161 East Harper Avenue, Maryville, TN  865-984-0116

Shepherds Institute

Shepherd's Institute

Shepherd’s Institute now has it’s own webpage!  CLICK HERE to see!

 I. Purpose

The Shepherd Institute exists to equip servant leaders within the church with the necessary biblical, theological, and practical skills to teach and lead their families with excellence as well as direct various ministries within the church.  The institute is also designed to be a first step in training men who are desirous of being qualified for eldership.

II. Requirements

  • Those willing to put in the effort necessary to deepen in their knowledge and application of God’s Word.
  • Those desirous of growing in their ability to study and teach God’s Word.
  • Those willing to put in the time necessary to attend class and complete assignments.
  • Those willing to make a significant financial commitment to obtaining the necessary tools (software, books).

III. Format

  • One day per week
  • Three hour session – the sessions are designed to incorporate prayer time, question and answer, practical application, presentation of papers and Bible lessons, a significant amount of lecture.
  • Two semesters per year (September-December/January-May)
  • Two years for completion
  • Taught by pastors or staff members

IV. Two-Year Curriculum    

 A. Classroom Courses

B. Practical Ministry

        1. First year         1. First year
            a) Bible Knowledge                 a) Service
                 (1) OT Intro/Survey                 b) Discipleship
                (2) NT Intro/Survey                 c) Evangelism
            b) Systematic Theology         2. Second year
                (1) Bibliology                 a) Teaching
                (2) Ecclesiology                 (1) Sunday school
                (3) Systematic Theology                 (2) Uth
        2. Second Year                 (3) Small Groups
             a) Teaching                 (4) Jail
                (1) Hermeneutics                 (5) First year training center class                                     sessions
                (2) Exegesis                 (6) Other classes
                    (a) Applying Hermeneutical                                     Principles                 (7) Pulpit
                    (b) Exegetical Hebrew/Greek                 b) Leadership
                    (c) Logos Exegetical Process                         (1) Small groups
                (3) Exposition                         (2) Event coordination (retreats, etc)
                    (a) Principles of Exposition                         (3) Other ministries
                    (b) Kinds of Exposition

C. Evaluation

                        (i) Preaching         1. Knowledge evaluation
                        (ii) Class                 a) Classroom assignments
                        (iii) Small Group                 b) Classroom questions &                                          interaction
                        (iv) Family                 c) Tests / Examinations
                        (v) One-on-one                 d) Mock/real ordination
             b) Shepherding         2. Ministry evaluation
                (1) Advanced Bible teaching                 a) Regularly
                (2) Counseling/Discipleship                 b) Within discipleship context
               (3) Leadership/Eldership
               (4) Evangelism
               (5) Biblical Philosophy of Ministry


Contract for SI, Years 1-2

I agree to complete what I have started – I will not drop out without mutual agreement between myself and Chris. I also agree to involve Chris EARLY in the process of evaluating my continuing in the Shepherd’s Institute and not LATER after a decision has already been made.  I also agree to a 4 week release point where I can step out of the Shepherd’s Institute after being able to better count the cost.

I agree, by year 2, to purchase Logos (Bronze Edition), costing approximately $700 and have it installed and functioning on a laptop that I own or will purchase.

I agree to attend every class on time, except for severe sickness or crisis. I agree to notify Chris each time I may have to miss class in writing, by email or by phone, before I miss a class.  I will complete projects and reading on time, prepared correctly, and to send copies to the office electronically in the correct format, before class starts each week.

I agree to have my calling, my character, my understanding of the Word and theology, my ministry commitment, competency, courage, chemistry with others and my communication as a teacher or preacher or shepherd be evaluated continually through out the Shepherd’s Institute process. I desire to grow and welcome the input of Chris, Greg, the other elders and the men of my class in my life, even when it is difficult to hear.

I agree to work hard at maintain a healthy relationship with Christ, to be filled with the Spirit and to be in regular and continual prayer for Chris, Greg and the Shepherd’s Institute men. I will learn aggressively, apply the Word diligently and maintain my passion for Christ and His Church as hard as I can.

I agree to pursue loving my wife like Christ loves the church, to lead my home and to parent my children [&/or grandchildren] consistently through out the SI process. I will seek to apply what I am learning most aggressively in my home so that my wife and children are encouraged by the sacrifices necessary to continue in The Shepherd’s Institute.  I will strive to outdo all my prior years as a husband and father.

I agree to submit to the leadership of my church and will support all the ministries of my church from the heart, in prayer, and by participation whenever possible. I will affirm the doctrine and direction of my church family completely. If a part of GCC, I will be involved in shepherding a portion of the flock weekly, I will be faithfully involved in consistent ministry, and will involve my wife and children in age-appropriate ministries.  I will give generously to my church, both with my finances and my time.

I agree to have a team of people praying for me through my SI experience.  I will keep them current on how to pray and on answers to their prayers.  From the beginning of my time in the SI, I will be involved in shepherding a portion of the flock.  By the end of year one, I will seek to be sharing the gospel weekly and discipling at least one man.  Throughout the SI, I will be aggressive with ministry opportunities, attend up to two Saturday training days per semester, take a ½ day per semester for a personal prayer summit and attend one play day with my SI class, and sometimes the spouses.

I agree [within reason] to complete all SI assignments and reading in a 10 hour maximum period per week. I will seek help if I need to develop study habits, to develop discipline or if I am a perfectionist.

I understand that even if I complete year one, I will not be automatically accepted into year two for additional shepherd training. This depends on calling, gifts, desire and affirmation of the elders, Chris and the SI men.



Shepherd’s Institute Candidate _________________________________________


Wife of Shepherd’s Institute Candidate _____________________________________

Sample Schedule



2014 Thursdays 6-9 pm

 Instructions: READ SYLLABUS MATERIAL FIRST, then priority of reading in order listed below




Reading Due

1. 9/04 Introduction   Survey of the OT   Chapters 1-2
2. 9/11 Pentateuch   Survey of the OT  Chapters 3-5
3. 9/18 Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Ezra, Nehemiah   Survey of the OT   Chapters 6,7, & 13
4. 9/25 (Drop DT) Samuel, Kings, Chronicles   Survey of the OT   Chapters 8-12
5. 10/2 Wisdom and Poetry   Survey of the OT   Chapters 15-20
6. 10/9 Major Prophets   Survey of the OT   Chapters 21, 28
7. 10/16 Minor Prophets   Survey of the OT   Chapters 23-27
8. 10/23 Gospels   Survey of the NT   Chapters 2-8
9. 10/30 Acts, Galatians, James   Survey of the NT   Chapters 9-11, 24
10. 11/6 (Draft Due) Romans   Survey of the NT   Chapter 16
11. 11/13 Thessalonians and Corinthians    Survey of the NT   Chapters 12-15
12. 11/20 Prison Epistles   Survey of the NT   Chapters 17-20
13. 11/22 Saturday Pastoral Epistles   Survey of the NT   Chapters 21-23
14. 12/4 Peter and Hebrews   Survey of the NT   Chapters 25-27
15. 12/11 Jude and Johannine Letters   Survey of the NT   Chapters 28-31
16. 12/18 Revelation and Review  Survey of the NT   Chapters 32