KANSAS CITY—Upon learning of a decision to approve the degree program by the Higher Learning Commission, a regional accreditation agency, Midwestern Baptist College, SBC, began bringing Biblical and ministry studies directly into students’ homes via the Internet July 1.
According to leaders, the sister school of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) is offering the 45-hour master of arts in theological studies (MATS) degree program that is aimed at providing God-called men and women a chance to further their theological education through a convenient, affordable medium.
“The MATS degree is designed to meet our students’ need for flexible and focused ministry training,” said Ted Davis, MATS program director. “The program has been focused by building upon foundational courses in Biblical and theological studies. It also offers courses in important aspects of practical ministry: church administration, evangelism, interpretation, and missions.”
Davis, who has been an International Mission Board missionary for the past 23 years, said an added benefit of MATS is that individuals can complete a degree without having to uproot their family or leave their church ministry or lay career position.
Courses for the MATS degree consist of 8-week terms. Additionally, since the class work is primarily composed of core courses for a traditional Master’s of Divinity degree, all accrued hours are fully transferrable into other degree programs at Midwestern Seminary.
“Flexibility is one of the most attractive aspects of the MATS degree. With no prerequisite courses in the program, scheduling is easy,” said Rodney Harrison, dean of the MBTS Online Program. “The brief length of the term allows you to complete a course of study and thaen move on to something else, or even take a break from your studies. You ‘attend’ class online, so it fits your daily schedule. You can ‘attend’ at 9 a.m. or midnight, whichever works best for you. Each class in the program will be offered in a regular cycle, so any course you will need is only a term or two away. Midwestern will offer six terms each year.”
MBTS President R. Philip Roberts said the program is not limited to those called into ministry service.
“Our goal is to reach out to ministers such as directors of missions, pastors, children’s ministers, and missionaries, but it doesn’t stop there,” he said. “Since the courses are foundational to all types of ministry, it will provide a great start in professional training for deacons, Bible study teachers, missions and AWANA leaders and many other lay workers, too. ”
Roberts added that courses can be taken one at a time to meet specific interests or needs.
The fall terms are scheduled from Aug. 23-Oct. 8 and Oct. 18-Dec. 10.
“The MATS degree individual course cost is $750 per class, plus book fees,” Harrison said.
School officials said they tried to simplify the application process. Go to the MATS Fast Start Application link at http://www.mbts.edu/academics/distance_learning/online_courses/ and complete the information requested in the form, then register for courses.
For more information, contact the MATS Office at (816) 414-3812.