RTS MABS Distance (OPC member coming under care)

Discussion in 'Seminaries, Colleges & Education' started by Parepidemos, Nov 17, 2018.

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  1. Parepidemos

    Parepidemos Puritan Board Freshman

    Hey friends,

    I am a member of an OPC on the west coast and have been working through an internal call to ministry for some time. I am married with kids and I am not in a position to you at this time.

    Question for you all: Any recent insight on the RTS Masters of Arts in Biblical Studies (MABS) program (distance through their global department)? It appears that it is 65 or so of the 80 credits of the RTS mdiv. Have seen some threads from 6-10 years ago, but nothing recent. Anyone getting ordained with this degree?

    My session seems to be on board with this program given my previous education/experience and they could supplement my education since we have many seminary trained men connected to me (really thankful for my mentors). Our plan is to have me come under care next year when I’m enrolled in classes. My goal is to be a minister in the OPC.

    Anyways, any recent insight into RTS and distance learning from those in the OPC (or other Presbyterian denoms), I'd like to connect with you. Thanks.

    In Christ alone.
  2. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Is the Presbytery okay with your getting an MA instead of an MDiv? I know it is sometimes done, but I thought there was a push for MDivs.
  3. Parepidemos

    Parepidemos Puritan Board Freshman

    MDiv is indeed ideal, but my session is more interested in what I know and my competency, so they are open to me not getting my “practical theology” and pastoral and counseling classes from RTS since I have qualified mentors out here, and all the other core curriculum (OT, NT, ST, BT, Greek, Hebrew, CH, etc) are all part of the MABS. Link: https://www.rts.edu/site/Academics/Degree_programs/MAR/globalc.aspx

    My primary question is if anyone else has done this program and/or if there are any OPC or Presbyterian folks who have any experience with distance learning.
  4. Parepidemos

    Parepidemos Puritan Board Freshman

    We will see what the presbytery determines is appropriate as we present this plan to them, so any insight would be of interest
  5. John Yap

    John Yap Puritan Board Freshman

    Could anyone give input on how one usually progresses from MA to Mdiv? A shortened Mdiv course?

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  6. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    In theory, you should be able to pursue ordination if you have demonstrated competence in all the exams required by presbytery (per the BCO). Without a full MDiv, you may be tested with more scrutiny to make sure you have the expected knowledge. We had a man licensed in our presbytery who pursued his MDiv via Whitefield (a distance program). He was mentored by other ministers in our presbytery. But following a plan approved by your own presbytery is certainly the way to go.
  7. Parepidemos

    Parepidemos Puritan Board Freshman

    That’s great to know, and I’ve heard similar things. I’m looking forward to aligning with the presbytery.

    Whitefield was a seminary I considered, and I appreciated the rigor and the materials they use (ie more Turretin & Calvin). If there’s any way I can connect with the man you mentioned, I’d appreciate it.
  8. John Yap

    John Yap Puritan Board Freshman

    Rts has the hybrid Mdiv which may be of interest

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  9. Alan D. Strange

    Alan D. Strange Puritan Board Junior

    Short answer: yes. Let's say someone earned an MAR, MTS, or like degree. A year or two additionally would net an M.Div., depending on whether it's the same seminary or a different one; seminaries usually have a minimum number of hours that must be taken with them for their degree.

    If one wishes to be a minister, one should get the M.Div. degree, all things being equal. Otherwise, you will not have courses in practical or ministerial studies, which are important for the pastorate.

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  10. Parepidemos

    Parepidemos Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for your response, Dr. Strange. I wish the local seminary in my area was still going, but I’m thankful for these men to teach me to supplement my education. Praying that God will open the doors and train me as he sees fit.
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