The Scriptures, the 66 books of the Holy Bible, are indeed God’s written inerrant special revelation to mankind. These books together are God’s special self-revelation to us; a revelation that is purposeful, powerful and profitable. These “words” lead to salvation, sanctification and service. These “words” reveal God’s glorious plan of redemption and provide everything we need to know in order to have a vital and eternal relationship with the One True God.
These “words” are to be read, believed, obeyed, taught and proclaimed. Indeed the preaching and teaching of the gospel and the Scriptures themselves are both necessary and critical aspects of the Great Commission and the outworking of God’s plan of building the Church of our Lord Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. Ultimately we must preach the Word because we are commanded to do so, and because such preaching and teaching brings God glory. God’s glory is not only proclaimed in the activity of preaching but God is glorified through the results of preaching and teaching in people’s lives.
INSTITUTE AND CERTIFICATE PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
The Biblical Preaching Institutes and the full Certificate Program comprise a flexible but intense series of instructional courses that seek to “stir up the gift” and develop the practical skills of those who would seek to communicate faithfully the truth of the Word of God. The various Institutes and the full program are designed to offer personal attention and practical assessment to strengthen and advance the preaching and/or teaching ministry of each participant.
These Institutes and the full Certificate Program are the results of many years of teaching and training in the art and practice of expository preaching. Over the years these “equipping events” have been used to encourage and equip pastors, evangelists, teachers and interested laypeople to be faithful communicators of Biblical truth, rightly dividing the Word of truth in the power of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, our stated purpose is to “encourage and equip pastors, preachers, and lay leaders in the art of expository preaching and exemplary living in the power of the Holy Spirit to the end that the Church will be revived and the world will be reached with the saving word of Christ.”
We are fully committed to the accuracy, the authority and the sufficiency of the Word of God in all that it affirms, and to the necessity of preaching and teaching the Word of God as we seek to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord. This commitment has led not only to the ongoing Institute and Certificate programs, but to related ministry across the United States and in many foreign countries.
Global Ministries Foundation’s Stephen Olford Center provides a beautiful environment and a practical facility for the various seminars and training aspects of this program including meeting rooms, media/tech equipment, accommodations, dining facilities, and a ministry research library featuring the T. S. Rendall Collection. Right now Biblical Preaching Institutes are offered at various times in the year. Often two or three Institutes are being offered back-to-back to maximize ‘travel costs’ for those who are travelling long distances, and especially our overseas participants. At times the various training Institutes/seminars will be combined to form an intensive educational and equipping experience over an extended period. (Dates are given below).
The full Certificate Program in Expository Preaching brings together the various Institutes into a full program of study and assessment. Focused reading assignments, preaching and writing assignments, and various practical assessments are a part of this program. Staying on “campus” provides maximum convenience for focused study and 24-hour access to the T. S. Rendall Collection. This program can be completed over time as various Institutes are attended, or the whole program can be undertaken in an intensive five-week training experience at the Stephen Olford Center as mentioned above.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Dr. Stephen Olford (1918-2004) had a deep burden to encourage and equip preachers and this burden developed into the Institute for Biblical Preaching (1980). This “Institute” included training events and resources. After many years of evangelistic, pastoral, and preaching ministry, this burden and vision led Dr. and Mrs. Olford to Memphis, TN. in 1985 to establish a center for preachers. Dr. Stephen Olford still speaks and teachings by way of instructional videos that are part of the Institute program today. Dr. and Mrs. Olford were joined by their son, Dr. David Olford, and in 1988 by God’s grace and the generosity of God’s people, the Stephen Olford Center for Biblical Preaching was established at the present location. Dr. David Olford is the President of Olford Ministries International, Inc., and he is the director of the Institutes and the Certificate Program. The Stephen Olford Center has gone through changes over the years, but it continues to be the headquarters for Olford Ministries International, Inc., and the “home” for the Certificate Program in Expository Preaching. The Center itself is now owned and operated by Global Ministries Foundation (GMF). Olford Ministries International, Inc. (OMI) is a resident partner with GMF.
