Associate in Christian Ministerial Studies
A Ministerial Training School
Raleigh Institute of Biblical Studies
Dr. William Suttles, the instructor for this program, is University and Seminary trained
(University of North Carolina, 1965-69; Bank Street School of Education, 1969;
Church Divinity School of the Pacific & The Graduate Theological Union, 1970,
1973-74; Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1974-76; 1981-83; 1995-99).
He holds the following earned degrees: B.A., M.Div., Th.M., D.Min., D.Th., Ph.D.
In practical ministry Dr. Suttles has pastored in both traditional mainline denominational
church and non-traditional non-denominational church settings and ministered as a
teacher in the Body of Christ for over 35 years. As well as teaching in church settings he
has ministered on radio and television, and he has taught academically at the university
and seminary level in Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral programs. He is an author and
has developed a ministerial training curriculum which is regarded as one of the most
unique and innovative of its kind anywhere. Dr. Suttles is the founder and director of
Raleigh Institute of Biblical Studies and is the owner and President of WPJL Christian
Radio in Raleigh. Dr. Suttles' wife, Carolyn, is also an ordained Minister and a Pastor who
Ministry. She holds a Doctor of Ministry Degree and a Doctor of Theology Degree from
*Raleigh Institute of Biblical Studies is a non-accredited Bible College level
Cost: $50 per class Spring Semester (includes a full set of class lecture notes)
$900 per year (if paying for ALL 4 tracks in advance)
The entire ACMS Curriculum (all 20 classes) on CDs may be purchased for
Home Study for $900 (plus $25 for shipping and handling).
CDs may be purchased at the time of registration for a "live" class for $10 per set,
A Certificate of Completion will be awarded upon the completion of all five
classes in a Track.
The Associates Degree in Christian Ministerial Studies will be awarded upon
completion of all 5 classes in all 4 tracks of the ACMS program.
Attendance is on a first-come, first-served basis (paid registration in advance
First Time Students Please Print & Fill Out the Following Information and Return
with Your Paid Registration.
Telephone: ____________ (Home) ________________ (Work) ______________ (Cell)
How did you hear about Raleigh Institute of Biblical Studies? ______________________
Are you currently involved in ministry, either paid or voluntary? ____________________
What are your plans, if any, for future ministry? __________________________________
What class or classes is your registration covering?
Total Payment included: $__________
If mailing, please enclose payment (made out to RIBS) and send to:
RIBS, P.O. Box 91614, Raleigh, NC 27675
Returning Students may register on-line by credit card: go to REGISTRATION
Advanced Degree in Christian Ministerial Studies
The Advanced Degree in Christian Ministerial Studies is designed to take
the student beyond the Associates Program in order to expose them to some areas
which are not covered in detail in the basic program. Anyone may take these classes,
however, the Advanced Degree will only be awarded to those who complete this program
after having completed the Associates Degree in Christian Ministerial Studies.
It is recommended that the student endeavor to complete all 10 classes in one year
(up to two years are allowed for completion).
Requirements for awarding the Advanced Degree:
1. Complete the Associates Degree Program (Tracks I, II, III, IV)
2. Complete each of the ten classes of the Advanced Degree Program (V)
3. Completion entails listening to the CDs for each class
4. The student must also complete a Student Response Form for each
class and return the form to RIBS in order for credit to be given:
P.O. Box 91614
Raleigh, NC 27675
An Overview of the Developing of the Church
This class will provide you with an overview of the entire scope of Church history.
It will provide a skeletal framework for future learning about specific periods and
events. Emphasis is placed on the Early church when the Scripture was canonized
and so many of the fundamental doctrines of a Christian Orthodoxy such as the Trinity
and were formulated. Special attention is also given to the evolution of Church
structure and government. It has been said that “those who do not know history are
doomed to repeat its errors.” You will see why this is true in regards to church history
Class #2: A Branch Grafted In: Exploring Jewish Roots in the Bible
Christianity was initially considered to be a “Jewish sect.” The reasons are plain:
Jesus was Jewish as were the Apostles; the early Church’s scripture was the Hebrew
Bible (Old Testament). Therefore much of the teaching of Jesus, and especially the
parables, are rooted in a Jewish understanding and relate to Jewish customs and culture:
the geography of the land of the Bible, the events leading up to the time of Jesus in
Palestine, the festivals, the temple worship, and even the significance of the names
of individuals and places. The more you know about these matters the more the Bible
“comes alive” as you see as they saw and understand as they understood.
Class #3: What Shall the End Be? Understanding Differing Eschatological Views
When will Jesus come back? What will be the order of events? Will there be a
rapture? When will it occur: before the tribulation, after the tribulation, in the middle
of the tribulation? These and many other questions have perplexed readers of the Bible
for centuries. In this class we will sort out all the differing views and the strengths and
weaknesses of each one. We will not solve every problem for you, but we try to make
sure that you are informed as far as the various viewpoints on biblical prophecy are
concerned. We as Christians should always be watching for Jesus’ return: “And what
I say unto you I say unto all, Watch” (Mark 13:37).
