FIRE School of Ministry Chicago!
In 2010, eight young adults who were hungry for Jesus, longing to do his will and prepared to train for ministry in Chicago’s urban core, enrolled as the inaugural class of FIRE School of Ministry Chicago. Working out of church basements, spare rooms and coffee shops, FIRE Chicago’s team of instructors developed an intensive and practical approach to equipping leaders for Kingdom work. The idea was to create an environment in which a vision for large scale Spiritual awakening would be cultivated, along with a commitment to building mature and perceptive leaders who would maintain the fruit of such a move of God over the long haul. Seven years, and dozens of students later, graduates of the school are planting churches in Chicagoland, studying in respected graduate schools like Trinity International Divinity School and Northern Seminary, and preaching the gospel in Thailand, Romania and northern Iraq.
FIRE Chicago began as a result of a vision shared by Steve Bartlett (then a pastor/church planter in the city) and David Popovici (who was leading an outreach to young adults) to build a ministry training center in the inner city of Chicago. Two additional components of the vision soon emerged from their conversations – a partnership with FIRE School of Ministry (Charlotte, NC) and an invitation to Dr. Jeff Hubing to direct the school and develop the curriculum. With helpful feedback from Dr. Robert Gladstone and Dr. Michael Brown (from the school in Charlotte), and a positive response to the invitation from Hubing, the school was born.
Hubing’s academic training in Scripture (M.A. Wheaton College, Ph.D. Loyola University Chicago) combined with his transformative experience at the Brownsville Revival in the uniquely prepared him to help shape the mission of FIRE Chicago.
According to Hubing, FIRE Chicago operates with three basic objectives. “Above all,” he notes, “we seek to establish an environment that is saturated with the presence of God. To have students studying the Scriptures and learning to do the work of ministry is a hollow pursuit apart from cultivating a deep and abiding fellowship with God Himself.” Second, the school emphasizes careful and systematic study of the Scriptures. Hubing explains, “we are called to love the Lord our God with our minds, according to both the Old and New Testaments. It is a form of worship to think straight…to honor God with the sober and sustained pursuit of Truth.” Third, the training program is designed to help students apply their classroom learning in practical ways within diverse socio-cultural contexts. “Our faculty and student body consist of women and men from a diversity of ethnic, economic and geographical backgrounds,” Hubing affirms. “It’s one of our greatest joys to discover and implement practices that reveal Jesus and his loving rule across the landscape of the Lord’s international vineyard.”
FIRE Chicago has also been able to provide high-quality education and training while minimizing the financial burden. Because of their commitment to the vision of the school, many instructors holding Masters and Doctoral degrees teach courses for far less than they could earn at other institutions. This allows students to pay tuition rates comparable to community colleges while in some cases receiving instruction that parallels courses taught in seminary or graduate school classrooms! Full-time tuition is less than $5,000 per academic year, which includes all fees and textbooks.
FIRE Chicago offers a two-year, full-time training program consisting of 5 trimesters of classroom work and one trimester dedicated to a student internship. Classes are offered in biblical and theological studies, discipleship and spiritual formation, and practical ministry preparation. Because of the school’s international network, students have completed internships in places like India, Kenya, Iraq, Holland, Mexico, Wales (United Kingdom), Thailand and the Philippines.
If you are longing for a sweeping move of God, and ready to train for Christian ministry and leadership in a world-class urban center, then FIRE Chicago may be the place for you!
The fall trimester at FIRE Chicago is set to begin on Tuesday, September 19. Applications are being received, and registration is ongoing. Simply follow this link to the school’s website:
to access the course schedule and application. For any questions or more information, email the school here: [email protected]oolchicago.org.