ADVANCE Directors, Instructors & Registrars
WhAT IS AN ADVANCE center?
Gateway Seminary’s ADVANCE centers provide accessible ministry training at a post-high school level. Since 1980, dozens of ADVANCE centers have offered affordable, quality education to ministry leaders across the United States and around the globe.
ADVANCE centers are established under a cooperative agreement between Gateway Seminary and a local church, association, state convention or organization. To establish a new ADVANCE center, please fill out and submit the following:
- Memorandum of Understanding
- New Center Application
- Pay the $35 application fee
After receiving approval, new centers should have director(s), instructors & registrar(s) apply online using the New Leader Application. If you have questions, contact us at .
New Center Application New Leader Application
frequently asked questions
How do I start an ADVANCE Center?
First step is to find the support of a sponsoring organization, sign the MOU, and apply online. Then you can plan your classes, and recruit instructors and students. Please feel free to contact our ADVANCE National Director, Dr. Warren Haynes. You can schedule with him on Calendly here. You can also schedule a Zoom call with our team by emailing
You can also view our new center training materials online here. The ADVANCE Calendar, New Center Training PowerPoint, Budget Planning Tool, and Local Center Operations Manual are great places to start.
How much does it cost to run an ADVANCE Center?
ADVANCE centers are not-for-profit educational ministries. Centers operate in a variety of different ways because they are in a variety of different contexts. Many rely on charitable donations from supporting organization or individual donors, though this is not true of everyone. Some completely run off volunteered time and resources. Centers can charge some tuition over what Gateway collects per student per class to help offset operating costs. Centers are asked to submit a budget planning tool each year to project costs and better establish an appropriate tuition amount. You can download and complete the budget planning tool here.
Meeting space should not be a center cost. When a sponsoring organization signs the Memorandum of Understanding, they are agreeing to provide meeting space free of charge.
What academic programs does ADVANCE offer?
ADVANCE programs offer three levels of education: 12-hr certificates, 24-hr diplomas and 48-hr leadership diplomas.
Certificates focus on a specific area of ministry.
Diplomas focus on a specific area of ministry, plus 12 hours of Christian studies (bible, theology & history).
Leadership Diplomas focus on a specific area of ministry, plus 24 hours of Christian studies, and 12 hours of leadership.
ADVANCE offers ministry training in these areas: Biblical Languages, Children's Ministry, Chaplaincy, Christian Studies, Church Education, Church Planting, Discipleship, Leadership, Missions, Music Ministry, Pastoral Ministries, Peer Counseling, Preaching, Teaching, Women's Ministry & Youth Ministry
A full list of programs and courses is available in the current Academic Catalog. Yearly course offerings vary by ADVANCE Center.
What requirements are there to be an ADVANCE Instructor?
ADVANCE instructors must have completed at least some master’s-level work. Most ADVANCE instructors have fully completed theological master’s degrees, and are therefore fully-approved ADVANCE instructors. Other ADVANCE instructors may be current master’s students that have been approved to teach specific classes based on courses they have completed thus far. In rare cases, instructors may be approved to teach specific classes on a subject where they have extensive ministry experience, but no master’s degree.
All ADVANCE instructors must agree to teach in accordance with the Baptist Faith & Message 2000.
All ADVANCE instructors must provide two references when applying.
ADVANCE instructors are not required to be ordained.
Where do I apply to be an ADVANCE Director, Instructor or Registrar?
ADVANCE center directors, instructors and registrars should apply online here, and select your desired role in the application. Directors, instructors and registrars will not be able to apply until after their center has been approved.
Do I have to create all of my own content?
The ADVANCE National Office provides syllabus templates for all classes. We also provide some teaching resources for the core Christian Studies classes, as well as a few elective classes. Syllabus templates include a course description, course objectives, required and recommended textbooks, suggested assignments, grading scale, and a suggested schedule. The textbooks, assignments and schedules can be changed by the instructors to meet student needs.
If you would like to see an example course syllabus, please email . Once you have been approved as a new director or instructor, you will receive access to all of our syllabi templates.
How much are ADVANCE Instructors (and directors and registrars) paid?
There is no set rate for payment for ADVANCE instructors. A few work pro bono. In 2021-2022, the average ADVANCE instructor was paid $750 per course taught. The average center director was paid $135 per semester (though about half direct their centers without being paid through ADVANCE tuition), and the average center registrar was paid $415 per semester.
We recommend instructors are paid based on how many students they teach, rather than how many classes, but there is no official policy. Instructor honorariums are made at the discretion of each center.
