We live in a sport-crazy world. The popularity of the World Cup, the Olympics, and the Super Bowl evidences the importance of sport in all societies today. Sport permeates modern life through participation, spectatorship, the media, the internet, and everyday conversations. Sport is and has been a microcosm of the society. As the health and longevity of people increases, the demand for sport also increases; whether it is for leisure, fitness, recreation, high level competition, or entertainment.
Grace College has the unique opportunity to inculcate its mission of, “applying biblical values in strengthening character, sharpening competence, and preparing for service” in the growing field of sport. Sport lends itself greatly to the applied learning approach emphasized at Grace College. Partnering with sport ministry organizations is a key aspect of the major.
Sport Ministry is an interdisciplinary major that combines courses from the School of Biblical Studies and the Sport Management Department. The Sport Ministry Major Curriculum seeks to fulfill the mission of Grace College as it expands and enhances ministry opportunities through sport.
An interdisciplinary course that explores the spreading the gospel through sport. Sport is a powerful social institution in the world today that opens many opportunities for Ministry. The history of ministry through sport is followed from the writings of the Apostle Paul to the Muscular Christianity Movement to the modern day concept of the Christian Athlete. A major part of the class is the study of sport ministry organizations and sport ministry techniques.
An introduction to the field of Sport Management. This course allows the student to investigate the various career options and curriculum choices in Sport Management.
An introductory course to the study of Sport Management. The course topics will include the nature and scope of the sport industry, professional development, organizational structures, management and leadership in sport, sport governance, and international sport. This course will include sport media and communications principles in sport.
An introduction to the Old Testament law and historical books with special reference to background, historical setting, literary composition, theology and message. After successfully completing this course, the student should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of background issues which introduce one to the study of various concepts of the Old Testament, the historical milieu of each Old Testament book studied, the purpose and general content of each Old Testament book studied, the use of the Old Testament in modern ministry, and the foundation the Old Testament provides for the New Testament.
This course introduces the New Testament with special reference to background, historical setting, literary composition, theology, and message. After successfully completing this course, the student should be able to demonstrate a knowledge of background issues which introduce one to the study of various concepts of the New Testament, the historical milieu of each New Testament book studied, the purpose and general content of each New Testament book studied, the relationship between the New and Old Testaments, and the use of the New Testament in modern ministry.
Students will examine the teaching of the Scriptures on the subject of prayer with a view to discovering the absolute necessity of a vital prayer experience in the life of the man or woman of God and in the life of the Church. Urgency, consistency, and effectiveness of prayer will all be discussed as well as practical guidance for fostering these. Significant time will be spent in the practice of prayer.
Bachelors Degree, Anderson University; M.A. in Sport Administration, Ball State.
Chad Briscoe is the Director of Athletics. He has been involved in upper management for professional baseball, working with the Texas Rangers’ minor league system from 1998-2000. He served as the General Manager for the Pulaski Rangers in the Appalachian League. Before coming to Grace, Mr. Briscoe was the assistant athletic director and head assistant men’s basketball coach at Geneva College. He also spent two years on the men’s basketball staff at Ball State University. He played basketball while attending Anderson University and he continued his basketball career overseas, playing professionally in Sweden. He and his wife Jamie have two daughters, Kate and Kinley.
B.S. in Physical Education, Grace College; M.A. in Physical Education, Kent State University; Ed.D. in Sport Sociology, The University of Alabama
Dr. Darrell Johnson is the Director of the Sport Management Program. He is an active member in many professional organizations including AAHPERD, NASPE, AAPAR, IAHPERD, and NASSM. He has presented at numerous State and National Conventions and Meetings on different sport management and physical education topics. Dr. Johnson is very active in major sports events by volunteering himself and encouraging his students to also be involved. Some of his recent experiences include the 2013 President’s Cup, the 2012 Super Bowl, the 2011 Big Ten Football Championship, the 2012 PGA Senior Championship, and the USGA Senior Open. He regularly leads a group of students on a one-week trip to Atlanta, Georgia to study African-American culture and the rich history of African-American athletes. As a student, he was a pitcher on the Lancer's baseball team and currently holds the record for the most wins in a career and the most wins in a season. In 2009, he was inducted into the Grace College Athletic Hall of Fame.
B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; M.Div. in Biblical Languages, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Theological Studies (Old Testament), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Dr. Rata came to Grace Theological Seminary from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, where he served as Assistant Professor of Divinity. Before that he taught at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, and Emmanuel Baptist University in Oradea, Romania. He has also pastored churches in California and Alabama, and served as an interim pastor in Michigan and Indiana. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Institute for Biblical Research and has presented papers at the national conventions of the Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Rata is chair of the undergraduate Department of Biblical Studies. He and his wife, Carmen, have two sons.
Most countries are looking for people with sport backgrounds to work with their sports programs, whether on the national level or the local level. This provides a great opportunity for ministry and an open connection with the people.
Sport Organizations like FCA, Athletes in Action, Sport Ambassadors and others provide opportunities to minister through sport whether it be in the US or in other countries. You might lead sport travel teams or work to organize trips or team activities.
Sport camps are becoming very popular and provide various opportunities to minister to young athletes.
Many sport organizations work with American and International athletes providing a great opportunity to minister to this section of athletics.
Many churches have or build Family Life Centers that offer sport and fitness programs to their members and to the community.