Across the street from a flea market, in the shadow of oil wells and tumbleweeds, Glenn Smith trains aspiring ministers in a building that looks more like a steakhouse than a seminary. But that’s OK – these are cowboy ministers.

“Preaching Jesus, Western style,” reads the sign out front.

“These boys and girls will come out of here full-fledged ministers, but they’ll be ministers that look like I do,” said Smith, 70, sporting a Resistol hat and ostrich-skin boots.

At the School of Western Ministries, pickup-driving pupils don colorful cowboy shirts, Wrangler jeans and belt buckles with messages such as “Jesus Christ: Champion of Champions.”

From Alabama to Australia, students come to West Texas to study how to teach the Bible in places where a barn might double as a sanctuary, and where horse tanks and farm ponds make do as baptisteries. They’re awarded certificates of completion at the end of their coursework.

Continue Reading on www.getreligion.org