Skip to main content

Author: chrismccrea

LAMP Seminary Webinar: Overview of the Book of Church Order

The Book of Church Order, commonly referred to as the BOCO, is often confusing and difficult to apply into everyday church and presbytery operations and as a candidate for licensure or ordination is often an area of weakness during exams. 

Dr. Dominic Aquila provided a deep dive into this topic during a webinar for LAMP Seminary. The webinar replay is available for purchase and includes an overview PDF to use in conjunction with the replay video.

During the webinar Dr. Aquila will covers the following topics:

  • BCO Preface and Preliminary Principles
  • The Preliminary Principles
  • The Church’s Ministry Is Spiritual, Ministerial, Declarative, And Moral
  • The Confession and Other Formularies of the PCA Are Standard Expositions of Scripture
  • A Brief History and Influences in the PCA
  • The Grassroots Polity and Non-Hierarchical Connectionalism of the PCA
  • The Two Powers of Our Church Courts
  • The Difference Between Ecclesiastical and Civil Power
  • The Nature of Membership And The Rights of Members
  • The Place and Authority of the Session
  • The Place of Elders and Deacons
  • The Nature of Ordination and Service on the Session and Diaconate
  • Church Court Authority and Judicial Process
  • Appeals and Complaints
  • The Role and Authority of Presbytery and General Assembly
  • Is There A Slippery Slide? Every Generation of the Church Wrestles With Issues
  • What’s The Future for the PCA? What Are the Dominant Issues Now?

Click here to purchase your copy of the replay.

For more information on how to get started with LAMP Seminary visit

LAMP Seminary Author Spotlight: Hernando Sáenz

LAMP Graduate & Author Hernando Sáenz, Hispanic Ministries Coordinator for Mission to North America, shares about his book ¡Plantemos! and his experience with LAMP Seminary as it relates to his ministry involvement in church planting for the hispanic community. “Being one of the first three men that were trained in LAMP and ordained in the PCA makes me a pioneer. It is my delight to see dozens and dozens of men complete their LAMP training and go on to be ordained for ministry in the PCA.”

Ministry Involvement

Currently Hernando serves as the Hispanic Ministries Coordinator for Mission to North America. He shares that the demographic composition of our North American population is rapidly changing! For several decades, people from Latin American countries have flooded into our land of opportunity. As a result, the United States has the second largest Hispanic population of any nation in the world, and Hispanics are now the largest minority in the United States. We see the challenges of our changing nation as an unprecedented opportunity – orchestrated by God Himself – to continue our PCA commitment to the fulfillment of the Great Commission. 

About the Book

Hernando is the author of the book entitled ¡Plantemos! He shares about the book itself and what led him to write it. Driven by the love for Hispanics and a passion to equip pastors for effective ministry among them, Dr. David Moran wrote: “Manual for Church Planting Among Hispanic Americans” in 1998. Demand from the field for more information motivated Dr. Moran, in 2003 , to revise and expand his manual. Since then, church leaders from many denominations benefited enormously from his insights. However, the urgent need for a new type of church planting resource: one with up-to-date case studies, written from a Hispanic perspective, with plenty of Sabor Latino (Latin flavor), was obvious and galvanized us into action.

Hernando’s passion with ¡Plantemos! is to accelerate the ability to reach, equip and mobilize Hispanics for the gospel. As soon as you turn the first page, you’ll know this is not your typical simplistic church planting book. The parade of insights from practitioners and creative ideas will warm your heart, educate, and inspire you.

The three-fold aims of this book are bold and exciting: 

1.       It will help church planters and their sending organizations apply the principles of the seven stages  of church planting to measure their progress and to persevere in exciting church planting adventures.

2.       The desire is that it will equip church planters to write well thought through and compelling church planting proposals.

3.       The belief is that the principles in the book are transferable to other cultures and may help create church-planting movements in them.

Hernando’s Time with LAMP Seminary

Although LAMP’s mentor-apprentice method is relatively new in the PCA, it is employed widely by non-PCA churches and denominations. Having firsthand experience with LAMP’s methodology allowed Hernando to encourage those in the throes of their LAMP Seminary training. Hernando’s mentor was a non-Hispanic, non-Spanish-speaking Teaching Elder. That is significant because it made it easy for him to encourage other potential mentors to invest in minorities. “True, they may not be able to reach minorities directly, but their investment in bicultural and bilingual men boosts the PCA’s ability to reach minorities.”

