The Certificate in Biblical Studies requires 30 semester hours of prescribed credits taken at NationsUniversity. Transfer credit cannot be substituted. Only students who come to NationsUniversity with less than 30 transfer credits are eligible for the Certificate. The certificate enables the University to evaluate the student’s potential for achieving a higher academic award and provides encouragement to the student with recognition of accomplishment. Courses taken in a foreign language may be applied toward the certificate, but cannot be used for the bachelor’s degree unless the student completes all assignments in English and takes the proctored comprehensive exams in English.
Specific Course Requirements
Six five-credit courses constitute the Certificate curriculum. These are named below and are normally taken in the order listed. These courses must be completed at NationsUniversity, even though the student may have taken similar courses elsewhere. No transfer credit is accepted.
The above curriculum pattern has been in place since July 18, 2008. However, for students entering on or after January 1, 2011, the collateral measurements will be satisfied before a certificate is awarded.
The Bachelor of Religious Studies requires 120 semester hour credits. A minimum of thirty (30) of these must be taken with NU. A minimum of 60 credits shall be drawn from the category of religion, philosophy, and courses that address worldview, ministry, worship, and biblical exegesis. For calculation of religious studies credit, all courses taken at NU can be counted.
A minimum of 30 General Education credits must be in the following disciplines: arts and humanities, communications, English, mathematics, natural science, and social science. Six (6) credits must be in English (comprehension and composition). At least four other categories other than English shall be represented, with a maximum of nine (9) credits in any of single category. The student will complete all required activities, papers, and projects, a Bible knowledge test at the beginning and end of the program, and a self-evaluated spiritual inventory at the beginning and end of the program. All financial obligations must be satisfied before a degree can be conferred and before a transcript can be issued.
Admission into the B.R.S. program
Admission to the B.R.S. program requires the following:
The four program objectives along with learning outcomes (LO) are listed below.
Time Allowance and Financial Costs. The projected completion time for the B.R.S. degree is 4 years. The cost for students who reside in the 25 developed countries listed under Financial Information is a onetime $25 registration fee and an annual tuition charge of $960. Tuition and fees are guaranteed for only two (2) years. At this rate, students residing in one of the 25 developed nations may expect to pay $2,905 if they present no transfer credit and complete the B.R.S. within 36 months or $3,865 if they extend their studies over 48 months. Textbook costs are estimated at an additional $535. Borrowed or used books can lower this cost. Incarcerated students living within the United States are assessed only the $25 registration fee. Students residing outside the 25 developed nations are exempt from the registration fee and the tuition. These are responsible only for their textbooks.
Transfer Credits. Ninety (90) credits maximum from an accredited institution. Transfer credits are only granted from official transcript evaluations. Official transcripts are those sent directly from the issuing institution and not by way of the student. Only in special circumstances and from certain countries, are authenticated documents valid.
One of the following three:
Students normally complete degree requirements in effect when they registered, unless completion comes auer seven years from initial registration. Course requirements may be adjusted at any time. The requirements are displayed in the curriculum assigned to their username and in older editions of the NU Catalog. These students may opt to complete their degree under the current requirements upon request.
The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) is a general academic graduate degree providing a serious study that covers Scripture, historical and systematic theology, comparative theology and ethics. Theology in this instance is understood to encompass both critical religious study–primarily of the Christian religion–and its practice. As such courses may contain theoretical and spiritual formation components. Many students choose the M.T.S. solely as a way to increase their knowledge of Christianity as well as to bring that knowledge to their families, careers, or individual lives. The program builds on either the B.R.S. or on undergraduate degree programs earned elsewhere. The degree represents a minimum of two-year study.
Program objectives of the M.T.S. degree are three. They are listed here with their attendant learning outcomes (LO).
Degree requirements are satisfied through the accumulation of 36 semester credits and a series of collateral and culminating experiences. These include (1) a beginning and ending spiritual inventory (confidential and non-gradable), (2) biblical literacy (pretest and posPest), (3) writing assignments, and (4) multiple choice exams.
The spiritual dimension and development courses bracket the program but are operative throughout. The advanced courses M 1 through M 11 provide evidence that the student has comprehensive understanding of the biblical text, the theological message of the Bible, and exegetical methodology needed to complete the master’s program. These courses culminate with a series of essays calculated to measure the student’s ability to think critically about modern topics in view of the ancient text of scripture. Specialty courses are electives and may be drawn from any course numbered MRS 100-500, 700.
