The Brethren Academy offers a variety of certificate and continuing education programs. Certificate programs are intended for lay people who want to learn more about the faith and calling of Christian community; licensed ministers who are part of the certificate training program to fulfill minimal educational requirements for ordination; and ministers seeking continuing education. A copy of the ACTS Student Handbook is available here. An abbreviated summary of program requirements can be found here.

Click here to view, save, or print an ACTS Application.

SVMC offers ACTS courses concurrently in the five partnering districts. Students may cross register for the courses. Districts may provide some financial assistance according to district policy.

ACTS Instructors are qualified ministers and scholars, chosen by the Executive Director of SVMC in consultation with the partnering district executives. A copy of the ACTS Instructor Handbook can be found here.

The ACTS certificate program is a carefully designed program of 13 courses plus a series of ministry formation experiences that are repeated approximately every four years.

Training experiences:

  • Ministry Formation
  • Supervised Ministry
  • Annual Conference
  • District Conference
  • An ecumenical, interfaith, or intercultural experience

Students are encouraged to take all 13 academic courses, but a minimum of 12 are required to complete the program:

  • 3 Biblical (Intro to  Old Testament, Intro to New Testament, Interpreting the Bible)
  • 3 Historical/Theological (History of the Church, Brethren Life & Thought, Intro to Theology)
  • 6 Ministry Skills (Church Leadership & Administration and 5 of the following: Intro to Pastoral Care, Teaching & Learning in the Church, Preaching, Worship, Evangelism & Church Growth, Communication Skills for Pastoral Ministry, 1 approved elective).

The plan of courses to be offered in the next three years can be found on p. 11 of the ACTS Student Handbook.


2016-2017 Courses (or click here for PDF)


To register, contact SVMC at 717-361-1450 or Beginning Fall 2016, cost per course is $225 or $75 to audit. Pastors who audit courses may receive 1.5 CEU's. An additional $10 documentation fee applies.

  • Introduction to the Old Testament
    • Atlantic Northeast District: Tuesdays, Sept. 6, 20; Oct. 4, 18; Nov. 1, 2016 at the ANE Office. Taught by Galen Hackman.
    • Mid-Atlantic District: Tuesdays, Sept. 6, 20; Oct. 4, 18; Nov. 1, 2016 at Frederick COB. Taught by Calvin Park.
    • Middle PA District: Tuesdays, Aug. 2, 16, 30; Sept. 6, 20, 2016 at the District Center at Middle PA District Center. Taught by David Banaszak.
    • Southern PA District: Tuesdays, Sept. 13, 27; Oct. 11, 25; Nov. 8, 2016 at Carlisle COB. Taught by John Hess.
    • Western PA District: Saturdays, Oct. 1, 22; Nov. 12, 2016, 9:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Moxham COB. Taught by William Wenger.
  • Church of the Brethren History
    • Atlantic Northeast District: Mondays, Jan. 9, 23; Feb. 6, 20, 27, 2017, with Mar. 6 as makeup date. ANE Office. Taught by Ken Kreider.
    • Mid-Atlantic District: Mondays, Jan. 9, 23; Feb. 6, 20; Mar. 6, 2017. March 13 as makeup date. Union Bridge COB. Taught by Jim Benedict.
    • Middle PA District: Tuesdays, Jan. 10, 24; Feb. 7, 21; Mar. 7, 2017, with Mar. 14 as makeup date. Middle PA District Center. Taught by Craig Gandy.
    • Southern PA District: Jan. 9, 23; Feb.6, 20; March 4, 2017, with Mar. 6 as makeup date. Taught by George Pickens.
  • Teaching and Learning in the Church
    • Atlantic Northeast District: Thursdays, Mar. 23; Apr. 6, 20; May 4, 18, 2017 at Mountville COB.  Taught by Joe Detrick.
    • Mid-Atlantic District: Saturdays, Mar. 25; Apr. 8, 26, 2017 at Union Bridge COB. Taught by Audrey Hollenberg-Duffey.
    • Middle PA District: Saturdays, Apr. 1, 22; May 6, 2017 at Middle PA District Center.
    • Southern PA District: March 20, April 3, 17, May 1, 15, 2017, Carlisle COB. Taught by Ed Weaver.
    • Western PA District: Saturdays, Aug. 13, 27; Sept. 10, 2016 Western PA District Office. Taught by Dottie Kunselman.
  • Church Vitality and Evangelism
    • Western PA District: Saturdays, Feb. 18; Mar. 4, 18, 2017 at Western PA District Office. Taught by Vince Cable.
  • Interpreting the Bible
    • Western PA District: Saturdays, Apr. 8, 22; May 6, 2017 at Moxham COB. Taught by William Wenger.
  • Communication Skills for Pastoral Ministry
    • All districts: Saturdays, Feb. 25 and Mar. 25, 2017, plus additional conferencing via email or phone. Taught at Carlisle COB by Ken Gibble.