Things That Have Been Helpful

LAMP prepared Hernando to follow God’s call on his life. He completed his seminary education without moving or accumulating student debt, which is priceless. The requirement to be involved in the life and ministry of the church kept him grounded and prevented him from becoming an academic pastor. “My mentor invested in my character and helped me develop valuable ministry skills.”

LAMP Training and Writing ¡Plantemos!

LAMP was an innovative initiative that started two decades ago for Hernando. This changed the landscape of Theological training in the PCA. Likewise, ¡Plantemos! is a pioneering resource that invites readers into a worthwhile adventure. Although it is a technical book, it is not written in an academic style. Its flavor is down to earth, relational, and seasoned with many stories. ¡Plantemos! encompasses a lifetime of experiences, and LAMP was a key component early in Hernando’s ministry. He started planting Iglesia Principe de Paz while still attending LAMP. A few years later, he transferred his credentials to another Presbytery and engaged in another church plant. Upon accepting the call to serve as the Hispanic Ministries Coordinator for Mission to North America, he worked with a group of men to get the LAMP curriculum into Spanish. LAMP was the Genesis of that wild journey. “I regularly lock arms with men who are training for the ministry in traditional and non-traditional seminaries and seek to resource them. My hope is that ¡Plantemos!, like LAMP, will serve others in a meaningful and lasting way.”

Looking Ahead

Hernando’s future hopes for ministry involve an army of qualified laborers for the Hispanic harvest. By 2025, he hopes to have a minimum of 70 pastors in the ranks and 70 candidates in training. He would love to see Hispanic churches planted at a faster rate. But the lack of resources to plant them does weigh heavy on his heart. He shares,“It is no secret that minorities in the PCA share a very steep challenge to raise funds for church planting. That steep financial hurdle is one of the biggest obstacles that must be overcome if there is hope to accelerate Hispanic church planting. We must look for new funding strategies if we want the number of churches we plant to soar. Perhaps my next pioneering adventure involves tackling the financial landmines for church planting.” Beyond that, Hernando is searching for ways to reproduce himself so the ministry can grow wings.

Plans to Continue Writing

Hernando was one of the first three men that were trained at LAMP and ordained in the PCA. This makes him a pioneer. It is his delight to see dozens of men complete their LAMP training and go on to be ordained for ministry in the PCA. The thrill from those early days continues as new LAMP learning sites sprout and blanket the denomination from East to West. As one of the first books written by a Hispanic Teaching Elder, ¡Plantemos! is also a pioneering work. Writing another book is not in his sights. Hernando’s hope is that many other Hispanic pastors and leaders would rise, power up their computers and write. Such a movement would help close the gap that exists between Reformed materials in English vs. Spanish. Churches will have culturally sensitive materials at their disposal. Majority culture brothers would better understand the hispanic culture. “May the writing of others begin in earnest!”

¡Plantemos! is available in paperback and hardcover.

Click here to purchase your copy.

For more information on how to get started with LAMP Seminary visit

LAMP Seminary Student Profile: Ryan Swindle

LAMP Graduate Ryan Swindle, of Redeemer Rockwall Presbyterian Church shares his testimony of how he sought to serve God and learned to love others more than himself. Ryan shared that he couldn’t have pursued God’s call to ministry without LAMP Seminary. LAMP allowed me to complete his studies while serving his family, church and community.”

Where He Began

Ryan was raised in a church going household, but had little grasp of the gospel. Bored and disenchanted with life, he began using drugs at the age of 12. It wasn’t until he was 17 years old, when he attended an Evangelical Church for the first time, that he heard the good news of Christ crucified and raised from the dead. Newly converted, Ryan sought to serve God however he might. He enrolled at Dallas Baptist University, where he pursued Biblical Studies and Philosophy. Once he married his wife, Amber, he began working as a public school teacher where he learned what it meant to love others more than himself. Working as a librarian also taught him how to question and listen to others. Ryan and Amber began attending PCA Churches, out of a strong desire for Liturgical Worship.

Answering the Call

Ryan is currently serving as the ruling elder and pastoral intern at Redeemer Rockwall. After answering the call to serve Redeemer as a ruling elder, Ryan learned that God gave him a heart for ministry. Upon interviewing one of their members, he felt the call to gospel ministry. He enrolled in LAMP and established Rockwall Redeemer as a learning site where he completed his Mdiv.

Ryan’s Time with LAMP Seminary

Without LAMP Seminary, Ryan shared that he couldn’t have pursued God’s call to ministry. As a husband, father, elder, and public educator, he had neither the time nor the resources to attend a traditional seminary. LAMP allowed him to complete his studies while serving his family, church and community. In short, “God used LAMP to make a way where there was no way.”

