Stark College and Seminary exists to serve the local church. The most apparent way the college serves the local church is through the classroom by providing classes and conferring degrees to students across South Texas. But SCS’s experience serving the local church goes beyond what happens in the classroom. One of the greatest privileges we have at SCS is the opportunity to serve pastors and ministry leaders by providing consultation for their work in the local church.

The faculty and staff at SCS have a diverse experience of serving in the local church and can serve as a great resource. We have several staff with experience in many areas of church leadership from pastoring and finances to event planning and everything in between.

One of the most direct ways that SCS is often called upon to help is by providing pulpit supply when a pastor has to be gone from their church on a Sunday. There are several faculty members who are happy to fill-in, but we are also happy to recommend students who can put their classroom learning to use in a real-life church setting. For many of our students, this is a fantastic learning opportunity. “I am so grateful for the opportunities I had to preach while I was a student at SCS. It would have been easy for Linn Self (former President) to have filled those dates on his own, but he trusted me to represent the college and he trusted the local church to support my development as a minister,” says Dr. Chris Stapper, Vice President of Mission and Finance at SCS. In this way, the college is able to serve students and serve the church by assisting pastors when they need to be gone for a week.

Another topic of consultation is financial management. Non-profit finances can be challenging no matter the size of the organization, and many pastors are looking for advice and recommendations on how to best steward their finances and donations. At SCS, we want to ensure all aspects of the local church are healthy, so we count it as a joy to share our own experiences and expertise with others in this area.  

There could be any number of other areas where a pastor simply wants to think critically about an issue they are facing in the church and needs someone with a fresh perspective. Different members of the staff and faculty have been asked about facility issues, outreach and evangelism, staff development, and new ways to implement technology.

If you are a minister or lay leader and you would like support in your ministry, we invite you to reach out to SCS. Our mission is to serve the local church and its leaders, and we want to walk alongside you and your church in whatever season you may find yourself. 


This article was written by Dr. Chris Stapper. He is the Vice President of Mission and Finance at SCS and holds an MBA and Ph.D. from Dallas Baptist University.