In 2016, the SDB General Conference introduced an integrative educational initiative called SDB University (SDBU). SDBU is a new expression of two ideas long prevalent among SDBs: 

  1. Training of the laity in the local church.
  2. Training of pastoral leaders as they serve the local church.

SDBU consists of four levels of initiatives:

  1. SDB Core Curriculum (000 level) with small group study for the local church about SDB values and distinctives. (In progress)
  2. Lay Leadership Certificate (100 level) administered by a local church pastor in the context of a local church for local church leaders (greeters, treasurers, deacons, etc.).
  3. Ministry Leadership Certificate (200 level) taught by qualified SDB teachers from around the Conference for those called to or serving in ministry leadership roles (licentiate, worship leader, youth leader, church planter, etc.).
  4. Pastoral Leadership Certificate (300 level) taught by qualified SDB teachers from around the Conference serving in a pastoral role.

These programs are meant to build on the previous levels. Individuals seeking one of the leadership certificates may be asked to complete one of the previous programs first. Previous education may be able to substitute that experience for some courses.
In addition to these four levels, the School of Ministry and the Council on Ministry are committed to providing those seeking leadership training with mentors/coaches to help provide them guidance in their personal and professional calling.
The literature linked to below provides outlines for the three certificate level initiatives. Participation in the certificate initiatives is limited to those who are sponsored by a local SDB church.

Lay Leadership Certificate Program Details

  • Ministry Leadership Certificate Program Q&A (formerly Pastoral Leadership)
  • Ministry Leadership Certificate Program Details
  • Pastoral Leadership Certificate Program Details (formerly Advanced Pastoral Leadership)

SDBU is administered by Dean Nick Kersten as part of the SDB School of Ministry. If you have questions about the program or wish to inquire further, please contact or 608-752-5055 ext. 701.

If you would like to register for SDBU, please visit our registration page here.

Local SDB churches with specific training needs are invited to contact us. Customized training for use in your local church may be available!
At this time, these programs are only available for Seventh Day Baptists in the United States and Canada. Seventh Day Baptists who are members of other SDB Conferences are invited to contact the SDB Missionary Society for more information about training opportunities in your context.