Things that have been helpful. 

Ryan found that LAMP offered the kind of flexibility scheduling and affordability he needed to be successful. The LAMP learning model allowed him to spend more time at home and at church. As a result, he has never lost sight of the many callings God has placed upon his life. His marriage is strong, and his relationships with friends and teaching elders has only grown over the last 3 years due to the mentoring they’ve provided along the way. These relationships allowed Ryan to learn from those he would be called to serve beside in the Fall.

Looking ahead

Ryan currently serves Redeemer Rockwall as a ruling elder and pastoral intern. In October, he will begin serving as a part time Care Pastor. He shepherds the people, both at Church and at large, through prayer and the ministry of the world. Once ordained, he will also be administering the sacrament to those unable to attend worship. He will continue serving in a bi-vocational capacity. But, if the church extended a full time calling he would accept.

“I love people–There is no place i’d rather be.”

LAMP Seminary: Ministry & Life Experience Courses

The LAMP Program includes 6 “Ministry and Life Experience” (MLE) courses. These courses are designed to give students credit for their ministry involvement in the local church while going through the LAMP program, and are a requirement as they progress in their studies. This component is one of LAMP’s values of training. 

We have compiled some examples of how our students are completing their involvement for their ministry and life experience courses. There is a wide variety of student ministry involvement in areas such as campus outreach, family and children’s ministry programs, youth leaders, intermittent preaching, Elders, and Liturgy. 

Eric WinshipHarvest PCA

Eric leads two small groups. In the first he is teaching through 1st & 2nd Timothy to a small group ages 18-75. In the second group, Eric meets with younger USMC – connected singles, couples, and small families. Working through current events and real life situations looking to God’s word for direction in response as Christ followers. In addition Eric holds weekly individual discipleship meetings.

Jeanette SimpsonSaint Andrews Presbyterian Church

Jeanette is the full-time director of the Children’s Ministry for Saint Andrews Presbyterian. Over the past few months, the congregation has been preparing for their biggest outreach events of the year, Camp JAM (Jesus, Arts & More) for rising 1st-6th graders as well as JAM Jr., a new camp for children 2-5 years old. Jeanette continues to fulfill her day to day tasks and responsibilities for the children’s ministry–making sure there are volunteers, teachers, materials for all classes, planning and implementing new ideas and activities, as well as reaching out to families.

David SteinbargerGreen Bay, WI

David is the youth director responsible for teaching weekly bible lessons, ministering to youth as a mentor, leading small groups and most recently leading a group of 10 adults and 10 students on a mission trip to Costa Rica.

Kyle RoqueRaleigh, NC

Kyle has been asked to help build off the liturgy that was in place. He was able to incorporate the desire for prayer in the beginning and in the middle of service. This was something new to the church and brought new opportunities for growth. There are now 4 main themes the church prays through collectively that have begun to bear fruit for the unity and focus of the congregation.The four themes are: Praying for the nations, Continuing a traditional prayer of praying through a text of the bible with confessions and assurance, Praying for the local harvest and intercessory prayer on behalf of the church.

James RollinsNew River Presbytery

James has participated in Sunday worship as a Liturgist, leading prayer of confession after presenting a meditation in preparation for worship. In addition, he has participated in worship on 3 occasions leading children’s church.

William EddyHope Presbyterian, Hot Springs

As a ruling elder, William has participated in monthly session meetings, two presbytery meetings, and general assembly. He was recently nominated to the MNA Committee for Covenant Presbytery. Every Sunday, William gives a 3-5 minute children’s sermon going through the Children’s Catechism. Once a month, he preaches at a men’s homeless shelter within their presbytery. Additionally, William has had the opportunity to preach intermittently over the past 6 months.

Yianni VourtsisPinelands Presbyterian

Yianni has led his youth group through the Apostles Creed. He is leading a young adults group through the book of Romans, and has participated in teaching Adult Sunday School by expounding several doctrines within systematic theology. Yianni, shared that he is thankful to God for the way LAMP Theological Seminary has equipped him for ministry.
It is a great encouragement to see how students inthe program are using their ministry involvement to further enhance their program studies.

If you would like more information on LAMP Seminary please visit

Answering the Call to Chaplaincy

Presbyterian & Reformed Chaplain Commission (PRCC) is doing incredible work in Chaplain Ministries! With the US Army now accepting LAMP Graduates with their Mdiv as candidates for chaplaincy, this information is helpful for those answering the call to this growing & rewarding ministry!

