Heritage Center for Religious Studies educates clergy and laity for theological reflection in the practice of ministry through our specialized academic programs. The school currently offers two programs: (1) Diploma of Ministry; and (2) Certificate in Continuing Education.
Heritage Center was created in 1987 by Dr. Edward L. Branch in his vision to fill a gap in training and equipping ministerial and lay leaders for effective leadership. In 2002, Heritage Center for Religious Studies was granted a permit to provide instructional programs in the State of Michigan.
We are now fully licensed by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth for the Diploma of Ministry and Certificate in Continuing Education programs.
Offering five concentrations (Bible, Community Leadership and Development, Pastoral Care, Practice of Ministry, and Preaching), the Diploma of Ministry is designed to prepare students for service in the Gospel ministry as well as entry into undergraduate and graduate religious studies. The Certificate in Continuing Education is flexible in its requirements and appeals to those seeking a more generalized program of learning.
Our school is not accredited, therefore acceptance of Heritage Center classes for transfer credit to Christian colleges is at the sole discretion of the receiving schools. We have diligently worked to establish consortium relationships with local schools (Ashland Theological Seminary, Spring Arbor University, Ecumenical Theological Seminary and the former William Tyndale College) to accept our credits for transfer; however, as of this writing, we have not formed any formal agreements.
Heritage Center is dedicated to promoting the unity of different Christian churches and groups. Our faculty and staff represent several mainline Protestant denominations and are committed to facing the diversity present in the student body. In maintaining respect for individual differences, and we have implemented the statement of faith to be observed by all faculty, board members, staff, and students:
We believe that there is one God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe the Bible to be the inspired authoritative Word of God.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His virgin birth, and His sinless life, in His miracles, and His vicarious death and atonement through his shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal visible return in power and glory.
We believe that people were created in the image of God, Satan tempted humanity and humanity fell. Because of the exceeding sinfulness of human nature, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary for salvation.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is able to live a godly life, and by whom the church is empowered to carry out Christ’s great commission to teach and preach the gospel among all nations.
We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost.
We believe that the entire program of Christian trainee is evangelical. It finds its reason for being, in the bringing of the individual to personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as the savior and Lord, and in helping the Christian grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord, and in equipping Christians for more effective service.