skip to Main Content

Global Diploma

Global Diploma in Theology and Christian Leadership

Cotten, Martha Margaret

Director of Global Education: Adjunct Professor in Global Diploma

Martha-Margaret Cotten serves as the Director of Global Education at Erskine Seminary as well as a Global Diploma Adjunct Professor. She and her husband also serve as missionaries with World…

read more

Will You Partner With Us?
The John & Sarah Ellen Carson Scholarship & Global Theological Education Initiative

  • Providing scholarships to students in the Global South Church to participate in the Diploma program.
  • Funding Erskine’s program expenses to offer the Global Diploma in partnership with World Witness’ SEED Ministry.
  • Implementing and focusing on serving the Global South Church in the countries of Rwanda and Pakistan, with additional emerging opportunities in East Africa and the Urdu-speaking world.
  • Growing the program to other locations throughout the Global South, including the Spanish-speaking world.


If sending in a check:
Please make check payable to Erskine College and include “Carson Scholarship” in the Memo line.

Mail to:
Erskine Advancement Office
PO Box 338
Due West, SC 29639

Program Description

The Global Diploma in Theology and Christian Leadership is a non-credit bearing, continuing education credential for church leaders in the Global South. By partnering with national church leaders in the Global South through World Witness’s SEED Ministry network, Erskine offers the Global Diploma to provide robust, biblical, and theological training to equip church leaders for effective Christian leadership in their own specific cultures and contexts. 

The Diploma is now being offered in 3 areas of Rwanda (Nyabihu, Juru, and Runda) and Pakistan.

Required Courses for Diploma (16 total modules)

  • Old Testament Survey (I, II)
  • New Testament Survey (I, II)
  • Church History (I, II)
  • Systematic Theology (I, II, III)
  • Biblical Theology
  • Biblical Interpretation and Homiletics (I, II)
  • Ethics
  • Pastoral Issues and Counseling
  • Church Leadership and Administration
  • Discipleship, Prayer, and the Mission of the Church

*Workshops offered for English language support
*This diploma can be done in two years if taking 8 modules per year

What You Need To Know

  • Declining of the Church in the West is being offset by the growth of the Church in the Global South. In many ways, the Global South is the future of the Church.
  • Accessing quality theological education is crucial in the Global South where many rural pastors and church leaders are geographically and economically separated from educational opportunities. We bring education to them where they are.
  • Partnering with two key Erskine graduates: Mr. Benjamin Musuhukye in Rwanda and Rev. Zeeshan Sadiq in Pakistan, we have unique opportunities. Both men have become Christian leaders in their home countries, and are now asking for help in training others.
  • Transforming community as the church leaders are equipped to lead not only in their churches but also their communities.

What We Are Doing

  • Extending the reach and influence of Erskine, both locally and globally.
  • Aligning with the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) accreditation expectation that the Seminary is engaged in “global awareness and engagement within the context of its mission.”
  • Creating a flexible program that has the potential to expand and reach students in different Global South contexts.
  • Fulfilling the missional need for programs that train global students for lives of service and leadership.

The Legacy of John and Sarah Ellen Carson

Rev. Dr. John L. Carson graduated from Erskine College and earned a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, MS. After serving as pastor of Ebenezer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC, from 1973–1983, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Aberdeen. Dr. Carson returned to Erskine College and Theological Seminary in 1998 to serve as the institution’s thirteenth president until 2005.

After his presidency, and with the support of Mrs. Sarah Ellen Carson, he helped to found World Witness’s Mobile Theological Training Team (MT3). He spent much time teaching theology and raising up Church leaders in Africa, especially in Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda. He is co-editor, with David W. Hall, of To Glorify and Enjoy God: A Commemoration of the Westminster Assembly, published by the Banner of Truth Trust.

Sarah Ellen Carson not only raised a family and supported her husband, John, as a pastor’s wife and first lady of Erskine College and Seminary, but tirelessly served in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) denomination through volunteering at the Due West ARP Church, helping with Music Conference, organizing Women’s Ministries Bible studies, and leading Bible studies at Erskine Theological Seminary for seminary student wives. Perhaps her greatest legacy remains the countless young women and pastors’ wives she loved, encouraged, and discipled for ministry at Erskine and in Uganda and South Africa. In 2011, Sarah Ellen was honored with the Julia Hardeman Rhodes Award, given each year to a faithful and dedicated ARP woman.

John and Sarah Ellen Carson have four children, all of whom are involved in Christian ministry, and ten grandchildren.


If you have a passion for global missions, expanding theological education in the Global South, Reformed teaching, or international aid, please contact
Martha Margaret Cotten at: 803-322-7980 or

Ready to Get Started?
Back To Top Erskine Theological Seminary, the graduate school of theology of Erskine College 210 South Main Street P.O. Box 338 Due West, SC 29639 864-379-8821 Fax: 864-379-3171