Joining the ministry team in 2004 and continuing his ministry as Resident Minister and Professor with OMI is Dr. Ted Rendall. Dr. Rendall brings forty-three years of pastoral ministry experience with him. He is also Chancellor Emeritus of the Prairie Bible Institute in Alberta, Canada, where he served for over forty years. Dr. Rendall is not only a gifted teacher, but a prolific writer, editor and author, and international Christian statesman. Dr. and Mrs. Rendall have graciously donated to Olford Ministries International, Inc. a special valuable collection of approximately 32,000 books (The T. S. Rendall Collection), a collection that makes up the vast majority of the books in the Ministry Research Library at the Stephen Olford Center. This unique library is available not only for all who participate in training events at the Stephen Olford Center, it is available also for special study days, sabbaticals and projects.
The core instructional sessions in the Institutes and the Certificate Program are presented by Dr. Stephen Olford (Recorded), Dr. Ted Rendall, and Dr. David Olford. Guest speakers also assist in presenting various sessions. The reading, writing, and preaching assignments along with personal interaction and assessments are all part of the Certificate Program. Again, the “Ministry Research Library featuring the T. S. Rendall Collection” provides a setting conducive for study and preparation. Participants can take advantage of Dr. Rendall and Dr. Olford’s availability as they seek to identify resources that would be helpful in ministry research and sermon preparation.
INSTITUTE AND CERTIFICATE PROGRAM DETAILS
Registration for Individual Institutes
Individual Institutes can be attended by contacting us directly or online in order to register for the specific Institute that you desire to attend. Just consult the schedule and select the event and dates that work for you and register accordingly. The Institutes themselves are usually three and a half-day events, and the registration fee includes all the sessions, notes, refreshments, and meals. Accommodation is available at GMF’s Stephen Olford Center.
A six-session evening format is offered as well for these Institutes. At present the format is as follows: Week One: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Evenings, and Week Two: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Evenings.
Brief Institute Descriptions – 2020
Expository Preaching and Teaching Essentials
The focus is on the faithful clear exposition of God’s Word delivered in the power of the Holy Spirit. Those seeking to develop their expository preaching and teaching ministries will receive practical and personal training that will help in the preparation and delivery of messages and/or lessons that have the priority of “rightly divide the word of truth.” Details and processes related to sermon/lesson preparation and delivery will be addressed as well as the essential spiritual dynamics that are a part of a faithful preaching and/or teaching ministry.
Strengthening Expository Preaching
Go deeper and appreciate more fully the different genres of the Word of God and key issues in Biblical proclamation. The goal is sharpening our understanding of the diversity of Scripture as we seek to be faithful to the text and to the unity of Scripture and its fulfillment in Christ. Specific aspects of sermon development and delivery will be addressed also. The purpose is to help participants develop deeper and richer message content while maintaining clarity and simplicity in sermon delivery.
Practical Preaching and Teaching Workshop
This special and intensive workshop offers a small-group atmosphere designed to improve the
preaching and/or teaching skills of the participant. The participants will preach or teach God’s Word and receive constructive personal feedback and critique. Each participant will submit a sermon/lesson manuscript besides actually preaching and/or teaching. Helpful peer interaction is an important aspect of this workshop.
Evangelistic Expository Preaching
The purpose of this institute is to ignite evangelistic zeal and to equip participants to proclaim the Gospel faithfully. Special attention is given to the content of the Gospel message, the preparation of evangelistic messages, and the essentials of evangelistic proclamation and invitation. Guidelines for follow-up work, discipleship training and biblical church growth round out the course.
Expository Preaching and Spiritual Growth
Growth into Christ-likeness is a fundamental purpose when preaching to and for Christians. Emphasis will be given to applying the Word of God to lead the people into spiritual growth, maturity and activity. Key issues in the growth from immaturity to maturity will be addressed. This Institute is not only instructional but a time for personal spiritual encouragement and renewal. Preaching is often viewed separately from Discipleship; not at this Institute!
This institute is designed to present and explore Biblical principles related to Christian incarnational leadership. The personal life, development, and qualifications of the leader will be discussed. Critical and relevant aspects of leadership practice will be studied. Such issues as leadership training and developing leadership in the local church will be addressed. This Institute is applicable to those in the local church context, but it is also relevant to those who want to engage with Biblical truth and principles related to leadership practice and skills.
Certificate Program Study Days
These days provide the opportunity for the participant to complete the Certificate program. The granting of the “Fellowship” will not take place until the project is complete. The Practical Preaching Workshop will provide the opportunity to preach one of Preaching Project messages.
