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Both of Welch College’s accreditors have approved its Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Theology and Ministry, according to Kevin Hester, Chairman of the Theological Studies Department at Welch College.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the regional accrediting body for the southern states, reviewed Welch College’s Application for Level Change in December. Later that month, Dr. Larry Earvin, Vice President of SACSCOC, contacted Welch president Matt Pinson with notification of SACSCOC approval.

The Association for Biblical Higher Education had previously contacted Welch College with news of its approval in November. In his congratulatory letter, Dr. Ron Kroll, Director of the Commission on Accreditation said, “May God bless your continued engagement in biblical higher education!”

With these approvals Welch College has reached a milestone by becoming the first Free Will Baptist college to offer a regionally accredited credential on the graduate level.

Enrollment in the M.A. degree in Theology and Ministry is underway. For general questions or for enrollment information, please email M.A. Program Coordinator Dr. Jeff Cockrell at jcockrell@welch.edu.

The first two courses begin online February 15 and go through April 15, with the on-campus intensive March 14-18. The first two courses will be Mission and Church Growth (taught by Dr. Barry Raper and Dr. Ron Callaway) and the Arminian Theological Tradition (taught by Dr. Kevin Hester and Dr. J. Matthew Pinson).

“The 33-hour M.A. consists of hybrid courses, in which a portion of the coursework is completed online and the other portion in one-week, on-campus intensive sessions,” Hester said. “Two courses will be offered at every week-long intensive. This means those wishing to complete the M.A. in 16 months can do so by taking two courses at a time. Those who take only one course at a time will take 32 months to complete the degree.” Free campus lodging for students will be available during the intensives.

Generous financial aid is available in the first cohort, including institutionally funded scholarships and federally guaranteed loans. Seats in this first cohort are limited, and students wishing to pursue the degree in sixteen months will receive priority seating.

“There’s a lot of excitement about this new degree,” said President Matt Pinson. “Please be in prayer for us as we start this new program, and for our graduate students as they seek to advance their ministries through further study.”

“There is still time to enroll in the first classes, which begin on February 15,” Pinson said. “We encourage interested students to contact us about starting the M.A. in February or in the second session, which begins in April. I especially encourage churches to make a way to help their pastors who desire further education to enroll in this program.”

More information about the M.A. program in Theology and Ministry may be found at http://www.welch.edu/masters or by contacting Dr. Jeff Cockrell at jcockrell@welch.edu.

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