Samford University MTI graduates 9 locals

Published 1:43 am Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Samford University Ministry Training Institute offers people from all over Covington County and the surrounding area the education needed to become pastors and more educated churchgoers.

There were nine graduates in this semester’s graduating class at SUMTI and Director of Missions Otis Corbitt said that he is extremely proud of the group.

“We had a great group of people that graduated,” Corbitt said. “There is a good mixture of different backgrounds and denominations within the Baptist Church that made the group very fun.”

There are several SUMTI centers around the state and the Covington Baptist Association hosts one of the centers in the new Ed Ganus Building.

“Ed was the center director for four decades,” Corbitt said. “So we decided to name our building after him because he has done so much for us.”

The institute is a diploma program where students can take a total of eight classes to earn a basic diploma or 16 classes to earn an advanced diploma in ministry.

“The students take classes on the New Testament, Old Testament, ethics and there is a class this fall on Christian Apologetics,” Corbitt said. “We have a dedicated group of local ministers that serve as instructors that all have their master’s degrees. They make the classes very educational.”

Corbitt said that to finish the advanced diploma it would take four years and to finish the basic diploma it would take around two years.

“A lot of the students that we have are already pastors and are coming back to get their diploma,” Corbitt said. “They can get equipped without leaving home.”

With their in person, brick and mortar style schooling, SUMTI gives pastors and people who want to be educated about the ministry a chance to do so without having to spend a lot of money, Corbitt said.

“There are some people that don’t do well in online classes,” Corbitt said. “So with these type of classes they get the chance to have one on one, in person interactions. Each class only costs $50, and there are several scholarships available. We make it very affordable for people.”

Corbitt said that some of the people that have graduated from the program have gone on to further their education.

“We have people that use this as a stepping stone to further their education,” Corbitt said. “They can transfer these credits at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and earn their master’s degree there.”

Corbitt said that he is very proud of the group and loves to see their love for the ministry grow with the years they are in the classes.

“They are a really great group of folks,” Corbitt said. “It is so amazing to see them achieve something that they have worked so hard on. It is great to see how much they have learned in their time here.”

For anyone interested in taking ministry classes, they can call the Covington Baptist Association at 334-222-3009 or go online to