help finding seminary

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Pastor Shaun, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Pastor Shaun

    Pastor Shaun
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    After a few years of seminary research I am still lost, hoping someone will have a good recommendation. I am wanting to pursue a career in healthcare chaplaincy, which requires 72 hours of theological studies from a CHEA recognized institution (Tracs and ABHE included), in order to eventually be certified.

    My problem is that I am already thousands of dollars in debt thanks to a private school for a undergrad. I will be teaching in the public middle school to pay for a seminary program but I CANNOT afford to take out more loans. So this is where you all come in, hopefully. Who can I study through (distance learning crucial)? I am eligible for 21 hours of credit from LRU towards a 90 hour MDIV and 30 hours through Temple Baptist.

    I would prefer not to spread a program out over 10 years because I am wanting to enter the chaplaincy asap. But...I understand that this might not be possible. If not, I would probably look at doing an unaccredited degree and getting the opportunity to volunteer at a local hospital doing chaplaincy work.

    What are my options?
     
  2. Salty

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    One possibility is to join the Army, as there are programs to pay off your school bills, and then thu the Army Tuition assistance, you could complete seminary.

    You could contact a local Army Reserve or National Guard unit for some options.

    Or check this official US Army website

    If you enlist, you could be guaranteed a job as a Chaplain Assistant.
     
    #2 Salty, Jul 21, 2009
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  3. Martin

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    ==Most programs have time limits so you would not be allowed to take ten years to earn your degree without extensions.

    I don't know much about chaplaincy but you will probably need to be ordained. In fact, you might be able to work part-time as a chaplain if you are ordained (I don't know). Experience is usually more important than, or just as important as, degrees. Maybe there is a small fire department that could use a chaplain on a volunteer basis? Just throwing out some ideas. Talk to your pastor.


    ==If you believe the Lord is calling you to be a hospital chaplain don't sell yourself short with a degree that falls short of helping you obtain that God given goal. Don't go the unaccredited route. Sure, it might get you a degree sooner (and cheaper) but it will probably not get you where you want to go. If God has called you to this He will provide the way for you. You may not see that way now, you may not be able to even see a possiblity now, but trust in the Lord and He will open doors for you. I know this because (a) His Word promises it (Pr 3:5-7), (b) I have seen Him do this in my life over the past few years. There have been times when I thought I should just throw in the towel. However the Lord has come through for me each and every time. Not always when or how I would have thought or planned, but He has always come through. I am certain that He will do the same for you if you will just trust Him to do so.

    Allow me to point you to Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary's Online Program. They have two degree programs you might wish to checkout and pray over.

    Master of Divinity - Chaplaincy (72hrs) -Good, but more military focused.

    Master of Arts in Marketplace Chaplaincy (36hrs) - This sounds like the degree program you might need. It will also not take as long or cost as much as an MDiv.

    Liberty's tuition is reasonable. Check into how many hours of credit they can/will give you towards the degree programs. Look into various student aid options (not loans). Talk to your church, they might be able to help as well.

    Shaun, I have prayed for you and will continue to do so. Please keep us informed.
     
    #3 Martin, Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2009
  4. Siberian

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    If you are a member of a Southern Baptist church then the tuition at the SBC seminaries is extremely reasonable. In fact, I think Southern is cheaper than Liberty and about the same as Luther Rice (for SB church members in good standing). You might want to check and see if there is an extension center for one of the SBC seminaries near by. If that is not an option; tuition at Luther Rice is about as reasonable as it gets and you will have no problem getting into chaplaincy with an MDiv from them (or any other nationally or regionally accredited Seminary).

    I would not go the unaccredited route; it does not seem to fit your goals as stated in your op. If you can do chaplaincy at some level with a degree from an uncredited school, then you can probably do it without a degree and save some cash. However, most paid health care and hospice-type chaplaincy programs of which I am aware require an MDiv from an accredited institution. I would go with LRU or LBTS.
     