The recommended order is as follows:
Because NU is a distance learning institution and operates without defined semesters or terms, students work at their own pace. Courses are normally completed one at a time, but a student is not prohibited from enrolling in multiple courses simultaneously. Credit is calculated according to the semester system. The final grade point average must be a minimum 3.00 on a 4.00 scale on the credits used for the degree. If a student reaches the end of the curriculum with less than a 3.00 G.P.A., he/she may take additional courses to substitutes for, or offset, a “C” grade.
Time Allowance and Financial costs. The projected completion time for the M.T.S. degree is 24 months of fulltime uninterrupted study. The cost for students who reside in the 25 developed countries listed under Financial Information is a onetime $25 registration fee and an annual tuition charge of $960. Tuition and fees are guaranteed for only two (2) years. At this rate, students residing in one of the 25 developed nations may expect to pay $1,945. Textbook costs are estimated at an additional $600. Borrowed or used books can lower this cost. Incarcerated students living within the United States are assessed only the $25 registration fee. Students residing outside the 25 developed nations are exempt from the registration fee and the tuition. These are responsible only for their textbooks.
Admission to the Master of Theological Studies
Admission to the M.T.S. program will require the following:
*In the event a student cannot, for reasons beyond his/her control, submit official documenta3on of having completed the bachelor’s degree, he/she may appeal to the Registrar and state the reasons. The Registrar and Chancellor will review the appeal and make a judgment as to how the requirement may be satisfied.
Transfer Credits. A maximum of six (6) semester credits may be accepted in transfer toward the M.T.S., provided the credits are (1) religious in nature, (2) come from an accredited institution, and (3) have not been applied toward another degree.
Graduate Admission Leveling. If the student presents a three-year Bachelor of Theology or similar degree or diploma from an accredited or nationally approved institution, the student may be admitted to the master’s program only after completing required undergraduate leveling credits to be determined by the Registrar and/or Director of Academic Affairs.
Curriculum. Once formal admission is granted, the student is assigned to the M.T.S. curriculum. Courses that have been completed from this curriculum will count toward the M.T.S. degree. Students already registered normally follow the degree plan in effect at the time of registration or admission to a particular program. Continuing students are directed to the notes below and their online work sheet. Transference to a later plan means that all requirements in this plan must be fulfilled.
Students holding the Master of Religious Studies (M.R.S.) degree from NationsUniversity may complete the accredited M.T.S. under the following arrangements.
Students completing all course work for the M.R.S. after January 1, 2012 may earn the M.T.S. by completing 18 additional unduplicated* credits from courses numbered 100-500, 700.
Students completing the M.R.S. after January 1, 2012 but with some course work finished prior to this date may be awarded the M.T.S. after completing 18 unduplicated credits plus additional unduplicated courses equal to the applied credits earned prior to January 1, 2012.
Prior to acceptance into the M.T.S., the student’s writing ability will be assessed by way of a review of performance on the essays developed for M 11 Critical Analysis in Biblical Studies. Any student who has not completed this course shall be required to complete it prior to admission into the M.T.S. program.
Fees applicable are the fees in place at the time of application and are guaranteed for two years from that date.
NationsUniversity’s Master of Divinity program seeks to train Christian leaders that are inclined for applied Christian living and ministry. The University’s Master of Divinity program is designed as a general ministry professional degree. Therefore, NationsUniversity M.Div. graduates are prepared for advanced professional degree programs, e.g., Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.). However, candidates planning to undertake doctoral studies in the academic tracts of religion, theology, biblical languages, philosophy, apologetics, or church history may need to reconsider if the University’s M.Div. program will serve their personal ministry/education goals.
The program objectives for the Master of Divinity degree and learning outcomes (LO) are listed below:
NationsUniversity M.Div. graduates are educationally prepared for the following possible careers as a minister, Bible teacher, or other church leader.
Time Allowance and Financial Costs. The M.Div. program includes spirituality, biblical content, meaning, exegesis, and ministerial activity. The projected completion time is twenty-eight months of full-time uninterrupted study. The cost for students who reside in the 25 developed countries listed under Financial Information is a onetime $25 registration fee and an annual tuition charge of $960. Tuition and fees are guaranteed for only two (2) years. At this rate, students residing in one of the 25 developed nations may expect to pay $1,945 if they present no transfer credit and complete the M.Div. within 24 months or $2,905 if they extend their studies over 36 months. Textbook costs are estimated at an additional $1,400. Borrowed or used books can lower this cost. Incarcerated students living within the United States are assessed only the $25 registration fee. Students residing outside the 25 developed nations are exempt from the registration fee and the tuition. These are responsible only for their textbooks.
To meet these objectives, NU courses are designed to provide an orientation to basic world views, the biblical text, the science of interpreting the biblical text, the setting for ministry in multicultural situations, and principles for Christian ministry.
