We at BtT are pleased to announce that Southeastern has received permission from its Board of Trustees and SACS, and has petitioned ATS for permission to offer the entire Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree online, beginning in 2014. Although we have been offering MDiv courses online for years, accreditation standards have made it impossible to offer this 90-hour degree completely online.
We are compelled by a number of reasons to add a fully online M.Div., but the most important reason is its Great Commission potential. Thousands of church planters and missionaries now desire theological education but are not in a position to uproot themselves from the ministry God has given them in order to move to our campus in Wake Forest, NC. Some of these church planters and missionaries are American, but others of them hail from the Middle East, Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, the Pacific Rim, Europe, and other areas of the world. An online M.Div. means that these men and women won’t be robbed of the opportunity for a more comprehensive theological education than they currently have.
Pending approval by our accreditors, this new development will allow students to remain actively engaged in ministry while taking their M.Div., without having to relocate to Wake Forest, NC, for their studies. This opportunity should prove especially helpful for those serving on the mission field, in the military, in local church and para-church ministries, and in bivocational ministries.
Although some Master of Arts degrees are already available in full online delivery, the full MDiv approval will allow for a more in-depth program of training and ministry preparation to those who otherwise might never have access.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of the online courses from Southeastern is that although our delivery methods are accessible and creative, we are determined never to lessen the quality or depth of our content. Students taking online MDiv courses participate in the same lecture content as those in our on campus courses both in quality and quantity. They read the same books, complete the same or comparable assignments, and participate in various creative and meaningful interactive discussion opportunities throughout a semester. The vast majority of our online instructors are full-time SEBTS faculty members. In some courses, we capture creatively the best content from several of our professors as well as other experts in the subject matter. The result is a powerful educational experience marked by breadth, depth, and diversity.
For readers who wish to investigate the online format, Dr. Akin’s online hermeneutics course is available for public viewing. Currently, the course is being offered to the public in for-credit and not-for-credit formats. Over 2,600 students are enrolled, with students from every continent taking the course. Dr. Akin’s videotaped lectures are the exact same lectures he delivers in our on-campus courses. Other online courses follow this pattern as well.
Our Distance Learning Office has years of experience developing these courses and preparing our faculty. They are ready to assist any current or prospective student in participating in an online course or degree. Courses will be offered fall, spring, and summer. Long term schedules will be available to help students at a distance plan out the completion of their entire degree. For more information about distance learning through SEBTS, click here.