The Question of College, again

Earlier this month Michael Metts asked us (Nick, Bryan, and myself) why don’t we go to college.  You can follow the conversations starting at Bryan’s blog.

My main reasons were money, and time.  But it is something that I have always wanted to accomplish in my life.  Since the conversations I have not stopped thinking and praying about it.  Money is still an issue, and I want to pay for it cash, so an expensive bible college or seminary is out of the question for me.

I started to look into distant learning which is becoming a trend and more universities are offering them.  Some are still too expensive.  The other problem is finding a theological distant learning program that will be challenging to me personally, and not feel like I am just taking a class for the sake of a degree.  There are many on line distant learning bible schools but most seem rather shallow and lacking any sort of respectability.  I had taken a couple of classes at Vision International (also an online learning bible school), but they are more geared towards ministry, and the courses were not what I was looking for.

After searching, and searching I found King’s Evangelical Divinity School,  just a bit of background from their site:

Founded in 1990, King’s Evangelical Divinity School (formerly Midlands Bible College and Divinity School) is a nondenominational institution providing innovative and competitively-priced theological studies by open and distance learning. Working in partnership with the University of Wales, Lampeter, the college specialises in Hermeneutics (biblical interpretation).

After researching them I found no bad reviews on the internet, and they have a solid faculty of teachers.  Also their program is as they say “we always sought to marry relevant, applicable theology with a rigorous academic approach. Our students are not required to learn dusty, irrelevant theology for the sake of it.

They seem much engaged in today’s theological issues, by conducting interviews, blogging, and publishing their own books, also their book requirements are all recent scholarship.  I have looked at other distant learning programs of similar cost, but none of them offered this level of education for the same price.  Most are all basic theology, and bible courses which is not something I am interested in doing.  Also most American on line bible colleges won’t offer this level of learning until you enter a Master’s program.

Regarding the degree, why I am not doing it.

  1. Because as a Associate Pastor I feel the need to hold credentials – NOT
  2. Because I am insecure – NOT
  3. Because I feel that is the only way to learn – NOT
  4. Because it will make me feel better than my non-degree bloggers – NOT
  5. Because it will make me smarter than my non-degree bloggers – NOT/NOT
  6. Because I want to be a famous theological author- NOT
  7. I think you get it by now

Reasons why I want to earn my degree:

  1. It has been one of my lifetime goals to earn my degree in theology
  2. I love teaching, and would like to be able to teach at a bible college or seminary within the next 10 years.
    1. I do currently teach at our bible institute at our church, but I would love to be in a position to be able to teach for a living.
  3. I love learning
  4. I want to be more disciplined in my study habits
  5. It won’t hurt to be an example to my son in terms of life long learning habits
  6. I want to do something different for a living
    1. for 20 years now I have worked as a Systems Engineer and I want to completely change my career and focus.
    2. I want to spend the next 30+ years teaching and hopefully even teach in countries where they are lest fortunate.

I asked my wife if she would back me up and support my efforts, as she is my best friend and life partner.  Thankfully she was fully supportive of it as we will have to make some financial adjustments, hopefully not to much.

I am excited about starting this program, and hopefully no one will respond with bad news about King’s Evangelical Divinity School, but if you have some please share as I plan to enroll this week.  Thanks for listening.


22 thoughts on “The Question of College, again

  1. Stephen Vantassel says:

    As dean of students for King’s Evangelical Divinity School, I look forward to welcoming you into our student body. I would also like to thank you for your kind words regarding our school. Our faculty continue to work to make KEDS scholastically rigorous, culturally relevant, and worthy of the name Evangelical.

  2. Dr. Vantassel, I was not expecting you or anyone from KEDS to respond, so this is a pleasant surprise. Your program does appear to meet my personal needs, and be challenging as well as rewarding. I look forward to learning from you and the rest of the faculty at KEDS.

  3. Michael Metts says:

    Robert, I’m glad you are pursuing further education. The college sounds excellent and it was very polite for Dr. Vantassel to welcome you on your own blog! I expect you to publish every enlightening fact you read and learn on your blog!


    • Michael, thanks for making me think about this once again. Yes, I was very impressed that Dr. Vantassel took the time to welcome me. BTW: the Academic Dean (Andy Cheung), also sent me a personal email, which was also very impressive. I plan on submitting my application sometime today.

      Oh, you bet I will publish every enlightening fact, because I will be seeking input, thoughts and suggestions as well, and especially if I am stuck and not understanding a particular subject. Since it’s a distant education, this blog will serve as a sort of meeting of the minds with other like minded students. I know that KEDS has some internal resources for all students and I will take advantage of that as well.

  4. Looks like a pretty good deal Robert – if I understand it – their BTh is the US’s MDiv? Anyways, glad you may have found something suitable for you! The fact that someone contacted you right away says alot.

    • TC, I know you are teasing, but these just a few other authors that are recommended/required reading Carson, Vanhoozer, Blomberg, Tillich, and Van Til just to name a few. This is one reason the school appealed to me, it will force me to read books that I may have avoided or not considered 😉

  5. About 6-7 years ago, I was serving as a pastor without pay (voluntary) and without any training. Now that I’m ordained and have a theological degree from seminary, I do feel the difference. You can never go wrong with more education.

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