Are you looking for accredited online Bible colleges? Let me show you what to look for, give you a few examples, and also show you what to watch out for.
I received my master's degree on the web at a Baptist Bible college â€“ Dallas Baptist University. I have to say, my experience there was stellar. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, even though I have never actually set foot on the campus! I doubt there is an accredited online Bible college out there that is any better. I will have more on that later.
There are now a plethora of schools for us to choose from on the web, including many accredited online Bible colleges. First, let's define what we mean by Christian Bible college. When I use this term, I am not talking about a Bible college seminary, simply a college that is managed by a Christian group and has degrees similar to public universities.
When looking at accredited online Bible colleges, use a certain level of caution and know what you want. Some people want to go to a Christian Bible college because they either want some type of degree specializing in Biblical studies or want to go to a place that has a Christian worldview. Others go to accredited online Bible colleges because they simply want a top notch education, and these types of schools sometime have a better reputation that public schools (although, having experienced both I would say the overall difference in quality depends much more on the individual school than it does its worldview.)
If you want to go to an accredited online Bible college because you want the worldview it provides, make sure you do your homework on the university. Many schools, while they still have some denomination in their name or have some tie to a religious organization, have moved away from their roots and are quite secular in their teaching and values. Look at the mission statements of the accredited online Bible colleges, and dig around on their website to see how much is actually related to Christianity. This can give you a good idea where they are coming from.
As mentioned above, some people want to go to accredited online Bible colleges because of the prestige they offer. However, while the prestige is there with many offline religious schools, that high status still does not translate well on the net. There is still a level of bias against online degrees out there that keeps accredited online Bible colleges and other online colleges from having the same level of snobbery associated with them (but, hey, who wants snobbery anyway?!). However, if you do feel you need the prestige, going to a Christian Bible college offline might be more your style.
That being said, just a quick word about the bias against accredited online Bible colleges and other schools on the web. It used to be a big deal. There were so many crappy schools online that gave out fake degrees that the good ones got lost in the shuffle. Also, people in general used to feel that students who got online degrees couldn't keep up with other students who got their degrees at regular, brick and mortar schools. This is still a legitimate concern for those for you looking at accredited online Bible colleges. However, the attitudes toward online schools are changing rapidly. I can tell you in my experience that having a degree from an online Bible college has not slowed me down a bit, and no one has ever given it a second thought.
If you still think accredited online Bible colleges are for you, you need to consider what exactly "accreditation" means. Simply put, for a school to be truly considered legitimate by most standards, they must be regionally accredited. There are several regional accreditation bodies that cover the entire US, and each school goes through a process every ten years go either get or keep their certification with these organizations. Without that, any degree you get will be virtually worthless.
Every accredited online Bible college will have something about their certification mentioned on their website. If you can't find that on the school you are looking at, move on. Believe me, accredited online schools like to brag about it, so you won't have to look hard.
If you have found accredited online Bible colleges that have the type of worldview you are searching for, then you need to see if they have the degree you need. For me, I was looking for an online Christian education degree, and I found it at DBU. You might be looking for an online Christian counseling degree or many others.
Make sure that the accredited online Bible colleges that you look at have everything you need online and it is not some type of mixed program. Some school will offer only part of a degree online. This won't do you much good if you are in California and the school you are attending is in Florida!
Once you have narrowed down the list of accredited online Bible colleges that you are interested in, contact an admissions counselor. They can tell you all about the school. Do a search online about the experiences of real students at that school, as their information may be more unbiased than a counselor at your accredited online Bible colleges of choice.
Finally, if you have narrowed down your search for accredited online Bible colleges to one or two, take a close look at the costs, and not just the cost of tuition. Consider fees, books, etc., as this stuff can add up!
Like I mentioned above, Dallas Baptist University was great for me, but there are others out there that are great, too. If you are looking at different accredited online Bible colleges and don't know which one to pick, feel free to hit me up and ask questions. I worked on college campuses for over ten years, so hopefully I can help either evaluate accredited online Bible colleges or point you to someone who can!