Degree Programs Available from Rockbridge Seminary
Rockbridge Seminary appears in our ranking of the 50 Most Affordable Master’s in Theology Degree Programs Online.
Rockbridge Seminary offers multiple programs that take students between two and six years to complete. One program lets students spend two years to earn a diploma in ministry studies. It is open to students who are 25 or older and work for their churches. Students learn how to better understand the Bible and how to read other religious texts. They’ll take 39 credits of courses, including Developing the Focused Life, Theology and Practice of Worship, Contemporary Evangelism, Church History and Theory and Practice of Ministry.
The Master of Ministry Leadership is also a two-year degree program but only open to students who have an undergraduate degree. It features 13 courses that are worth a total of 52 credit hours. The required courses in the ministry leadership core are theology and practice classes in fields such as worship, ministry, and fellowship. They’ll also need to take five electives from specific courses offered by the seminary. Electives can include Personal Counseling Skills, Building a Small Group Ministry, New Testament Survey, Old Testament Survey, Lead Like Jesus, Church History I and II, Pastoral Care and Recovery Ministry. Graduate students also take a capstone and present a portfolio.
In the Master of Divinity program, students spend three years working on their degrees. Depending on their personal lives and how many classes they take, it can take longer to complete the program. Though students take the same required courses as ministry leadership majors take, they’ll also take eight extra classes, including Church History I and II, Preaching and Teaching for Life Change and Christian Worldview and Theology. The program asks that students submit a portfolio to show that they are proficient in the subjects they studied and that they take a capstone class. They’ll also need to take three electives.
Also available is a Doctor of Ministry program. Though students can graduate in only three years, some will spend up to six years in the program based on their personal and professional commitments. The Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership includes a one-credit course called The Transformational Leader that students must take in their first semesters. This cohort program includes five seminars and a comprehensive exam that students need to pass after taking those classes. They will also do an applied research project that serves as a dissertation. Classes in the doctoral program include Spiritual Life of the Leader, The Missional Leader, and Organizational Leadership.
About Rockbridge Seminary
Rockbridge Seminary is a seminary based out of Springfield, Missouri that operates entirely online. Established in 2004, it opened that same year with an enrollment of just 14 students. Those students took classes online while they lived in six different states. The seminary refers to its online education as The Dream because it meets the needs of students who could not otherwise attend college. Students take classes that teach them how ministry training changed over the years. They’ll learn how to use new forms of technology as they preach and minister. There are classes designed for those who do missionary work also.
Though the seminary offers only online programs, it requires that students follow an honors code in their daily lives. This code prohibits students from engaging in illicit activities such as committing crimes and cheating on their exams. The code also bans homosexual activities and the use of drugs. Students caught violating the code will be expelled from the seminary. Rockbridge Seminary has a small enrollment across the four diploma and degree programs that it now offers.
Rockbridge Seminary Accreditation Details
Rockbridge Seminary has accreditation as a distance education school from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). This is a national accrediting agency that is affiliated with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). It has the approval to operate in most American states. Students should check with the Department of Education in their states before they apply.
Rockbridge Seminary Application Requirements
Students should check the admissions requirements for each Rockbridge Seminary program because the programs have different standards. Only those who can show they work for a church and are at least 25 years old can enroll in the diploma program. They will also need a high school diploma or GED. The graduate programs only accept students who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Students applying to the doctoral program need both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
To apply to the seminary, students will pay a $25 application fee and use the online application. They will then send their college or university transcripts to the seminary. Students applying to the diploma program can fax, email or mail a copy of their high school diplomas or GED certificates. Rockbridge also requires that a pastor complete and submit a church endorsement form on behalf of the student. Before students can register for classes, they also need to sign and date an enrollment form. Rockbridge recommends that students check out the technology and software requirements before they apply.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Instead of charging a rate based on the number of credits that a student takes, the seminary charges rates based on the cost of finishing one of its programs. While diploma students spend $4,377 to finish their programs, Master of Ministry Leadership students pay $11,038 across two years. Students in the Master of Divinity program pay $16,432 across three years or however long it takes for them to finish the program. Doctoral students pay a total of $11,098 to earn their degrees. The costs can vary among students who need to take a class more than once. Graduate students also pay a $150 for a portfolio review at the end of their programs.
As the seminary does not have regional accreditation, it cannot accept government financial aid. Students have two ways in which they can pay their costs: through scholarships or alternative loans. Scholarships are available from partner organizations and often go to students who have high grades and a strong commitment to their churches. They may receive scholarships from their churches too. Alternative loans come from lenders who base their loans on a student’s credit history and credit score. Students can apply for loans with a co-signer too. Rockbridge Seminary can talk with students about their financial aid choices before they apply.