ACT3 Cohort Description

A Description, the Prerequisites, Objectives, Class Sessions, Text Books and (Possible) Academic Credit

ACT3 Cohort Description

A Description, the Prerequisites, Objectives, Class Sessions, Text Books and (Possible) Academic Credit

Cohort Description

The cohort course examines the importance of missional theology and how the prayer of Jesus for the unity of all his followers (John 17:20–23) intentionally and directly impacts the work of effective mission. This is a seminar type gathering for 10-20 active learners. Each student will enter into a mentoring relationship with the teacher. Through this process learners will begin to work out various ways in which both the individual and the church can better serve the kingdom of God. This will be done by incarnating the gospel through our shared life and by the proclamation of the gospel out of a context of relational unity.

Members of each cohort must demonstrate a clear commitment to Jesus and his gospel coupled with a desire to become intentionally focused leaders who will impact others for the purpose of changing the world. Cohort groups will consist of clergy and non-clergy, men and women. Married couples may also join. This course is designed to be a rich experience that transcends ethnicity, gender and denominational affiliations.

It should be understood that this is a basic course thus there are no academic prerequisites. The key requirement is that there is an intense desire to learn and grow in missional-ecumenism. Graduates will be invited to explore other related topics in one-time gatherings which will be less structured; one-day seminars, informal dialogs, special webinars for graduates, etc. Other more formal programs in missional-ecumenical theology will also be discussed through the cohort when graduates of the basic course express a desire for further formal training. There are a number of excellent degree and non-degree options that ACT3 will present to cohort graduates.

Course Prerequisites

Every student must be seriously committed to Christ and the gospel of the kingdom. Upon applying for the cohort each person must read the small book, The Unity Factor: One Lord, One Church, One Mission, by John H. Armstrong. (You can download a free PDF of this book by signing up for the ACT3 Weekly on this website.) This little book is essential for the student to understand the basic purpose of this course and provides the reason for why you should spend valuable time and money to enter into a cohort.

Course Objectives

To develop a rich understanding of missional theology that considers the origins and development of this theology and its subsequent practice.

To deeply understand John 17 and how this prayer of Jesus for Christian unity specifically impacts the health of the church and its relationship to the kingdom of God.

To consider the history of the ecumenical movement in the 20th century by asking, “What did it get right and where did it go wrong?”

To survey new model ecumenism by asking where such models can contribute to a more effective missional strategy to a church that now seeks too be faithful in historic exile.

To learn how ancient/future paradigms of worship and spiritual formation transform leaders and mission thus advancing the kingdom of God into all cultures.

To deal with various models of gospel understanding that strongly focus the learner’s heart and life on the love of God and his unconditional grace of forgiveness.

To develop a working model of personal spiritual growth that is linked directly to the gospel of the kingdom and mission. This model will be intentionally developed so the learner can pursue missional-ecumenism as a lifestyle. The specific context in which the student serves Christ’s kingdom will become the laboratory for praxis.

One–Day Sessions

The cohort group will meet four times during an eight-to-nine month period. Each session will last eight hours, for a total of 32 class hours. These four meetings will begin at 9 a.m. and end by 5:00 p.m. (A working lunch break will be included.) Participation requires a signed commitment to attend all the four classes and pay a tuition fee of $1,400. Scholarships are available if you privately discuss this option when the initial interview takes place. You must be willing to contribute of yourself to the group with a teachable spirit. An application and interview must be processed before you can be accepted.

Course Texts

  • (2) Allen, Roland. Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Ours
  • (1) Armstrong, John H. Your Church Is Too Small: Why Unity in Christ’s Mission Is Vital to the Future of the Church
  • (1) Bondi, Roberta C. To Love as God Loves
  • (1) Bonhoeffer, Dietrich Life Together
  • (2) Danaher, James P. Eyes That See, Ears That Hear: Perceiving Jesus in a Postmodern Context
  • (3) De Waal, Esther. Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict.
  • (2) Francis, Pope. The Name of God Is Mercy.
  • (3) Gittins, Anthony J. Called to Be Sent: Co-Missioned as Disciples Today
  • (4) Kinnaman, Michael. Can a Renewal Movement Be Renewed?
  • (1) Lawrence, Brother. The Practice of the Presence of God (John J. Delaney, translator. Doubleday, 1977)
  • (3) Newbigin, Lesslie. The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission
  • (2) Newbigin, Lesslie. The Household of God
  • (4) Leithart, Peter J. The End of Protestantism: Pursuing Unity in a Fragmented Church
  • (4) Ryan, Thomas. Christian Unity: How You Can Make a Difference

The numbers beside the texts listed above refer to text that should be read before the particular session of the cohort meets. Several smaller articles and popular essays will likely be assigned during the seminar. Some videos will also be watched by the cohort group during the four sessions.


If you want to be admitted to ACT3 Cohort you must fill out the application form. A phone interview will then be scheduled. You will be expected to pay $500 upon acceptance and the remaining $900 before the fourth session convenes. You can do this by check or by pre-established monthly payments made by charge or debit card in the amount of $100/month for nine months. You will pay ACT3 Network. You will receive a certificate of completion when you complete the course.

Continue on to read about the leader of the ACT3 Cohort, John H. Armstrong.