Q. Can a student from any undergraduate institution apply to the Accelerated MDiv program or is it only available to graduates from “Baptist” institutions?
A. While the Accelerated MDiv is not limited solely to those students who are graduates of Baptist colleges and universities, only courses from institutions of similar theological background will be applied toward the Acclerated MDiv. This means that students from institutions affiliated with other denominations may also receive some credit through the program, though some courses may not apply.
Q. How many hours can students earn through the Accelerated MDiv program?
A. The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) allows institutions like NOBTS to give students credit for up to 1/3 of their graduate degree based on undergraduate coursework. For an 84-hour MDiv in Christian Ministry, that would be 28 hours; for an 87-hour specialization in the MDiv, 29 hours. However, in light of recent curriculum changes, all of the courses offered through the Accelerated MDiv program are now 3-hour courses. Thus, qualifying students would only be eligible to receive a maximum of 27 hours (nine courses) through the program since adding a tenth course would exceed the maximum number of hours allowed by ATS.
Q. Does the Accelerated MDiv program work with degrees other than the MDiv?
A. The primary purpose of the Accelerated MDiv program is to help students save time and money toward the pursuit of the MDiv. However, we do offer Accelerated MDiv credits for two non-MDiv programs: the MA in Counseling and the MM in Church Music. Because these degree programs do not include the entirety of the MDiv core, students seeking these degrees may not be eligible to receive the full 1/3 benefit through the Accelerated MDiv program but can qualify to receive some credit.
Q. Is the Accelerated MDiv an "all or nothing" program?
A. No. Students may qualify to receive up to 27 hours of their degree program but may also be eligible to receive credit for just a single course, depending on the student's undergraduate program.
Q. When applying for NOBTS, do I need to enroll as an Accelerated MDiv student?
A. No. You will simply complete the application process as normal and enroll in the degree program of your choosing, whether the MDiv in Christian Ministry or a particular specialization in the MDiv. The Accelerated MDiv program works with any specialization in the MDiv.
Q. Can the Accelerated MDiv actually save me money?
A. Definitely! The only fees associated with the Accelerated MDiv are for advanced placement in languages (1/3 tuition for each bypassed course), meaning that most credit hours granted through the program are free. Students who qualify for the maximum benefit through the Accelerated MDiv will save roughly 1/3 of tuition costs alone, not to mention other fees associated with enrollment and registration.
Q. Is there a fee to enroll in the Accelerated MDiv program?
A. No, there is no cost associated with the Accelerated MDiv program, save for the time and energy required for you to send your undergraduate transcripts and research paper (preferably graded) for evaluation.
Q. Will enrolling in the Accelerated MDiv shorten the time needed to complete my seminary degree?
A. Most certainly. Qualifying students are eligible to receive up to 1/3 of their degree program, meaning they can cut the time requirements for their degree by 1/3 as well. However, a full-time student who qualifies for just nine hours through the program may still reduce his/her time in seminary by a semester. Every little bit helps!
Q. How will enrolling in the Accelerated MDiv change or lighten my load during Seminary?
A. The Accelerated MDiv allows students the opportunity to bypass many of the introductory level courses at NOBTS, allowing them to skip what could essentially amount to a review of their previous four-year undergraduate degree (at least for some). These students are then freed up to take other upper-level courses, elective courses, etc., that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to take (depending on the frequency with which a course is offered). Qualifying students may also choose, rather than loading up to complete their degree quicker, to take lighter loads each semester. For example, to complete an 84-hour MDiv in six semesters (3 years) would require an average semester load of 14 hours. That same MDiv, with 27 hours earned through the Accelerated program, may be done in six semesters with an average load of just 9.5 hours. This allows students to complete their degree program in the same amount of time while freeing themselves up to dedicate more time each semester to work, ministry opportunities, and family.
Q. What do I need to do to get started?
A. In order to begin the process, students should submit a copy of their undergraduate transcript as well as a graded research paper, or research paper to be graded, via email to email@example.com. Students do not need to request an Official Transcript be sent from their undergraduate institution and may submit an unofficial copy. Those students who have already submitted their transcript(s) to the Registrar's office during the application process may email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a copy be sent to the Accelerated MDiv office at no charge to the student.
Q. Why do I have to submit a graded research paper?
A. Because the Accelerated MDiv program provides advanced standing for qualified students, these students must be able to demonstrate competency in research and writing---skills that would traditionally be taught and/or refined in introductory level seminary courses. The research paper submitted should demonstrate a firm grasp of grammatical and stylistic issues in writing as well as the proper use of reliable, credible sources that are appropriate for an academic research paper. For more information on the research paper submission, see Research Paper Information.
Q. If I have had Greek and/or Hebrew at the undergraduate level, do I have to repeat it again?
A. Not necessarily. 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 Greek 1 or Hebrew 1 at NOBTS and enroll in Greek 2 or Hebrew 2; a student with 12 hours may skip both Greek or Hebrew 1 and 2 and proceed directly to Greek/Hebrew Exegesis or Advanced Greek/Hebrew. Upon successful completion of the NOBTS class in which the student is enrolled (with a B or better), the student will verify his/her grade with the Accelerated MDiv office to be given credit for those classes he/she skipped and pay 1/3 tuition for those skipped classes. In other words, depending on the number of undergraduate hours in Greek and/or Hebrew, qualified students may be eligible to take 3 hours at NOBTS, pay for 4, and receive credit for 6; or take 3, pay for 5, and receive credit for 9. It’s just that simple.
Q. If I should choose to transfer to another institution, will any of the eligible Accelerated MDiv credits transfer?
A. All of the credits received through the Accelerated MDiv program, with the exception of advanced placement credits in Greek and Hebrew, are only applicable at NOBTS and are not added to the student's transcript until the student has completed all other coursework for his/her MDiv and has applied, and been approved, for graduation from NOBTS.
Q. Where can I find more information about the program?
A. In addition to the website, you may also email the Accelerated MDiv program at any time (email@example.com) or call the office at 504-816-8171.