Archive for the 'School of Ministry' Category

Guest Post | There Is Still Time to Join Us for This Next Year at the Cross Church School of Ministry, by Edward Upton

Ed-blogToday, welcomes guest writer, Dr. Edward Upton. Dr. Upton is the President of Cross Church School of Ministry.

This summer has been a wonderful and productive time so far at Cross Church. We took over 900 people to Beach Camp, over 300 to Middle School camp, and over 2,000 are participating in VBX this week. Over the course of these events, we have seen well over 200 people baptized, and there will be many more before the summer is complete. Needless to say, it is an exciting season in the life of our church, and our Resident Ministers of the Cross Church School of Ministry have been heavily involved throughout the entire summer!

Here at Cross Church, our mission is to reach Northwest Arkansas, America, and the world for Jesus Christ, and in the School of Ministry, you can play a vital role in that mission. Our one-year residential ministry experience is designed to prepare the next generation for life, ministry, and gospel advancement globally. We firmly believe that training and education can open a whole new world to men and women who have given their lives in service to the Lord. Both formal education and practical training are necessary for ministry, but few are able to achieve both at the same time. In the School of Ministry, that combination is made possible through our unique partnerships and gifted staff.

Exciting New Opportunities

There has never been a better time to be part of our School of Ministry here at Cross Church. We are creating an environment that masterfully blends both formal theological education and practical ministry experience. This is one of the best ministry training opportunities in the country, and we are improving it each year. Over the course of the last few months we have been developing new and stronger partnerships with all of our Southern Baptist Seminaries. We have also entered into a partnership with the North American Mission Board to train church planters, and are developing a new partnership with the International Mission board to prepare our missionaries for work around the world.

It’s not too late!

The best part is, there is still time for you to join our team. Simply visit and click Apply Now. The next cohort starts on August 20, and we would love to have you join us. Over the next 12 months, a whole new group of dedicated ministry students will take part in an international mission trip, several North American mission trips, and each week serve on staff with one of the greatest ministry teams in America. You will leave here more equipped than ever, and if education is your next step, we will give you a substantial head start toward either graduate or undergraduate degrees. If you are called to ministry, and want to receive training but want to start working now, you should definitely consider joining the Cross Church School of Ministry. So, whether you are degree seeking or just looking for more practical experience, if you join us next year at the Cross Church School of Ministry, I promise it will be one of the greatest years of your life and you will see lives changed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Edward Upton
President, Cross Church School of Ministry


Guest Post | Practical Training for Future Church Leaders by Edward Upton

Ed-blogToday, welcomes guest writer, Dr. Edward Upton. Dr. Upton is the new President of the Cross Church School of Ministry.

Someone once told me, “If you have the intellectual capability to earn a higher degree, you have the moral responsibility to do so. We need ministers who know more, not ministers who know less.” I pondered that statement for several years while pursuing my Doctor of Ministry degree from Southern Seminary. I did not know exactly how that would play out in my life, but I knew that I felt God was calling me to be more involved in training younger ministers to be church leaders.

My Calling to the Cross Church School of Ministry

When Dr. Crawford left Cross Church to follow God’s call to Tennessee, I began wondering if some sort of leadership opportunity within the School of Ministry was something that I should explore. I entered into a season of praying and seeking God’s will for my life concerning the School of Ministry. I was in a good place (some of the most fruitful ministry I have ever experienced) as the Campus Pastor of the Neosho Campus. I loved what I did and loved where I lived, but I could never really get past the thought that kept coming back to my mind – that it was my job to help train the next generation.

Several weeks ago, Pastor Floyd and I had a conversation that led to me going home that evening and spending the night in prayer concerning what I felt God was calling me to do. And so, a couple of weeks ago, I began the process of saying goodbye to my brothers and sisters in Neosho to come to Northwest Arkansas to lead the Cross Church School of Ministry.

What is The Cross Church School of Ministry?

I have been asked often in the past couple of weeks what the School of Ministry is about, and what that looks like on a daily basis. I thought I would use this time to share what we are trying to accomplish through the school.

The Cross Church School of Ministry is a 1-year ministry residency that prepares leaders for life, ministry, and Gospel advancement globally. Cross Church believes in education, and we practice this belief with our staff. We believe that although theological education is vital and necessary to the health of the minister, a holistic education of church leadership goes beyond the theological education into helping future church leaders understand the rigors of ministry through practical, hands-on education that we can provide through our Cross Church organization.

Why You Should Consider Spending a Year with us at Cross Church

We believe that we have a responsibility to train future ministers in life. If you were to decide to come and spend a year with us, you would learn life in ministry, how to develop your own spiritual walk, how to develop spiritual disciplines, how to fight against your sin tendencies, and how to interact with others.

We also believe that we have a responsibility to train future ministers in the ministry of the church. The ministry of the church includes preaching, discipleship, evangelizing the lost, leading the church, how to set up church government, leading mission trips, church planting and revitalization, and developing mission and vision statements all through the particular track of study that you choose.

Lastly, we believe that we have a responsibility to train future ministers for Gospel advancement globally. This means that we are in the business of completing the Great Commission. We strive to train future leaders to develop churches that desire to see the nations come to Christ. We do this through both international and domestic mission trips, vision trips for church planters, and by developing relationships with organizations such as North American Mission Board and International Mission Board to become a pipeline for future church planters and missionaries.

A Unique Option for our Students

One of the really cool options that we offer our students in the School of Ministry is the opportunity to earn college and seminary credits during their 1-year residency if they desire. We offer credit hours at several colleges as well as most of our Southern Baptist seminaries. In fact, at one seminary, we can offer up to 24 credit hours, tuition free, toward a Master of Divinity degree.

The future is exciting and bright for the Cross Church School of Ministry! I am unbelievably blessed that God has opened this door for my family and me. If you know you are called to ministry, I would highly encourage you to check out the School of Ministry website,, and see if God may be calling you to come experience a year of hands-on ministry training at one of our 5 campuses. And while you’re at it, travel the world with us while being afforded the opportunity to earn some college or seminary credits too!

For the King and His Kingdom,

Dr. Edward Upton
President, Cross Church School of Ministry