I need a distance learning bible college that is extremely affordable and accredited!

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by ChristianMaker, Dec 15, 2011.

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Accredited or Non-Accredited?

  1. Accredited

    13 vote(s)
    92.9%
  2. Non-Accredited

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. ChristianMaker

    ChristianMaker
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    First off let me describe my situation. I am thirty one years old and certainly tired of waiting to advance in my Christian faith. I need facts and I need them now! So please give me as much detailed information as you possibly can.

    I just got married in July and my wife and I are staying with family in a rather large house. We do not have much as bills with no children but are hungry for the Lord. I have made plenty of money in the past and can do again in the future if I needed to; but that is not where the Lord will have me. That is just an empty road. I have learned that money doesn’t bring happiness nor does it keep out the rain. I am currently working part time making much less and she might be getting another second part time job to make ends meet and save some money.

    What I am trying to say is that we are in the situation by choice entirely. We are trying to save are pennies; get our certifications; degrees and have time for ourselves while at the same time spend time with family. We are by no means hurting but also by no means well off. She already has a degree and is currently seeking a certification and I am going to a community college for business world and working part time.

    What I need is a real and practical solution to a bible college that is accredited and realistic; and what I mean realistic is extremely affordable with a good reputation. I am looking for a college to where I can take classes at a reasonable rate or at my own pace. Take a few here and there part time or full time or maybe even just one at a time. As far as prices go anything close to 400 or even 200 is absolutely crazy per credit hour. I mean how in the world is someone suppose to be able to afford 1200.00 per class. I can be somewhat flexible on some of these things but I need a good balance of everything. I wouldn’t mind actual books too and not just CDs or mp3s. I think someone else mentioned that once before. Also someone else said you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Well it 2011 with technology today I would think you could have your cake and eat it too but I could be wrong. So if I am just hit it between my eyes and tell me my facts.

    To sum it up I am just looking for a clean good bible college that is accredited with a good reputation so that when I am finished with all of my schooling in any capacity with my secular degree and my biblical degree I can go in any direction God has for me. I do not want to end up creek without a paddle because I made the wrong decision and cut corners. Money is a concern because if it is expensive I just can’t go. And where does that leave me?

    Considerations from raw internet searching:

    Accredited

    Moody Bible Institute / Global University / South African Theological Seminary / Etc …

    Non-Accredited

    Andersonville Theological / Columbia Evangelical Seminary / Etc …

    The above credited options are still between 150-200 per semester hour. So basically even the cheaper accredited colleges are going to cost me over 500.00 per class? Are you serious? How is anyone suppose to afford that? Or do I just have the all wrong?
    The non-accredited schools seem to be my only financial solution needing any under 100.00 per credit hour. One just takes the chance that his Biblical Degree might not have as much spunk as his accredited counterpart.

    I guess what I am thinking if I am looking at this for more of hobby reasons like casual discipleship for the Lord in my church and personal growth the non-accredited colleges would be a fine choice? Or would they? If I wanted to one day branch out and do something professional for the Lord I would need to go into debt and partake in a more expensive school? Is that what everyone is telling me?

    Well anyhow thank you so much for taking the time in reading my thread. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated and well taken. So let’s blow up this thread and figure some things out.
     
  2. jaigner

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    You can get some financial aid.

    Check out Wheaton, Fuller, Regent and Gordon-Conwell.
     
  3. webdog

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    From what I understand Nations University will be DETC and cost currently os 100 a year.
     
  4. RG2

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    First I must ask, what is your reason for getting this degree? It was kind of difficult to figure out in what your wrote. If it's just to learn more about the bible, I know there are a lot of good materials and classes that are available for cheap if not free. A church I was at previously offered classes free (fee for the book however) that were actually taught by bible college/seminary professors, they were obviously though designed for lay people and not for credit however. If that is the case, then a non-accredited school or these other materials might be good for you. That being said, if you are feeling called to vocational ministry it might be a different story, either way I do applaud your commitment to grow and progress in your walk with Christ.

    Anyway that being said, there's a TON of discussion on here about accredited vs non, and what you should get. In the end it all depends on what you want to do with it. All things being equal though usually regional accreditation usually wins out over everything, followed by other types of legitimate accreditation, followed by non accredited schools.

    $1200 per class isn't that bad and certainly $500 per class is extremely reasonable. I can only assume that your comparing it to community college tuition, but you must keep in mind that community colleges are subsidized by property taxes. Out of the county/area of service you end up paying about $500 per class, I know here the local community college is only $34 a credit hour if your in county, but out of state it's $123 a credit hour (not including fees which can be as much as tuition, most private colleges don't really have a ton of extraneous fees).

