Q. Can any college student apply to the BCPP or is it only available to graduates from “Baptist” institutions?
A. If you have a major or minor in Religion/Christian studies at any college, you should definitely check out the BCPP. Though students who studied at a Southern Baptist denominational institution should have an easier time qualifying for a course such as “Southern Baptist Heritage,” our program is designed to assist all college graduates who have a religion major, minor, or those who completed electives or studied biblical languages.
Q. Can the BCPP actually save me money?
A. Definitely! Here’s how. First, the advanced focus seminars cost approximately one-fourth less than the equivalent semester course ($100 per hour rather than the standard tuition of $200 for SBC students). Second, the credit-by-testing courses cost a mere $60 per hour, which is less than one-third of the average cost for a SBC student enrolled in seminary. Third, you are credited with lower level biblical language courses at the low BCPP rate if you successfully complete upper level biblical languages courses.
Q. Is there a fee to enroll in the BCPP?
A. No, all it will cost you to enroll in the program is the phone call and the mailing expense to send us your college transcript. There are no hidden fees for this service. You only pay for the courses you register for, and that’s even at a reduced rate.
Q. Will enrolling in the BCPP shorten the time needed to complete my seminary degree?
A. It certainly can, depending upon how many hours your course work in college qualifies you for and how many credit hours you earn through the BCPP seminars or credit-by-testing. The max load reduction would be between 36 and 37 hours (depending on the length of the degree program). If you qualify for that, then you could possibly have only 48 hours left for a standard M.Div. or just over 50 hours for a specialized M.Div.
Q. How will enrolling in the BCPP change or lighten my load during Seminary?
A. BCPP does take work to earn the credits, but overall it lightens your load at Seminary. First, the advanced focus seminars in Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, Psychology/Christian Education, and Preaching are offered between semesters (over the summer or during breaks). This means that you can take less hours during each semester, since you are completing the BCPP courses—along with whatever you have qualified for via the credit-by-testing.
Q. What do I need to do to get started?
A. That’s simple. Send a student copy of your current college transcript to New Orleans address 3939 Gentilly Box 59. Or, you can fax us @ 504-816-8009. Or, you can e-mail us a copy to email@example.com. We’ll take care of the rest.
Q. Do I have to come to NOBTS in order to register for a BCPP seminar, a credit-by-testing exam, or simply to request a study guide?
A. Not at all. Call us and we will walk you through the process, which will involve a letter of intent for taking the class, receipt of your payment, and your receipt of the syllabus.
Q. Why should I take the BCPP advanced focus seminar courses?
A. That’s easy—though they’re not. They cost less (than the regular courses), they don't last as long (fifteen hours for one week, reading and research with a paper but no tests, as opposed to forty hours during two weeks, reading, research, paper, book reviews, and tests). Also, you’re done with the class time in one week versus a semester.
Q. When are BCPP seminars offered?
A. The seminars are offered annually. For an up-to-date listing of which courses are being offered at which times, go to the BCPP website, conveniently located at www.nobts.edu/bcp/schedule.html. You may also call us (1800-nobts-01, ext. 8171).
Q. How does a BCPP advanced focus seminar differ from a week-long workshop seminar?
A. BCPP seminars are three hours daily for five days. Workshops typically last six to eight hours daily for one to two weeks (depending on the course). Both require advance reading and a post paper. BCPP seminars are taught in the style of a research seminar (you research and present the findings daily), whereas most workshops have more of an orientation toward professor lecture.
Q. Is there a time limit once I have received the study guide before I then take the test?
A. No. You have as long as you need or want to take the test. Be careful, however; we do revise these tests periodically—so don’t wait so long as to have prepared for the wrong test.
Q. How do I know what to study for the “credit by testing” courses?
A. You won’t be surprised by what is on the test. Once your transcript has been evaluated and your qualifications determined you will receive instructions for enrolling in these test courses on Blackboard. Each course shell contains downloadable versions of the most recent study materials that coincide with the test.
Q. If I fail a test, is it okay to take the test for that course again?
A. Unfortunately, no. That’s why we will provide you with a study guide for each subject that your undergraduate work has qualified you for. Be sure to study. The exam is only one hour long without the aide of notes or books, and it is simply a pass or fail grade.
Q. If I have had Greek and/or Hebrew at the undergraduate level, do I have to repeat it again?
A. No. For every 6 hours of language credit at the undergraduate level (with a B or better) we offer you the opportunity to proceed into the next logical level. So a student with 6 hours of Greek or Hebrew at the undergraduate level may skip the introductory class at NOBTS and enroll in the intermediate class; a student with 12 hours may skip both the introductory and intermediate classes and proceed directly to an advanced exegesis or advanced grammar class. Upon successful completion of the intermediate or advanced class (with a B or better), the student will verify his/her grade with the BCPP office to be given credit for those classes he/she skipped, paying only the $60/hour testing fee for those skipped classes. It’s just that simple…well, for a language buff.
Q. If I should choose to transfer to another institution, will any of the BCPP coursework transfer?
A. We hope you’ll complete a degree at NOBTS. But the advanced focus seminars are ATS accredited, so they will transfer to any institution that accepts those courses as part of their curriculum. This means that you could potentially transfer 22 hours of the BCPP coursework, along with any M.Div. work you have completed—whether on campus or at an extension center.
Q. How soon can I start taking classes once I have received notification of acceptance into the BCPP?
A. The answer depends upon where you live. If you are close by—or near one of our NOBTS extension centers—then you can start taking up to eight hours of graduate work immediately after you are accepted into the program. If you are already accepted into the graduate program, then you could literally complete all your study guides and credit-by-testing work before entering your first M.Div. course. Though this might mean a busy summer, wouldn't you like to have completed up to 15 hours of seminary, at the fantastic cost of $60 per hour? If you are still an undergraduate student, there are restrictions: you may begin the process by taking three Advanced Focused Seminars (=12-14 hours) beginning the summer of your junior year. During your senior year, you can complete up to 8 hours of graduate course work and the final Advanced Focused Seminars. As you can see, we encourage college juniors to take advantage of this great head start. BUT, YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE A SINGLE BCPP COURSE UNTIL YOU START SEMINARY IF THAT’S WHAT FITS YOUR SCHEDULE BEST. We do strongly encourage you to finish your baccalaureate work at the college in which you are currently enrolled.
Q. Can I enroll in the BCPP before I graduate from college?
A. Absolutely, yes! But, you must be at least a junior with a cumulative “B” average or better.
Q. Can I work on both my undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously?
A. With limitations, yes. Once enrolled in the BCPP, you are granted the privilege of beginning up to 44 hours of a seminary degree. Here’s how. You may take up to 22 hours of the advanced focus seminars, up to 14 hours of credit-by-testing, and up to 8 hours of graduate course work (at extension centers, semester workshops, or summer sessions).
Q. Where can I find more information about the program?
A. The seminar has a website that provides up-to-date information about the program. Check this out at www.nobts.edu/bcp and we’ll gladly send you one. Of course, our annual academic catalog contains the best source of information about the program. Call Student Enlistment (1800-nobts-01, ext. 3303) for a current catalog. And what about the BCPP brochure? If you don’t have one, call or e-mail us 1800-nobts-01 ext. 8171 (firstname.lastname@example.org).