In a move intended to help men and women called to ministry get placed into positions sooner, North Greenville University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary are partnering to count certain college credit hours toward a master of divinity degree, saving students both time and money.
The agreement, signed by NGU President Gene Fant Jr. and NOBTS President James Dew Jr., creates a pathway for Christian Studies majors to apply qualified earned college credits toward an NOBTS degree. The two schools worked together prior to the agreement to identify courses that would be comparable or equivalent.
“The work of Christian ministry is more important now than ever before,” Dew said. “As such, removing obstacles and redundancies that prohibit students from completing this training in a timely and cost-effective manner is critical for the future of theological education. We are proud to partner with a fantastic school like North Greenville University to make that possible.”
Qualifying NGU students can earn up to one-third of the required hours for the NOBTS degree. Qualified hours can also be applied toward specialization tracks, including expository preaching, biblical languages, Christian thought, Christian education, and Christian apologetics.
Fant, a 1989 NOBTS graduate, said, “This partnership represents a new opportunity for our students to pursue practical training in all areas of ministry, recognizing the quality of our undergraduate program with an accelerated graduate program. We are deeply grateful to President Dew and his staff for the invitation to pursue this partnership.”
NGU students and graduates must meet additional requirements to qualify for the accelerated program. Potential students for the program must apply to NOBTS and meet all the admissions requirements.
Students must have earned a “B” or higher in qualifying undergraduate courses to receive credit toward a master’s course. In addition, credits can only be applied to the Accelerated M.Div. program within five years of baccalaureate graduation.
Anderson University offers a similar “Fast Track” program through which undergraduate Christian Studies majors may earn up to 30 hours of M.Div. credit. The track leaves 45 hours to complete an M.Div. degree offered through the university’s Clamp Divinity School. Once students graduate with their bachelor’s degree, they can take residential classes or finish their master’s degree online while serving in a ministry position. Clamp Divinity School operates within Anderson’s College of Christian Studies, so faculty can teach in both programs and students can be involved in both, said Dean Michael Duduit.
Graduates earning a degree in Christian Studies from Charleston Southern University are eligible to enter the Advanced M.Div. program of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. The university is currently exploring ways to formalize and expand its relationship with Southeastern and other Southern Baptist seminaries, said Ben Phillips, dean of CSU’s College of Christian Studies.
For more information on NGU’s Accelerated M.Div. program, visit www.nobts.edu/acceleratedmdiv.