The Founders Study Center is the online ministerial training academy of Founders Ministries. The primary goal of the Study Center is to provide resources for men in the field who are serving in the gospel ministry or pursuing the gospel ministry. We are a ministry of teaching and encouragement promoting both doctrine and devotion expressed in the Doctrines of Grace and their experiential application to the local church. The Study Center takes as its theological framework the first recognized confession of faith that Southern Baptists produced, The Abstract of Principles. We desire to encourage the return to and promulgation of the biblical gospel that our Southern Baptist forefathers held dear.
Please read About the Study Center to learn more about our purpose. This page also answers questions concerning:
- Who should enroll
- Enrolling in Study Center and registering for a course
- Finding a course mentor?
- Enrollment and course fees
- Technical Requirements
Dr. Ken Puls serves as the Director of the Founders Study Center. Ken has overseen the development and design of the Study Center and its courses since the beginning of Study Center in May 2003. He serves as one of the pastors and elders of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, Florida. You can read more about our director on his website.
Study Center courses are divided into 10 or 16 sessions. Each session is designed to take about a week to complete. For 10-session courses, students are given access to the course material for 14 weeks (providing 4 additional weeks to complete all assignments). For 16-session courses, students have 20 weeks to complete the course.
Students may take the course as directed studies and work under the guidance of a course mentor, or audit the course and work through the material on their own.
Each session of a course consists of 1 or 2 lectures that students can download or listen to online (with mp4 player or plug in) and weekly reading assignments (usually about 2 chapters). Discussion questions over the lectures and reading assignments are provided in a session study guide that you can download as a Word (.doc) document or a PDF file.
Along with weekly lectures and reading assignments, each course has 2 or 3 major projects. For example, the projects for the Preaching and Preachers course involve writing, preaching and evaluating sermons. The projects for the Theology of the Puritans course involve writing a biographical sketch and a position paper. You can preview course syllabi and see topics, assignments and projects for each course in our course catalog.
Students who are taking a course as directed studies must meet (via phone, email, or in person) with their mentor at least once a week to discuss the course material and receive feed back on their assignments and projects.
More information on taking a course is included in Student Orientation in the Student Area. All students are encouraged to read or review orientation material at the beginning of each semester.
If you wish to audit a course, simply pay the course fee and complete the registration form in the Student Area. Where the form asks you to list "Requested Mentors," type in "audit." We will complete your registration and provide you access to the course material for you to work on your own for the duration of the semester.
The advantage of taking the course as directed studies is the opportunity to work through the material under the guidance of a course mentor. You will have opportunity at least once a week to be in contact with your mentor and ask questions related to the course material, as well as other questions you may have related to your ministry and personal study. Your mentor serves to provide encouragement, accountability as well as give direction and insight to your studies.
You will also receive a certificate of completion for each course you successfully finish under the guidance of a mentor.
No. The course fee is the same for both audit and directed studies. According to the testimonies of both students and mentors, one of the most valuable features of the Study Center is the mentor-student relationship that have developed. To encourage as many students as possible to work through their courses with a mentor, we do not charge more for directed studies.
Yes and no. Courses must be taken within the timeframe of our spring and fall semesters. We understand, however, that our students are in the field actively involved in local ministries and so we provide flexibility in our course schedules. We provide a suggested schedule for each course, but add up to 4 additional weeks to allow time for vacations and to catch up work. So for example, as stated above, for 16-session courses, students have 20 weeks to complete the course.
We encourage students to meet with their mentor early in the semester to discuss and settle on a schedule for completing the course material that is realistic and suited to the particular needs of both student and mentor.
You must have Internet access to register and download course material. However, in all our courses students can download study guides (in Word or PDF format) and complete their reading assignments and projects offline. Students can also download courses lectures as audio (mp3) or audio with lecture notes (mp4) for iPod, iPad or other devise that can play mp4 files.
We encourage pastors to use our course material to help train church leaders and prepare men in their church who have gifts and aspirations for the pastoral ministry. If you or your pastor are interested in serving as a mentor, please contact the Study Center Director. We will send our guidelines and requirements for serving as a FSC mentor.
We try to offer our courses on a rotating basis. Most courses will be offered at least once every two years.
Student who successfully complete a course as directed studies (under the direction of a course mentor) will receive a course certificate. We do not yet offer degrees or diplomas.
We are not accredited and do not offer degree plans or diplomas. Our stated goal is to take sound biblical instruction out into the field, where pastors (elders), deacons, missionaries, and other church leaders are faithfully serving in local churches. Currently we are working to develop new courses and establish a curriculum that will best edify and strengthen our students in their places of ministry. We are committed to offering courses that will meet or exceed the academic standards required for accreditation.
For student who are interested in degree plans, the Study Center has partnered with Reformed Baptist Seminary.