Chaplaincy offers great opportunities for ministry. PRCC has church planters who are also Military Reserve Chaplains, Hospital Chaplains, or Prison Chaplains. They have Senior Pastors who have served in their local churches for years who are also ministering to their local Police and Fire Departments. Chaplaincy opportunities are truly everywhere and they often “marry” well with church ministry.

Besides the military, PRCC is honored to serve and endorse men in Veteran’s Affairs, Bureau of Prisons, Professional and Regional Sports ministries, Hospice, Hospital, the FBI, and even the corporate world. They even have a Chaplain who served as a Hospital Chaplain for many years and then as his “retirement” ministry has just begun working – as a civilian – with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. An amazing opportunity to meet a great need, and all because he had Chaplain experience and sought out where God might use him.

PRCC has the unique and wonderful opportunity to be the official Ecclesiastical Endorser for seven Reformed and Presbyterian Denominations. (OPC, PCA, ARPC, RPCNA, KAPC, KPCA, URCNA), which equates to about 322 Chaplains. They endorse all the military services both active duty and reserve. For many students, there’s a program called the Chaplain Candidate Program, where the Candidate is able to work alongside a military chaplain and their team in a reserve status, while receiving military pay and benefits that can greatly help with seminary costs. This is a great first step in beginning with PRCC. Students can decide to follow on and become an Active Duty Chaplain.

For those interested in getting started with a call to Chaplaincy, we encourage you to take a look through the links below to learn more.

Helpful Links & Resources:

Presbyterian & Reformed Chaplain Commission

How To Become A Military Chaplain

How To Become A Civilian Chaplain

Chaplain Resources

LAMP Seminary Student Profile: Paul Deschamps

LAMP Seminary Student Paul Deschamps

LAMP Graduate Paul Deschamps, of Christ The King Presbyterian Church shares his testimony of how God led him from death back to life throughout his walk. As a student at LAMP Seminary, the Lord provided Paul with the opportunity to pursue ministry instruction while serving in a church he loves, answering the call to work in student ministry.

Where He Began

Paul speaks of a Christian upbringing being raised in the church and in a Christian home. However, he didn’t come to know Jesus as his Lord and savior until the age of 19. He shared that his life had been marked by poor choices and hurt relationships until the Holy Spirit convicted him of his sin and showed how gracious our God really is. Luckily, through repentance and honesty, he was able to restore many of the most strained relationships, particularly the relationship between his parents and himself. Not long after his conversion, and discipleship from his mother, Paul became involved with a group of young adults who loved the Lord and served in the ministry of Young Life. He was encouraged to become a leader, and would do so for several years, pointing high school kids to Jesus. After completing college, and marrying his wife Lindsey, Paul began to feel a call to full time ministry, and has been pursuing that for the last several years. He shares, “Jesus has brought me from death to life, he has paid for my life with his, and I am so thankful for the ways he is growing me and using me in service to his kingdom.”

Answering the Call

Paul is currently the Director of Student Ministry at Christ the King Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. For the last 5 years, he has served in this ministry where his primary functions have been planning, implementing and overseeing the ministry opportunities for 6th-12th grade students. Paul shared that serving the church in this capacity has been very rewarding. He has felt a call to work with students and before training with LAMP was trained as a Social Studies Teacher. His desire to work with young people has provided opportunities such as teaching, ministry and mentorship. Although challenging at times, Paul receives such joy to work with young people as he helps root their lives in Jesus instead of themselves. “Student ministry is fertile ground for gospel indeed, and I am excited to see the fruit grow from the seeds we scatter.”

Paul’s Time with LAMP Seminary

Initially Paul was attracted to LAMP because of the robust and reformed curriculum that was rooted in both the local church and local ministry. Not only did it enhance his ministry from the academic knowledge gained, but it allowed him to directly apply the material where he served. “Instead of having to leave our local church and ministry to pursue seminary instruction, I have been able to double down on both my learning and my service in the church.”

Things that have been helpful. 

Paul found that the cost and ease of access to his studies with LAMP to be helpful. By providing a rich reformed curriculum that was accessible from anywhere at a fraction of the cost of a brick-and-mortar school, made the decision easy to test out the program. However, once in the program, what kept him there was the relationships he has made with the pastors and other course facilitators in the area. The fellowship and support given through these men has been really encouraging to Paul’s studies and ministry.

Looking ahead

For the time being, Paul is happy to continue serving in his current role for a little longer. He believes that student ministry is a calling, and he still has some work that God has prepared him to do there. He is continuing to pursue ordination, and is open to serving where the Lord calls.