    #4 Siberian, Jul 21, 2009
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  5. Havensdad

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    Full time enrollment at Southern (15 CH's) would run you about $3000 (for a Southern Baptist student), and their is a large residency requirement, which entails more expense. Full time enrollment at Liberty is $2000 (thanks to the seminary tuition cap), with NO residency requirement. No way Southern is cheaper than Liberty! (unless you are planning to enroll only halftime).

    Now, I like the doctrinal stance of Southern better....but that is a different story.
     
  6. Siberian

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    Interesting. According to the SBTS catalog, page 35, Southern's per-credit-hour tuition for 2009-2010 is $205 for the MDiv programs (Southern Baptist Student). Liberty's, according to their website, is $250 (which works out to $3750 plus fees for 15 hours). What am I missing? Of course, residency does make things expensive for either school.
     
    #6 Siberian, Jul 22, 2009
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  7. Martin

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    ==For a Southern Baptist student it probably is. However SBTS has neglected to create online degree programs for their students. Therefore they lose students who can't move to Louisville. Pastor Shaun needs a university that offers online programs.

    ==Luther Rice is a great school. However they are not regionally accredited and that could cause problems for someone like Shaun who is trying to become a chaplain in a hospital setting. Most of them are probably going to want a degree from a regionally accredited university.

    Liberty University is probably Shaun's best option. They are regionally accredited, offer an online Master of Arts degree in Market Place Chaplaincy, at a reasonable price.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    There is very little concern for the difference between a national accreditation and a regional.
     
  9. Havensdad

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    Your missing the tuition cap at Liberty. The Maximum charge per semester at Liberty is 2000 dollars. You can take a full 15 credits at Liberty for just 2000 dollars. That is 133 dollars per credit hour, which is MUCH cheaper than SBTS. So unless you are taking less than 9 credit hours per semester (making a 72 CH degree take 4 full years!), Liberty is cheaper. When you add to this the extra fees that SBTS has, that Liberty does not, this becomes an even bigger difference.
     
  10. Siberian

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    That makes Liberty the cheapest accredited distance ed program out there - cheaper by far than even Luther Rice. Interesting - I had not heard about their cap. Do they cap their doctoral programs?
     
  11. Havensdad

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    Nope, sorry. Midwestern Baptist is the cheapest D Min. for SBC students. 5600, last time I checked, total.
     
  12. Plain Old Bill

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    Go down and talk to a recruiter and see what they can do for you. I don't know if the program still exists but when I was in they had a 2 for one program. The two for one program meant that the military would send you to any school to take any course you could apply to the military , pay for books and tuition, pay you at the rate of e-5 for a full term for degree being persued 2 years of active duty for every year of college provided.
    Hope this helps.
     
  13. greek geek

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    I would recommend that you check out the BH Carroll Theological Institute (bhcti.org). They have an MDiv in Chaplaincy. It is a new Baptist school - only been around about 4 years - but they've got a great thing going. Their whole focus is about putting classes wherever students are. And the people running the school are top notch. And the costs are low.

    But admittedly they are not quite accredited yet - but they're in process to receive their accreditation from ACTS and SACS. They had to wait until they got state approval before they could apply for with the accreditation agencies. Their accreditation should come within 1-2 years which would be before you graduate.
     
  14. TomVols

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    Can you get a chaplaincy endorsement without CPE, which isn't available DE? There's where SBTS or SWBTS with their modest residency would be the appropriate choice. Last I saw, LBTS did not offer CPE. That may have changed. Or you may already have that.
     
  15. Chaplain

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    Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a definite requirement for anyone wanting to pursue a career in healthcare chaplaincy. Also, to become certified with the Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) you must have 4 units of CPE. APC is the preferred certifying body for Protestant chaplains. One unit of CPE equals 400 hours. Typically, you can do one unit in either a 12 week summer intensive or you can do an extended unit, about 8 months. The best option to get in your 4 units is to do a year long residency at a hospital that is an accredited CPE center. The accreditation should come from the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE).

    Other requirements for certification are a M.Div. from an accredited seminary, or equivalency which is defined as 72 hours of graduate theological education. You will also need denominational endorsement. I hope this information is helpful and would be glad to provide any further assistance.
     

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