Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Michael, Jun 15, 2009.
I'm looking for an inexpensive Master of Divinity degree. Any suggestions?
Does it have to be accreditied?
Free - http://www.nationsu.org/site/index.php/academics/master-of-divinity
Cheap - http://www.ameschristian.org/html2/onlinedegrees2.html
Yes, I need it to be accredited. It can be U.S.A or foreign school.
I would also consider such degrees as Practical Theology.
It doesn't have to be completely DL. In fact, I would prefer some in-person interaction.
Can you give some further information? Do you have any denominational restrictions? Do you have any specific interests to link up to a school with strengths in that particular area? Have you already started any graduate work in theology to transfer in? What part of the world do you live in for a face-to-face semester or intensive classes?
Also, I’m by no means trying to discourage you, but a seminary that inadequately prepares you can be incalculably expensive. A friendly suggestion: re-prioritize your search and seek first a program that is high quality rather than low cost, then see what on that list you can afford.
Best wishes on your search!
I'd agree with Dave, this is not normally something you'd want to choose mainly based on how cheap it is. The exception would be if you've already been involved in ministry a long time and just need a credential to help with finding/getting a job or something like that.
It really depends what you want to use it for, for example if it's for a particular ministry opportunity, you'll could ask if they would accept a TRACS accredited degree (ex. Luther Rice University) which would in most cases be cheaper than a more prestigious but more expensive ATS and/or RA accredited degree.
A solid degree and affordable fees, MTh, can be earned from the South African Theological Seminary:
Thanks. Some interesting schools.
I like Nations Univ, even though they seem to be slanted to the Churches of Christ, which I am not a member of.
They say they are now pursuing accreditation with a recognized body. Would you know who that is?
No denominational restrictions, Dave. But I would prefer a school accredited by a recognized acccreditor, so the degree will be acceptable to any denomination.
As for specific interests, the arts and worship.
I have not started grad work in theology.
I live in southern USA.
Thanks for your help and suggestions.
I almost chose SATS one time. I might consider it again.
Thanks to everyone who has replied so far; your comments have been very helpful.
I hope to get many more replies.
“Acceptable to any denomination” narrows things considerably, because that means RA/ATS, period. The following are some high-quality options in the American South. The ATS limits your DL credit total, but many schools offer one-week intensives that can be used to satisfy the residency requirement. I think these schools would be supportive of your interest in worship and the arts as well. Don’t be put off by the sticker price - even in difficult economic times these established schools have dedicated funding for scholarships for all students. I think I only paid about 50-60% of list price at GCTS.
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte campus) has a well-established DL program called Semlink, and offers intensive courses in summer in Charlotte. Inter-denominational.
Reformed Theological Seminary (campuses in Jackson, Charlotte, Orlando, Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Memphis) has significant DL offerings, plus many intensive courses for resident credit. Reformed.
Covenant Seminary (St. Louis) Reformed.
Duke Divinity School (Durham, NC) Methodist.
Beeson Divinity School (Birmingham) Baptist.
Asbury Theological Seminary (campuses in Asbury, KY and Orlando) has a new virtual campus program. Methodist.
Erskine Theological Seminary (Due West, SC) Reformed.
For others reading the thread, I don’t want to discourage people from looking outside the US system. The quality is there in the UK and South Africa, but utility across the spectrum isn’t. Anyone seeking graduate education at the DL-friendly South African schools frequently discussed here (like Stellenbosch, Cape Town, Pretoria, SATS, etc.) won’t be disappointed. The M.Div.-equivalent Bachelor of Divinity at the University of London is another bright spot in the DL world.
If you don't have an aversion to a Pentecostal perspective, I would recommend Global University. They are the distance learning arm of the Assemblies of God, which provides ministerial education to ministers world wide. They are accredited by the DETC and have applied for Regional accreditation. Each graduate class runs approximately $600-$700.
**I have no affiliation with Global U other than being a member of an Assemblies of God church.**
This is an important point. I want to be careful to say that, from everything I've heard, a degree from SATS, UNIZA, Pretoria, etc are valid, rigorous, and generally excellent degrees from good schools with knowledgeable faculty. So many of the degrees & schools themselves are very good.
That said, when I mentioned the possibility getting a SA degree to one of my profs, his reaction was not favorable ... he sort of brushed off the suggestion and started talking about North American schools. So if academic acceptance is your goal, just know that there may be barriers to getting a SA degree.
I will certainly check into those schools. I have looked at some of them in the past but thought they were too expensive.
I continue to consider the SA schools, but I would miss the in-person interaction.
Global is interesting, so i hope they can achieve regional accreditation.
Do they offer scholarships?
Thank you all for your good suggestions and information.
My situation is that I just can't afford to pay more than a couple thousand out of my own pocket for a degree at this time. That seems to limit me to SA degrees. But I would prefer to have some in-person contact with my studies, which would necessitate a program in my area of the country. Problem there is cost.
Then there's the question of utility of a SA degree. I need the degree to be as widely acceptable as possible.
So, there is my dilemma. I don't know if there's a solution, as I have been contemplating this for a while.
I will very much appreciate any further input.
According to their website, they only offer tuition assistance through the VA. I know they offer a payment plan for undergraduate coursework, but graduate courses require full payment.
I certainly understand about the costs.
Thanks for the info. Yes, cost is a major obstacle for me.
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