LAMP Seminary Student Profile: Anderson Shore

LAMP Graduate Anderson Shore, of Christ The King Presbyterian Church shares his testimony of how God guided his path and time in LAMP Seminary to grow him in his walk. As a student the Lord allowed Anderson to see how vast his beauty is as well as His desires for him to walk with people, and sit with those that need it.

Where He Began

Anderson speaks of a Christian upbringing where his family attended church throughout his life. However, as he grew, he noticed that his heart and actions did not reflect that he knew what the gospel of Jesus meant. It wasn’t until college, where Anderson became involved in intentional discipleship and Bible Study, where God started to show him that he didn’t need to prove his worth to be saved “But rather it was through the perfect work of Jesus Christ that I could be in a personal relationship with Him.” Anderson stopped trying to prove himself to God and was able to accept that he was his son through Jesus’ work in his place. He was able to sit confidently in relationship with him. Anderson’s desire for the church and church planting grew from there. He shares “even though my sinful heart continues to be revealed, I know that I am a child of God and that through worship and obedience God is going to use me for His glory.”

Anderson’s Time with LAMP Seminary

Anderson is currently the pastoral resident at Christ the King Presbyterian Church. His roles over the years have shifted and he shares how beautiful it has been to receive work experience while pursuing seminary. He is now the director of community groups at his church where he helps care for and equip leaders to be able to provide a place where disciples of Jesus can grow in learning more about the Lord, and becoming more like Him.

Things that have been helpful. 

Anderson found that it has been so special to be involved with ministry in a church while being trained up through LAMP simultaneously. “I am so thankful that I was able to use what I was learning in certain trainings and conversations that I had with people from my church.” Anderson was able to gain both head and heart knowledge from his time with LAMP which has helped relationally as well. Additionally, LAMP was the perfect fit for him as it has provided flexibility over the past 5 years. Anderson was working as a photographer when he began the program and now has transitioned into the role working with his church. “The opportunity to get to know other pastors in our area has been such a great experience for me. LAMP came along at just the right time as I was able to pursue my seminary education in a city that I love and a church I desired to serve in.” Anderson shared how grateful he is that LAMP exists and how it has increased his love for Jesus and his Church.

Looking ahead

As for the future, Anderson hopes to walk with God’s people in a church planting context. He has a desire to show people how much their Father loves them, and how great it is to receive the blessings that He wants to pour out on his children. There is an excitement for the future, and He prays that God would direct him in a place to “Make Jesus Famous!” Anderson firmly believes that the United States needs more churches preaching through word and deed. “I am dreaming about how God might do that through church planting.”

LAMP Seminary’s Ministry & Life Experience Courses

The LAMP Program includes 6 “Ministry and Life Experience” (MLE) courses. These courses are designed to give students credit for their ministry involvement in the local church while going through the LAMP program, and are a requirement as they progress in their studies. This component is one of LAMP’s values of training. 

We have compiled some examples of how our students are completing their involvement for their ministry and life experience courses. There is a wide variety of student ministry involvement in areas such as campus outreach, family and children’s ministry programs, youth leaders, intermittent preaching, Elders, and Deacons. 

Daniel Hill

St Andrews, Columbia SC

Daniel currently serves as regional director of Campus Outreach Columbia. This allows him to have regular shepherding meetings with their 45 member staff, training, one on one mentoring relationships with the leadership team, leading the regional leadership team with vision and health, small group bible studies, public speaking , and regular evangelism.

Pierre A Massa

Hope Chapel, Miami FL

Pierre has been facilitating the church Married Couples Ministry. He has been involved in Prayer Ministry and worked on the Church Social Media Team as well.

Jason Fulmer

St. Andrews Presbyterian, Columbia, SC

Jason has been involved as a deacon and as the Mens Ministry Coordinator. He is a serving chairman currently and focuses on establishing protocol around managing the newly purchased church property and expanding other areas such as ushers and greeters. Jason also works in the hospitality ministry where he and his wife coordinate church wide events with other volunteers. 
Aaron Raines

Trinity Grace Church, Rogers, AR

Aaron serves as a ruling elder, leading small groups, preaching when needed, teaching youth lessons, planning and leading the liturgy and music in worship weekly. He makes shepherding and ministry home visits to church members as well.