For information about accreditation and distance learning, see: Walston’s Guide to Christian Distance Learning, 5th edition (Xulon Press, 2007).
Our purpose is to encourage pastors, students and church leaders to recover the gospel of God's grace and work for the spiritual health and reformation of local churches. In order to fulfill this purpose we encourage our students to be actively involved in a local church. Many of the course projects are designed to be completed in the context of a local church ministry (preaching, teaching, leading in worship, etc.). As our students are engaged in serving God and pursuing the reformation and restoration of heath in the churches, we believe it is in their best interest to be part of a local church.
You can find a list of required text books for each course in our course catalog.
Be sure to read About the Study Center. If you have more questions, please contact the Study Center Director.
In most cases, your user ID is your full email address -- the address you used to enroll in the Study Center.
Once you have completed enrollment in the Study Center, you will be subscribed to the student list and will receive a password that will allow you access to the Student Area.
If you are taking a course and have completed your course registration, once the preview of the course is ready and the course opens, you will be subscribed to the course list and will receive a password that will allow you access to the cours material.
If you forgot your students password, go to http://study.founders.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/students/.
If you forgot your mentors password, go to http://study.founders.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/mentors/.
Enter your subscribed email address in the bottom blank under the "Subscribers" header. On the resulting page, you can click to have your password emailed to you.
If you forgot your class password, go to the Student Area page and access your class subscriber information there. Enter your subscribed email address in the bottom blank under the "????-Class Subscribers" header. On the resulting page, you can click to have your password emailed to you.
Only enrolled students are given access to the Student Area, and only mentors are given access to the Mentor Area. You also must be taking or mentoring a particular course to have access to the area of the web site for that course.
If you have a password for the appropriate area:
- Make sure you are entering your full email address as the userid (the same email address you subscribed with!) and the mailing list password as the password.
- Make sure you are using all lowercase.
- Make sure you are using the appropriate password for each section. If you are taking or mentoring a course, you may have more than one password (but see the next question).
- Make sure there are no extraneous spaces or other characters.
- Be sure to wait at least five minutes after the initial subscription notice was sent from the list manager to give time for the password to propagate to the access system.
If you still can't access the archive, please contact the Study Center Director.
You can change your passwords to a single password of your own choosing.
If you are a student, go to http://study.founders.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/students/.
If you are a mentor, go to http://study.founders.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/mentors/.
Enter your subscribed email address in the bottom blank under the "Subscribers" header. On the resulting page under the "Change Your Password" header, enter a new, easy-to-remember password and check "Change globally." By checking this box, you will change all your Study Center passwords to the single password that you have selected.
We recommend that you set your password "globally" so that one password gets you into the Student Area as well as our course(s). One password (of your own choosing) is easier to remember and you will find that you will have an easier time moving around on the website. Most of the access problems on the website are caused by multiple passwords.
If you would like to receive announcements about the Study Center and are not currently enrolled, please subscribe to our eNews. Click the link below and select the list Founders Study Center Bulletin. You can also use the link to sign up to receive news updates from Founders Ministries.
If you are enrolled in the Study Center, you are automatically subscribed to the students list. You must remain subscribed to the list to have access to the Student Area and to remain enrolled. If you want to withdraw from the Study Center, please contact the Study Center Director.
If you are registered for a course in the Study Center, you are automatically subscribed to the discussion list for that course. You must remain subscribed to the list for that course to have access to the class content on the web site. If you want to withdraw from the course, please contact the Study Center Director. Once the course is over, you will be unsubscribed automatically.
If you are a mentor, you are automatically subscribed to the mentors list. You must remain subscribed to the list to have access to the Mentor Area. If you are no longer planning to be a mentor, please contact the Study Center Director.
See the answer above.
Go to the appropriate list information page. Enter your subscribed email address in the bottom blank under the "Subscribers" header.
If you are already logged in, you will be taken to your membership configuration page. If you are not logged in, you will be prompted for a password. If you don't know your password, you can click to have your password emailed to you. Enter your password to be taken to your membership configuration page.
Depending on the mailing list, you will have different configuration options available to you.
Go to your membership configuration page. Under "Changing your membership information", fill in the old and new addresses, and submit. You will have to confirm the change by email at your new address. Be sure to check "change globally" to change your address on all Study Center lists to which you are subscribed.
Go to your membership configuration page. Under "Your Subscription Options", set "Mail delivery" to "Disabled". This is not advisable in most cases, since you have to remember to check the web site for messages and may miss important announcements. Only use this is you will be away from the computer for a lengthy period, and leave yourself a reminder to enable delivery upon your return.
Go to your membership configuration page. Under "Your Subscription Options", click "Set Digest Mode" to "On" (or "Off" for individual emails). For low-volume lists, this is not possible or necessary.
Go to the list information page for the relevant list, and click on the "Archives" link near the top of the page.