Online Master of Arts in Biblical Studies

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by mjohnson7, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. mjohnson7

    mjohnson7
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    From....drumroll please......Bob Jones University. For details see here.

    This is neither my endorsement nor my disapproval of BJU. There seem to always be those on the BB from varying backgrounds looking for an online program. This might be a good option for some.

    No matter what you think of BJU, most could agree that this program is most likely rigorous and beneficial especially for those in fundamentalist circles. One could do MUCH worse than BJU. Also, as has been mentioned on the BB previously, they are now accredited through TRACS which is an Dept of Ed approved accrediting agency.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Greektim

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    While not intended to be an endorsement of BJU in any way, I know some of their students, faculty, and expectations. You had better bring your A game to hang with some of those guys. But as was mentioned, they are only accredited w/ TRACS.
     
  3. Rhetorician

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    BJU vs. SBC

    For all who may want to know:

    The BJU Masters seems to be 36 credit hours, if I have read the web page correctly.

    The MATS degree at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is 45 credit hours. And it is about 1/2 the MDiv degree with all of the same subject areas basically w/o the languages.

    Tough choices, but either would be a good option for someone who only wanted to do one grad degree and did not want to relocate. But the education would be markedly different. And each degree would get you "in" and get you "out" of certain circles if you know what I mean? This is a major consideration so make sure you "choose which ruts to put your wheels--you are going to be in them for a very long time!!!" :laugh:

    Just wanted to keep the conversation going. :1_grouphug:

    "That is all!"
     
  4. Pastor Shaun

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    Rhet,

    Can you tell me more about the MA at MABTS, providing a link to the program?

    I am impressed by the affordability of MABTS, plus being fully accredited.

    Thanks,
    Shaun
     
  5. Rhetorician

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    HyperLink to Midwestern Program

    Pastor Shaun,

    Here is the hyperlink to the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary program. Keep in mind:

    1. The price difference;
    2. Bob Jones is not regionally accredited (RA);
    3. MABTS program is through their "college" and is therefore probably NOT ATS accredited which does not accredit colleges only seminaries and such;
    4. Make sure that "you make your bed soft for you will have to lie in it for a very long time," i.e., you cast your lot with the "fundamentalists" or you cast your lot with the "Southern Baptist." Make sure which group you "want to run with"?

    My two cents worth with a hyperlink. :laugh:

    http://www.mbts.edu/academics/distance_learning/online_courses/MATS/

    "That is all!"
     
  6. glfredrick

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  7. Dr. Bob

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    http://www.mbbc.edu/seminary/MastersEnglishBibleOnline.aspx

    Maranatha Baptist Seminary (historic ifb school, graduate wing of Maranatha Baptist Bible College, Watertown, WI) is fully accredited, on line, English Bible - cannot imagine a seminary degree WITHOUT 2-3 years of Greek and 1-2 of Hebrew - and reasonably priced.

    Baptist (unlike BJU) in every aspect; fundamentalist (but not looney-tune legalistic anti-academic types); independent (local-church oriented but not tied to a single church or a convention). hmmm. Independent, Fundamental, Baptist - just what I would want!!

    Oh, wait. I did the campus program (in another dispensation) and it is first class!
     
  8. Pastor Shaun

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    Rhet,

    Does this program have any fees (technology, or so on) other than the 250 per credit.

    Also, is this not a seminary degree? It appears your diploma would say College instead of Seminary. How well does this hold up?


    Very interested in program...thanks
     
  9. Rhetorician

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    Shaun Reply

    Shaun,

    I must commend to you to take a deeper look at the web page for an answer to your first questions if you please?

    Secondly, your concern has validity but may be a minor one.

    The SBC "Big Six" seminaries are more like major universities than I like to believe. If one were to go to the University of Texas at Austin, when you graduated your diploma might say at the top: "The University of Texas." But down lower it might have the "College of Education" or the "College of Engineering" or some such.

    I think that is the way it will probably be with the diploma that Midwestern would issue. It might say "Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's" "College at Midwestern" or something like that.