The Certificate Program – 2020
Complete an Application/Personal Information
There is an application process for the Certificate Program. This application and the information it calls for must be completed to “enroll” in the Certificate Program and to be a candidate for becoming a “Stephen Olford Fellow.” Having said this, we allow Institute attendance and participation before a person commits to being a part of this Certificate Program. The result is that people do not need to retake Institutes that have been attended in the past before the application process was completed. The Certificate Program involves much more than attending six Institute events and completing an application process. The program is outlined below. Those internationals who have completed the grant application process have supplied the necessary information for the Certificate Program application. But, they must inform us of their plans to be a part of the Certificate Program.
Attend the Institutes and Workshop and submit the “Response/Reviews” for each event.
Five Biblical Preaching Institutes and a Practical Preaching Workshop are the core of the Certificate program. Each training Institute and the workshop has a “Written Response/Review” exercise. These completed Written Reviews are to be submitted to Dr. David Olford. The schedule for the submission of these assignments will be made available upon arrival. All of these “assignments” will be evaluated.
Write and Submit a Book Review
The candidate is required to read and write a summary/review of the textbook, Anointed Expository Preaching by Stephen and David Olford. This six-page paper is to be typed and is to follow recognized standards in terms of formats, fonts, spacing, and footnotes. Other reading assignments may be added to the program requirements.
Comprehensive Summary Exam
The Certificate candidate will also take a brief but comprehensive exam on-site. If the candidate is involved in the continuous Institute program, the exam will be submitted during the last week.
Dr. Olford or Dr. Ted Rendall will discuss a preaching project with you, which will be the final aspect of the program. The candidate is to prepare a series of (at least) three expository messages. The sermon series will deal with some aspect of personal or corporate spiritual formation and growth. All of these messages will be submitted in a complete written manuscript form. One of the messages will be preached or submitted on a standard DVD or some other electronic format.
The manuscript should be submitted with 1) a title page, 2) table of contents, 3) a one page summary of the entire series and its intended purpose, 4) each message (in full) with title and text at the top of the first page, 5) an appendix to the whole series with sermon notes or other materials if they are to be used in preaching the message, and 6) a bibliography of sources quoted or used extensively. The student needs to make sure that all Biblical texts are referenced, and that all quotations are footnoted.
Someone completing the Certificate in Expository Preaching Program will be recognized as a “Stephen Olford Fellow.” This “Fellowship” will indicate the person’s commitment to expository preaching and a desire to promote expository preaching in the future. The simple goal of the program is to strengthen the individual teaching and/or preaching gift of each person so that the Word of God is communicated faithfully in the power of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. It is our desire that each Institute participant, as well as each “Fellow”, be committed to “rightly dividing the Word of Truth” as they are:
OUR COMMITMENTS AT OLFORD MINISTRIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.
It is important to clarify the distinctive calling and the commitments that drive what we do. For many years the primary activity of Olford Ministries International, Inc. has been to preach and teach the Word of God, and to teach others to do likewise. The mission of O.M.I., Inc., especially since 1988, has been “to encourage and equip pastors and lay leaders in the art of expository preaching and exemplary living in the power of the Holy Spirit to the end that the church will be revived and the world will be reached with the saving Word of Christ.” This is still our mission today. The slogan that has described O.M.I, Inc. (formerly Encounter Ministries, Inc.) is “Preaching the Word, Reaching the World.”
As a ministry, we see ourselves as having an important role in promoting the faithful interpretation and proclamation of the Word of God. To encourage and equip servants of the Lord to “rightly dividing the Word of truth in the power of the Holy Spirit” is our “instructional” objective in the light of our concern for revival and evangelism. Is this needed today? The short answer is “yes,” and this type of teaching and training is always needed. To “lift high” the gospel and the Word of God, to combat error, to correct imbalance, and to confront many sins and “lacks” that hinder dynamic Christian living, serving, witnessing and preaching there will always be the need to train and teach people in the Word of God and for the communication of Biblical truth.
There are a few other distinctive aspects of our ministry and our location that need to be underlined to explain not only what we do but why we do what we do. These non-negotiable characteristics are in keeping with the priorities of the Founder of the ministry, Dr. Stephen F. Olford.