Why the School of Church Planting?

The School of Church Planting is a ministry of the Pastoral Enrichment Program of Baptist Mid-Missions, an independent Baptist mission agency founded in 1920. Today they have a global ministry with church planters laboring in fifty-five countries around the world.

The School of Church Planting was born out of the frustration of a veteran church planter who transferred from Latin America to the United States and promptly lost his first church plant stateside. He was unprepared for the cultural changes that occurred during his decade overseas. He soon noticed that other foreign missionaries were experiencing similar problems when they returned home. He brought this to the attention of his field administrator, New attached image “Someone ought to write a book for missionaries on how to plant churches when they return from overseas.” [There were few church planting books in the early 80’s.]

Rev. Leigh Adams, who was serving as the North America Field administrator at that time, simply smiled and said, “You’re the man. Go to it!” Thus was born the 283-page “little green book” known as A Practical Guide to Church Planting in 1985. It went through several printings and quickly became the “go to” book for many Bible colleges and church planters all over the world.

However, such a book is not enough, especially if few read it. Thus, a few months later, church planters Ken Davis and Roger McNamara proposed to the BMM North America Field leadership team that a School of Church Planting be established to equip and train missionaries and church planters.

With permission in hand, they launched the first SCP in Indianapolis, Indiana in June 1986 New attached image with fourteen veteran church planters who had transferred back to the United States after serving overseas. The twelve-hour a day schedule was grueling for both students and teachers but the value of biblical, comprehensive and practical teaching was worth the five day investment.

Because of the specialized nature of the School of Church Planting, classes have stayed relatively small. This allows for great interaction between students and teachers. Students learn from experienced church planters who have “been there and done that” sharing what they have learned with those who are currently engaged in a church plant or soon will be. In all, several hundred church planters, missionaries, pastors and lay people have been trained from thirty-eight countries and twenty mission agencies.

Although the School of Church Planting was started to train their own church planters New attached image working in North America, sixty-four percent of those who attend are not associated with Baptist Mid-Missions. Thus, the SCP provides a valuable service to biblically-faithful pastors, churches, church associations and mission agencies. Because the SCP is centered on biblical principles, the training it provides is transferable to anywhere in the world.