Jeanette Simpson

St Andrews Presbyterian, Columbia SC

Jeanette is employed by St. Andrews Presbyterian as the Director of Children’s Ministry. She coordinates and plans all curriculum, activities, and events for children ranging in ages from infant through 6th grade. 
Andrew Jordan

St. Andrews Presbyterian, Columbia SC

Andrew has served as an elder at Rivercrest Presbyterian Church for the last 6 months, where he has had the opportunity to shepherd young adults in the community group. He is also a pastoral intern where he oversees community has had the opportunity to teach and preach as well as help organize church events.

Todd Patterson

New Hope PCA, Olathe KS

Todd oversees the Marriage and Family Ministry, Youth Sunday School, and the Children’s Ministry curriculum.
It is a great encouragement to see how students in the program are using their ministry involvement to further enhance their program studies. 
If you would like more information on LAMP Seminary please visit

LAMP Seminary Student Profile: Eric Burket

LAMP Graduate Eric Burket, of Pine Ridge Church in Orlando Florida shares his testimony of how LAMP Seminary has given him a path forward to answer the call of Pastoral Ministry, but also strengthened his relationship with Jesus. We are so grateful to him for sharing his story with us.

Where He Began

Eric speaks of a strong Christian upbringing where he was infused with the gospel from a young age. As he grew he always knew Jesus but it wasn’t until high school, through strong mentors that he was able to adopt his faith as his own. “At this point, my life direction began to be impacted by my desire to serve God.” In college Eric was able to become deeply involved in student ministry leadership at Pine Ridge Church as a volunteer. He pursued a career in IT after college, but began to feel called to work in local church ministry. 

Answering the Call

In 2017 Eric began working as a worship leader and pastor’s assistant at Pine Ridge Church. Together with his wife, Sadie, Eric decided to pursue pastoral ministry by the end of his first year working at Pine Ridge. Unsure of the path ahead or how their future might look, Eric and Sadie began to pray and seek support from the elders of their church. After being encouraged and led to move forward with next steps, he learned about LAMP Seminary through the Central Florida Presbytery. By March 2018 Eric began to study at LAMP Seminary while working at Pine Ridge Church. “God was so gracious to align such an ideal set of circumstances where I could dedicate time to study and gain experience in various kinds of local church ministries along the way. My heart for serving at Pine Ridge and love for the church family continued to grow during my studies.”

Eric’s Time with LAMP Seminary

During his time as a student at LAMP Seminary Eric learned how to study and apply God’s word to his life, as well as the context of teaching and preaching “I feel confident now teaching from the bible and communicating a Christian worldview based on the Scriptures and a reformed and covenantal perspective.” Eric also shared his growth to greater appreciation of the local church and the family life of the church through integrating his seminary study within that area. “Most importantly, LAMP has helped draw me into a closer relationship with Jesus, and that is the most valuable aspect of my time in the program.”

Things That Have Been Helpful

Eric has found that LAMP has been ideal for him and his family because of the flexibility with his schedule and low cost tuition. This was something that allowed him to attend Seminary without putting financial stress on his family. He found particular value in  the close involvement of his pastor in his study. “He was able to give one on one attention to many questions and be a key part of my development.”

Looking Ahead

As for the future, Eric is currently studying for his ordination examination since graduating with his M’Div in December 2021. Together with his family, Eric is both eager and hopeful to accept a call as an associate pastor at Pine Ridge.

LAMP Seminary Learning Sites

LAMP Seminary establishes learning sites in local churches across the country, to be able to facilitate the program and the learning for the students within their local learning site. 
Learning Sites 3 Primary Roles

•Coordinator – Schedules Courses
•Course Facilitator – Facilitates Discussion
•Mentor – Develops Relationships

If you are interested in becoming a LAMP Learning Site click here to get started:

LAMP Seminary

LAMP offers coursework with ease as it allows students to take 1 course at a time, with 2 lessons per week and a weekly meeting for dialog sessions.
LAMP Courses

Every LAMP Course is divided up into 12 lessons with 5 components each:

• Reading
• Listening to a seminary lecture 
• Writing
• Memory
• Dialog Session

This allows the student to fulfill the course assignments before their weekly meetings with an ordained pastor to review the material. 

Course Offerings

LAMP offers coursework with ease as it allows students to take 1 course at a time, with 2 lessons per week and a weekly meeting for dialog sessions.

This format allows students to complete course work within a 6 week timeframe!

LAMP is a grassroots seminary, designed with you in mind.

For more information click here to get started.