How much does ADVANCE cost students?
ADVANCE centers may charge tuition rates based on their own operating costs. However, there is a base fee of $30 per credit hour to be sent to Gateway per student per class (called the “Gateway Support Fee”), and a cap of $100 per credit hour. The average cost for a 3-credit hour ADVANCE class currently is $180.
Students also pay a $30 new student application fee when first applying, to be sent to Gateway with Gateway Support Fees.
Auditors pay the same amount per credit hour as regular students, but do not pay a new student application fee.
Certificate recipients pay nothing to receive a certificate once their course requirements are met and the appropriate paperwork is filed. Current graduation fees & late graduation application fees for diploma students, and transcript fees for all students, can be found here under “Other Fees (non-refundable)”. Graduate fees and late graduation application fees are to be sent to Gateway with Gateway Support Fees. Transcript fees are to be paid by the student directly to Parchment, Gateway’s third-party transcript service.
Is there an application deadline?
There is not a set application deadline for ADVANCE centers each semester, as ADVANCE semester schedules can be very flexible. However, it would be wise to allow for several months of planning and recruiting before starting your first class (3-4 months). You can view the ADVANCE Calendar here.
Are ADVANCE Students Gateway Students?
ADVANCE students receive Gateway Student ID #’s, have their own ADVANCE student status at the Gateway library, and diploma and leadership diploma students are invited to participate in all commencement events. ADVANCE students also have official transcripts at the Seminary. All ADVANCE certificates, diplomas and leadership diplomas have “Gateway Seminary” prominently displayed, as well as the Gateway seal.
They do not receive all of the same benefits as master’s or doctoral level students at Gateway Seminary, particularly because they do not hold business accounts with or pay tuition directly to the Seminary, but they are still considered students of the Seminary. With this being said, ADVANCE students belong to individual centers that are meant to be their main point of contact and source of administrative, financial and educational support.
Can students take classes at multiple ADVANCE Centers at once?
Yes. Some students attend multiple centers to take a fuller course-load. Such students will need to complete a Dual Enrollment Form and designate a “home center” to maintain a student file for them and help them with their program progress. Additional centers are not obligated to maintain a student file for “visiting” students.
Can I use Gateway logos to advertise my ADVANCE Center?
ADVANCE Centers are permitted to use the Gateway logo in promotion, under specific stipulations. The logo is available upon request. Before publishing promotional item with the Gateway logo, centers must submit their promo pieces for approval. Email promo pieces to
When presenting ADVANCE and your center, language matters. ADVANCE is not an accredited program. ADVANCE Centers are not satellite campuses of Gateway Seminary. Examples of ways you may describe ADVANCE are:
"ADVANCE Centers partner with Gateway Seminary to offer quality ministry training at a post-high school level."
"ADVANCE is a non-accredited program of Gateway Seminary that provides pre-baccalaureate theological education."
Students completing ADVANCE programs receive ADVANCE certificates or ADVANCE diplomas from Gateway Seminary, rather than Gateway certificates or Gateway diplomas. Gateway Seminary also offers accredited certificates and diplomas, so distinction is obligatory in advertising.
Can ADVANCE students transfer to a Master's program?
Gateway Seminary will consider applicants lacking an accredited undergraduate degree for admission to its basic master's degrees. This pathway is called the Master's By Exception. A student must request admission under this provision in writing through the Office of Enrollment and may initiate this request only after all qualifying criteria have been met:
• Applicants must demonstrate their ability to do graduate-level work by entering the Seminary as a diploma student and by completing at least 15 hours of Gateway Seminary coursework required in the master’s degree sought (at least 6 hours of introductory courses in New Testament, Old Testament, history, or theology) with a minimum GPA of 3.2. Electives, transfer credits and ADVANCE courses may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
After completing the required 15 hours of coursework at the Gateway diploma level, students may then transfer up to 10 hours of qualifying ADVANCE credit into a Master's degree.
Every year the ADVANCE National Office hosts the ADVANCE Expo in the Spring to offer training and networking opportunities for center directors, instructors, and registrars.
We also host two annual public events for students, churches, and leaders: Transform in August and Foundations in March. Students can attend in-person at the Ontario campus or online. They may be eligible for credit for attending on campus (ask us how at )!
Look for announcements about these events in Gateway’s newsletter The Loop, and on Gateway social media.
ADVANCE, Box 44
3210 E. Guasti Rd.
Ontario, CA 91761
Dr. Warren Haynes, ADVANCE Program Director
Schedule a meeting with Dr. Haynes on Calendly here.