History: The Certificate of Progress (COP) Program, organized at the Sunday School Publishing Board in October 1937, is
designed to produce qualified church leaders that will lead church members into the twenty-first century. National Baptist
members are in dire need of gaining biblical knowledge for training and for acquiring profound experiences that will shape
their growth and development. The COP Program has an impact on church leaders as they interact with other members in
the community of faith.
Dr. Marshall A. Talley has been credited as the person that instituted the CERTIFICATE OF PROGRESS PROGRAM. The
COP Program was organized on a five-year trial basis. Between the years 1939 and 1953, boards of Christian Education
were implemented in local churches, and advanced studies were added to the curriculum. The certificate of achievement
was awarded to those students who exceeded the requirements of the COP Program and who had advanced in studies
beyond its scope.
In 1978, Dr. Amos Jones, Jr., newly named director of the Christian Education Department of the Sunday School Publishing
Board, undertook the leadership of the COP Program to take it to heights previously unknown in the National Baptist
Convention, U.S.A., Inc. During Dr. Jones' administration, certification of leadership education schools was established at
all levels of convention work. The certification of deans and instructors was implemented as a part of the department's work.
Eventually, the idea for increasing and nurturing new standards led to the expansion of the curriculum and changes in the
entire format of the certification process. With these ideas in mind, Dr. Jones recreated the four-phase Certificate of
Progress Program. He challenged the Christian educators of this convention by requiring more writing assignments, course
cards and course evaluations for successful completion of each class.
Objectives: The objectives of the Certificate of Progress Program, which are the same as those introduced by Dr. Talley in
1. To increase biblical knowledge;
2. To create an understanding of the Baptist church;
3. To provide an educational structure that will develop candidates qualified for teaching and leadership positions;
4. To provide incentives for the candidate to complete the program;
5. To produce trained church leaders.
Persons currently enrolled in the COP Program are challenged to meet new objectives and to prepare their skills for teaching.
Policies and Procedures: Persons wishing to enter the Certificate of Progress Program must follow specific procedures for
1. Participant must complete and submit application.
2. Participant must have a Dean of Record. The Dean of Record is responsible for giving guidance to the COPP applicant
throughout the program. All applications, assignments and forms for COPP should be submitted to the Dean of Record.
The Dean of Record will communicate with participants and forward all correspondence to the Department of Christian
Education in Nashville.
3. Participant should purchase the 2003 edition of the Student Handbook. This manual may be purchased from the Sunday
School Publishing Board or a local Christian bookstore that carries materials from the SSPB.
4. Subscribe to the Christian Education Informer, a Christian educational journal published quarterly by the Christian
Education Department of the Sunday School Publishing Board.
5. If an enrollee has received any religious credits from colleges, universities or seminaries, submit this validated information
to the COP Program office for evaluation and possible substitution for required courses listed in the COP Program.
6. Insure that all applications for each of the four phases have the required signatures from the candidate, local minister and
a local dean.
THE COP PROGRAM COURSE OFFERINGS PER PHASE: Classes can be taken in any order, but each phase needs to be
completed within a five-year period.
THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATIONS
PHASE I COURSES
(All classes are required; there will be no electives in this phase).
1002 How The Bible Came To Be
1004 Effective Bible Reading
1007 Introduction To The Old Testament
1072 Introduction To The New Testament
2007 Christian Stewardship
2011 Baptist Doctrine
3008 History of Christianity
9001 Fundamentals Of English Grammar
1075 Synoptic Gospels
3007 History Of Baptists
3018 History of The National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., INC.
4012 Doctrine of The Holy Spirit
4013 Theology of The Early Church
6024 Organizing An Effective Baptist Training Union
9002 Developing Literacy Skills
9004 Writing Techniques
Two Outside Writing Assignments
ASSIGNMENT #1: "Salvation Through Jesus Christ"
ASSIGNMENT #2: "The Role of Christian Education in the Local Church"
Each assignment should be a minimum of two typed, double-spaced pages.
NURTURING FOUNDATION COURSES
1079 The Gospel of John
1086 Church History In Acts
2071 Christian Character and How It Develops
6013 Organizing The Church for Christian Education
7005 Christian Evangelism
9005 Writing Techniques II
One Outside Writing Experience:
ASSIGNMENT: Contemporary Issues Affecting the Church
This paper must be at least five pages in length, double-spaced. There should be at least five to seven different references.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH COURSES
6021 Spiritual Maturation
2015 Paul's Prios Letter
4022 History of World Religions
1110 Survey Revelation
7033 Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts
8036 Church and Society
9006 Advanced Writing Styles
2015 Foundations of Christian Ethics
One Outside Writing Experience:
ASSIGNMENT: Write a position paper related to one of the doctrines of the Baptist church.
Consider two other denominations and contrast the beliefs. Provide at least ten different references along with strong biblical
support for your position.
Pastor's Alternative for Teacher Certification (PATC)
The Christian Education Department recognizes the training and experience of pastors within Christian education. Because
pastors have experience in leading and teaching, this program has been develop as an alternative program of certification for
Pastors with five or more years of pastoral experience prior to December 31, 2001 are eligible for the program. Pastors will
be required to satisfy 15 hours of training in the alternative program. The program includes a hybrid emphasis of the
1. Introduction to COPP
2. Creative Ways of Teaching
3. Two-hour briefing on all courses required for COPP
Pastor's Eligibility Certificate will be awarded when the following requirements have been met:
· Pastor must submit a letter from church, on church stationery, verifying years of pastorate. Years as an assistant
pastor are not accepted.
· Verification by program instructor that ll training hours have been completed.
· Payment of all fees associated with the program.
The pastor-teacher will be required to follow all procedures as set forth for certified instructors. Pastor-teacher that
becomes certified is eligible to teach in a CLS. Form #3 is submitted to CLS dean and processed along with other potential
Scheduling a Pastor's Alternative for Teacher Certification
District Association, State Convention and other authorized convening bodies may host this program. Requirements to
convene a PATC school are:
1. Submit a letter requesting the Pastor's Alternative for Teacher Certification to the Director of Christian Education at least
sixty (60) days prior to the proposed date. An alternate date should also be requested.
2. Receive authorization to conduct the program.
3. Pre-enroll a minimum of twenty-five (25) eligible participants.
Complete application for participants and forward fees to the Department of Christian Education. The application fee is
currently $100.00 per participant, which includes: registration fee, processing fee, Informer subscription and course book.
Note: The Pastor's Alternative for Teacher Certification Program is sponsored by the Department of Christian Education of
the Sunday School Publishing Board. The Board sponsorship includes providing instructor for the program and the
instructor's transportation. Host is asked to provide hotel accommodation, food and love token. Should there be less than
twenty-five eligible participants; the host will be responsible for the total cost of the program.
Note: Prospective teacher's application Form #3 must be submitted by certified dean as a part of CLS packet. Application for
Certification of Instructors along with complete Phase I requirements and copies of cards for courses #2023 and #9008 or
college transcript with equivalent courses in teacher education are essentially needed for those who have completed the
Certified teacher must complete a Form #3 for each course desired to teach in a leadership school. Form #3 must be
submitted as a part of the CSL package by the Dean.