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Samford’s Ministry Training Institute at the Hamilton County Baptist Association is a non-degree program that equips ministers and lay leaders for service in God’s Kingdom through quality biblical, theological and practical ministry education.  We offer an array of educational opportunities including a variety of online certificates, pre-seminary training for college students, and diploma courses administered all over the southeast. The Ministry Training Institute also provides workshops and seminars throughout the year in a number of ministry related fields. Each course, seminar, or workshop is biblically based and administered with the highest quality and integrity. Whether online, in a classroom or through a workshop, highly qualified and experienced instructors lead each educational opportunity.

  • To engage God’s people in the Scriptures.
  • To train Christians to carry out the great commission.
  • To equip Pastors, Ministers, Missionaries and church leaders to have a deeper understanding of their calling and their unique design to serve the Body of Christ.
  • To provide opportunities for students to be trained and prepared for ministry opportunities in their churches and communities.
  • To guide students to serve God with greater confidence as they are equipped with tools for ministry and service.
Program Overview


The Diploma in Biblical Studies, Advanced Diploma in Biblical Studies and Biblical Diploma of Distinction are offered through our extension network.  The extension network offers 24 courses of standardized curriculum.  When students finish 8 courses they are awarded the Diploma in Biblical Studies.  When a student completes 16 courses they are awarded the Advanced Diploma in Biblical Studies.  When a student successfully completes all 24 courses they are awarded the Biblical Studies Diploma of Distinction.

Diplomas are only attainable by participating in the extension network and Samford does not allow courses to transfer from other entities or from one of the other MTI certificate programs.


Certificate courses are offered exclusively online and include Pastoral Leadership, Student Ministry, Worship Leadership, Ministry Communication and Global Missions. Certificates are earned after completing 4 courses of concentration. Courses are offered in a one-year cyclical format that provides convenience and flexibility for busy schedules.

Courses Offered

ZMTI 101: Biblical Interpretation

ZMTI 102: Intro to Old Testament

ZMTI 103: Intro to New Testament

ZMTI 104: Paul’s Letters

ZMTI 105: The Minor Prophets

ZMTI 106A: Biblical Foundations I

ZMTI 106B: Biblical Foundations II

ZMTI 113: The Person of the Holy Spirit

ZMTI 114: Baptist Doctrines

ZMTI 115: Spiritual Disciplines

ZMTI 118: The Book of Revelation

ZMTI 120: The Origins of the Bible

ZMTI 121: The Writings of Moses

ZMTI 122: Christian Apologetics

ZMTI 123: Parables of Jesus

ZMTI 124: The Life and Ministry of Jesus

ZMTI 125: John’s Epistles

ZMTI 126: Exploring the Psalms

ZMTI 127: The Synoptic Gospels

ZMTI 128: The Acts of the Apostles

ZMTI 129: Personal Evangelism

ZMTI 130: Effective Disciple Making

ZMTI 131: The Book of Hebrews

ZMTI 132: Christian leadership

Fall 2020 Courses

ZMTI 122: Christian Apologetics

Teacher: John Trewhella
Location: Hamilton County Baptist Association (4062 South Access Road Chattanooga, TN 37406)
Time: Tuesdays at 6pm                   Dates: October 27-December 15
Description: What is apologetics?  Some Christians believe it to mean apologizing for their faith, however the word comes from the Greek, apologia from 1 Peter 3:15.  It means to “give a defense” for the things we believe as believers.  This course will prepare students to “give a defense for the hope that is within them.”  Study will be given on creationism, the resurrection, suffering and Christ as the only way to salvation.


Spring 2021 Courses

ZMTI 123: Parables of Jesus

Teacher: TBA
Location: Hamilton County Baptist Association (4062 South Access Road Chattanooga, TN 37406)
Time: Tuesdays at 6pm                   Dates: January 26-March 16
Description: Jesus Christ was a master story teller and often taught in parables.  A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning and Jesus would often use this type of communication when speaking to the crowds.  This course will take careful examination on each of the parables found in the Gospels and teach students how to apply the heavenly meanings to increase their intimacy with God.


ZMTI 124: The Life and Ministry of Jesus

Teacher: TBA
Location: Hamilton County Baptist Association (4062 South Access Road Chattanooga, TN 37406)
Time: Tuesdays at 6pm                   Dates: March 30-May18
Description: Rarely do we find a comprehensive study on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.  Sometimes the task seems too daunting.  This course is designed to give students a survey of the life of Jesus using a harmonious approach with the Gospel narratives.  From his pre-incarnate ministry to his ascension this survey will examine the various highlights of his life and ministry in order for students to better understand our commitment to him through our Christian witness.