Underground Seminary

Underground Seminary & The Riverside

The underground seminary takes place in the context of the Riverside. Please read about the Riverside HERE.


The goal of the Underground Seminary is to equip men for the purpose of leading the local church as pastors and teachers. This is done through training in Biblical Studies, Spiritual Disciplines, and discipleship in community. Although any person who desires to come and learn is welcome, only a few at a time will receive extensive one-on-one training. Even Jesus, who is God, chose to limit his time and energy to just a select few. In the same way, I recognize that I am limited to disciple and train only a few men at a time. Further, it is my conviction that pastoral training is best done in a mentor type relationship. This is why this training will only be done in an incarnational form of training.

Length of Study:

There are two main formats of study: a shorter and a longer time of study.

[Shorter] 3 to 12 Months. This will be best suited for someone coming to focus on biblical studies and spiritual disciplines. This option may work best for someone seeking an internship or perhaps for a brief recharge after finishing formal training.

[Longer] 12 to 36+ Months. This will be best suited for those looking to study the languages as well as biblical studies and spiritual disciplines. The amount of time needed will be dependent on the training previously received and the future study that will be pursued. This option will work best for someone who is seeking to pursue pastoral ministry.


Biblical Languages. Knowing the Biblical languages (Greek/Hebrew) are foundational in properly handling the Bible. Therefore beginner and advanced classes are offered each year to teach pastors and Bible teachers the basics of the languages and how to continue in fruitful use of them.

13 Week One-on-One assessment. Using the pastoral letters (1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus) the 13-week assessment will help the student asses his gifting and his calling and his responsibilities.

Elder Assessment Cohort. A 12-month introduction to the role of Elder/Pastor. This cohort begins in September of each year. Papers, books, and serving in ministry will be required. The cohort meets once a month for two hours. The goal is to assess each participant in one of four categories (Right-man_Right-time / Right-man_Wrong-time / Wrong-man_Right-time / Wrong-man_Wrong-time).

Extended Ministry Discipleship. This time of equipping will be filled with reading, spiritual disciplines, and serving. The purpose will be to develop men in their calling and gifting. The Extended Ministry Discipleship will take at least 2-3 years to complete. Biblical Languages and the Elder Assessment Cohort are just the beginning steps for those who are interested in this extensive discipleship.

Who is this for:

The Underground Seminary is not an anti-seminary. The Underground Seminary is an outworking of my conviction that the modern seminary is not best suited to raise up pastors for churches in remote, poor, or financially struggling communities. Further, the Underground Seminary is where you come to study under me. This does not mean I am an expert in all things, however, my conviction is that our best growth is done under the close observation of a friend and mentor. If you are coming to the Underground Seminary you are coming primarily to study under me. Further, the Underground Seminary is for:

  • Men who desire to pursue Pastoral Ministry
  • Men who desire to be better equipped to serve in the local church
  • Local present/future church leaders who may never attend a ‘traditional’ seminary
  • Those seeking to determine if a traditional seminary would be a better option
  • Those who have left seminary spiritual void


Currently, the cost is about $200-300 a month. However, those who attend are expected to contribute whether through financial or physical means. It is my desire to serve the local church, specifically those churches who can’t afford to support formally-educated pastors. I want to give, not take. However, those that are cared for spiritually need to understand the Biblical responsibility to physically care for those who have cared for them spiritually. This means that the student will need to consider what they are receiving and how they are contributing to the needs of others. In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:14 (ESV)

Course of Study

Biblical Studies will be primarily through the Biblical Languages (Greek and Hebrew). It is my belief that a Bible teacher is significantly more equipped to teach the Bible once he is able to properly handle the original languages. It is also my belief that every local church should have at least one Elder/Pastor who is proficient with the languages.

Spiritual Disciplines will be implemented in a way that forces the student to deal with the very difficult commands of Christ. Neither legalism, nor false piety is the goal. Rather, the Underground Seminary will provide an opportunity to learn Spiritual disciplines that are not commonly taught or practiced in the local church.

Application Process:

This is a work of prayer and the moving of the Holy Spirit. We believe that God will send those that need to be present. If you sense God is you leading to the Underground Seminary or even to visit the Riverside both Katie and I look forward to meeting you. 

Study Materials Needed

Student Library (Costs Based on Search for ‘NEW’ books – August 5, 2016)

The books listed below (or appropriate equivalents) are a sample of required reading for students participating in the Extended Ministry Discipleship. Every book that can be read prior to attending will be of great advantage.

  1. *A Reader’s Hebrew and Greek Bible ($53)
    ISBN-13: 978-0310325895
    *Alt. Biblia Sacra Hebraica Stuttgartensia with Greek New Testament ($165)
    ISBN-13: 9783438052506
  2. Invitation to Biblical Hebrew: A Beginning Grammar ($40)
    ISBN-13: 978-0825426506
  3. Learn to Read New Testament Greek – Black ($18)
    ISBN-13: 978-0805444933
  4. *Encountering the Old Testament: A Christian Survey ($16)
    ISBN-13: 978-0801031700
  5. *Encountering the New Testament: A Historical and Theological Survey ($37)
    ISBN-13: 978-0801028069
  6. Master Plan of Evangelism ($10)
    ISBN 13: 9780739466131
  7. The Supremacy of God in Preaching – Piper ($13)
    ISBN-13: 978-0801017087
  8. Exegetical Fallacies – Carson ($13)
    ISBN-13: 978-0801020865
  9. 40 Questions About Interpreting the Bible ($17)
    ISBN-13: 978-0825434983
  10. Church Planter: The Man, the Message, the Mission ($14)
    ISBN 13: 9781433515767
  11. Cost of Discipleship ($10)
    ISBN 13: 9780684815008
  12. *Introducing Christian Doctrine ($5)
    ISBN 13: 9780801032158
  13. According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible ($22)
    ISBN-13: 978-0830826964
  14. Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture: ($20)
    The Application of Biblical Theology to Expository Preaching
    ISBN-13: 978-080284730
  15. *Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought ($27)
    ISBN 13: 9780470672860
  16. From Every Tribe and Nation ($15)
    ISBN 13: 9780801039935
  17. **The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon ($24)
    ISBN-13: 978-1565632066
  18. **Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: ($18)
    ISBN-13: 978-1565632097

TOTAL ($372) (Less if bought used)
* Or approved alternative
** Readily available on the Internet (-$42)

Online Resources

Many resources for research and study are available online. A list of the most relevant will be provided for each student.