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Jason D. Baker

Seminaries Struggling in Current Economic Climate

Seminaries Struggling in Current Economic Climate

I missed this when it was released a few weeks ago but Inside Higher Ed has an article profiling Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Luther Seminary is the largest Lutheran seminary in the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States and yet they're in serious financial difficulty.  After weathering much of the economic downturn, they faced an enrollment drop in the fall and a mounting debt.  As a result, the seminary president resigned in December, about 15% of the staff (18 of 125) have just been laid off, 8 faculty (out of 44) are voluntarily leaving, a master's degree has been shuttered, and the Ph.D. program has put a three-year hold on admissions.

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Jason D. Baker

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Approves Online Master of Theological Studies

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Approves Online Master of Theological Studies

Earlier this month the Board of Trustees at at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary approved an  online Master of Theological Studies degree.  In addition to being a fully online degree, the MTS program is only 36 credit hours, making it "the shortest fully online master’s degree among Southern Baptist seminaries" according to the news release.

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Jason D. Baker

RTS Announces New Online Degrees

RTS Announces New Online Degrees

Reformed Theological Seminary announced that they're going to offer two new online degrees: the Master of Arts (Biblical Studies) and the Master of Arts (Theological Studies).  These join their existing online Master of Arts (Religion) degree. Additionally, RTS announced that Master of Divinity (M.Div.) students will be able to take up to two-thirds (67%) of their courses via distance education.

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Sarah Askins

Can Online Seminary Courses Aid Spiritual Growth?

Online education has opened up the possibility of attending seminary for those limited by their geographic location. With several seminaries offering online courses or distance education programs, questions have been raised concerning the spiritual guidance gained by attending seminary online. Can a spiritual community be formed that encourages and stimulates each students' faith? According to the research conducted by Mary Lowe her article A Summary of the Findings of the Study:Assessing the Impact of Online Courses on the Spiritual Formation of Adult Students, Lowe found in her study that students did mature in their faith and other factors also influenced this spiritual growth apart from the online course itself.

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Jason D. Baker

Eastern Mennonite Seminary Online Courses

I had the privilege of celebrating Easter at my sister's Mennonite church.  There's something about hymns in four part a capella harmony and informal congregational sharing that reminds me of the value of community in worship.  When I returned home, there was an email from a professor at Eastern Mennonite Seminary (which isn't that far away from where I had worshipped) mentioning their online courses.  Although they don't offer full degree programs online, they offer more than a dozen online courses in areas of Anabaptist theology, church history, pastoral care, missional church, and leadership.

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