Class #4: Feed My Sheep: The Call of the Pastor
The most familiar office of the church today is the office of a pastor. And yet the
calling of the pastor is often misunderstood. Many times people expect the pastor
to do everything: but no pastor is called to be everything to everybody. Perhaps this
is why so many pastors get “burned out” and end up leaving the ministry. It is
important for everyone to understand the God given role of the Pastor, but most
importantly it is essential that a pastor be clear as to what God has especially called
him (or her) to do and to fulfill that calling. In this class we will explore the function
of the pastor in depth and end with some very practical suggestions to help you know
if you are called to pastor and how to stay focused in the pastorate.
Class #5: The Servant Leader: Principles of Spiritual Leadership
In this teaching we explore the “spheres of leadership.” We consider the world’s
understanding of what makes a good leader and compare that to the biblical pattern
exemplified by Abraham, Moses, Samuel, David, Elijah, Jesus, and Paul and consider
the lessons learned from each of their lives and service. We then study specifically
Jesus’ teaching on leadership, the Apostle’s teaching and insights from contemporary
Christian teachers in the church today. A.W. Tozer says: “A true and safe leader is
likely to be one who has no desire to lead, but is forced into a position of leadership
by the inward pressure of the Holy Spirit and the press of the external situation.”
Class #6: Spiritual Authority: Whom Shall We Obey?
One of the most fundamental and forgotten elements in Christian behavior today is an
understanding of God’s requirement of submission to proper authority. Its loss has
led to much confusion and to defeat in many a Christian life as Christians unwittingly
ignore God’s insistence that we recognize his delegated authorities as His authority.
This teaching demonstrates from the Bible the true relation between “power” and
“authority.” It reveals how authority functions and why one cannot be a person
“with authority” without being a person “under authority.” The sins of rebellion
and of dysfunctional authority are categorized and illuminated from examples in the
scriptures and keys to receiving and maintaining spiritual authority are given.
Class #7: Called as One: Husbands and Wives Together in Ministry
In our day the Lord has called forth many husband and wife teams to minister together
as co-equal partners in ministry in the church. This example is essential for the body
of Christ to be raised up in wholeness (the masculine and feminine together) to be all
that God has called us to be as the Church. However, because of so many dead
“traditional” misunderstandings which persist in the minds of some Christians, it will
be necessary for these couples in ministry to appreciate the biblical authority they have
in Christ to function as one in ministry. The scriptures which are often used to restrict
the ministry of women are thoroughly addressed. This ministry arrangement, however,
also has its pitfalls for the marriage of theses ministers: it is not a matter of separating
marriage from ministry, but of allowing God to teach us how to thrive in both at the
same time “together as one.”
Class #8: Transcendence & Immanence: Practicing the Presence of God
Why do we sometimes “feel” God’s presence and at other times we do not?
The Presence of God is a mystery, but there is much teaching in the Bible to help us
to understand the significance of God’s Presence. In this class we study the biblical
teaching of God’s transcendence (that he is “separate and apart—above his creation”
while at the same time he is “immanent” (everywhere and all at the same time)—
and that He can make his felt presence known to people whenever he chooses to do so.
You will come to understand why He does not always manifest himself in this way.
Also many are not aware that there is the possibility of a “counterfeit presence”
which mimics the real presence of God. Finally, there is advice on “living consciously
in the presence of God” which involves in part understanding the “presence of absence.”
Class #9: A Mind Set Free: Gaining Freedom in Your Thought Life
This teaching is based upon a powerful experience in the life of the instructor in which
God revealed to him the importance of our imaginations and “thinking on the right
things.” In this study we examine “how the mind works,” what the Bible teaches
concerning the mind, what the “renewal of the mind” (Romans 12:2) means and
practically how to go about the re-formation of one’s thought life. You will learn
how to “keep your mind at home with the Lord,” and how to achieve and maintain
the peace of God which passes understanding. There is perhaps nothing more
important to personal happiness than achieving freedom in one’s thought life so that
your thoughts do not control you, but you control your thoughts.
Class #10: Is Christianity the Only Way? Comparing World Religions
It has been said that “partial truth keeps you from seeing the real truth.” Today we
are living in a Global society in which cultures and religions are coming into contact
with one another in ways that have never existed before in the history of mankind.
It is more and more important for all Christians to have a basic understanding of these
other religions. How does Christianity compare with them? We will study the numbers
of adherents and main locations for the religions of the world today and take a close
look at the other four major world religions of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam.
What is the origin of these religions, what do they believe and teach? How are they
different from Christianity and what are the “connecting points” or places where our
beliefs are similar? And finally we consider what makes Christianity so special and
unique from all other religions in world and how we can go about reaching people in
these other religions with the claims of Christ.
$65 per class ($50 for the CDs and Class Notes and $15 for shipping and handling)
All 10 classes may be ordered for $500 (all 10 classes will be shipped
in one shipment and there is a $25 charge for shipping and handling).
Classes may be ordered using Credit or Debit Card or PayPal by going to
To order a class: detach and fill in the order form below, attach your check or
money order and mail to: RIBS, P.O. Box 91614, Raleigh, NC 27675
(orders will be sent by US Mail).
Advanced Degree in Christian Ministerial Studies
Telephone Number: ___________ (home) _____________(work) _________________ (cell)
E-mail address: ______________________
Class # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (circle one or more) Complete set: #1-10
Title of individual class or classes: _________________________________________
Amount Enclosed: $____________
(Enclose $50, plus $15 shipping, total $65 for each individual class ordered;
$500, plus $25 shipping and handling, total $525 if ordering complete set)