Welcoming Osman Jama

As many PCA churches around the country begin to welcome Afghan refugees into their communities, please join MNA Refugee and Immigrant Ministry in welcoming onto our staff Osman Jama, who came to the US as a Muslim refugee child from Somalia several decades ago. Through the patient, consistent love and witness of a Christian friend and that friend’s family he became a strong believer in Christ in high school.

He is now on the staff of one of our PCA churches as Missionary in Residence, and he is passionate about helping churches to engage with new arrivals so that they too might come to know and love Him. You can help support his work as Church Refugee Engagement Specialist here.

To learn about opportunities for your church to welcome refugees, contact or 

Perhaps several decades from now, an Afghan whom you welcome with the love of Christ this year will be a mature Christian leader like Osman because you allowed God to work through your authentic relationship with them!

Considering Church Planting

While the pandemic shut down much of our activity, it provided the opportunity to assess our work and home life. The Assessment Center is no different. In place of the regular in-person assessments that usually met five times each year, there were only two. Streamlined assessments done via Zoom covered some of the candidates that needed to be assessed right away. Now in 2021, The Assessment Center is going full steam with a strong regional emphasis, having met in Lakeland, FL, San Antonio, TX, Charlotte, NC, St. Louis, MO and planning on Boca Raton, FL in September and Atlanta, GA in November. Later this fall there will also be an Assessment in Toronto, Ontario and for the first time a Korean language Assessment. In 2022, look for the Assessment to be in some of those cities, but also in Seattle, WA and Cherry Hill, NJ. 

The Assessment Center is a two-and-a-half-day event with assessors from various ministry contexts bringing with them a wealth of experience. With the increasing variety of locations and growing interest in church planting, we are praying for 60 couples to be assessed in 2021, a 20% increase from our previous highs. If you are interested in church planting or know someone who should consider church planting contact MaryEllen Garofalo at

LAMP Seminary Student Profile: Kyle Roque

LAMP Student Kyle Roque, a Miami native who moved to North Carolina, in 2008 experienced his share of ups and downs leading up to his walk with Christ. LAMP Seminary is so grateful to him for sharing his story with us. 

Where He Began

Kyle speaks of many years of hardship while growing up in Miami as he tried to fill the void in his heart caused by his father’s absence. As he searched for a way to numb that pain he was met with many difficult situations including the loss of a good friend in a car accident. In many ways this loss set in motion the turning point in Kyle’s life, where he began to question life, the world and if there was even a God out there. “I had no hope, I wanted to give up but God did not give up on me.” Kyle began attending youth group because of his older sister. Admittedly, in the beginning it was difficult to accept hearing the gospel. It wasn’t until later that he would be ready to accept what he was hearing as the truth. On that evening, Kyle heard a word preached from Galations 3:26. He would learn that God welcomed him to be his son just as he welcomes all as his sons and daughters. Kyle shared how this changed something in him.In that moment, the hole that I had from my Dad and the sin I tried to fill it with, was filled with the love, mercy, and grace of God.” 

Answering the Call

It would be 2 years later when the Lord would make a way for Kyle and his family to relocate to North Carolina in 2008. At this time he found Colonial Baptist Church where he would learn and grow as a man and follower of Christ with a hunger for God’s word in reform theology, providing that to the local church. Kyle felt the call to ministry but like many, he struggled with a feeling of not being good enough. After speaking to elders and pastors of his church, his calling to ministry was confirmed and he would begin his journey with theological seminary to get trained for pastoral ministry.

Kyle served as a youth pastor for 9 years before meeting his wife Shameka, who would introduce him to his current Pastor Russell McCuthechons. This introduction began Kyle’s move to a church plant just outside of Raleigh. Currently his ministry involves First Impressions, Men’s Ministry and participation in local community groups. Kyle continues to disciple followers of Christ for Biblical and Life Literacy. 

Kyle’s Time with LAMP Seminary

During his time as a student at LAMP Seminary Kyle has had the ability to sharpen the tools in his ministry toolbox, while challenging himself to think through new avenues of theology that the church holds to. He has found courses such as Biblical Counseling or Homiletics to be helpful in refining what he has been doing in ministry over the years, while refocusing on what he has been called to do. Homiletics has helped Kyle to assist the congregation to know the word of God and apply it to their lives. Biblical Counseling has enhanced his ability to counsel people in a different and deeper platform to help deal with sin and the effect of sin on their lives. “LAMP has sharpened my ministry. It has also enhanced it by challenging, stretching, and growing me to see the beauty of Covenant theology and its impact on infant baptism.”