    There is a lot out there by way of scholarships and grants, most colleges have some kind of financial aid office that can aid in that. In addition to that if you are called to ministry and it has been affirmed by your church, I would recommend speaking with the leadership of the church. Perhaps there is something you could work out. A lot of bible colleges actually do church matching grants, where they will match dollar for dollar whatever a church contributes up to a certain amount.
     
  5. ChristianMaker

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    @webdog

    Thank you; I will definitely check it out!

    @RG2

    WoW! These are the exact type of responses I am looking for. Thank you very much. I have been posting on all kinds of Christian forums and I am definitely glad I joined this one.

    Yes I was a little vague about why and I should have been more clear. Thank you for pointing that out. Let me explain. I have been a professional for over a decade now. I have a deep resume in finance and sales; and with my age can’t afford to give up all that experience. I will need it to support my family. I have always had a deep yearning to be a soldier for Christ. And help in some capacity. I know that I am not called for full time ministry but I do know I am called to be able to professional articulate scripture with others to spread the word. I want to be able debate with professional scientists and atheists. I would like to be able to slide into a minor role in the Church like: Youth Pastor; Basic Leader; Lead a certain departments; etc … if God willing in the future I am needed. I just want to make sure that I am respected and have sound doctrine in me.

    With the responses that I am getting with all of the forums is that if it is more of a hobby or passion I should probably go with the affordable non-accredited option for personal edification. If I wanted to perform a Church leader role then I should go to an regional accredited and respected bible college.

    What I am beginning to understand with myself is that I would like a deep understanding of scripture; a college degree to represent my knowledge; but not necessarily a degree that would land me a job as a Pastor. Nor do I have the budget for such a degree. I just need to come to terms with that.

    I believe a highly recommended non-accredited degree or extremely affordable accredited degree should be able to satisfy my passion for learning more about the Lord and yet be respectable if called to be something more than I already am. Also with my budget I think this is my only realistic option and I am tired of putting God off and today is the day the Lord has made. So I would rather have something respectable now than nothing in the future because I cannot make up my mind.
     
  6. webdog

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    There is also south african theological seminary. Affordable and accredited, but they are of the reformed view if that matters to you.
     
  7. Havensdad

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    HI!

    I think I can help you...

    I have degrees from Nations University, South African Theological Seminary, and Liberty. I have also taken classes at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Of the four, South African Theological Seminary was the most rigorous. Nations (which is unaccredited), Liberty, and NOBTS were all comparable in their rigor, though I think Liberty had their act together best in terms of a fully immersed experience. ANY of these would be GREAT.

    In terms of Cost, let me give you some ideas...

    Nations University, who is seeking accreditation through DETC, is ONLY 100 dollars per year for American students. The classes are unlimited...as many as you can do in a year. The only other fees you have are books, which if you buy them used, will run you average 100 bucks per class. Also, I used my Bachelor's Degree from Nations to gain admittance to Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary...so their degrees do have some degree of acceptance.

    www.nationsu.org

    South African Theological Seminary is very hard. It will stretch you, if you go this route. It is also very inexpensive, running probably 150-250 buckss per class. however, they have a DALRO agreement, where they are able to provide their books free of charge with the course. So this is only slightly more expensive than Nations. Unlike Nations, though, they are fully accredited, and there degrees are widely accepted.

    http://www.satsonline.org/

    Last, let me recommend to you Liberty University. Though the degree program might seem a bit out of your price range, the Liberty Home Bible Institute offers Diplomas, that will transfer into a Liberty degree program for 42 credits. The cost? Just $950!! That is like paying 60-70 bucks per class!

    http://www.lhbionline.com/

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. Greektim

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    I think you are dreaming if you think a good, quality education that is accredited is also going to be affordable. I'm actually shocked that a person like you who has the capabilities to make money is complaining about how expensive these educational ministries are. They have bills they've got to pay as well.

    And if you are serious about this step, check into what kind of financial aid each school provides. Many have scholarships that will help, and many geared towards families struggling financially. There are also federal grants and etc.

    Not b/c I endorse them, but another route is my alma mater: Piedmont Baptist College and Graduate School (soon to be Piedmont International University). Here are their degrees: http://www.pbc.edu/page.aspx?pid=543.
     
  9. Havensdad

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    Well, as a low paid Pastor in a small town, might I say; education is too expensive. In fact, it is RIDICULOUSLY expensive. 400 dollars per credit hour, in a Seminary where one class will oft times have 40-50 people, is gouging, plain and simple. There is good, quality education that is affordable. The three I list above are such; even NOBTS is in the "affordable" camp.

    And I, for one, am glad he decided to live smaller and spend more time with his family!
     
    #9 Havensdad, Dec 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2011
  10. Greektim

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    Not saying he shouldn't, but my point is that it is hard to provide quality education that is accredited AND affordable at the same time. LU and NOBTS are out of his price range too.
     
  11. glfredrick

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    Also Boyce College -- Southern Seminary's undergrad program.

