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Midwestern bachelor degree advances to accreditation

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Midwestern Baptist College, SBC, the undergraduate school of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, will offer a fully accredited bachelor of arts degree in biblical studies beginning in the fall 2005 semester.

“We are delighted that the accrediting agency has agreed to grant us this authority,” Midwestern President R. Philip Roberts said. “It is a giant step forward for the life and ministry of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.”

Midwestern was granted accreditation for the 126-hour degree program by the Higher Learning Commission’s Institutional Actions Council on Aug. 2, with formal validation by the commission’s board of trustees to come in mid-August.

The first classes for the program will begin Monday, Aug. 22, at the Kansas City, Mo., campus.

“We are thankful that the Lord has provided the means, the faculty, the staff and the students for a wonderful start to our very first year of operation,” said Jim Anderson, dean of the Midwestern Baptist College, SBC. “We have a fully accredited program of study.”

The degree program will be offered in two formats: the traditional program and an accelerated program, called MACCEL.

Both formats are designed to provide college-level preparation for service in the local church and in other Christian ministries. The biblical/theological component of the degree will give students increased biblical knowledge, help them formulate theological beliefs based on biblical and historical perspectives, and provide them with a Great Commission perspective in evangelism, discipleship, ministry and worship.

Students who have earned one of Midwestern’s associate’s degrees can transition into the bachelor’s degree program. Midwestern currently offers an associate of divinity (64 credit hours) degree program with optional concentration in church planting (68 credit hours) and an associate of arts (64 credit hours) degree program with several majors: biblical studies, Christian education and music.

The bachelor of arts degree program prepares students to pursue graduate-level seminary study. Both bachelor’s degree formats will be offered at the regular tuition rate of $130 a credit hour for members of Southern Baptist churches.

Classes will be offered for the traditional program during each regular academic semester. The traditional format includes a general education component with 48 hours; a biblical/theological studies component of 21 hours; and the major portion of biblical studies with 39 hours. Eighteen hours of open electives comprise the rest of the degree program.

The accelerated program, or MACCEL, which stands for Midwestern Accelerated Education, is designed for the adult student, putting them on a fast track to complete their undergraduate education. It allows students to finish their degree in a minimum of 80 weeks of work, while attending classes one evening or Saturday morning a week. Each course meets five consecutives times for three hours each, with courses scheduled year-round.

“The MACCEL program allows students who weren’t able to complete their degree under a traditional delivery system to finish their degree in a manner catered toward the adult student,” Anderson said. “Students attend for only one day — whether at night or in the morning — a week and are able to complete a three-hour course in only five weeks, making it possible to complete the degree in only 80 weeks of work.”

Anderson said the program is especially helpful for bivocational pastors and students.

The MACCEL core curriculum consists of 16 courses. By completing the core curriculum, students can earn up to 48 hours.

To enter the MACCEL program, students must be 27 years of age or older at the time of admission and have earned a minimum of 64 credit hours of transferable college credit or have completed one of Midwestern’s associate’s degree programs.
For more about Midwestern’s new bachelor’s degree program or to talk to an academic adviser, call toll-free at 1-800-944-6287 or email [email protected].

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