    I would not for a minute concern myself with how the diploma reads. And If I were a young SBC minister wanting education just now I would JUMP AT THIS opportunity.

    However, let me hasten to say, the Bob Jones option and the option Dr. Bob expressed are both good opportunities too. It really comes down to three issues from my perspective:

    1. Price;

    2. Do you want to be an "SBC Hand" or an "IBF Hand" or a Bob Jones type "Fundamentalist Hand;" or,

    3. How many hours, or how long is the degree, how long will it take to do the degree; which ultimately throws you back on the "Price" issue above.

    The quality of the education is very good it seems to me from all three of the institutions that have been discussed. But denominational considerations and denominational cultures loom very large in your decision.

    Another consideration you may want to think about is this: If and when you want to do doctoral work, with this Masters you are considering get you into a good doctoral program? You see you are not just preparing for what you will do when you finish the degree. You are preparing for what you may be doing 30 years from now.

    Think about it.

    "That is all!" :thumbs:

    PS One more thing I thought about after I closed out the post. Look to see what the "major" of each of the programs is. The Maranatha program is one of the "English Bible." The Masters at Midwestern Seminary is 45 hours and is a truncated or pared down MDiv, which is broader and more general. This could be a major difference for what you want now and for future reference.
     
    #9 Rhetorician, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2010
  10. Pastor Shaun

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    Rhet,

    If you were wanting a degree that would prepare you for doctoral work, and it had to be 100% online....which program would you do and why?

    I am not saying that I would study at the doctorate level; but I wouldn't want to complete a degree that would "get me stuck" so I couldn't, either.

    Thanks
     
  11. Rhetorician

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    Pastor Shaun Reply

    Pastor Shaun,

    I am afraid you have painted me into the proverbial "box."

    This is an unanswerable question I believe. Let me go through a few on the surface answers issues if I may?

    First, all three degrees smack of being "professional degrees." That is, they are not "academic track" type degrees. They are all for the "pastor-teacher" or "Christian worker" or "one involved in church work."

    Secondly, at a major university they will all appeal to the "gate keepers" like what I have described above.

    Thirdly, they have no Biblical languages. To do a doctoral degree in a Biblical discipline you must have at a minimum of two years each of the Biblical languages and then probably a reading level skill of theological French and German as a minimum. Four languages total.

    Fourth, and this is the only thing I can say FOR SURE. Not one of the three degrees discussed would allow for the holder thereof to enter a Regionally accredited PhD program or an ATS accredited PhD or ThD program without some "leveling work." I.e., the person would have to bring their coursework, in certain areas, up to the Master of Divinity level. That is around 90 credit hours in certain disciplines. With one exception, you may not need 90 hours MDiv leveling work at a major university. But the part about the languages would still hold true.

    So that is why it is so very important to decide "what you want to be when you grow up" now. If you even think you will want to get or have doctoral work later then this may not be the right route to pursue. But, if you only want to "do ministry," I cannot for the life of me see how either of the three degrees discussed above would be a bad deal.

    Remember, "the call to preach is the call to prepare." And, "where God guides God provides." Do the degree that fits some of the criteria discussed in this post for this point in your life.

    Fast. Pray. Seek wise counsel. Then come to the end knowing for certainty that you have made the correct decision for this season of your life and "the go for it" with all you have.

    "My two cents worth," and remember you asked. :thumbs:

    "That is all!"

    PS Thank you for asking an old-timer like me my opinion. If there is one thing I am an expert on, it it my opinion!!
     
    #11 Rhetorician, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2010
  12. Rhetorician

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    Pastor Shaun Reply #2

    Pastor Shaun,

    I would seek the wisdom of Dr. Bob on this one too. I am sure he will tell you much the same as I did. He always brings much good stuff to a discussion like this one. Let's see if he will give us some help?

    How about it Dr. Bob?

    "That is all!" :thumbs:
     
  13. Pastor Shaun

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    Rhet,

    Thanks for your posts. Let me explain myself more. I having studying for full time pulpit ministry. I am currently doing the work of an evangelist. I am taking classes through Luther Rice. I enjoy LRU very much. As of recently, I have been concerned about NA vs. RA accrediting.