    Of course if you are not SBC then the costs are higher. SBC folks get half price.
     
  12. Greektim

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    And if we are thinking the SBC route, College @ Southeastern (or College @ Southwestern) would be a better choice ;) ((Just b/c it's not Southern :D))
     
  13. Havensdad

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    Not LU; not if he does the Home Bible Institute. Not sure where he lives, but NOBTS last time I checked, was 140 per credit hour for in class instruction of SBC students...
     
  14. Havensdad

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    Just you saying this makes me angry... Southern is #1! :mad: (Southeastern, maybe....but Southwestern? Really? Everyone that I know that comes from there is a flake..)
     
  15. Greektim

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    Honestly, I only know a few from SWBTS (profs of SEBTS who got PhDs from SWBTS). But SEBTS is the best of the 6!!! :D
     
  16. blackbird

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    Have you tried Luther Rice Seminary???

    www.lru.edu
     
    #16 blackbird, Dec 16, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2011
  17. ChristianMaker

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    @Havensdad


    Thank you so much for all of your help as well. Man I love this forum. I am definitely going to do some research on the information you have given me as well. A have just a few questions if you don’t mind.

    Nations University

    100 dollars per year plus books. That seems like an amazing deal. I could do that no problem. You say there are seeking accreditation so at this moment they are not. If I do complete a degree with them while they are not accredited it will still be technically not accredited. So therefore this might fit into the category of an excellent choice for a non-accredited school at the moment? That is extremely affordable.

    SATS

    150-250 per class is wonderful. But I do not live in Africa and I think they do not ship the books out of country. So do I just buy my own books for the class and ship them to myself and pay for their classes? This might be an excellent option because I they are accredited like you say and have a very good reputation.

    Liberty Online

    This one is hard for me to understand. Are you saying I can do a complete part of my degree for 950 home study program. And just pay for the difference of my classes that I need to complete the remainder part of my credits at full price? Wait what did I just say. For example if I have 42 credits from home degree. Does that mean I only need like 18 more credits to get my full degree at full price per class?

    More food for thought

    RG2 made an excellent point is that I do have in my mind my subsidized community college pricing because of my local community and I do need to get that out of my head somewhat. On the other hand there are a lot of schools wanting to teach the word of God for an affordable price. I think I came to the conclusion that I am doing this for me and not for a congregation or a pastoral job. I just want to be able to articulate scripture well and slide into a position in the future with respectable credentials if God permits it or wants it. I am probably just going to be the financial person that I already am in a secular job but just in my free time spending time in a Church and helping others in probably a more minor role.

    I am leaning towards to something extremely affordable like SATS with a rigorous work load or a non-accredited school with an exceptional recommendation. Just to get sound doctrine and be somewhat respectable if I need to be called to sub in for a Youth Pastor or minor leader. I think that would be adequate. Please continue to let me know what you think.
     
  18. ChristianMaker

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    @Greektim

    Yes I might be dreaming. I do not know what I am but that is why I am on this forum so I can be told upfront the reality of life and what to expect when it comes to this kind of stuff. The only reason I said that I made money before or that I can is because when I have posted this on other forums I have been made fun of by other Christians for living with family. It hurts when people do that but I feel compelled to defend that I have been a very productive citizen in society and my parents are very proud of me.

    I just felt the Holy Spirit and decided to sell everything. Have time to meet a Lady and get married which I did; and regroup which I am currently doing. I can go out and make money like the old days but I am just not ready yet. I want to entrench myself with the word of God and build a house on concrete and not materialistic sand.

    I do appreciate people that have bills to pay it’s just that with my currently situation I cannot afford an arm or a leg. And I am not in a position that I am going to go into the minister full time where a Church is going to sponsor me even a college. I am currently going to be getting a secular degree in finance and wanted to get this biblical degree for the Lord and his work at the same time. In case I need to do both at any given time. So I need something affordable and respectable if that is not too much to ask. If I can’t afford the best then I would like to get the next best thing.

    My other question is that I wonder if I get an associates at a community college if I can just take the required bible courses and transfer my general classes and obtain a biblical degree that way as well for an affordable price.

    In any case I appreciate your comments and look forward to everyone else’s.
     
  19. ChristianMaker

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    @blackbird

    I believe luther rice is out of my budget but I can check again.

    @Heavensdad

    I live in Atlanta, Ga so if this helps or if there is any great bible schools near here that would be great. Can I do the Home Bible Program here in Georgia?

    @Everyone

    Also what is this all about sbc? How do you become sbc and what is the best option for this or college?

    I am looking for anything around 75.00 to 175.00 per class or maybe per credit. Much more than this and I just don’t think I could handle the debt to income ratio.
     
  20. ChristianMaker

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    @Everyone

    Also what about Moody Bible? Does this one matter at all? Keep the advice coming please!
     

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