Reverend Samson Occom, (Mohegan, 1723 – 1792)
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15, KJV
The Samson Occom Institute for Biblical and Theological Studies provides quality, seminary-level, distance-education for Native American and First Nations pastors, ministry leaders, and all those who want a deeper understanding of God’s word.
The Occom Institute is a ministry of Mission to the World (MTW) in partnership with Third Millennium Ministries (Third Mill). We recognize the need for biblical and theological training among our Native American and First Nations brothers and sisters.
We understand that many Native pastors lack the time, opportunity, and resources to pursue theological training found in the older, traditional Bible college and seminary models. Raising the funds for tuition, student fees, books, and housing, as well as moving away from supportive family, friends, and church, have been obstacles for so many pastors.
But in God’s good providence, times have changed. We live in the information age. The Lord has blessed the church with countless and accessible resources to leave us without excuse to not pursue biblical education. Just like the ancient Roman roads enabled the gospel to penetrate the Greco-Roman world and beyond, the internet has provided us with roads into the hands of billions of people across the globe. We literally have these riches at our finger tips via smart phones and computers. In fact, a real problem now is that we may have too many great options to choose from.
That is where The Occom Institute comes in. The late Warren W. Wiersbe once said that “Ministry happens when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God.” We recognize the need, we have the resources, and we would love nothing more than to see God glorified in the training of pastors and leaders in Indian country.
If you are currently a pastor, ministry leader, or someone who aspires to be, then we hope you will consider enrolling in The Samson Occom Institute of Biblical and Theological Studies. We would be honored to serve you as you seek to serve the Lord wherever He may lead you.
The success of the cohort depends you. The same holds true for the other students and the facilitator in your cohort. A cohort in our context is simply a small group of 2 – 4 students and a facilitator. The cohort is only part of your class experience, but it is a critically important part of it. Your class is the entirety of all the elements including the curriculum with all the required assignments (watching videos, fulfilling reading and writing assignments, and quizzes and exams). Your class room is wherever you choose to fulfill your class requirements.
Your cohort is provided you with a context to talk through the things you have been learning in the video lessons and discuss how it applies in your context and ministry. Although your cohort facilitator is a qualified teacher, his role is to direct the conversation in a way that maximizes the edification of the group.
Students are expected to diligently watch the video lessons prior to meeting with his cohort. Your teachers are featured in the videos. They come from the finest seminaries in the world and have freely given themselves to the upbuilding of the church.
Students are expected to respect the time of their fellow cohort members and the facilitator. Please come to the cohort prepared. The point of the cohort is not to learn the lessons, but to have an informed discussion about the content of the lesson. The cohort is a place to bring your questions. Please also remember that time is limited. Stay on track. Remember your brothers have blocked out time for your meeting. In addition to the actual study time, some members of the cohort may have sacrificed time with family to dedicate to the cohort.
Most importantly, pray. Recognize your need for the Holy Spirit’s work in your heart and mind as you seek to rightly divide his Word. Pray before your cohort meeting begins. Pray for humility, patience, wisdom, and understanding. Pray for your fellow cohort members. Pray especially that in all your studies you would continually grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and your love for the God who saved you would ever increase.
You must first create an account with Third Millennium Ministries. They provide the curriculum we will be using, as well as tracking your scores for quizzes and exams. They also provide a wealth of other resources to help you in your studies.
Create an account here, http://elearning.thirdmill.org/
Scroll down until you find the Apostles Creed tab. Although you can access the video lessons from other links on the website, it is important that you connect through the portal on this page.
Once you find the tab open it, then hit the START HERE tab at the top of the page. This is where you ENROLL in the class.
Next, you need to look over your syllabus for the Apostles’ Creed by clicking the link in the START HERE pop-up window (a hard-copy is in your packet).
Also, as your syllabus instructs you, watch the Navigating through the Course video, while reading the PDF of the same name (a hard-copy is in your packet).
What if I am only auditing the class?
If you are only auditing this class with this cohort, we ask a few things of you.
Although you are not be required to fulfill all the requirements in the syllabus, we ask that you still open an account with Third Mill. This helps them track their reach throughout the world.
Watch the videos and keep study notes.
Follow through with your commitment to go the duration of the class with your cohort. Remember, the success of the class depends on your participation, whether you audit the class or take it for credit.