PINEVILLE, Ky. (KT) – Clear Creek Baptist Bible College’s groundbreaking Master of Arts in ministry program is right on schedule.
Even during the season of the coronavirus, applications for the new program are flowing into the school, said Matthew Black, the Dean of Institutional Advancement.
“I don’t think it hurt us at all,” Black said of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The recruitment is online so it didn’t affect us from that aspect. It did slow down our approval process from our accrediting agencies, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).”
They were given the notice to begin promoting the program from those agencies last fall.
The unusual program is now approved by those agencies and gives the eastern Kentucky area a Masters program. “We are really excited about it.”
The first Masters degree the school has offered will not be based on class time or course hours, he said. Ten competencies will make up the curriculum and when a student proves competent in all 10 areas, they will earn the degree.
Each student will have a mentor in the field – a pastor or church staff leader – and will be doing hands-on ministry. There will also be a faculty member with academic credentials and it will be based on students completing 10 competencies.
The program is completely self-paced and it will have a rolling enrollment, meaning students can join at any point, Black said.
“We have about 15 already applied and enrolled and we’re trying to have 25 by July 31,” he said. “I think we’re very much on track.”
The fall session for classes will start Sept. 1.
“Clear Creek’s new Masters in ministry degree will allow the student practical hands-on learning that the typical Masters program cannot offer,” Black said, when introducing the program last fall. “The groundbreaking degree will bring a Masters degree in theological education to the Kentucky Baptist Convention.”
The cost for the program is $350 per month and the degree takes 18 months to complete, Black said. “It’s a very affordable degree and there are scholarships available for those who may need some help.”
The Masters degree program allows Clear Creek to provide ministers with better credentials for future work in a church or ministry field.