The program features three components: a general foundation for the work of ministry, field-based experience, and in-depth academic training. The NationsUniversity curriculum is structured to help distance-learning students acquire field experience in their own location, which is normally different and far distant from the U.S. field of ministry. The curriculum is not organized around a question or theme peculiar to a given culture, but is more universal in scope. Issues, which are current in the American context, may not be the peculiar issues which NationsUniversity is equipping its students to face. The issues of most concern to the personnel at NationsUniversity are those which are defined by the New Testament. While they include some of the same cultural items, they also include broader, global concerns, such as (1) the deity of Jesus in the face of Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or Traditional beliefs, (2) biblical vs. secular ethics, and (3) living as a Christian in an environment dominated by Communist or Muslim ideology.
Admission to the Master of Divinity
*In the event a student cannot, for reasons beyond his/her control, submit official documentation of having completed the bachelor’s degree, he/she may appeal to the Registrar and state the reasons. The Registrar and Chancellor will review the appeal and make a judgment as to how the requirement may be satisfied.
Students may enter the M.Div. directly, if they hold a bachelor’s degree and a major in any discipline, provided the institution is accredited by an appropriate commission or agency and the degree represents a minimum 120 semester credits with 30 credits in General Education and a Grade Point Average of 3.00 or above. Applicants holding an accredited graduate degree are exempt from this stipulation. The number of admissions granted to students presenting an unaccredited degree are limited. When admission is granted, the student will be placed on academic probation until six (6) graduate credits are earned with a 3.00 G.P.A.
An applicant having completed the B.R.S. at NationsUniversity with a G.P.A. of 3.00 or above may be admitted automatically upon application, unless there is some circumstance that makes admission problematic. Students who complete the B.R.S. with a G.P.A. lower than 3.00 will be reviewed, but they are not guaranteed admission. If they are admitted, it will be on academic probation and with the stipulation that the first six credits have a minimum 3.00 G.P.A. If the student fails to achieve a 3.00 G.P.A. on the first six credits, he/she shall be suspended from the degree track and may not be readmitted until a 3.00 G.P.A. is attained, provided the student chooses to take additional courses.
Those who do not hold the B.R.S. from NU may register and begin work immediately with MRS 622. However, formal admission into the M.T.S. program will come after a review of the of the applicant’s official credentials, the completion of 15 credits (MRS 622, M 1, M 2, M 3, and M 4) with a 3.00 G.P.A. or higher, and satisfactory scores on two qualifying examinations. Once admission is gained, the above mentioned credits will apply toward the M.Div. degree. It is to the student’s advantage that proof of the bachelor’s degree be submitted immediately after registration. Until formal admission is granted, the student shall be considered a non-degree seeking student. Once formal admission is granted, the student is assigned to the M.Div. curriculum. Courses which have been completed will count toward the degree.
B.R.S. graduates from NU who have credit for BRS 16.6 should substitute a course of their choice for MRS 622. Credit cannot be granted for MRS 622 when credit has been awarded for BRS 16.6.
If the student presents a three-year Bachelor of Theology or similar degree or diploma, the student may be admitted to the master’s program only after completing the 30 approved credits. However, in this instance, a bachelor’s degree will not be awarded, as the credits are considered “leveling” work.
Transfer Credits. Students who enter the M.Div. with graduate credit and/or graduate degrees in religious or related studies from an accredited institution, may transfer up to 30 semester credits toward the M.Div. Students who have completed other graduate degrees at NU are accorded the same privilege.
The 84 semester credits required for the M.Div. must be distributed in the following manner:
|6 credits||Spiritual Formation|
|MRS 622||A Search for Spirituality|
|MRS 633||Being Christian in a Secular Environment|
|M 1||Critical Introduction to the Old Testament|
|M 2||Critical Introduction to the New Testament|
|M 3||Systematic Biblical Doctrine|
|M 4||Biblical Hermeneutics|
|M 11||Critical Analysis in Biblical Studies|
|M 16||Family Counsel|
|9 credits||Concluding Courses|
|MFI 5||Church and Society|
|M 14||M.Div. Service Project|
|M 17||Research and Writing|
|42 credits||Electives (6 credit minimum from each category)|
|MRS 100s||Biblical Backgrounds|
|MRS 200s||Hebrew Scriptures|
|MRS 300s||Greek Scriptures|
|MRS 400s||Church History|
|MRS 700s||Comparative Religions|
The final Grade Point Average must be a minimum of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale on the credits used for the degree. If a student reaches the end of the curriculum with less than a 3.00 G.P.A., he/she may take additional courses to substitute for courses with a “C” grade.
* Students having taken BRS 16.6 at the undergraduate level should substitute an elective for MRS 622.