Online and Extension Center Seminaries
“Indigenous leadership - That’s the ticket!!” Ask any missionary and they will confirm that the leap from addition to multiplication is linked to emerging, local leadership. People who know the language, the culture, the nuances of life… they own the vision, live the mission, the values that others would be coming out of are the same values they are coming out of so the journey is familiar.
America is a mission field. According to Newsweek Magazine, in an article titled “The End of Christian America,” reporting on “The American Religious Identification Survey”:
- the number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation has nearly doubled since 1990
- the number of self-identified Christians has fallen 10 percentage points in the same years
- the number of people who identify their religion as atheist or agnostic has increased four-fold
This 10-year, longitudinal, follow-up study to a similar project done in 1990 and not only shows facts, it demonstrates trends; undeniably so.
The Mid-Atlantic is no exception to those trends. Yet, God is moving among His Church and He is calling men/women to serve His mission through their own local churches. The question is, “How do they best prepare to serve here – now?” In the past the standard answer to that question has been: quit your job, sell your house, move your family to a seminary in another part of the country, and take 2 or 3 years in a modern-monastic setting to get ready. Then, maybe, you’ll go back. And, for very many people that remains the preferred method of preparation.
However, for a growing part of the population, not “learning then doing;” but “learning while doing…” an immersion learning model, is a better way! For those folks, staying in their indigenous world – speaking the language, moving about within the culture, owning the vision, living the mission,… these are the best paths for their service, doing the most Kingdom good. Yet, they also need some form of filter to focus their learning… some sort of ministry preparation approach.
Online Schools and Extension Center Programs offer just such a filter. And the BCM/D is glad to partner with and recommend a select few schools to assist in just such a journey. On this page you will find links to 3 schools and multiple degree tracks…
Seeking an Undergraduate Degree?
The Boyce College offers an Associate of Arts degree in Biblical and Theological studies almost entirely online (only a few general studies courses must be completed at a local school then transferred into their program). Ministers without an undergraduate education will find this classical curriculum track most interesting.
Rockbridge Seminary offers a Diploma in Ministry Studies for the same audience. The diploma is offered entirely online and is focused on ministry skills.
Seeking a Graduate Degree?
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary hosts an Extension Center in Columbia, MD. A traditional/classical Masters of Divinity degree can be earned taking classes on Friday evening and Saturday’s for 5 weeks-at-a-time… 3 courses each semester. These courses can be supplemented by online courses (up to nearly 1/3rd of your degree work!) and short, one-week courses offered on-campus in Louisville, KY.
Rockbridge Seminary offers 2, fully-online degrees: a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Ministry Leadership. The RBS curriculum is built off of 5 biblical purposes for the Church, 35 contemporary competencies for those who serve the local Church in ministry roles, a virtual classroom that is available any time you are, courses delivered in 8-week terms, interaction with students from around the world, a local field mentor who helps you contextualize everything you are learning, and a fully integrated curriculum plan.
Any/all of these schools, degrees, and processes immerse you in both worlds: ministry preparation and ministry practice! All of them enable the churches of the BCM/D to move more and more toward indigenous leadership – to move from addition to multiplication!
Click the links – tour the real/virtual campuses – read the FAQ’s – build your own list of goals, raise additional questions, and feel free to call/email Randy Millwood (my contact information is on the right) to sit down and talk thought those goals in regards to these and other programs!