Frequently Asked Questions about the Graduate Programs
Can I get credit for life experience or non-accredited ministry-related courses?
We believe that life experience can be exponentially more educational than “book-learn’in”. On the other hand, there are topics not only relevant, but critical to ministering biblically, effectively, and powerfully. Our graduate programs are designed to equip ministers soundly and thoroughly. And we want students to be challenged and proud of what they have achieved.
For those reasons, we allow a limited number of credits for documented courses taken within churches and other ministries, exceptional life experience, and documented pastoral ministry. Fees apply.
• The MASTER OF DIVINITY PROGRAM allows up to 15 total credits for any combination of documented previous unaccredited coursework, pastoral ministry, missionary work, and exceptional life experience.
• The DOCTOR OF MINISTRIES PROGRAM, allows up to 12 credits for any combination of documented previous unaccredited coursework, pastoral ministry and exceptional life experience.
We, of course, accept transfer credits from other accredited seminaries for either graduate program. Fees apply.
Tell me about the school’s accreditation?
Ignite University and Seminary, a federal 501(c)3, is accredited by the American Accrediting Association of Theological Institutions, affiliated with the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International, authorized as an educational institution with the Secretary of State, and partnered with Jerusalem Prophecy College and Max Ministries. For further detail, see accreditation.
Are the courses offered in TERMS (semesters) and at specific times of day?
Our online courses allow you flexibility in determining your schedule, setting your own pace, and completing the programs expediently or at leisure.
No need to set aside specific times of day to attend classes. You choose the time of day in which to do your course-work.
Yes, we utilize “terms” in order to provide community along with curriculum. Lessons, assignments, forums and quizzes are freely accessible as you move along in each course rather than on a date/time schedule.
We offer 5 terms per year. Each term lasts about 8 weeks. That’s about 40 weeks of classes per year.
- Late Fall 2020- Monday, October 12 — Friday, Dec 11
- Winter 2021- Monday, Jan 4 — Friday, Feb 26
- Spring 2021- Monday, March 8 — Friday, April 30
- Summer 2021- Monday, May 10 — Friday, July 2
- Early Fall 2021- Monday Aug 9 — Friday, Oct 1
- Late Fall 2021- Monday Oct 11 — Friday, Dec 10
How long does it take to earn a Master of Divinity?
- At 9 credits per term (three 3-credit courses)– 8 terms (approx. 16 actual months)
- At 6 credits per term (two 3-credit courses)– 12 terms (approx. 24 actual months)
How would you describe your educational philosophy?
We believe that a diploma to hang on your wall is only the beginning of what you’re after; that you desire a solid biblical foundation and first-rate ministry training to equip you for success in whatever ministry you pursue, in order to effectively widen and deepen God’s Kingdom. In light of that, we consider our programs equivalent to those costing 4 times more.
Because the curriculum is the heart of the programs, our team engaged in careful research with open minds to find the crème de la crème curriculum texts and authors in their fields.
Overall, we would describe the courses as relevant, intellectually sound and spiritually challenging.
IUS purposely emphasizes subject areas which enrollees tell us need shoring up or strengthening… such as World Religious Systems, Apologetics, Evangelism, Spiritual Freedom, Counseling, the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, and alternative Eschatological Perspectives.
If you are looking for quick-and-dirty seminary degrees which omit or only survey vital material, you won’t find that here.
What does your commitment to a diversity of perspectives mean?
The curriculum authors we have selected represent a wide range of academic institutions and hold a diversity of perspectives from within Christendom.
The core doctrines of the Christian faith are non-negotiable. Beyond that, we’re committed to encouraging scholarly quests for truth in secondary areas of the faith.
Our primary authors represent 50 diverse educational institutions… institutions regarded as evangelical, traditional, charismatic and even traditional and orthodox.
A good deal of this leadership comes from Baptist-leaning scholars, but the contributions of the Full-Gospel-leaning abound and are just as vital. The Biblical Interpretation and Preaching Department, for instance, includes a Presbyterian, two Full-Gospel scholars, a woman, an African-American church previous pastor, and a number of Evangelicals.
We believe in our students… and in their ability to think critically. Exposure to differing secondary theological interpretations allows students the freedom to form their own views on areas like the voice of God today and end-time particulars… and then thoughtfully support them!
Additionally, the IUS team is purposefully diverse. We are made up not only of a variety of spiritual and denominational perspectives, but also meaningful ethic/racial diversity, with a number of African-American leaders and contributors.
How are the courses structured?
A variety of user-friendly video, PowerPoint and text formats are primarily utilized in courses to equip you for ministry success.
Most courses require textbooks which you may purchase on-line (Amazon links), or possibly check out from a nearby public or seminary library (non-student library cards are sometimes available at local seminaries).
