Some of you will know that I received an MA degree in Theological Studies (MATS) from Covenant Theological Seminary, located in St. Louis. Back before I started the degree, I had considered moving to St. Louis to undertake a theological degree that included studies in Hebrew and Greek. This was the MA in Exegetical Theology (MAET), meaning that, with training in the Biblical languages, I would have, then, been able to take the higher level theology classes where we would actually dive into and exegete the Hebrew and Greek texts of Scripture. But, after much prayer, counsel and consideration, I decided it best to stay in the Memphis area at the time and continue in some ministry training through Visible School – Music and Worship Arts College.
Yet, after such a decision to stay in Memphis, and it being the right decision, I still wanted to complete a Master’s degree, as God had developed in me a love for the Scriptures and a strong desire to teach others. At the time, I wondered where I could take on a graduate degree in theology, but do so from home through a long distance learning program. Lo and behold, after searching around for a few days, I found out that Covenant Seminary actually offered a Master’s level degree in general theological studies. ‘Hmmm,’ I thought. ‘I just paid some registration fees to the seminary. Maybe I can just transfer those fees into their distance learning Master’s program.’ And, you know what, I could. Therefore, I spent the next 5 years and 2 months completing my MATS.
So, why I am telling you my graduate school history? Well, it’s a round about way to tell you of something Covenant Seminary is offering for free. They have taken the lecture notes and lecture audio files of twenty-one of their Master’s level classes and have uploaded them to their distance learning website, Worldwide Classroom. This means that anyone is allowed to download the audio files and lecture notes for their own personal study. Covenant offers such classes as:
- Ancient and Medieval Church History
- Reformation and Modern Church History
- Apologetics and Outreach
- Calvin’s Institutes
- Christ-Centered Preaching
- Christian Ethics
- God and His Word
- God’s World Mission
- Many Old Testament classes
- Many New Testament classes
- Many Systematic Theology classes
- And other classes
Each class has an average of thirty lectures, each lecture being an average of forty-five minutes long. And there is an individual lecture guide you can download to go with each lecture you listen to. Of course, you won’t get the official Master’s degree by just listening to the audio files and taking some notes. But, it, no doubt, presents an opportunity to further your own study of God’s Word and other such theological topics.
Yes, Covenant Seminary has a reformed, Calvinistic background. So you might not agree with everything they teach (though I, personally, enjoy reformed theology). I know that I didn’t agree with everything that was taught, especially some of the teachings on the nature of the church (ecclesiology) and the Holy Spirit (pneumatology). But, it was definitely a great learning opportunity. For me, it was a very suitable place from which I could do graduate study in theology.
So, if you are interested in checking out what is offered, visit their Worldwide Classroom website. Try it out, see what you think. I have heard it said, ‘If you read about one topic for one hour a day, then you will have the equivalence of a PhD.’ Interesting to think about. Maybe this is the beginning of a twenty year journey……or not. We definitely don’t need PhD’s, or a Master’s degree, or even a Bachelor’s degree, to accomplish the purposes of God. But, there is no doubt a blessing to be received in studying theology, all that we might know Him and be sharpened in our understanding of His Word. So, if you are interested, click on the link and check it out. You might find some interesting materials.