has been high-jacked by religion and His Church divided into denominations, we have made the decision to obey our King and to be accountable to the emerging fellowship or communion of apostles and their networks or jurisdictions of ministers and churches, as well as to other apostolic and prophetic schools that, like us, are committed to training a new generation of Kingdom leaders and fivefold ministers for the reformation of the King's Church and of society.
Online Directed Study And Correspondence Courses
The Apostles Theological Seminary offers two distinct kinds of courses. First, ATS offers online, directed-studies courses, overseen by anointed and proven apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Because these courses are available online a student is able to work from the comfort and convenience of their own home or office.
Course notes, including audio and
video files in down loadable formats, are made available free of charge whenever
possible. Course materials and text books are also available for purchase in the online bookstore to allow the ATS student to work comfortably at
home while still under the online supervision and direction of the
course's faculty overseer.
The faculty overseer for each course will make online reading assignments in required texts either on the course's blog or by e-mail. The faculty overseer will also require the student to upload written summaries of reading assignments. The student is also encouraged to develop his or her student notebook for each directed-study course. Practical fieldwork may also be required depending upon the course and the student's degree level.
Second, ATS is in the process of developing correspondence courses for all of our core courses. These courses will be made available where internet service is unreliable or too expensive making it difficult for students to participate online.
Correspondence courses may also require the completion of writing
assignments or participation in approved field projects in order to
assure mastery of course material.
Intensives and Seminar Courses
In addition to the online directed-studies and correspondence courses described above, the Apostles Theological Seminary offers intensives for Masters and Doctorate level students. These three to five day intensive study opportunities are highly customized events that are offered in a variety of geographic locations as deemed strategic and needful by the Academic Dean and the faculty overseer throughout the graduate students program. The purpose of these intensives is to provide special opportunities for graduate students to meet with senior faculty members, specially selected guest professors, and other graduate students to review and discuss graduate papers and projects as well as to engage in dialogue about strategically important subjects. Special certified events and conferences may also be recognized for credit.
Also in partnership with the Ern Baxter Institute the Apostles Theological Seminary offers seminars dealing with Christ's Kingdom, the restoration and apostolic reformation of the Lord's Church, and other strategic subjects. These seminars are offered in various cities and regions throughout the world, are posted on the seminary web page, and made available to ATS students in those locations.
The Apostles Theological Seminary is a global apostolic mission. In March of 2003, while returning from 18 months of ministry in Kenya, the Lord instructed our Chancellor George E. Kouri to build Him a leadership training engine for the 21st Century. As a result of this apostolic mandate, one of our goals has been to offer our outstanding degree programs and challenging courses for an affordable tuition to anyone desiring to equip themselves to serve Christ, His Kingdom, and His Church.
The costs of our four outstanding degree programs are well below the national average for theological or ministerial training. Tuition for courses taken for credit towards the Associates Degree is $100.00 per credit hour; the Bachelor's Degree is $200.00 per hour; the Master's Degree is $300.00 per hour, and the Doctorate is $400.00 per hour. HOWEVER, our regular tuition has been suspended for all students who enroll in the Fall 2012 Semester. In order to attract attention and recruit new students ATS is offering a special TASTE AND SEE CAMPAIGN. For details click here.
Special scholarships, no-interest payment plans, and bonus discounts are available for students who qualify. (Please note that scholarships are not available for students taking advantage of the low TASTE AND SEE prices. Special interest-free financing is still available with a minimum monthly payment of $50.00 a month until the students degree has been completed.)
(The cost for auditing these courses is $150.00 per course. However, please note that during the present TASTE AND SEE CAMPAIGN the cost to audit classes will be the same as the TASTE AND SEE tuition prices.)
In addition to our affordable tuition, there are two one-time charges required of all students wishing to receive course credit towards one of our ATS degrees.
First, there is a one-time registration fee of $25.00 to cover costs of student evaluation and the creation of transcripts.
Second, there is also a $100.00 Graduation Fee.
Finally, as special help to students who wish to have their life learning or work experience evaluated for credit towards an ATS degree, there is a $300.00 Life Learning Portfolio Fee. In keeping with the TASTE AND SEE CAMPAIGN the Life Learning Evaluation Fee has been reduced for the 2012 Fall Semester to $150.00. (For information see Life Learning Evaluation)
If you are interested in enrolling in one of our unique degree programs or these taking one of our outstanding courses, you may apply online at http://www.atsvirtual.org/admissions or contact the Dean, Dr. Marie Howard, at firstname.lastname@example.org and 904-771-5375 for details about application, enrollment, tuition, scholarships and no-interest financing. Dr. Howard is the newly elected Vice President of Administration for ATS and serves as the Dean of the Apostles Theological Seminary Jax.