    Although I am called to a preaching ministry I would enjoy teaching courses on the adjunct level. I am afraid that LRU won't benefit me in this way as far as being TRACS?

    Thoughts are appreciated.
     
  14. Greektim

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    I think you might be surprised with allowances of some schools to accept the equivalence of an mdiv. For instance, I am working on a ThM w/out an MDiv. I have to do leveling classes but only because the languages I took were at the undergrad level and they want to make sure I can hang. Other than that, my MA plus some doctoral work was enough to get me into a ThM at SEBTS. I could have also entered their PhD with the same credentials and "leveling" classes.

    One nice feature of the BJU model is that it follows the university track instead of the seminary track. They go ba, ma, phd. Seminary is typically ba, mdiv, dmin/phd. So only the masters degree is shortened. Piedmont Baptist College and Graduate School has also opted for the same university track (they have an MABS online as well w/ Biblical languages online, very good too). Only time will tell the level of scholarship they will produce (they graduated their first PhD student this last spring 2009). But there are other options that do not require an MDiv (seminary and theological graduate school university model), and that is my point.
     
  15. Dr. Bob

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    I cannot think of an undergraduate degee or first level graduate program that is "on line" that truly prepares for a PhD or EdD or ThD. Even for a DMin (pastoral) type program.

    I cannot imagine NOT having strong language training (Greek, Latin, Hebrew) for true PhD study.

    I love campus education for 4-5 years (thru the MA level) and the interaction with classroom, dorm life, activities, etc. For the advanced program then on-line is great . . since we are not talking about classroom type study.
     
  16. glfredrick

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    SBC seminaries offer a D.Min. for pastors who have a master's degree only. It takes an M.Div. to qualify for a Ph.D. in most of the ones I've looked at.

    Also, there is a difference between an D.Min. and a Ph.D. The D.Min. is a "project" doctorate that is not a "terminal degree" (un-suitable for teaching at accredited graduate institutions) while the Ph.D. is a "research doctorate" that is a terminal degree (suitable for teaching at accredited graduate institutions).

    I edit and format doctoral dissertations for a good number of students at the SBC seminaries.
     
  17. Pastor Shaun

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    Currently at LRU I pay 672 a class. I am wondering if I would be better off studying at MBTS for 750 a class.

    I really like LRU, and if they were RA I wouldn't even be having these considerations.

    Thanks for your posts.
     
  18. Rhetorician

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    Bro. Glfredrick,

    May I contest a couple of points of your emphasis?

    1. A DMin is a "terminal degree."

    2. A DMin is an "earned degree."

    3. A DMin can be used to teach at Universities and Seminaries IF the person "knows someone" or has a "discipline" or "specialty" that the institution wants to utilize, such as an outstanding writing career. Can you say "what you can do" and "who do you know"? It is just in the last years to date they have chosen to hire only PhDs or ThDs to fill all slots. And, by the way, there is a glut of those also wanting to be hired.

    Examples of such would be David Buttrick of Vanderbilt, Calvin Miller of Beeson, and "little ole me!" No brag, just fact.

    "That is all!":smilewinkgrin:
     
  19. Rhetorician

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    Comparisons

    To all who may read this:

    This is a disclaimer.

    I did not to imply on any level that I am to be compared to Daviid Buttrick or Calvin Miller. They are both scholars in their own right. May the Lord bless what they have written and their teaching legacy. :thumbsup:

    "That is all!"
     
  20. Havensdad

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    Its possible. The M.Div. at Liberty is great, and can get you into pretty much any Southern Baptist Doctoral program. The problem, of course, is that their online M.Div. does not have the language requirements.

    This, however, is easily fixed by simply taking your language classes at New Orleans Baptist, who allows transient studies, and has complete Greek and Hebrew offerings online (or, if you prefer, they have summer long intensive programs which cover Intro through advanced Hebrew/Greek in three months, on alternating years).
    These can then be transferred into your Liberty M.Div.

    This, FYI, is what I am doing.
     

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