Education Teaching Evangelist

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Peter James, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Peter James

    Peter James
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    Greetings! I graduated from Boston Baptist College in 1999; my wife and I would like to consider, in a few years, travelling around the country and I would like to be able to fill pulpits at area Independent Fundamental Baptist churches in case there is a need. I'd also be interested in possibly doing some "teaching evangelism" on various topics. I've been preaching/teaching in my home church for quite some time as a Deacon.

    I have no money, but that is besides the point. I'd like to enhance my education, I currently have a bachelor's in Biblical Studies. I am not sure I want to do a Masters of Divinity (though I think the title of this prestigious degree is so cool, akin to some sort of Star Wars Jedi thing!) I don't need a doctorate and I have no plans on teaching in a seminary or college anywhere.

    But I do believe a master's degree is in order, one I can finish at home. Perhaps something of the 34 credit kind or something like this. Masters of Art, maybe Masters in Ministry (unsure), something along this line.

    I want any Pastor who needs their pulpit to be filled to get to know me and be led of the LORD to use me if they see fit (of course) and additionally, I'd like a resume that has my education on it to not be an embarrassment to any Pastor (ie., degree mills, etc.)

    So far I've only seen three places that might fit the bill. Masters International School of Divinity (but I just don't know if it's academically reputable), Luther Rice Seminary (but I'm not totally sold on it), or Maranatha Baptist Bible Seminary/University (their English Bible degree).

    Any thoughts? MIDS is the cheapest and they allow a payment plan over 60 months which too me is the most generous; but like I said, I hesitate as I don't want a Pastor to say - "Yo, you think MISD is reputable?"

    So, what think ye?
     
  2. reverist

    reverist
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    So, what's going to help us help you is what type of school you would like to go to. For example, you intend to minister in an IFB type context. Does this mean you want to restrict yourself to IFB schools? If not, there are many schools that would be academically respectable that also offer modular or online formats (modular formats requiring you to come to campus, but usually only for a weekend or one week).

    Either way, MIDS is unaccredited. While such schools can be acceptable, it's a "better safe than sorry" thing to go with an accredited school. It's affiliate status with ABHE actually does not raise its academic credibility with respect to accreditation, and the fact they seem to think it does seems a little suspect.

    Here's what ABHE has to say about affiliate status-schools: "Affiliate status is available to credible institutions of biblical higher education that do not hold accreditation by a USDE- or CHEA-recognized accrediting agency. Affiliate members must affirm ABHE’s Tenets of Faith, be licensed (or exempted) by the appropriate state or provincial higher education authority, conform to disclosure restrictions relative to non-recognized accreditation, and be vouched for by an accredited ABHE Commission on Accreditation member institution. Affiliate status is not to be confused with accreditation or understood in any way so as to imply such." (italics added)

    As you can see, it's fairly easy to get affiliate status. It's not easy to be accredited!

    Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, FL, is an Independent Baptist school that has an MA Biblical Studies, and it's 36 credit hours. Most, if not all of it, can be completed online, and the rest via one-week intensives. Here it is: http://tbc.edu/pages/page.asp?page_id=324604

    According to this page, only one course need be done in a modular format, and everything else online.

    If SBC is open for you, SEBTS has a great MA Christian Studies degree, also 36 credit hours, and it can be done all online! http://www.sebts.edu/distance/online/graduate.aspx#macs

    I hope this helps!
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    Midwestern and Liberty both have complete degree programs online.
     
  4. Peter James

    Peter James
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    Thank you to both REVs for showing me other courses online; today I also investigated Pensacola Christian College and a few other seminaries listed on the TRACS website.

    Thank you very much.
     
  5. Jordan Kurecki

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    Accreditation in regards to studying the bible should be low on your list of concerns in choosing a school.

    much more important is the doctrinal stand and the degree of separation from the world that the school practices.
     
  6. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki
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  7. RG2

    RG2
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    There's also Louisiana Baptist University, while not accredited I think it is a BBFI approved school.
     
  8. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki
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  9. Greektim

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  10. labaptist

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    Andersonville is unaccredited but I wouldn't call it a diploma mill.
     
  11. Peter James

    Peter James
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    Yes, I've seen some of the on line non-accredited locations.

    I believe it is based on what you want to get out of it. If I graduated from Andersonville or one of the unaccredited colleges, I think I would hesitate saying I had a Master's degree. On the other hand, if I just wanted information - I think the information is free online anywhere, any time.

    For me, I desire the door of ministry to be wide open to any and all whether it is the godly Pastor in the backwoods of Kentucky who only has a 3 year degree or an IFB scholarly church that expects its ministers and speakers to be able to engage ideas, culture, etc. I want to be able to show the education and experience I have and I feel it is a much better, open door to, yes, rely on the guidance of the Holy Spirit but also to know one's education does not limit one's ability to minister to God's people.

    Let's face it; there are churches where scholarship is required and there are churches where scholarship is not required. I don't want to limit God on the type of church He might use me to minister in, if any at all. I figure I should pray on which seminary online I should attend and if God gives the answer 'yes', then somehow He will also provide the means in attending.

    Thank you for these great ideas though; I am not opposed to degrees from non-IFB schools because I don't mind engaging people or having friendships with those I disagree with. Thank you - Peter James
     
  12. evangelist6589

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    If you want to get some training in being an evangelist I would go to this online school.

    http://www.biblicalevangelism.com
     
  13. JonC

    JonC
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    I disagree. Accreditation should be extremely important if you are looking towards a degree producing college or seminary. That bit of oversight and standard is necessary. If you are looking for biblical education (not necessarily a degree) and perhaps teaching that is an extension of a certain church, then it is not so important. I think that both have their place, and one is not diminished by the other. But we should maintain a distinction. Your choice should be based on your intent with that education. A true Seminary may be a disaster for someone looking to understand his/her own beliefs within a specific church (a more narrow focus), but an unaccredited church-extension "college" would be useless to someone seeking a true degree. If you are looking to learn "what to believe" or how to defend your belief then you don't need seminary, seminaries don't teach (or shouldn't) conclusions. If you are looking for a broader education (and are willing to reexamine what you believe) then seminary may be the right choice. But unaccredited "colleges" should not issue degrees as this is misleading.
     
    #13 JonC, Jul 5, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 5, 2015
  14. mcdirector

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    I don't think Andersonville is a diploma mill either. Unaccredited, yes. Not the most challenging, yes. But there is work to be done for each course and I think for many, learning will occur. Perhaps not deep and profound learning, but a wide base of knowledge. It is awfully affordable. I would personally use it for the knowledge learned and perhaps not list it among my degrees, but maybe I would after I took some courses and knew their real value. For the price, you could start the program and if it was not what you were looking for, be out only the price of a course or two most other places.

    Bill Grover went to a theological seminary in South Africa via distance learning. I can't remember the name, but you should be able to find it if you search for him.
     

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