CIOML provides contextualized leadership development for ministry workers serving among overseas Chinese who have Cantonese, Mandarin, and English as their native tongues.  Established according to the ADVANCE ministry preparation program offered by Gateway seminary, CIOML offers certificate and diploma programs for members of Crosspoint Church and ministry leaders of other churches affiliated with our Baptist associations, conventions, and Chinese fellowships. The ADVANCE program offers the most essential elements of a seminary education for ministry leaders who find it less preferable to enroll in a full-time master-level seminary program distant from their ministry context and using English as the instructional language. With overseas Chinese as the broader ministry context and the Cantonese-speaking immigrants in the Bay area as the most immediate audience, CIOML equips ministry leaders for evangelism, discipleship, children education, pastoral and church ministries.

The Objective

In accordance to the design of the ADVANCE ministry program, CIOML seeks to enable all students to:
  • Demonstrate courageous growth in obedience to and love for Jesus and His ways.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of Scripture and its faithful interpretation and application.
  • Demonstrate a life lived in connection to and service within a church and its associational, national, and global missional networks.
  • Demonstrate a focused sense of giftedness, passion, and competence in ministry.
  • Demonstrate a passion for local and global fulfillment of the Great Commission.
  • Demonstrate a capacity to relate effectively with people.
  • Demonstrate a relevant vision and plan for a specific context of service.

Certificate and Diploma Programs

With plan for expansion in the future, CIOML offers three levels of ADVANCE programs. Recipients of the ministry diploma or leadership diploma will be invited to participate in the commencement ceremony of Gateway Seminary.
  • Leadership Diploma (48 credit hours)
    • Christian Ministry Leadership Diploma (CML-A)
    • Children’s Ministry Leadership Diploma (CDL-A)
    • Discipleship Leadership Diploma for (DSL-A)
    • Pastor Ministries Leadership Diploma for (PML-A)
  • Ministry Diploma (24 credit hours)
    • Children’s Ministry Diploma (CDD-A)
    • Christian Ministry Diploma (CMD-A)
    • Christian Leadership Diploma (ILD-A)
    • Christian Studies Diploma (CSD-A)
    • Discipleship Diploma (DSD-A)
    • Pastoral Ministries Diploma (PMD-A)
  • Ministry Certificate (12 credit hours)
    • Children’s Ministry Certificate (CDC-A)
    • Christian Leadership Certificate (CLC-A)
    • Christian Ministry Certificate (CMC-A)
    • Discipleship Certificate (DSC-A)
    • Introduction to Christian Studies Certificate (NCS-A)
    • Intermediate Christian Studies Certificate (ICS-A)
    • Pastoral Ministries Certificate (PMC-A)

General Course Structure

CIOML operates on a quarter system with four terms (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer).  All regularly offered courses are designed to be 3-hour course, spanning 12 weeks with an average workload of 3.75 hours per week.
  • There are four terms per academic year:
    • S1: January to March
    • S2: April to June
    • F1: July to September
    • F2: October to December
  • Each regularly offered course will earn the student a 3-hour credit. Typically, a course consists of about 30 hours of lecture/discussion time and 15 hours for students to work on quizzes and research papers. The meetings will typically spread out across 10 to 12 weeks and take place on weeknights Pacific Time for 2.5 to 3 hours.
  • Meeting attendance is generally required.  Occasional excused absence is accommodated by watching recordings on the online meeting.
  • All regular courses initially offered will have Cantonese as the instructional language.
  • Written assignments, quizzes, and ministry practices can be completed in Chinese or English.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for admission to CIOML are required to:
  • Provide references from two individuals who are not family members.
  • Age 21 or above, although exceptions can be granted.
  • Be a member of a good standing in a Christian church.
  • Have been a Christian for more than a year and feel called to serve in ministry.
  • Complete the online admission application form at: https://www.gs.edu/advance-student-application/
  • The admission application deadline is a month before the first term of study: 12/1 for the S1 term, 3/1 for the S2 term, 6/1 for the F1 term, 8/1 for the F2 term.
  • Pay an application fee of $30.  The application fee is included as part of the invoice of the first term of study.

Course Fee and Tuition

To support the administration and the quality assurance of the ADVANCE program, Gateway Seminary requires an admission application fee for every student and assesses an administrative fee per credit hour.  CIOML collects the per-course fee on behalf of Gateway Seminary and charges a tuition for non-members of Crosspoint.  Members of affiliated Baptist churches receive a discount.
  • Fee and tuition per course: $200 ($66.7/credit)
    • Member of an affiliated Baptist church: $150 ($50/credit)
    • Member of Crosspoint Church: $100 ($33.3/credit)
  • The student is responsible for the purchase of any required textbooks.
  • A student can generally drop a course or change the status to no credit audit up to the end of the third week of the course.

Course Registration

Students must register for a course one week before the term begins. An invoice will be sent to the students. Students have half a month to the pay the tuition or to drop the course.
  • The term start dates are 1/1 for the S1 term, 4/1 for the S2 term, 7/1 for the F1 term, and 10/1 for the F2 term. Courses normally have their first lesson during the week after the term start date. Some courses may have lessons before the term start date, but the term start dates will be used for the purpose of registration and payment.
  • Course registration deadlines are 12/23, 3/23, 6/23, and 9/23.
  • The tuition invoice will be sent out by e-mail during the week before the term starts.
  • Payment due dates are 10/15, 1/15, 4/15, and 7/15. All course registrations are automatically cancelled if a student has unpaid balance by the term payment due date.
  • Course registration may be dropped up to the payment due dates. Any paid tuition amount will remain in the student account balance and will be available for course registrations and other fees in the future.

Transfer Credits

Students at CIOML may take courses not offered at CIOML from other ADVANCE centers affiliated with Gateway Seminary and have their credits transferred to CIOML.  Credits earned at CIOML may similarly be transferred to other ADVANCE centers. Up to 10 credit hours earned through ADVANCE may be counted towards a master degree program offered at Gateway Seminary.
  • For a list of ADVANCE centers, please visit: https://www.gs.edu/academics/degrees/advance/advance-center-locations/
  • Up to 10 credit hours earned through CIOML may be counted towards for elective credits in a master level program at Gateway seminary. The credit unit cost at Gateway is $275/unit for SBC students and $495/unit for non-SBC students. Therefore, CIOML provides a cost saving of $2000+ to $4000+ for students who are interested in advancing to a master degree program in the future.
  • The transfer credits of some ADVANCE courses can be used to fulfill certain course requirements in a master-level degree program. Among the courses CIOML plans to offer, CLI1311 and CLP1111 are the courses that have been approved to fulfill the master-level equivalent course requirements.