What Is Growing University?
What Is Growing University?
Growing University (GU) is what we call the educational component of discipleship. However, Growing University is not solely about academia (in spite of the name). Growing “U” is more about growing you. The desire is to offer in-depth biblical teaching that produces life-change. GU challenges us to a deeper understanding of God’s Word through obedience.
What Is Discipleship?
Discipleship is not an isolated ministry department of Grace Point. Instead, it weaves throughout the tapestry of every ministry within the church. It’s part of our worship, small groups, and children & student ministries. There are three aspects to discipleship.
Discipleship is Relational
Discipleship cannot occur in isolation from other believers. Followers of Christ must set aside time to be with other Christians for spiritual nourishment and encouragement. There are dozens of “one another” commands found in the New Testament. We cannot “love one another” or “teach one another” or “bear with one another” if we never spend time with “one another.” Therefore, we believe Small Groups play a major role in the discipleship process. Love for God, love for our neighbors, and love for other disciples are a very important part of the value system of a healthy disciple. Ephesians 4:11-16 makes it clear that every part of the body is necessary, “being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body.”
Discipleship is Transformational
The healthy disciple understands the purpose of spiritual growth is directed toward becoming like Christ in character (e.g. words, thoughts, attitudes, and actions). As we spend time in both prayer and God’s Word, the Holy Spirit will speak to us as we live out our faith. Therefore, we believe Spiritual HABITS play a major role in the discipleship process. Daily “Hang Time” with the Lord, “Accountability” in a Small Group, “Bible” memorization, “Involvement in ministry and mission, “Tithing” commitment, and “Sermon” application are all tools the Holy Spirit uses to bring about life-change. The church must be intentional to develop people who genuinely love God, love the lost, and love believers. Discipleship is not a program it’s an intentional pursuit of life transformation.
Discipleship is Sacrificial
The greatest growth takes place when a disciple learns what is commanded in Scripture and then does what it says. The healthy disciple is willing to deny themselves and take up their cross daily to follow Christ. The healthy disciple understands that Christian sacrificial living is not just about self-denial, but sacrifice for the advancement of the Great Commission. Therefore, we believe missional living plays a major role in the ongoing discipleship process. A healthy mark of maturity is taking off the bib and putting on the apron. One of the greatest ways to mature in our faith is helping others understand the Gospel.
Who is Growing University for?
Everyone! One of the greatest challenges of ministry is developing a discipleship strategy that engages people at all levels of spiritual maturity. New Christians need to be introduced to the foundational doctrines of the faith, while maturing Christians need to be challenged in the depth of their application of biblical truths
Can I take the courses out of order?
There is a natural progression of the courses in numerical order. The 100-level classes are shorter in length and are best taken in sequence. The 200, 300, and 400 level courses can be taken in any order
What is the STARTING POINT?
The “STARTING POINT: A Covenant Partnership in the Gospel” is our first four GU courses (also called “The First Diamond”). Here is an overview of these four courses.
CLASS 101: Covenant Partnership introduces you to our church family. We present the plan of salvation. We take a look at our church’s beliefs, mission, core-values, and vision. We explain the strategy of our discipleship process as well as our church’s structure.
CLASS 102: Spiritual Growth introduces you to essential spiritual disciplines for continued healthy growth as a Christian. Once you are connected to the church through a small group it is important to begin developing spiritual disciplines.
CLASS 103: Ministry in the Church introduces you to how God has SHAPED you for ministry and mission. As you mature in your faith through spiritual disciplines you will begin to see the need for serving the needs of others through the church.
CLASS 104: Mission in the World introduces you to the need for sharing your faith with others. Every maturing disciple should have a ministry within the church and a mission in the world. We will discover our role in God’s mission to redeem the world and join Him in His work.
What is the Second Diamond?
The Second Diamond is our second group of four GU courses. Here is an overview of these four courses.
CLASS 201: Old Testament Survey takes a Christological approach to understanding the Old Testament.
CLASS 202: New Testament Survey takes a Gospel-centric approach to understanding the New Testament.
CLASS 203: Systematic Theology I is the first of two courses that take a systematic approach to understanding theological subjects.
CLASS 204: Introduction to Hermeneutics takes an exegetical approach to reading, interpreting, and applying Scripture.
What is the Third Diamond?
The Third Diamond is our third group of four GU courses. Here is an overview of these four courses.
CLASS 301: The Book of Genesis takes a Gospel-centric approach to understanding the book of beginnings.
CLASS 302: According to John takes a Gospel-centric approach to understanding the Gospel According to John.
CLASS 303: Systematic Theology II is the second of two courses that take a systematic approach to understanding theological subjects.
CLASS 304: Introduction to Apologetics takes a classical approach to defending the Christian faith
What is the Fourth Diamond?
The Fourth Diamond is our fourth group of four GU courses. Here is an overview of these four courses.
CLASS 401: OT Poetical Books is a walk through the poetical books of the Old Testament.
CLASS 402: NT Pauline Books is a walk through the New Testament books written by the Apostle Paul.
CLASS 403: Missiology is a systematic approach to understanding the theological subject of missions.
CLASS 404: Eschatology is a systematic approach to understanding the theological subject of end times.
Are there more courses than these?
Yes! We are planning on expanding the course list. Our desire is to add a series of “on location” 500-level courses that are taught in specific historic places. This includes our plans for a trip to Israel and several historic areas throughout North Carolina
Growing University Resources
CLASS Workbooks (click on image to view)
Self-Guided Studies (click on image to view)