QUIZZES and FINALS are auto-corrected. In order to keep costs down, assignments requiring instructor response are limited to curriculum for which mentoring is particularly helpful, such as within the Biblical Interpretation and Preaching department. Forums are more often utilized than assignments.
Each course has it’s own evaluation component grid. Grading scale is generous. Less than 60% requires a course retake (not documented on transcript). Fees apply.
Could your degree programs be too difficult for me?
Our goal is that men and women of God from all walks of life can succeed at comprehending and retaining the concepts and materials presented in our educational degree programs, and successfully complete the programs in a realistic time-frame.
Skills needed are standard reading comprehension and ability to study for passing quizzes and posting comments on forums. Within the few homework assignments, composition ability is needed for writing short sermons, the Master’s Thesis, and the Doctorate Dissertation (sufficient instruction included).
To help students succeed, course units provide study guides conveying what to expect in quizzes. Quiz results are provided upon quiz completions, and quiz questions are repeated in midterms and finals.
Is there an interactive or social aspect within the programs?
Community and social interaction are promoted through Forum Topic Discussions and acquiring “friends” to individually communicate with (IUS social media).
Just note the comments made in the Forum Topics by other students, and reach out to them with invitations of friendship. You are welcome to maintain these friendships as a student and an alumni!
What if I earn more credits than required for my Master of Divinity or Doctor of Ministries?
The credit-hours that exceed the 72 required in the Master of Divinity Degree roll over into the Doctorate of Ministries program.
We are delighted to see ministers with a thirst for the things of God. Those who have earned both Master of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministries enjoy substantial alumni discounts on the purchase of further courses.
How did you arrive at the costs for the programs?
Aware that countless men and women of God around the world have been held back from fullness in ministry due to lack of training (often times because of the expense) we have sought to bring educational opportunity at the most bare-bones budget possible… less than 1/4 the cost of similar degrees elsewhere. As a non-profit organization, and by utilizing today’s technology, and by looking to curriculum authors for primary guidance; we are delighted to be able to offer relevant, intellectually sound and spiritually challenging curriculum as well as a community experience.
What if I don’t have my Bachelor’s Degree?
Ignite University and Seminary features our IUS Bridge/MDiv Program for students who have not yet earned a Bachelor Degree and would like to earn a Master of Divinity.
Similar programs are in place at institutions like Loyola University, Boston University, Penn State, Pepperdine and Johns Hopkins titled with terms such as Integrated, Accelerated, Dual or Combined with additional course requirements and some courses earning dual credit.
This is particularly a fast-track for students with an Associate Degree or college credits. Number of credits required for completion of this programs is based on the credit-hours the student enter the program with.
Can I take the courses without pursuing a degree?
There are some courses available to the non-student public. TCH501- Introduction to Eschatology is a free course available in full on this site… or without quizzes, midterms and finals in the site of one of our partners, where several other courses are also available.
What is acceptance into IUS based on, and how do I apply?
Acceptance into the seminary is solely based on submission of contact information/geographic location and verifications of educational status and personal character.
Additional information about students is asked only AFTER acceptance, during the enrollment process so we can get to know each student as an individual.
What does the application for acceptance consist of?
Required documents consist of college transcripts for students who earned Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degrees or have taken college courses… as well as at least one reference letter. These can be scanned and uploaded (preferred) or mailed directly from educational institutions or letter authors (slower).
Applicants unable to submit transcripts at the time of application are asked to submit a copy of their college diploma (if applicable and possible) for initial educational status verification.
Applicants for the IUS Bridge Program WITHOUT college credits are asked to upload proof of GED or High School graduation. Exceptions are possible.
Finally, applicants select which MDiv program they are applying for and pay the applicable fee. Ignite University and Seminary will accordingly place applicants into the appropriate program; whether the MDiv program, the IUS Bridge/MDiv Program, or the DMin program.
After applicants receive notice of acceptance, they move into the enrollment process.
How do I fund my seminary education? Is there a payment plan?
After an applicant receives email notification of acceptance into one of the programs, applicants enroll according to enrollment instructions.
Enrollment consists of paying the $300 ENROLLMENT FEE and initiating the automatic monthly TUTION PAYMENTS starting at $300 (based on a 24-month MDiv degree completion plan). In that scenario, it would take $650 to get started. Tuition payment schedules are revisited occasionally for adjustment.
The enrollment process also initially explores the possibility of transfer credits from accredited universities and credit for courses taken within churches and other ministries, exceptional life experience, and documented pastoral ministry (fees apply).
After enrolling and initiating monthly tuition payments, students may select and register for their desired first term courses, and may do so again as each new term registration is opened.
The seminary offers full-program payment discounts, and may offer early-bird discounts. Since government-based student loans are not available, we are currently working on other loan alternatives, and will announce programs when they are in place.