Things That Have Been Helpful

Kyle has found that LAMP has been ideal for equipping the church for work in ministry. He particularly enjoys the involvement of Pastors and Leaders in helping him to grow in new theologies while providing practical wisdom and counsel as he applies it to local ministry. The low tuition cost has been very helpful for Kyle as well as many students who are looking for a practical and affordable option in seminary education. He shared, “Many black and brown brothers and sisters in Christ can not afford to go to major seminaries.”

Looking Ahead

As for the future of Kyle’s education and ministry. His hope after training and ordination is two fold. He would like to become a pastor who is a church planter in black and brown communities. In his experience, Kyle has found that healthy churches are those that come together from a group of churches sending people to advance the kingdom of Christ and his glory in a city. “I want to be a pastor that is shepherding a people to resolved discipleship, that is focused and based on biblical and life literacy.” Kyle’s prayer is that the Lord raises men and women to be a part of church plants within the local city and beyond. He would also like to provide a LAMP platform within his own city, that focuses on equipping black and brown people to be sent out to raise other disciples and churches locally. 

Ethnos Relief Fund

Just as many PCA members in communities highly-impacted by COVID were beginning to recover, outbreaks of the Delta variant are once again causing illness and job loss and undermining the financial stability of these families. Your gift to the Ethnos Relief Fund may enable a brother or sister in Christ to pull through this latest phase of the ongoing crisis, retaining stable housing. Please donate now

MNA/PCA Chaplains


Would you ask your church to put this in your worship bulletin or newsletter? We need your help getting the word out to all of your military and federal employee friends and family members regarding the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). MNA/PRCC Chaplain Ministries is an approved charity (CFC #38370) for federal employees to donate their payroll deduction gifts to our PRCC Chaplains. We need churches to let their federal employee members and friends know about this opportunity to help support our Chaplains. 

Sample bulletin inserts and an info letter are on our website. The Campaign runs from September 1 – December 15th, 2021.

Developing Your Church Plant – A Webinar with Ted Powers – October 18

Beginning public worship services is a watershed event in the life of a new church. But it is ONLY a stage. It is not a point of arrival. This training webinar is particularly geared towards those who have recently launched public worship services and helps chart a course up to, but not including, particularizationAreas of focus include a multiple stage launch process over several years, developing your ministry infrastructure and priorities, developing a vision and plan for making disciples, identifying and investing in leaders, maintaining an outreach focus and momentum, and the “Care and Feeding” of the planter and his family.

This webinar is sponsored by the Midwest Alliance but open to all; cost is $50 per person for the 90 minute webinar including q&a. Registration deadline is October 14; click here for all details and a registration link.

Free Online Training in Disability Ministry

September 17, 2021

If you have missed our recent live webcasts, you can watch the recordings on our website. We have featured panel discussions with people affected by disability in:

· Caring for People with Physical Disabilities

· Caring Well During a New Diagnosis

· Caring for Siblings

We have also featured expert teaching on:

· Starting a Disability Ministry

· Understanding and Addressing Anxiety in Your Kids

· Several COVID-19-related topics

Take a look at all our upcoming live and virtual training events and let us help you engage disability in your family, friends, and church!

LAMP Seminary

Are you preparing for ordination? LAMP Seminary offers an incredible resource to assist candidates in preparing for their Licensure or Ordination exam. This study guide contains questions, answers, outlines and Scripture proofs in the areas of Bible Content, Theology, Church History, the Sacraments and Church Government and Discipline.

*This study guide is a physical product. Please allow 3-5 days for shipping.

Click Here to Purchase Yours!

Are Conversations about “Different Cultures” Awkward?

Feeling a little adrift in conversations about culture and differences? Or are they even uncomfortable? Afraid of saying the wrong thing? What is cultural “intelligence”, anyway? If any of these thoughts sound familiar, but you want to navigate issues of culture difference with more awareness and confidence, we have a good first step for you. Read more.

Refugee and Immigrant Ministry

Many of you have inquired how you might be able to help some of the several thousand Afghan refugees who are arriving in the US, many of whom risked their own lives and those of their families to help US troops and contractors in Afghanistan over the past years. At this link you can download an timely guide to a variety of ways that you can help, collated by the Christian organization We Welcome Refugees.

World Relief, the evangelical refugee resettlement agency, provides this link to helping through their offices, with needs – particularly for short-term or long-term housing – especially acute in the Sacramento and Modesto, California areas. If there is no World Relief resettlement office in your area, other options are available here and here.

Please be patient and use the online form or email rather than calling, so that staff can respond to you when they find a rare quiet moment. If you are offering HOUSING, however, please call and leave a detailed message.