The Riverside Faith Temple School of Ministry was conceived by Apostle Joseph L. Sims to insure every active member of this body receives quality Christian education. When this nation was created, public schools taught nearly all subjects through use of scripture. During those times, there was usually a strong set of core values that every member of the community shared.
In today’s society, the values of any individual are forged by family, neighborhood, teacher, educational institution and even entertainment industry morals. The average American is a mix of frequently conflicting attitudes and values. There is no unifying, ultimate place where one can find guidance and direction. It is this very blending of opinions and attitudes that weakens the church and our Christian standards.
Until now, our plan has been to offer Bible study, Sunday School and the various Sunday sermons to educate our members. It was hoped, that we would grow sufficiently in this haphazard manner until we were ‘ready’ for whatever God had called us to. Preachers would reveal their latest area of study through their sermons. Teachers would ‘be led’ to teach certain subjects and if you attended enough classes or heard enough sermons, you would hopefully be ready for ministry after an unspecified period of time.
This plan entails many gaps in ones education since there is rarely any orderly progression from subject to subject. New members and any baggage they may bring along are thrown in the deep end and expected to rise to a level of competence. The fact that everyone arrives here with a different level of faith and training simply increases the lack of cohesion.
The RFT School of Ministry endeavors to defeat this multicultural weakness by providing university type classes which cover all the basic areas of Christian doctrine. Our goal is to take every active member through a series of basic Christian foundations, through an educational discovery process which leaves us with a firm idea where our God given giftings lay. Once the basic educational process is completed, each member / student will be offered more challenging and ministry oriented classes. At this point, each student can attend specially tailored courses of study designed to produce effective, well rounded and well trained ministers of God’s word.
Those individuals who have invested many years of training both here and elsewhere, are offered the chance to take equivalency tests for most of the beginning classes and many of the advanced ones. A passing grade on those tests constitutes a completion of that class’ requirements. In this manner, each member can be assured of possessing a strong foundation.
At the completion of any given discipline, we can be assured that the student will, at a minimum, have a well rounded spiritual education. There are too many ministries these days who are big on faith, but forget holiness or sanctification. Some have learned holiness or sanctification, but ignore love and mercy. To be effectual saints of God, we must be well rounded in our walk. Too much of any one thing can lead to dangerous excess.