Frequently Asked Questions
What is URBACAD?
The name is a contraction for URBan ACADemy, a training program for leadership development in local urban churches.
URBACAD programs operate within local urban churches, or as a joint effort of city churches to provide opportunities for committed disciples of Jesus Christ to be equipped to lead others into vital discipleship as well.
What is SEAN?
Most of the URBACAD programs use materials and methods developed in South America, by Anglican missionary Tony Barratt, in the 1960's and 70's. His SEAN materials met a need for pastoral training among emerging congregations of native peoples in Bolivia, Paraguay, Chile and Argentina; it was a successful alternative to sending promising leaders off to school in distant cities.
"SEAN" is an acronym for Seminary Education for All Nations. The materials developed by SEAN are used in countries around the world, and are being translated into more languages each year. (With apologies to our Irish friends, the acronym is pronounced "SAY-awn," reflecting its Spanish origins.)
How does the SEAN/URBACAD program work?
SEAN's flagship program, The Life of Christ, Based on Matthew's Gospel, is a six-part series of studies which engage the head, the heart, and the "hands" of the disciple. The workbooks use a simple programmed-instruction approach, with continual review and reinforcement of knowledge and structure. These workbooks serve as a virtual "teacher," presenting essential truths about the Bible, theology, Bible background, and practical use of Bible truths in daily living and church leadership. Typically, these workbook units are completed individually between group meetings.
The Life of Christ books are most effective in the context of a cohort of students meeting together weekly to review the lessons learned, share insights from the Scripture, and encourage one another to grow in their walk with the Lord Jesus. And the "hands" of the students are engaged through required ministry assignments which reinforce the studies and the input of other students through practical application.
A group leader keeps the students focused on the unit objectives, but he/she is not a "teacher" or lecturer. The students learn to articulate their own understanding of the Scriptures, and to respond to others' ideas, in a godly and mature manner.
What is the role of Albany Urbacad?
Albany URBACAD serves churches of many denominations and fellowships, across the United States and Canada. It is a ministry of Missions Door, a sending organization with its roots in home missions (in North America and the Caribbean), sharing God's heart for immigrants, under-reached people groups, and the poor.
Albany URBACAD coordinates the URBACAD centers around the US. We provide printed materials, including workbooks and leader guides, as well as suggested quizzes and ministry assignments, and final exams for each course.
We also connect interested churches with SEAN materials in various languages, through our partnership with SEAN International. Upon request, the director of Albany URBACAD, Michael Lindsey, can present the total program to churches or small groups. And he is always ready to give helpful advice on implementing the Life of Christ program in various situations.
What other materials are available through URBACAD?
Besides the Life of Christ series, Albany URBACAD keeps a wide variety of materials in stock for churches to use in their discipleship programs. All these titles are available in Spanish and English, and some other languages for particular books.
For discipling new believers, we recommend the Abundant Life (the Life of Jesus in You). The workbook and counselor's guide work together to provide a counselor the resources to help get a new believer established in the faith. Abundant Life uses the same interactive programmed instruction as the Life of Christ, but it assumes that the student is new to the faith and the Bible, and leads them into a new walk with the Lord. The workbook has 18 lessons for weekly meetings, with simple Bible memory verses and quizzes.
A follow-up to Abundant Life is called The Big Picture (in Spanish, Panorama de la Biblia), which helps new believers get acquainted with the written Word of God, explore the various parts of the Bible, and get a basic knowledge of how to read, study, and apply the Word in their lives.
For those who have completed the Life of Christ series, there are further Bible series to use in group settings: the three-volume Life and Letters of Paul (which includes history of the early church in Acts); the two-part Pentateuch, with a special emphasis on the preparation of the world for the coming of Jesus as Savior; and the more intensive Prophecy of Jeremiah, with more emphasis on inductive Bible study and research.
A full list of courses and costs are available, please contact us for more information.